In a news article my mother in law gave me, columnist Steve Rose writes a very ignorant, prejudiced, and judgemental view of homeschooling titled Home-school education excels in its parallel universe. This man, who appears to be about 70 in his picture begins the article announcing that in the state of Kansas (I live in Kansas City, Missouri, but the laws are still the same) there is no state statute regulating homeschooling and “we” are “taking these homeschoolers at their word that they are doing what they are supposed to be doing”. He goes on to write that he couldn’t imagine himself, his wife, or any other parent organizing a homeschool and successfully structuring a daily regimen of teaching at home.
See, a lot of non-homeschoolers feel that way and express it, out loud. What that tells me is that they don’t have the relationship with or respect of their children. Because when you have those things, homeschooling works wonderfully. When people make those kinds of comments I wonder if they realize that it tells us homeschoolers that their parenting skills are lacking and their kids probably aren’t doing an awesome job in school. If it was all gravy in school, why would that suddenly change in homeschooling where the child is given more opportunity? That’s all I hear, is that your kids don’t respect you enough for you to homeschool. But a lot of critics seem to say it and have no idea how badly it reflects on them and their kids.
Then this guy goes on to mention the social backwardness of homeschoolers and asked what of it? He says surprisingly according to his sources ( Homeschooling in America, by John Murphy at Vanderbilt University) homeschoolers are not socially backward. Most, he says, seem more confident, assured and well-adjusted. And here’s the kicker: Murphy says that homeschooled kids have fewer behavioral problems.”
So has this guy been under a rock for the last decade? Institutional schools with kids who are dropped off by their parents at 4 or 5 years old and left there for the next 13 years full-time don’t have better social skills or the confidence of kids who are in their natural habitat and in a loving environment during that time? And yes, we are socially backwards because to be socially forward, you must conform to the world and be a complete fit-in-the-mold person. I know a ton of people who peaked in high school, and they are super social to this day, but absolute idiots when it comes to dealing with anything beyond 6 inches deep. It’s not meant to be a dig at the person, but rather the institution. The people I have met who were super duper successful in school are the same people they were then… and it’s not much to strive for. When school began in this country, all the children from 5 to 18 years old were in the same room and the learning occurred the way it does in homeschools. Usually the teacher wasn’t much older than the students. And people were a lot smarter back then, just look at the grammar used in the Declaration of Independence. Hmmm.
Then the author guy goes on to say that he is shocked that the parents with no certification and an “environment counter to all norms of conventional learning, home-schooling seems to be a successful method for teaching.” What do we need certification in? How to teach addition? The schools are sending work home as homework and a schooled child’s parent needs to help them do the work. Does he not understand this? Does he think that when a mom and dad send their precious little one off to school they no longer teach them anything ever again? I wonder what his household looked like 200 years ago when his kids were young. With no degree how did my stupid non-certified mind ever teach them how to talk, walk, sing the ABC’s or feed themselves? Thank goodness for the schools so I no longer have to hurt my brain teaching my child things, sike.
What gets me is that this man would have the nerve to write an article with so little information about his “topic’ and then argue against it. I wonder if it hurt him to have to type that despite all the evidence that schools reign supreme, that homeschoolers do better overall? Because in the end, he had to give the statistics and they were of course in favor of kids who were homeschooled.
We are learning so much about the conventional way of doing things. We are learning that foods grown conventionally, really do harm us. We are learning that mass vaccinations are killing a select few and giving many, many children with low immune systems allergies and GI ills for the rest of their lives. We are learning that institutions, like jails and schools, are turning out socially retarded people with a lack of skills to have healthy relationships. This man seems to think, because he says it, that students who spend their day at home counter to all norms, are surprisingly doing well in an apparently a successful system. I don’t want to blow anyone’s mind with this, but we only stay home when I’m too sick to get up. When I was feeling great, we had trouble staying home all day. My kids take classes at the library, at the zoo, and at the community center over by their grandparents. Big Bird just had his first fencing lesson last night and loved it. We only stay at home all day when we have enough to stimulate them at home and our plans take all day and when I am having a “couch day” and homeschooling from the couch or bed. They don’t need a fake kitchen in a preschool classroom because we have a real kitchen at home. They don’t need a worksheet asking them to compare grocery prices because we actually go to the grocery store together on Friday and they compare in real life. We are learning that “real” beats chemically altered and “real” beats simulated experiences any day of the week.
I am going to write this guy when I’m not so fired up and hopefully shed some light on his ignorance. Why else would he write such a rude article if he didn’t want me to tell him what’s up? 😉
Thanks for reading today guys! Have a good one!