27 April 2009

Bad Homeschooling

Don't ya hate when it seems everyone assumes you must be doing a bad job homeschooling? Doesn't that feel discouraging to you? What do you do about it?

Do you pull out extensive testing records right there at the old Hy-Vee? Do you state that Joey is just like all his homeschooling peers in that he outscores all those ragamuffin, riff-raff, scum-of-the-earth children whose parents don't care enough to homeschool 'em?

(Hey! Guess what Elf said a bit ago? He said he was glad he didn't go to public school because that's where all the "rough and tough" kids go. You know, like his big brothers. Um, and where *he* used to go. And Patrick says our homeschooling is really, really old-fashioned, I think *just* because we use McGuffey Readers. We also use the latest copy of Ranger Rick and stuff on the internet, but I guess that part doesn't count because it doesn't back his little thesis. So, maybe I should be more understanding of these stereotypes because I live with them. Anyway, back to my post...)

Or is the testing irrelevant because you're too busy getting ten-year-old Joey off to his college class downtown than to worry about petty stuff like that? (Not linking to those parents. Thanks for reading.)

Or do you take a different tack... do you tell 'em it's none of their business and they can go jump in a lake? Are you hostile to people who get that little "tone" with you?

Or do you evangelize the grandparents with the good news of homeschooling? It's great stuff, folks! Hey, if grandpa has an open enough mind that he can sit down and read your children's schoolbooks out of interest in what they're learning, that's wonderful. I don't know too many grandparents like that.

Usually when they arrive, grandparents are too busy passing out the new toys they bought on the way over to be looking at books. Then the children get all hyper with their new gadgets and run all over the place. They act inappropriately and jump all over everything and everybody. Wheeee! Then old Nana and Grandpa are suddenly tired! They go back to their hotel room where they can smoke in peace, and say that they had a really nice visit and see ya in a few years as they head out the door. I can't be the only one...

And when you HAVE to talk to the bad guys at the state about your school, do you do the minimum reporting possible? Or do you tell about all the extra things you've been doing and include spectacular 20-page reports written by the children about their "field trips" to Australia, the fluent German and French they speak and the Social Studies classes they attend at the snooty expensive co-op? Do you accidentally on purpose stuff in some of the post-graduate math worksheets your six-year-old is working on, just to show what he could do? Dork. Quit it! You raise the bar too high for the rest of us.

Seriously, though, it seems that homeschoolers in the news are either abused little kids who have never seen sunlight, or they're super Little Professors that began college around age four, but had a little trouble with their afternoon classes because of "nap conflict."

Why can't we just be regular people? You know the kind. The ones who seem really smart one minute, but the next have forgotten all their times tables and which continent they are currently residing in. The regular kid kind of regular people. Well, that's what my children are.


  1. Can we join your "regular people" homeschooling club? I think we would fit right in. Over here I have the advantage of being the "weird foreigner". Everything about me is different, so why not education choices too? Oh, and I am so much better prepared to educate my children because I used to teach English conversation. Yeah, that's it.

  2. We're regular. You wouldn't believe the morning I've had. Anyone want a kid?

  3. My son is a regular kind of kid. He reads a sentence flawless and then he can't pronunce "that."

  4. We definitely fall into the regular folks club!!!!!

  5. Us too!

    I tell them that I am doing what works for my kids and I am happy if public school works for them.

  6. I was almost concerned for a minute there, and then I read "...homeschoolers in the news are..." and realized everything was okay. The news is--to quote one reporter--just there to kill time between commercials, so they have to come up with the most titillating stuff. So it's no surprise that they don't report about us. We're too boring.

    Abusers and six year old professors? Now that's interesting.

    And so we end up with a rather skewed view of the world.

    Here's to us completely abnormal normal homeschoolers [smile].


  7. I do get tired of having to defend my homeschooling. But, Joe Public has never, ever confronted me. That job is left to my mom and younger sister. They think I should send all my kids to school and go back to work -- cause apparently keeping my house clean and teaching my children isn't work.

  8. Sounds like you are more than a regular person - you're a parent and teacher rolled into one and it sounds like you're doing a fantastic job! Just don't listen to the authorities, you know that your kids are better off at home.

  9. Chun Wong, I appreciate the encouragement!!

    Julie, I had to ruefully laugh at your comment. You know, you're the type that would probably tell Joe Public to jump in a lake. You've been through so much with Marissa that I imagine you must have super-thick skin by now.

    Luke, your mom's newsletter was awesome but couldn't find a link to pass on to others in the "grandparent" section of my post. :]

    Zimms, that's just it. Whatever works!!

    Tammy, sorry, you don't. You are awesome in your work with Pamela!! Awesome.

    DF your kids and mine have somehow been hanging out secretly. Except mine pronouce words they've read but never heard spoken... very... very strangely.

    Ganeida, if you pay shipping, we'll take her!

    Sue, I wonder if Tono has ever been to the US to experience being the weird foreigner for himself? That would be fun! LOL

  10. I have one that's a super-achiever, and one that...really isn't. And you know what? God made each of them the way they are, and I'm learning to accept that. God has a plan for each of them, so I'm trying to focus on that instead of "oh my gosh my 12yo is still learning his times tables."

  11. old fashioned homeschooling? uh...there's nothing new under the sun. i don't think you should have to buy a new shiny book that will teach the kids how to read just as well. all the techniques work...just depends on which one you're using for which kid, right?


Non-troll comments always welcome! :)