Sometimes we don't bother to do the simple "counter argument"or "ignore" thing, and I think that bolsters other people's stupid arguments. Why should we just flip out when someone says something we don't like OR we bow and scrape and tell the news reporter/ blogger/ whatever that we're not like THOSE homeschoolers, boss?
Let an article about socialization and homeschooling come out, and you'd have thought 900 pounds of fresh beef were being plunked into the middle of a school of starving piranhas the way angry homeschoolers all swarm about to comment.
How about an article by a public schoolteacher, concern trolling (well, on his/her own blog) about how homeschoolers don't see enough "diversity," and watch the homeschoolers come jumping in. They are "proud to live in a multiracial and multicultural area" and think "diversity" enriches their lives. Some of their CHILDREN's best friends are black, you know...
I could just barf. It would sicken me if you chose to be my child's friend because he happened to be autistic. Please don't do that to our children.
And friends, we also don't win any arguments with anyone who is actually LISTENING when the speaker is criticising religious homeschooling... and bunches of homeschooling commenters talk about how annoying those Christians are. Thankfully we're not Christian! Nope! Not like *them!*
I also don't see why some of my fellow homeschoolers blog frantic posts about the idea of others inviting journalists and the like into their homeschooling day. Let them. It doesn't mean YOU have to. I think part of the reason that the wackadoodle stereotypes thrive is that 1. some of us are actually a bit strange (but then, there are a good plenty strange people out there who were educated in public and private school... but I don't see journalists bothering to cover them because everyone knows about them and they don't sell copy); and 2. we don't talk to journalists and others, so they do something called "extrapolating data," which is a fancy name for making stuff up and guessing when you don't know the answer; and 3. even when you do invite a journalist over, the bias in the editing process can make things interesting. I also find it odd that articles on homeschooling seem to require some educational expert who comes at things from a public school perspective... but this "balance" never ever happens on a story about a public school event or statistic.
I'm not inviting a journalist over, but I don't think it's necessarily a bad/good thing. I just don't see the need to worry about the image so much.
I guess I'm wondering why we let it matter, why we must defend ourselves to the point that we must look *good.* Really. Am I wrong on this? I live in Missouri and maybe I'm just not feeling that pressure as some of you do in other areas of the world to look *good.* Mind you, I don't want to appear totally incompetent, either. I've been the piranha myself on more than one occasion. :)