Wednesday, October 24, 2012

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On educating girls

October 11 was International Day of the Girl.  I am sorry it got past me.   I had never heard of it before.        In Oct 11, CNN profiled the International girl day movement and featured what girls think about education and their future.

The article made me think of the Muslim girl, who the Taliban put a hit on, and how much more important education seems to be to people who can't get it compared to those of use who seem to take it for granted.  Then I started thinking about the education of girls... more specifically, homeschool girls.

A blogger friend recently commented on a blog about me not seeming like "one of those
homeschoolers"... i.e. a strict, conservative homeschooler who didn't really want the children, especially girls, to go to college.  I've run into homeschoolers like this, mostly online, but I don't agree with them.  I believe that all children, boys, girls, and homeschoolers deserve a good college degree.  I certainly don't think that I can set a different educational standard for my daughter, than the one I set for my son.

But then there's the issue of my daughter applying to so many women's colleges. Am I being hypocritical?  Am I saying I want my kids to get an equal education, and then cloistering my daughter in a girls college to "keep her safe from the real world.  No.  Here's why.

Our decision to look at women's colleges for my daughter was based on her age, and nothing else. She will start college just a month or two after she turns 17,  so she will be on campus for a good 2 years before she an adult.  While we are willing to consider some co-ed colleges, we as a family decided that my child had to make a decision.  Either she would take a Gap year or two, or start at a women's college.  I left the option to her and she wants to go to college right away.

I am learning about some perks to the women's college though that is helping us feel secure in this decision.  Let's start with the fact that at the college we visited this weekend, many girls have and have completed up to 3 majors and a couple minors by the time they graduate.  They believe in working as hard as they play!  They don't bite their tongue in fear of looking too smart in front of guys in the classroom.  This trains them to not bite their tongue later when they are in the workforce with guys.  They do get plenty of time with guys, but only when they want it, taking classes at other local colleges (they all have a brother college or connected co-ed college).  They aren't allowed to be invisible, as so often happens to girls in co-ed colleges.



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