Posted by: randommisfires | August 17, 2008

Home School

With the beginning of the school year starting on Monday for the traditional kids, the amount of discussion about school work and requirements is in full swing around here. And the trend- as always- is for my kids to get an earful about how much they must be missing out on because they home school.

Over the last 4 days, the older kids have had events and activities with 4 completely different social groups from past schools, camps, or church groups as well as current church groups. They have been to several parties, gone surfing again, and spent stray hours text messaging and IM’ing kids and adults all over the world. So, I can’t help but laugh when I am told they don’t get enough socialization.

They have been accused of being lazy, which is clearly evidenced by the fact that E chose to complete 2 full grades last year rather than one and scored “advanced” for 8th grade (he was 11) on the mandatory state testing at the end of the year.

I have been accused of pushing them and not allowing them to have a childhood, also evidenced by the many hours they spend reading fiction, surfing, playing on their bikes and going to the park- among other things. Last year, I required a mandatory pajama day every week, just to take a day off and lounge around with no schedule. Because I am an ogre who hates it that they are still kids. I clearly want to get them out of the house as soon as possible, hopefully with jobs so I can stop supporting them.

Again today, E and R were told that they are missing a fundamental part of their lives by not going to high school. Mental? Sure. I can get behind high school being mental. Fundamental for all kids? Notsomuch. Yay that it works for some kids. I am genuinely happy for the kids who have a good high school experience. I just don’t happen to believe that everyone finds the same happiness in that experience. Which is why my kids get to choose. Let me say that again. My kids get to CHOOSE whether they attend traditional high school or not. CHOOSE. As in, free agency.

And, my personal favorite- being home schooled makes kids arrogant.  Come again?  Arrogant about home school?  Honestly, are they arrogant when they talk to other kids about it and I just don’t know?  Because the vibe I get is that they prefer not to talk about it since they have to constantly defend themselves.

These kinds of judgments and harassments happen year round. Weekly and sometimes daily. It’s getting old. My kids are not lacking essential knowledge, I don’t hear that they are ill-behaved, their social interactions are rewarding and fulfilling for them, and they are clearly healthy and happy.

So, can anyone tell me why everyone cares so much about our personal school choices? Am I missing something here?

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Responses

  1. Oy. I would love to home school my kids! There are lots of obvious benefits that I’m sure I don’t need to tell you about. =)

    I’d say people who are critical of your choice to home school (and their choice to participate) are kind of proving a point. They give the kids grief because they are home schooled…but if they were in a traditional school setting they’d just be getting grief about something else. If they have a psychological need to be right about something or make themselves feel better or be judgmental or whatever, kids (and adults, for that matter) will pick on someone for just about anything.

    *shrug* If everyone spent more time tending their own garden instead of trying to point out the weeds in their neighbors’, the world would be so much happier.

  2. Think of how you are making people feel…

    When people hear that you homeschool, it’s obvious you can stand being around your kids. You must have the patience, intelligence and skills to help teach you kids. It even implies that your kids may be more self-disciplined and other mature things.

    Really, just think of how inadequate you make other parents feel. They have to point out something “bad” or their self esteem will be severely damaged.

    Maybe you should offer people who criticize a hug.

  3. Great post. If only the people in question would read it.

    And I think Jen’s right about why they do it, at least for a lot of them.

    I just wish people could understand that our children have chosen this. They were never pressured into it *AT ALL*. If anything, we tried to get them to stick it out with the school system, but it clearly wasn’t working.

  4. Well, we knew we would have to defend our faith….apparently, you’re having to defend your home as well…maybe the best responses are nonblinking-open-eye-silence, or roll-of-the-eyes silence..

  5. The problem is not with your homeschooling, it’s with those super-radical homeschoolers. The ones who don’t let any of their 18 kids talk to anyone outside of the family. The ones who only wear homemade clothes that they weave from fibers from their own sheep. I suppose these things are not in and of themselves bad, but in my opinion, radicalness–radicality?–is never good. “Moderation in all things,” right? But radicals are the ones who get all the media attention, whether it’s for religion, politics, or whatever.

    I say good on you for even offering the choice to your kids, and for being self-disciplined enough to homeschool them well.

  6. hey Aunt Lissa,
    Can you please please please please please please home school me in California? I want to be a smartie like evan and rebi!
    Adara


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