1. The author of “The Homeschool Diaries” claims to homeschool his children. Except… he teaches them some math in the morning (he is the man, after all, and math is for boys), while his wife is the one doing all the rest of the educating.
2. The horror at the idea that a 23-year-old teaching assistant might be covering his first-grade son’s classroom. A 23-year-old? Teaching FIRST GRADE? Horrible. Unacceptable.
3. The assumption that anyone can be as good of a teacher as a trained teacher. Lots of parents, of course, are fine (or even great) teachers. And lots of professional teachers suck. But teaching is a profession, and it does require training, and while you might know your kid better than any teacher, well-trained and experienced teachers know teaching methodology and lesson plans and learning styles. There’s a certain narcissism in thinking, “Well I teach grad school / I went to school / I had teachers / I am smart, so I can teach any grade level whatsoever and my kid will be better off with me.” That might be true, but it really might not. And either way, it requires a little more serious thought and recognition that teaching is a complicated and difficult and important profession, and not one that any yahoo can step up and do well. And well-trained and experienced teachers, while certainly flawed in their own ways, are not going to be distracted or influenced by family dynamics or parental love or any of the messiness that comes with family teaching family or a parent “knowing” their child in a specific way that can sometimes blind them to other aspects of that child’s personality or talents.
4. The mention of his wife deciding not to go back to work in “the shrinking field of newspapering” and instead deciding to “work full-time on our children’s education.” So weird how it’s always the woman who gives up her career, her financial security, her extra retirement dollars and her source of independence to stay home and work in the service of the couple’s children. Oh well, I guess that’s just how things work out, and they’re choosing their choice!
5. The argument that it makes the most “practical” sense to teach your kids in New York City. Instead of, you know, pushing for the kinds of necessary educational changes that would make a good education available to all kids, and not just the ones whose parents (mothers) decide to give up their entire professional lives in the service of their elementary school educations.
6. The pervasive assumption that it is the duty of parents (mothers) to serve their children in every single way, to their own professional and financial detriment. But of course it is the duty of men to champion their awesome “choices” in the Atlantic.
7. The total lack of acknowledgment of how this kind of hyper-individualism is maybe not the best thing for society at large or their smaller community.
And also so many other things, but I need to go.