Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Case For Homeschooling

I realize this article was written several years ago, but since I often come against these same arguments I thought I would go ahead and write up a response. My responses will be somewhat cheeky since the author wrote in such an antagonizing way.

The Case Against Homeschooling

Homeschooling: great for self-aggrandizing, society-phobic mother…… but not quite so good for the kid.

Nothing I could reply with here would do anything but make people mad so I will refrain. Trust me though that I am hardly society-phobic. If I am, homeschooling probably wasn't a good choice for us since we are often out more than we are in. Try again.

Here are my top ten reasons why homeschooling parents are doing the wrong(right) thing:

10. “You were totally home schooled” is an insult college kids use when mocking the geeky kid in the dorm (whether or not the offender was home schooled or not). And… say what you will… but it doesn’t feel nice to be considered an outsider, a natural outcropping of being homeschooled.

10. "You were totally home schooled" is a compliment given by colleges such as Yale, who go out of their way to court homeschooled graduates. Since most homeschoolers are taught to be comfortable in all of their social groups, most will make friends easily and I doubt how they were schooled will be an issue at all.

9. Call me old-fashioned, but a students’ classroom shouldn't also be where they eat Fruit Loops and meat loaf (not at the same time I hope). It also shouldn’t be where the family gathers to watch American Idol or to play Wii. Students–from little ones to teens–deserve a learning-focused place to study. In modern society, we call them schools.

9. Call me old-fashioned but weren't classrooms where were children ate their Fruit Loops long before they were concrete buildings that resembled prisons? Learning should take place in a more natural environment. What better place to learn than where the family gathers? Students-from little ones to teens-deserve a learning-focused place to study. Since the prison, um I mean school building with their hard desks, in segregated classrooms with a teacher who likely has no personal interest in them does not provide this, home is the more natural option.

8. Homeschooling is selfish. According to this article in USA Today, students who get homeschooled are increasingly from wealthy and well-educated families. To take these (I’m assuming) high achieving students out of our schools is a disservice to our less fortunate public school kids. Poorer students with less literate parents are more reliant on peer support and motivation, and they greatly benefit from the focus and commitment of their richer and higher achieving classmates.

8. Public Schooling is selfish. I would love to have time to eat a hot meal, or maybe use the bathroom without being interrupted every now and then. Expecting my kid to carry yours(or anyone else's) is equally selfish. Further more, you may very well be holding back your high achieving (I'm assuming) child by forcing them to hang around students who do not care about their education. A building is on fire, for the sake of this comparison lets say it's a school. Your child is inside as are several of her classmates. You have a choice. You know for a fact that you can pull your child out of the fire to safety, or there is a very slight chance that by leaving your child, you can save not only your child but also several others. What do you choose?

7. God hates homeschooling. The study, done by the National Center for Education Statistics, notes that the most common reason parents gave as the most important was a desire to provide religious or moral instruction. To the homeschooling Believers out there, didn’t God say “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations”? Didn’t he command, “Ye shall be witnesses unto me”? From my side, to take your faithful children out of schools is to miss an opportunity to spread the grace, power and beauty of the Lord to the common people. (Personally I’m agnostic, but I’m just saying…)

7. God loves homeschooling. The Bible, states in numerous verses that it is the parents job to raise and teach their children. It also states that we are not to be unequally yoked. Since I am unsure of my children's heart status at this time, I will not risk their souls to the world. Here is one of my favorites Proverbs 13:20 He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.

6. Homeschooling parent/teachers are arrogant to the point of lunacy. For real! My qualifications to teach English include a double major in English and education, two master’s degrees (education and journalism), a student teaching semester and multiple internship terms, real world experience as a writer, and years in the classroom dealing with different learning styles. So, first of all, homeschooling parent, you think you can teach English as well as me? Well, maybe you can. I’ll give you that. But there’s no way that you can teach English as well as me, and biology as well as a trained professional, and history… and Spanish… and art… and counsel for college as well as a school’s guidance counselor… and… and…

6. Public School teachers are arrogant to the point of lunacy. They think they are the backbone of society when in actuality, the family is. You think that you deserve to have a guaranteed job, to the point that your union makes it virtually impossible for even the worst teacher to be fired. You think that you have more invested in my child than I do. And you think that just because you have a degree that makes you more qualified to teach my child. Science, Spanish, art....those aren't the most important things being taught in this school.

5. As a teacher, homeschooling kind of pisses me off. (That’s good enough for #5.)

5. As a mom, I am sure glad you aren't schooling my kids with a mouth like that.

4. Homeschooling could breed intolerance, and maybe even racism. Unless the student is being homeschooled at the MTV Real World house, there’s probably only one race/sexuality/background in the room. How can a young person learn to appreciate other cultures if he or she doesn’t live among them?

