Homeschooling: Welcome to the Best Education Ever

It’s summer! No school to worry about! So naturally, school is on my mind. No matter how awesome Purdue University is, there are always things you wish would be fixed. Like unfortunate professors, “gotcha” questions on exams, and the fact that an A+ does not cancel an A– to average an A.

I started thinking: what would my dream school look like? (Xavier: A follow-up question: Would I care?)

I’d start my day by rolling out of bed only when I was rested. No 6AM alarms or snooze-button slamfests. Just get sleep, and get up. (Xavier: Oh, good.) Then it’d be off to school, wearing whatever was comfortable. Jammies? Sure, why not. It’s not like anybody would care.  (Xavier: Your sense of fashion is appalling.)  Arriving at the facilities, I’d walk in and enjoy the soft carpet beneath my feet as I headed to the dining area where I’d enjoy breakfast with my best friends. Then it’d be off to class.

Class would be with my personal teacher who’d been teaching me for years. Familiar with my learning style, she’d tailor the curriculum and the pacing of the school to match me perfectly. Concept doesn’t quite click? Slow down and focus in. Born to do trigonometry? Lock S-foils and accelerate to attack speed.  (Xavier: Like that ever happens.)  Everything would be customized to my desired career path and interests. I might get heavier classes in preparation for AP exams to build my college application, or additional practice exams if I wasn’t fully comfortable with the format of the SATs. The qualifications of the staff would be through the roof: all faculty members would hold PhDs. Even the non-academic stuff would be carefully covered. The kitchen would be supervised by a nutritionist and master chef. The chaplain would have years of experience, preferably spent leading Bible studies for college and graduate students.

The curriculum would be either handpicked or spun up in-house. No history textbooks. Just great books about the different periods. Historical fiction. Autobiographies. A detailed description on WWII submarine war. All of which would be stashed away in the school’s library, steps away from the student workspaces.

In between classes, I’d sit at my adjustable table and do homework.  As I completed my mathematics problems and drafted a paper, I could look up and admire the birds outside, or more likely, stand up and pilfer snacks from the school pantry. Then I’d turn to my desk computer to check emails and browse the news. It’d be fun to discuss the events of the day with other students around the lunchtable (mmm, stir-fry anybody?) (Xavier: No.)

Exams would be taken in the best possible environment: a quiet, comfortable room with freshly sharpened pencils, a large table all to myself, and huge windows to admit as much natural light as possible. The test proctor would be nearby, working a Sudoku puzzle but otherwise instantly available to answer questions and clear up any ambiguities in the problem prompts. When the timer went up, the test would be sent off for immediate grading while I was free to do whatever I wanted. (Xavier: That’d be the last thing the world needs.)

Academics wouldn’t be the only thing to take up all my time. I’d have access to a billion basketballs, a swimming pool, and plenty of space for martial arts practice. The nearby bike trails would wind through parks and cross streams. If I wanted to do something, school admins would find a way to make it happen, from tending the school’s herb garden to scheduling a 2-week break for a hike in the Rockies.

Not all free time would be spent on adventures, of course. There’d be the gleaming black Petrof piano in the corner of the music room, recently tuned and quietly beckoning students to try out its ivory keys. Nearby, there would sit a wooden tower, weighted down with the sheer genius of the composers that populated its shelves with their work.

Sounds great, right? You bet it does! (Xavier: I hate being forced to agree with you.)

And of course, if it was really my dream school, I wouldn’t have to pay for it. The best things in life are free, right? (Xavier: Technically...)

Sigh. If only such schools existed.

But they do. I should know; I attended one from kindergarten all the way through high school.

Because I was homeschooled.