Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Joy Behar and I might agree on something but for different reasons. I think homeschooling is the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen. I just hope that these kids get the right to sue their parents when they grow up after they figure out how much they are screwed up.

I keep asking myself why I am so offended by the idea of homeschooling? I keep asking myself how I could possibly agree on anything with Joy Behar?

I remember my first experience with evangelical radicals that homeschool their children was when I was interning as a youth worker during a summer off from college. They were holding a conference of sorts as it was being hosted at our facility. There were all kinds of wackos with all kinds of conspiracy ideas running around. I remember one guy who told me the medical profession was a complete sham and that anything you needed to know about your health could be determined from studying one's eyes. I remember meeting loads of kids there and I asked them about being out of school for this conference and they all told me they were homeschooled. I was fascinated at the idea. There wasn't an internet then to research the topic but in talking with others I learned that there was a growing movement among evangelical christians to pull kids out of the school system.

This idea of completely checking out of the system is fascinating. I read Conservatism with a Heart on a regular basis and she indicates that she homeschools her children. I like her blog. I have to admit I find think the idea is just offensive.

I've read studies and probably am willing to concede that homeschooled children probably do just as well or better academically than their traditionally, er institutionally schooled counterparts. What I can't get past is the deprivation of social learning and tolerance and the complete abandonment of one's mission in life. I can't understand how somebody can understand compassion for someone less fortunate unless you have a chance to interact with their hurt. How can these kids be a complete social being in a world they will have to exist in if they don't learn about it? I'll never understand how someone can learn to develop healthy relationships if they are never allowed to develop them independently. For their own sake a faith that is never challenged is weak and naive. Most importantly I'll never understand that if they really think as evangelicals that their purpose in life is to serve God how they can do that in a vacuum away from others? I'm reminded of the cute little church song we used to sing. "This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine.....Hide it under a bushel, no, I'm gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine." Aren't they hiding their light??? If they really believe they have the answers isn't that selfish?

If Jesus said as the church we are His hands and His feet then how is it appropriate to keep your hands in your pockets and not use your feet to run? The Bible says we are aliens in this world but that we are to be IN the world but not OF the world. It also says we are the salt of the earth. Salt adds flavor. Homeschooling is like a no sodium diet. How can you be in the world and testifying to the life you have if you seclude yourself? It seems inconsistent at best to be a neighbor with a tall fence. I strongly believe that the message of the Bible is summarized in the first two commandments. I call it the rule of 1 and 2. I'll spare you because you can look it up yourself if you are interested.

I don't mean to get on a soapbox but I truly don't understand and it makes zero sense from my perspective. I guess I get that the world is pretty screwed up and homeschoolers must feel like they don't want to be apart of a culture that teaches things they don't believe. But do they really feel like as parents they can't compete with liberal teachers or better that they can't work with them? We've been involved in Blue Valley for 5 years now and I've only had one teacher that I felt was a little wacko and we wore her out and made her life miserable. I spent as much time as it took deprogramming my kid. We both learned quite a lot from it. If you can't get the teacher to do what you need switch teachers even if it is the middle of the year.

Now, I've read about some who like it because they say they enjoy seeing those special moments with their kids. Can it really be good to be with and control your kids 24/7? I'd argue that might be selfish. I read some who think that the public schools in their neighborhoods are really poor. Move. More felt like their children's special needs weren't being met. What could make your kids love you more than you fighting for them and not coddling them? Someday they will have to stand on their own and mommy and daddy won't be there for them. Others write of teasing and killing the spirit of their child but I've found the opposite that children today are exceedingly tolerant of other's differences so much more so than when we were young because of the inclusion of kids with special needs in the classroom. It isn't perfect but most of the time it is incredibly heart warming. If your child is different isn't it part of the solution to help other's learn acceptance from your child? Aren't you robbing them of that lesson if all the kid's with differences leave?

I'd be really interested to hear from homeschoolers and why they think this is so good for their kids. I'm interested but at the same time I accept their right to do it. I just would like someone to take a decent shot at explaining it.

By the way, any good parent home schools. Most of us just send our kids to a regular school first during the day. My point is that sending your kids off to school isn't the end of our responsibility to teach them it is just the beginning.


May said...

When I was homeschooled I was pulled out of a private Baptist school for it. Compared to that, homeschooling was the best thing that could've ever happened to me. I had time to pursue my own interests (i.e. writing), lots of time to spend outside, and got all of my work done without having to deal with the other creepy Baptist kids. It was a win win for me.

jocosob said...

I am against home schooling in all cases except if the life of the child is endangered (KCMOSD)

I Travel for JOOLS said...

I've wondered the same thing you have but I think the I know the answer. I think if there were affordable mainstream protestant schools (similar to Aquinas), most of the home schoolers would enroll. But, the few there are don't appear to be "mainstream" and they are expensive.

And, now we have a new Secretary of Education who is going to educate our kids southside Chicago style. Hell, I may have to pay for my grandkids to go to Aquinas even tho we're not catholic.

Anonymous said...

SOJOCO Man-Hey great post. It is funny to read it, ironic from the stand point that my two older kids on occasion(about 1x/wk) will ask me to please homeschool them because they are miffed at a classmate. They are only in 1st and 2nd grade, my youngest is 4yr. old and he has Down Syndrome. I absolutely live for the moment they hop on the bus to school- I can sit my ass down and take a deep breath!! I cannot fathom keeping them with me all day and managing a cirriculum. I can't get dinner made and the floor mopped much less teach math. They need outside schooling, however I do get annoyed with public education. The teachers like conformity. My 8 yr. old and 6yr old are very bright and border on being gifted...keeping them with me could really dull the senses but I wonder about the prospects of a Montessori type school? As they approach third grade the gifted and talented stuff becomes more apparent so we will wait. As far as for my 4 yr old, he absolutely thrives in the confines of the school regimentation and is higher functioning as a result. It is my opinion that homeschooled kids are ODDBALLS-socially. The one parent I know who homeschools also has a child with Down Syndrome. I think she is doing him a disservice by keeping him at home but it seems she does get them involved in outside programs like music and gymnastics. I also know of another parent who homeschools her teenage kids. Probably from a peer pressure standpoint they are pretty pure. I have heard it said that homeschooling allows parents to really zero in on subjects that allow the kids to master it in depth. So academically it may be a bit better but I think so much talent and ability are truly innate, Well today is my 45th birthday. It was kinda lame and I am off to bed. I will look forward to your next post.

JOCOeveryman said...

May....would have never picked you for a homeschooled kid but I must admit.....you can never underestimate the creepiness factor of Baptist kids....you are clearly the exception.

SOB....any idiot who lives and KCMO by choice with kids is an idiot.

Travel.....so so so funny. You might be right about our new secretary of ed....southside style. Good points.

Jayne in WI....you are so wise...thank you for reading my blog and writing. I have a special place in my heart for kiddos with Down syndrome. If you get a minute hit me with an email with contact me.....wanna share a story with you and Happy Birthday!