4. Public schooling could breed intolerance and maybe even racism. Since the children are age segregated and since most schools are local and therefore hold children of similar "privilege" children are unable to interact with others properly. Since homeschoolers are out in their environments interacting with people of all ages, mental ability, culture, and privilege, they are more able to learn to appreciate other cultures since they actually live among them.

3. And don’t give me this “they still participate in activities with public school kids” garbage. Socialization in our grand multi-cultural experiment we call America is a process that takes more than an hour a day, a few times a week. Homeschooling, undoubtedly, leaves the child unprepared socially.

3. And don't give me this "they still participate in activities with others" garbage. Proper socialization takes more than a few hours a day, oh wait...your kid probably had homework that took most of the evening and a good portion of the weekend. I wonder if they are getting out at all into the real world? And the 20 minutes a night you sit at the dinner together, well yeah, I don't think that counts either. Public schooling, undoubtedly, leaves the child unprepared socially.

2. Homeschooling parents are arrogant, Part 2. According to Henry Cate, who runs the Why Homeschool blog, many highly educated, high-income parents are “probably people who are a little bit more comfortable in taking risks” in choosing a college or line of work. “The attributes that facilitate that might also facilitate them being more comfortable with home-schooling.”

More comfortable taking risks with their child’s education? Gamble on, I don’t know, the Superbowl, not your child’s future.

2. I don't know who Henry Cate is, but studies such as this one, personal interaction with public schooled children, and the daily news tell me that it is public school parents who are taking the risk. Not me.

1. And finally… have you met someone homeschooled? Not to hate, but they do tend to be pretty geeky***.

1. And finally...have you met someone who homeschooled? Not to brag, but they do tend to, be less worried about peer trends, be more polite, more social, better out of the box thinkers, less likely to conform, more secure in their faith, get along better with their family (especially siblings), have a better grasp of life skills. Besides, I am sure I have NEVER met a geeky public schooler *cough*.


dushamoya said...

Those were some of the worst, most poorly thought out, and childish arguments against I think I've ever come across.

At first I thought I could give her a little credit - an English teacher with an actual specialization in her field, but with her attitude, I really wouldn't want her to teach my kids, even if she was the best english teacher in the world. She complains of homeschooling families being arrogant - what about her? Way to put down a different group of people. And she considers this tolerance on her part? Or she only teaches "tolerance" to and for the kids in her classroom. Everyone else is just a "geeky" weirdo.

SHE is more of a reason to homeschool. She's just an anti homeschool troll. Whatever.

Anna said...

I agree. I can't stand blanket arguements like that. Just as it isn't fair that I did it (yes I did it mostly tongue in cheek to prove a point).

Jo @ Quirky Cooking said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE your responses, Anna!! I can't believe that woman - is she for real??? She needs to get out and meet some homeschoolers, that's for sure!!
Jo :D

Mrs C said...

great post!

Elizabeth Herr said...

She's got issues, poor thing.

Love the post!!


Cherie said...

Loved this post and now following from the crew. I had to laugh out loud about the prisons, I mean schools. My husband and I totally call them that every time we pass by. Nice to know we aren't the only ones to see the resemblance!

Rachel E. said...

Clearly, she did NOT do her research. It's a shame people like this are out there.

We need to pray and pray hard for those out there like her who strive to make it illegal to homeschool.

That being said, I really enjoyed your comments. Where did you get this essay/article anyway?

musicalmary said...

Oh Anna, thank you for linking this up today.... I think it goes great with Three Thinking Mothers socialization topic. The comments you quoted are just ignorant, that's the best (and most polite) way I can put it!

Theresa said...

Thanks for linking this up to Three Thinking Mothers.

I am so glad that you did. I came across your blog a while ago, but I must not have copied the link correctly and I have been trying to find it! I think about the way you set up your blog roll page frequently! So clever!

I am annoyed at the ignorance of the woman who wrote the original article. I enjoyed your responses.

Heather said...

Your responses were very kind considering the person who wrote that article was a very negative person that clearly struggles with self esteem issues. Seriously-anything I would have written would have been far less forgiving. Especially on #8. Some of the most selfish people you will meet are the mothers of public schooled children. All they care about is getting rid of their child for the day and they bemoan any days off the child may have and say things like they are "dying for little Susie's summer break to be over". Also, let's look at the ACT scores and education of these teachers. I'd love to compare their education to mine. How about their Facebook pages and what they are posting while they are SUPPOSED to be teaching. Oh, yes, my friends... I think I know who I prefer to be in charge of my child's education, thank you very much.