I was thinking about it recently and jotted down some reasons that may have been at the back of our minds when we decided to homeschool our children.
Reason 1: I learnt a lot of complicated real-life engineering in the first six months of starting my first job as a bridge design engineer. I also became convinced that my engineering professors at IIT were less engineer-like than my office seniors who were busily designing complicated structures (and seemingly enjoying the process). If the objective was to become a good bridge design engineer, it seemed like my IIT experience added zero value in that direction. After I gained some experience designing bridges, I used to tell my non-engineer friends that if they remembered 10th standard mathematics, I could make them structural engineers in half an hour. The point I am making is about the futility of all the complicated subjects that were uselessly forced on me as if to somehow fill four years of classroom time.
Reason 2: School and college education is a great corrupting influence on most people who pass through it. Let me explain. Most people are forced to desperately get marks to meet the expectations of their family and friends. The corruption that ensues is a byproduct of the intense competition that is at the back of the whole rigmarole of marks that we have to display to the world. Some years ago I heard that the cut-off marks to get into Sri Ram College of Commerce in Delhi University was 100%. In this scenario getting higher marks by any means possible becomes very desirable. In IIT we used to get some children who got in because they sat behind or next to and copied the answers from someone who had also gotten through the entrance exam.
Reason 3: Both my wife and I are resistant to being pushed around by authority figures. This manifests as a kind of childish rebellion which is not very endearing and many times irritates people who know us. So, when my boss or my father or the Government says—don’t ask so many questions and just do what I am telling you—my first impulse is to resist and say ‘NO’. I may think about it and later change my mind but I have found from long experience that when someone is pushing something hard it is more for their benefit than mine. This rebelliousness appears like unstable or angry behaviour to people and they tend to think that I specialize in doing the exact opposite of what the whole world says is good. So, when someone says send your children to school otherwise you will ruin their lives, it is expected in my circles that I would question the logic of it.
This is an incomplete list compiled to help you introspect and see whether your experience of school and college was similar…