What Would You Say About Education on Oprah?

I had this strange dream last night that I was asked to speak on Oprah about education. I think I’m having panic dreams about the interviews I’ll be doing when my book is released.

So I woke up kind of freaked out, and determined to think of something that I could say, in the impossible chance that I was thrust onto the Oprah show without warning. It wasn’t easy because I have never had to speak in front of an audience that would very likely disagree with me. Not to mention Oprah would probably disagree with me.

I didn’t come up with a good, concise blurb to say. Instead, I comforted myself by knowing that the likelihood of it happening is so slim, I might as well focus on keeping myself from being hit by lightening instead.

So, if you were on Oprah, and you had just a couple of minutes to say something, what would you say? If you had an audience with millions of people across the country, what would be a poignant message that would make an impact without making people even more combatative against alternative education?

What do you think?


6 Responses to “What Would You Say About Education on Oprah?”

  1. Anna Says:

    I used to think about what I would say about homebirth on Oprah 😉

    I would make it all Oprah-esque. I would talk about home education empowers families and children to take control of their lives and move it in the direction that they choose. That “living our best lives now” means making deeper connections with each other and the world around us, which is hard to do when you are in one building 8 hours a day. Living our best lives means running out everyday to greet life with a passion for learning and an open heart and mind.

    How could the O argue with that?

  2. Tana Says:

    Babies typically tend to walk somewhere between 9 and 15 months, with 12 being average. In our education system, everyone is tested to see if they are typical. So the baby walking at 9 months would be considered “gifted” and given all these special things to do, and the baby not walking until 15 months would be given therapy to help him/her learn how to walk, making them forever feel like they couldn’t do things because they were “special.” Homeschool allows parents the freedom to let their children develop at their own pace rather than have to militantly adhere to “average” milestones at the cost of being labeled as different if they don’t.

    I don’t know how Oprahesque that sounds, but it’s a point I would like to make.

  3. dialogus Says:

    This was commented to me by another parent at a pool party for neighborhood kids this past summer (in relation to homeschooling): “I just don’t know. I mean, how would I feel if my child didn’t get all the stuff they needed (presumably, education-wise to succeed)? I replied, “So, how would you feel if after twelve years in school, you found out they didn’t have what they needed?”

    BTW, Tammy, my blog is now up and running. http://www.dialogus.wordpress.com

    My next post is going into detail on something that you may find food for thought as you contemplate answers to such questions. However, I have no doubt that Oprah or anyone else can ask you nothing new. The only challenge in such a context is brevity, admittedly hard if not impossible, given complex issues/decisions that require an effort to contemplate not often found in the typical TV audience. Keep smiling, keep on the high road, and you’ll do stellar with any interlocutor..

    I think your post a couple weeks back, (I just looked it up, September 17) would be worth re-reading. It stuck with me, and I immediately thought of it when I began responding here.

    Best regards,


  4. Becky Says:

    Oh, I’ve thought about this one a lot. I would definitely remind Oprah, the studio audience, and the viewers at home that what our culture considers conventional schooling is actually a very recent development. Sending kids to school in large, homogeneous groups was an industrial model developed in Germany about 100 years ago so that there would be a place for kids to go while parents worked in factories. It wasn’t developed by pioneers in child development or education in response to what was best practice for kids. It was a way to keep adults more productive.

    School is a brand new idea, folks!!!! Homeschool, life school, survival school is all there was for centuries before society got the idea that kids and their parents should spend less time together.

  5. Jamie Says:

    I think you should consider Ellen over Oprah, like my buddy Eileen over at Just My Type (www.eileencook.com/?p=821). Ellen would give you a chance to make some fun, yet relevant, remarks and not make you feel like you’ve let down the free world by letting kids enjoy childhood, learning and their families.

  6. Anna Says:

    Ellen has had a few homeschooled kids on her show and was really cool about it.

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