Let's get a few things cleared up at the beginning of this post. I am not claiming to be a prophet or fortune teller. I do not have any inside knowledge of secret, covert government plans.
I am just a normal guy (husband, father, homeschooling dad) who likes to think out different scenarios based on a variety of trigger events.
In this post, I will explain one possible scenario (a bad one, in my personal opinion) that could change the education system as we know it.
Disclaimer: If this scenario plays out completely, then it would very much impact homeschooling families, unschooling families, students who attend private schools, and publics school students a like.
Step #1 - Something Major Has To Upset Normalcy
We are already in Step #1. COVID came along and threw a major wrench into the lives of people all over the world. Nothing has been untouched, not even the traditional education system.
As home schooling educators, we have been able to weather the storm fairly well, barring some missed socialization opportunities that all kiddos desperately need. If you have been homeschooling for a while, then you have probably already picked out your child's curriculum (per the normal process), are preparing for the upcoming school year (as usual), and will begin 'official' studies sometime this month or the next.
Home Educators are moving along at normal pace while the rest of the world is still trying to figure out how to keep 5 years six feet apart.
Step #2 - New Disruption and Continued Disruption
As the public schools and private schools are attempting to 'return to 'normal,' they are also making contingency plans just in case a new COVID breakout occurs at their school or in their city.
I hate to be cynical, but I don't think that 'if' is the right perspective. People need to be preparing for 'when' another pandemic event hits.
I personally do not think that COVID has ran its course. I believe that we will see a second wave, and communities/states will continue to react to COVID in a variety of ways (from lax to super strict).
What concerns me even more than what we are experiencing today is the possibility of a even faster spreading, more deadly virus.
Based on how the global community has responded to COVID-19, there is no going back to our "old" normal. The world is redefining a new normal.
Step #3 - Increased Focus On Technology
In response to current events and in preparation for future outbreaks, I believe that cities, states, and even the federal government will look for "holistic solutions" to the problem of the day.
What might this mean?
- Stronger pushes for internet access to all.
- Stronger pushes for each student to bring home a school device.
- More trainings for teachers, parents and students on how to teach/learn online.
These programs will be touted as great accomplishments, but will come at great financial cost. And they may cost us personal freedom if these services are provided by monopolistic government agencies.
Step #4 - Regional Experts Assume Teaching Responsibilities
Now with a strong technological infrastructure in place, the physical classroom can be made obsolete. Now it is time to begin centralizing the education system.
When the next outbreak occurs, all students will be required to study from home. There will be no option to meet in a local classroom. And don't worry about teachers not being tech savvy.
The solution? Hire the "best" regional teachers to teach online. These teaches will be charged with teaching every student within the assigned region. Even better, have the best teachers in each state do the same.
The "chosen" teachers would need to be charismatic, entertaining, and smart. As experts in their field and versed in technology, they would be able to deliver lessons and curriculum with ease to their students.
The problem? More device time. Less human interaction. A smaller number of "experts" proclaiming truth to the masses.
Step #5 - National Experts Assume Teaching Responsibilities
The brightest and the best would emerge from every region of the country. Now a even more limited number of teachers would be tasked with teaching the minds of our children, but not at a state or region level, but at a federal level. "Only the best for the best of all!"
The educational system would become even more centralized and easier to control.
Step #6 - Mandated Participation
For a while, the government would allow homeschooling and unschooling families to continue as usual. Private schools would still be able to offer courses.
But there would reach a point when choice would finally be cut off. If you are not following the "standard" way of doing things, then you are not only wrong, you are in contempt of the law.
With the "perfect system" in place, then there is no wiggle room for negotiation. This new system would provide "high level of education" to the masses - who just happen to be frozen in fear and isolated from their peers.
I sure hope I wrong (more wrong than the media's predication that Hilary Clinton would be president in 2016). Honestly, this is not 'us' versus 'them' political issue. I could see both sides of the isle helping unfolded the steps I referenced above.
For me this is a freedom issue. I support your personal choice to wear a mask (or not) around your loved ones. But that choice is yours so make it wisely!
I support local businesses opening, reopening, staying open, and implementing their own COVID protection guidelines for their customer and patrons.
What I am concerned about is large, sweeping decisions that take away freedom and cause fear. I am equally concerned about flippant responses to imminent danger.
I guess you could say my family chooses homeschooling because we believe in educating and protecting our children (both at the same time).
My wife and I want to strengthen their minds (knowledge) and their hearts (love). We want to protect their bodies (from viruses, bullies, and whatever other danger my come their way). We want to them to learn from the two people in the world that love them more than words can express.
As I finish this post, I feel my heart racing. I usually find a state of peace after writing a post, but not today. My heart is heavy because the events of the day are weighing down on each and everyone of us.
But how much more will my heart ache if in the name of "education," an outsider takes away my ability to protect and teach my kiddos in the way that is best for them
Whether you agree or disagree, please leave a comment below. I look forward to hearing from you.