Sarita Holzmann sends emails from Sonlight to my inbox every now and then. (I'm sure about 27,000 other people receive the emails at the same time, so don't think I'm all important and stuff.) In her latest missive, Holzmann questioned whether people hold homeschoolers to a higher standard than they would a public schooling family.
Oh... that is *so* true. Let your public-schooled kid think school is stupid and boring, and no one bats an eyelid at the doctor's office or Sam's Club. But a homeschooled kid? We have to wonder what that poor kid is going through at home. Maybe the kid is getting indoctrinated or something.
Emperor desperately wants to go to public school. That lady he lives with is a mean, rotten mom. She's keeping him down. He's certain that in public school, he wouldn't have to do "all this work." Folks, he works from 6:50 a.m. to ... sometimes past *noon*! It's child abuse, I tell ya. I mean, in public school he'd have things a lot easier, right??? Certainly they wouldn't give him longer hours than that. It isn't fair.
Aside from making the poor child slave all day, she does something so tyrannical, so horrible, that you'll want to rescue him right now. She makes him use a RULER sometimes when he does his math. Do you hear me? A RULER. Mom's picky about straight lines when we're measuring angles and stuff. Emperor said he's sure the kids up the street have it so easy, and he's in no danger of being locked in a closet like Elf. I mean, that whole week and a half he was there for kindergarten? They didn't lock him up then. Sure, they suspended him three times, and made this kid who could do triple-digit math identify a triangle and rectangle during "circle time" ... but they didn't lock him up! It just HAS to be a child-friendly place that he is missing out on. Life was so easy back then. (cue violin music)
Poor guy. And sad to say, if he voiced all this out at the Hy-Vee deli counter or to his public schooled friends, they'd think it was a tragedy.
But back to the forum post Holzmann shared. She mildly stated that a Sonlighter "faced some criticism from her family dentist when her son told him he thought school was boring."
"I just want to pass along to you from your son that he wants school to be more challenging," the dentist told the mom. "As I was walking out he said, 'Remember: something more challenging.' I left feeling like my kids and I were being tested because they're homeschooled. (Um, ya think??) I hate this. It seems like almost everywhere we go if they say they're homeschooled they're tested on their knowledge... then if they make one mistake I look bad."
"I know more families than just this Sonlight user experience criticism from doctors, friends, family, and other people who don't understand why they would decide to homeschool," Holzmann continued. "The truth is, it is very discouraging to feel scrutinized by others who don't understand. Criticism, albeit common, is hurtful and confusing. It may cause you to doubt yourself and your ability to offer the best education to your children."
That, or it may cause you to find a new dentist. Inspire you, even.
The problem with related exchanges like this is that we're not there to witness them. I know sometimes when I blow off steam on the blog, I'm telling it from my perspective. In real life, though, I might just come off as a little tiny bit abrasive on very rare occasions. Most of the time, I am all sweetness and flowers, and you should bear that in mind next time I post in a huff! Maybe the mom in question was one of those "nice" Christians who let people say all kinds of crap to them and get away with it without saying anything mean back.
Um, I wouldn't suggest pulling that one on me. Every now and then, I run out of flowers, and you don't want to be there when that happens.