Both my husband and I attended public schools. He did so exclusively while I had some time spent in Catholic schools when my family was able to get us into one. My older boys attended a Catholic school at first until we elected to homeschool them. And, now we have one son attending a public school. So, I would say we have a decent amount of experience with what public education can look like in a variety of states. Given our hybrid homeschooling for the past 2 years, I was a little curious to see what was contained on the IndoctriNation DVD. This curiosity was deepened by knowing that the producer of this show also made Captivated, a show that delves into the effect of media consumption on society, which we reviewed last year.
Colin Gunn is a father of seven children who are homeschooled. He grew up in Scotland attending public schools while his wife attended public school in the United States. IndoctriNation finds them traveling across the USA in a refurbished old school bus on a quest to both learn more about the origins and social impact of American’s public education system. This is done through interviews of people both IN and OUT of the school system. While many might consider this a documentary, it is far more as you hear the testimonies of people as well. IndoctriNation is most definitely family friendly, although I think older students and adults are the primary audience.
Below you can view a clip from the movie which shows a bit of how public education in America came to be.
My Thoughts on IndoctriNation
This past year of homeschooling has been challenging for me. My older boys are both high school level with the eldest graduating this May. I have felt drained and lacking in motivation to keep going. So, I had been considering whether the time has come to transition back to having more boys IN a school especially since J will be starting kindergarten this coming year. My 3rd son has already been ‘talking up’ all the fun things that J might experience if he goes TO school next year which makes the water even muddier.
With all the hubbub about Common Core both online and in my local community, I felt like I already had a good idea of the current ‘state’ of public education. Although, I will admit that a recent conversation with my son’s teacher who is retiring after teaching 27 years had me realizing just how fundamentally bad that shift could prove to be. His teacher has been an incredible blessing in my son’s life and hearing that he is publicly speaking out against the Common Core and glad he is able to retire early. Hearing about this over the past weekend really had me feeling some shock waves as we continue to discern whether to allow our son to move to the middle school next year. (And, I wish we’d been able to attend the public meeting this past Saturday afternoon which he told us about that morning when we ran into him at a store.)
My husband watched most of this with me and found himself agreeing with a lot of what was presented. Some of the situations presented were not overly surprising while other facts were new to us. I was already having some doubts about that being the best path for our family (especially given my husband’s fervent desire for me to continue homeschooling the boys), this show helped to reaffirm many of the reasons why I want to continue homeschooling the boys for as long as I can. And, this includes our family considering bringing our one son back home for all but band next year.
One thing about IndoctriNation that I really loved was the history of how public education came to be. One of the surprises for me was hearing that the proponents of public education in Boston used fear to get support. Specifically, they approached Protestants with the notion that public education would be a safe haven compared to a rise in Catholic schools. Only, it was a smoke and mirrors game to get the support with no one in ‘power’ having any desire for any faith based education. Wow!
Since I’ve viewed IndoctriNation, I’ve had occasion to share about this powerful show with local homeschooling friends. I can definitely see sharing it with friends who are either considering homeschooling for their family or those who, like me, are feeling worn out and need additional motivation to keep going. I’m seriously considering a ‘movie night’ at our parish for anyone interested in viewing this film this spring. I highly recommend more homeschooling families view this and share with others, too.
What kind of experience did you have for school?
Do your children attend a public school or do you elect for either private or homeschooling?
Don’t just take my word for how we found this to be. Visit the IndoctriNation post on the Schoolhouse Review Crew website to see what other homeschooling parents thought about this and other self-paced courses.