I just started the second week of my second class at Ashford University. It is slightly different then I expected. I am so used to all of the homeschool elists with their helpful comments and polite debates and disagreements. The homeschooling mothers I find are well versed in picking apart books and analyzing them for strengths and weaknesses. I also find a great many connections and applications on the homeschool lists. I geuss I expected school to be somewhat like that.
In this last class we were required to read two textbooks, take weekly quizes, write an essay, turning in the outline and first draft, and post two original posts on certain topics each week and respong to at least four of our classmates. I began with an indepth discussion of one of the topics that was about a page long. The responses I got all amounted to "oh, I agree." The original posts by almost every classmate averaged about two sentences and usually said something like "in the book the authors said ... and I agree because that makes sense."
We were to read a book called Lifelaunch which was basically some guys philosphy of how life works and how we should take charge of our life etc. I disagreed with many things in the book. For one of our last posts we were supposed to respond to this book and how it helped us. I offered a critique of what I felt was wrong with the book and the few things that I did agree with. Noone responded until the last day when someone finally replied and said that the teacher knows more than us and chose this book and it is not our place to disagree with anything that is said. Now I don't know if that is common opinion among the other students, who all seemed to agree with everything that was written in the book, but it made me angry and sad. If that is the way people really think nowadays the schools have failed even worse than I could possibly have imagined. I just wanted to cry fo these people who could not seem to analyze, disagree or even think for themselves.
This second class I have just started offers me hope though. There are several older students in it and I find more analysis and more thorough discussion. But all in all I think it will be easier to get A's then it is to follow some the educational philosphy conversations on the Charlotte Mason lists. Any homeschool mom that has actively been homeschooling for four years at least diserves a BA. I know one mother who never finished high school, but she now knows latin is thorough in logic, can discuss Plato, the classics and compare and contrast it all while applying it to modern life. If you need a degree go to college, but it is certainly not neccessary if what you want is an education.