Friday, November 09, 2007

Addressing Those Homeschooling Concerns

Catholic Homeschooling
H/T to Fr. Daren a teacher who respects the choice to homeschool.

Original Source: HERE
1 Please stop asking us if it's legal. If it is — and it is — it's insulting to imply that we're criminals. And if we were criminals, would we admit it?

2 Learn what the words "socialize" and "socialization" mean, and use the one you really mean instead of mixing them up the way you do now. Socializing means hanging out with other people for fun. Socialization means having acquired the skills necessary to do so successfully and pleasantly. If you're talking to me and my kids, that means that we do in fact go outside now and then to visit the other human beings on the planet, and you can safely assume that we've got a decent grasp of both concepts.

3 Quit interrupting my kid at her dance lesson, scout meeting, choir practice, baseball game, art class, field trip, park day, music class, 4H club, or soccer lesson to ask her if as a homeschooler she ever gets to socialize.

4 Don't assume that every homeschooler you meet is homeschooling for the same reasons and in the same way as that one homeschooler you know.

5 If that homeschooler you know is actually someone you saw on TV, either on the news or on a "reality" show, the above goes double.

6 Please stop telling us horror stories about the homeschoolers you know, know of, or think you might know who ruined their lives by homeschooling. You're probably the same little bluebird of happiness whose hobby is running up to pregnant women and inducing premature labor by telling them every ghastly birth story you've ever heard. We all hate you, so please go away.

7 We don't look horrified and start quizzing your kids when we hear they're in public school. Please stop drilling our children like potential oil fields to see if we're doing what you consider an adequate job of homeschooling.

8 Stop assuming all homeschoolers are religious.

9 Stop assuming that if we're religious, we must be homeschooling for religious reasons.

10 We didn't go through all the reading, learning, thinking, weighing of options, experimenting, and worrying that goes into homeschooling just to annoy you. Really. This was a deeply personal decision, tailored to the specifics of our family. Stop taking the bare fact of our being homeschoolers as either an affront or a judgment about your own educational decisions.

11 Please stop questioning my competency and demanding to see my credentials. I didn't have to complete a course in catering to successfully cook dinner for my family; I don't need a degree in teaching to educate my children. If spending at least twelve years in the kind of chew-it-up-and-spit-it-out educational facility we call public school left me with so little information in my memory banks that I can't teach the basics of an elementary education to my nearest and dearest, maybe there's a reason I'm so reluctant to send my child to school.

12 If my kid's only six and you ask me with a straight face how I can possibly teach him what he'd learn in school, please understand that you're calling me an idiot. Don't act shocked if I decide to respond in kind.

13 Stop assuming that because the word "home" is right there in "homeschool," we never leave the house. We're the ones who go to the amusement parks, museums, and zoos in the middle of the week and in the off-season and laugh at you because you have to go on weekends and holidays when it's crowded and icky.

14 Stop assuming that because the word "school" is right there in homeschool, we must sit around at a desk for six or eight hours every day, just like your kid does. Even if we're into the "school" side of education — and many of us prefer a more organic approach — we can burn through a lot of material a lot more efficiently, because we don't have to gear our lessons to the lowest common denominator.

15 Stop asking, "But what about the Prom?" Even if the idea that my kid might not be able to indulge in a night of over-hyped, over- priced revelry was enough to break my heart, plenty of kids who do go to school don't get to go to the Prom. For all you know, I'm one of them. I might still be bitter about it. So go be shallow somewhere else.

16 Don't ask my kid if she wouldn't rather go to school unless you don't mind if I ask your kid if he wouldn't rather stay home and get some sleep now and then.

17 Stop saying, "Oh, I could never homeschool!" Even if you think it's some kind of compliment, it sounds more like you're horrified. One of these days, I won't bother disagreeing with you any more.

18 If you can remember anything from chemistry or calculus class, you're allowed to ask how we'll teach these subjects to our kids. If you can't, thank you for the reassurance that we couldn't possibly do a worse job than your teachers did, and might even do a better one.

19 Stop asking about how hard it must be to be my child's teacher as well as her parent. I don't see much difference between bossing my kid around academically and bossing him around the way I do about everything else.

