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Mediocre Education

OH, come on, now. You know most everyone has it, and it doesn't really matter where you go to school. Most of us are just average. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

But it seems when you're reading blogs or news stories, we get the extreme "three-year-old admitted to Harvard University" or "homeschooler, age 17, unable to name alphabet letters despite 4.0 GPA from Mom and diploma printed by Kinko's." Here's a little gem from the comments on this article (my comments are in red):

My poor niece was “homeschooled” by her pathetic mom instead of attending school.

(Are you crying already? It always seems to be someone's niece or cousin when stories like this come up. Or it's a coworker's child. Rarely, if ever, is a family criticised for sending a child to public school; only homeschoolers, somehow, should get criticism for their child's educational skills or lack thereof. And my. Are you not so angry that the "pathetic mom" can just homeschool her own kid? Just like that? Without you and I being able to say, "NO, you can't homeschool your kid. Because you're pathetic!")

My niece has no skills, talents or academic abilities, although she thinks she is above average. (We have a clairvoyant commenter! He must be fun at parties.) She can barely read, and cannot do even the most basic math. At age 18 and a half (I could see 18, but 18 and a half?!! Shocking), she has yet to pass her GED.

She was mostly kept home to keep her mom company. (Mostly. That, and it's hard to watch daytime soap operas when you're at school. Oh, and dang. At school they'd expect you to change your clothes every few weeks or somet'in.

Really, I'm kinda surprised this person didn't state that the mom "mostly" wanted to keep her home to abuse her and/or rent her out as a prostitute to get crack money, because that's one I've heard every now and then, too. Well, ok, maybe this commenter is trying to be unbiased... wait for it... wait for it...)

I imagine they’ll live in their urine-drenched hovel with their ten cats until they die.

GAH!! Commenter was doing so well there for about half a second.

At least in a real school the kids can find out what normal people are like, and can possibly find escape from wretched homes/families.

Because homeschools are fake schools. And you know, the family in question was "pathetic" and not normal in the first place before they homeschooled, so it's probably a good thing they never put their kids into public school. I mean, imagine all the "normal" people, seeing urine-drenched hovel-living opportunities with ten cats. We wouldn't want them to "escape" from that usual sort of everyday averageness for the excitement of cat fur and smelly pee.

(Yes we tried to help her.)

Awwww... I'm snuffling with the commenter's genuine Christian generosity. Is it just me, or do you also think that the "help" entailed telling Pathetic Mama that "you ought to put the kids in school so they can see what normal people are like," and then him wondering why the lady is so stinkin' hostile...?

I'm sure all of us could point to plenty of great public-school-educated kids, and plenty others who are presently incarcerated. The point?

Next time some dad gets a gun and blows up the whole family, I'd like the news media to take a "I can't believe they sent their children to PUBLIC school. Tsk tsk. That's what happens when you isolate your kids from the real world" tack when reporting the series of events and see what happens.

Like they'll really do that. But hey, when Benita Jacks goes nuts and allegedly (covering my butt here for legal purposes) kills her four children who were supposedly being "homeschooled," the media is all over that. And why aren't there tighter controls on homeschooling? And how could this happen? And why this? And why that?

Um, the lady was just nuts? Her kids were technically truant if she didn't follow the basics of the law? Um, more regulation does nothing but make you feel a bit better and add to your tax bill.

But my point being, I'm pretty sure most of us are just plain old average. Can't we just be average? Nothing special either way? Do you feel that homeschoolers should have to be better than public school kids at academics to somehow justify the fact that they're staying home?

Because really? Most of us are pretty boring and have average, boring families. It just doesn't sell a lot of magazines to print that up in an article.


  1. Average is fine in my book. I think the hostility makes us sometimes want to justify ourselves. I like the *bean dip* principle. Thank you for your concerne; pass the bean dip. Yes, we are socializing; pass the bean dip. Yes, they will go to college; pass the bean dip. lol Don't get into an arguement, justify, give information others aren't entitled to. More bean dip?

    Heck, Ditz is so average in academics it could be scary ~ only I know she knows *how* to get to learning what she wants. Whether she does or not, she is no different to any other kid I have met, no matter how they have been schooled.

    Luckily our media is so far behind the homeschool 8 ball out here it gets very little media attention & when it does it's more along the lines of, *Really? People do this? Is it legal? Oh!*

  2. Man, that person's comments were so ignorant and stupid.

    I wonder where he attended school? Did his parents teach him anything of value? What rudeness> He sounds like a great friend to have around.

  3. I get tired of being under the microscope. My dad beats a steady drum when the subject comes up and my in laws are worse. It seems that everyone can come up with the isolated "homeschooling" family or two with a terrible track record and they fixate on that as though we are all going to be guilty of the same offense unless they remind us that we're being watched. The fact that I've successfully sent one on to high school and seen him graduate with honors apparently means nothing. Wouldn't it be nice if the local public school faced the same scrutiny?

