Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine Hostile Toward Homeschooling?

Normally I take anti-homeschool articles with a grain of salt, especially ones that are written for parenting magazines by teachers, but since Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine was not only implying they were anti-homeschool, they were down right hostile towards me personally, I felt the need to share my experience and recommend against the magazine.

The Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine article "Old School" (if this doesn't directly link it is on page 15) was published in Febuary 2013's online magazine. The article bothered me just enough with its insinuation that homeschooling cannot give an adequate homeschooling experience that I decided to post my disappointment on their Facebook wall. When you consider that the author of the article owns a school it is not surprising how he views it. I was not the only one who read the article and didn't care for it. Most magazines welcome reader feedback and graciously take such comments into consideration. Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine however, rebutted my comment by telling me that the magazine was not attacking homeschooling and they posted a link to this:

Did that hurt you as much as it hurt me? At first I thought she must not actually be a homeschooler. She sounds a lot like someone who has read about homeschooling and then tried to make judgements without any real experience. It sounded, ignorant. Not that the woman was stupid, but just that she didn't have first hand experience. Any homeschooler knows that the one thing you don't do, is tell people that homeschoolers have socialization issues. All one needs to do is a quick Google search to learn that this is a myth. She made homeschooling sound like a hard, boring and isolating experience, when in reality it is a joyful, exciting, friend and family filled experience! It is a journey that parents take with their children that is so full of love and life that it is hard to imagine that the only two things she could muster up regarding homeschooling was that it has the potential for socialization problems and takes up a lot of time. Of course it takes up time! Homeschooling is a way of life! Life takes up time! What is worst is that she presumed to speak for all of us. She took her anecdotal experiences and labeled us all. Don't we get enough of that from the mainstream? She had a wonderful platform on which to encourage parents who are considering homeschooling, but instead chose to focus on the myth of socialization. Since the person who represented Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine on Facebook, (I am not certain if she was the woman interviewed), said she had been homeschooling, working with homeschoolers, and so on for 25 years, you would have thought she would have had some insight into how homeschoolers were going to react to her perpetuating myths about homeschooling.

So to continue my experience, I was told by the magazine what a negative person I was and as my last reply, I posted something similar to what I just posted above on the Facebook thread. I believe I posted in a respectful way, though disagreeing and saying quite clearly how I felt. Unfortunately, rather than discuss how the magazine could in future, use a more positive article, I have been deleted from the page and blocked from commenting.

The reaction to the productive conversation that was going on leads me to conclude that Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine, is in fact, trying to silence those who do not agree with their view on homeschooling: homeschooling is OK at best, and you are cheating your child if you do not give them a public school experience. Oh, and don't disagree with us or we will delete you. As a homeschooling parent and a reader who was blocked and deleted for daring to disagree, I recommend you do not support Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine by subscription or otherwise.

Oh, by the way, homeschooling is the original "Old School".

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Noteable Scraps said...

I am totally with you and would not support them! We are used to opinions against us being published, but if they are going to delete you for disagreeing - why do they even have a place for comments? Inexcusable.

Nishoni Harvey said...

In regards to the above video: LOL... "Homeschooling takes time..." DUH! LOL Why does she think I homeschool?! My biggest reason (since our church has a good Christian School) is so I can spend more TIME with my children ;-). LOL. Yes, it does "take away" that 8 hour free period (that I would be deprived of my children and they of me) that I COULD be cleaning, but I'd rather use that time as a training period and clean WITH my kids ;-). We enjoy ourselves working together :-). I haven't read the actual "parenting" article, but I probably won't... I don't want to get my blood pressure up ;-). It's not good for baby... Heeheehee :-)

Lisa Easterling said...

I'm right there with you, girl. Got myself embroiled in the brouhaha over there, too. It's probably only a matter of time before my "voice" is silenced there, too. I'm pretty sure TBPM was unprepared for the firestorm their article has evoked.

And I'm with you--that TV interview was agonizing to watch. The woman clearly spoke "about" homeschooling from a good distance away, instead of speaking "from" the position of a true homeschooling mom.

As a 25-year homeschooling veteran I applaud what you have written here, and join you in your efforts to circulate the positive image we know to be the truth behind homeschooling.