  4. What I am learning, as a parent, is that everyone has an opinion on everything you do. There is one family in our church who homeschools and they are a lovely family--I have already made friends just so I will have an ally when the time comes. In the mean time I have to get past the scrutinizing in-laws over "she's two and she still drinks from a bottle..." (yes, but only one in the morning and one at night, she also drinks from a cup and uses a fork). I just try to ignore it. Glad I am a Christian, with average income, average looks and lots of cats (not really) so we will fit right into the societal stereotype of a homeschooling family.

  5. Love the "bean dip" thing, Ganeida. I'm afraid I'd have a whole plateful some days.

    LOL Virginia, really, people like that come from allll kinds of places. Some of their parents raised them better than they are acting.

    Bonnie, the thing is, when your children are older, a lot of those mommy war things STOP. People genuinely Do. Not. Care. anymore at all. You could deck your kid out in Goth clothes, let 'em have sex with their boyfriends (hey! that includes your son in this day and age), and no one will bat an eyelid.

    But homeschool? How will the kids be "socialized?" LOL wowwww...

    But I remember those days with the first couple of children when they were young. There was just such incredible pressure then.

    Or maybe I've just gotten into I don't care mode and things haven't changed much. :]

  6. You know, ever since I've been stalking the homeschool blogs, I've noticed that a LOT (or at least a very vocal minority) of non-homeschoolers are convinced that parents homeschool with the express purpose of HARMING their kids - academically, socially, etc. I have no clue why this is. Anyone?

  7. The best I can figure is that some folks see homeschoolers as not wanting to be "accountable" (which is generally TRUE), which would therefore mean we have something to HIDE (which is generally NOT true). Then all one has to do is make up a nice story about what we must be doing to our kids.

    What's really ironic in all this, of course, is that the school I left locked kids in closets, not me. Yet I'm under suspicion? No fair.

  8. I enjoyed this post,lol. I felt like just reading it was venting for me :)

    I remember as a child (9 or 10 years old) I would sell Current stationary products in the local neighborhood. There was a retired schoolteacher who would invite me in to visit. Then she would proceed to inform me of how I was going to be at a disadvantage in life because I didn't go to public school. I was taught to be respectful, so I listened politely (did I mention she always had some kind of yummy treat?:) But now I have to wonder exactly what she thought she was accomplishing? Like I was going to head home and set my parents straight?? In retrospect, maybe she did me a favor. She was pretty tame compared to how some people react now.

  9. MKM, I'm horrified. That would be akin to me talking to a ps kid and telling him his momma doesn't care about him and wants to party eight hours a day while he's out of the house, and how the ps kids are all ruffians, and did you learn about gay sex yet?

    That's just intolerable.

    I don't suppose you ever told your parents. But you know, people should really try to avoid using children as pawns like that. I *try* to at least most of the time mention that while the elementary here really stinks, that *most* kids go to school and don't have problems when I am talking with Elf.

    So... did she buy anything much??

  10. You should try being secular in the South . . .my kids have been told they going to actual hell, not just career hell.

  11. Well, JJ, when we moved here *from* the South, and Patrick told the doctor that sickness came from the Devil, our doctor told him to get his god out of the immunology business.

    I was shocked!

    Naturally, we changed doctors, because arguing with a three-year-old does not score points with me.

    But... I think there is a time and place for honest discourse. Hell is not a place I want any of my friends going, and while I would never wear a "Fags go to hell" shirt, I would not tell a homosexual who asked me directly that I think he's ok with God. Unfortunately, these are nuances kids lack.

    I consider you a friend, and while I would love to lead you in the sinner's prayer, I also respect that you are an adult and make your own decisions.

    Incidentally (here I wander off-topic a bit), can I say that "Friendship Evangelism" is probably one of the worst ideas to ever come about? Yeah, you can lead a friend to Christ, but if that's your motivation for HAVING the friend, you make me want to puke.

    No offense, but there it is. Friendship should be imo without alterior motives like that.

    And (wandering further still from the main point, but it's my blog LOL) it really bothers me when I become friends with someone and THEN figure out the whole deal is to get me to go to their church.

    We have a cult nearby, and I'm about ready to say any person who is of (name) denomination cannot be my friend because MY they are manipulative. And they're taught that!

    I just don't need that. I can't imagine kids having to deal with that level of manipulation, too (yuck).

  12. Exactly -- poor kids get it in all directions, from each other as well as from the adults who ought to know better.
    (I consider you a friend too, Mrs. C, and not for any ulterior motive political, religious or otherwise!)

  13. Aw, thank you so much, JJ! That means a *lot* to me.


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