20 Stop saying that my kid is shy, outgoing, aggressive, anxious, quiet, boisterous, argumentative, pouty, fidgety, chatty, whiny, or loud because he's homeschooled. It's not fair that all the kids who go to school can be as annoying as they want to without being branded as representative of anything but childhood.

21 Quit assuming that my kid must be some kind of prodigy because she's homeschooled.

22 Quit assuming that I must be some kind of prodigy because I homeschool my kids.

23 Quit assuming that I must be some kind of saint because I homeschool my kids.

24 Stop talking about all the great childhood memories my kids won't get because they don't go to school, unless you want me to start asking about all the not-so-great childhood memories you have because you went to school.

25 Here's a thought: If you can't say something nice about homeschooling, shut up!


Regina said...

LOVE your post!!

Tracy said...

Very good post!! I think it all boils down to people's confusion over homeschooling, they are scared of what they don't understand, it can be like this for anybody of course, I have been questioned why I send my kids to a Catholic school and asked if I think my kids will be "better" than the kids who go to public school... what a dumb question!! We prayed about this and this is what "we" felt God was calling us to do for "our" kids...why don't people get that? weather you home school, parochial school, public school... you are making the choice that you felt was the best for your child.. people read way too much into it I think, we are all parents trying to do the best for our kids.. at the end of the day.. we should support one another.

EC Gefroh said...

Regina and Tracy. I posted this and then as I thought about it I thought it sounded to harsh so I was going to delete it or just link to Fr. Daren's website. Too late ;-)
BTW, Good point Tracy!

Tracy said...

Esther, I don't think it is too harsh, obviously parents are having these questions asked to them. I have four very good friends and they all homeschool and I support their wonderful decision 100% and they support mine as well, I can't even imagine saying such ignorant comments to them, but I don't have any doubt that people in this world do make such comments... maybe it is time they stop and think before speaking.. stop and ask themselves if it really is any of their business anyways.. I think it is a good post and good for people to take some time to ask themselves if they are that person thinking or saying rude things. You don't see homeschooling parents asking the parents who send their kids to public schools "why do you do that?" really, you never hear of that... so I think it is a good post Esther!!

Anonymous said...

FYI...the original source for this.

Kimberly said...

Outstanding...everything I've ever wanted to say and then some!

EC Gefroh said...

Tracy, I've had someone sarcastically comment whether we would homeschool the college years too ;-)

Mahalo Anonymous.

Kimberly :-)

WhiteStoneNameSeeker said...

Thanks for this Esther. I will put it on my homeschool blog.

Can you add it to the UK homeschool list please?
It's called Thinking Love, No Twaddle- 'cuz I'm a Charlotte Mason fan.

Maryellen said...

Hi Esther
I'm guilty of #23. You must be some kind of Saint!. Also, I always say "I could never Home school". It's a compliment. I stand in awe. I had too many un-resolved childhood issues and character deficiencies. I was way too self-centered to teach with a loving heart.

I'm trying to catch up reading your recent wonderful posts.

EC Gefroh said...

WS: I have added your blog.

Mary Ellen, don't be so hard on yourself.

Akalei said...

Sorry kind of late but I wanted to say
Yay! Score for homeschoolers!!!!

Leticia said...

This is hysterical, Esther, I'm so glad you kept it on your blog!
I will never say these things, but, boy do I think them.
My answer to Tracy is: when you buck the public school establishment, whether by homeschooling as Esther and I do, or by sending your children to Catholic school, you can expect flack from the public. It's akin to the grief given to moms of large families (more than 2 children) get when they are asked the most inimate questions about their marriage by perfect strangers.
The public school system is the means for keeping liberal propaganda alive (besides the media) so non-conformists must be 'punished'.
Why do you think homeschooling is illegal in Germany? Hitler put that on the books. Maria Von Trapp shares in her autobiography how her children were indoctrinated against their Catholic faith in the schools.
Long live Catholic culture in our homes and Catholic schools!

Anonymous said...

'Nuff said! Thanks for the post! Brilliant!

EC Gefroh said...

Well said Leticia.

CT :-)

Raulito :-)

Michelle said...

Esther, I loved this post. The graphic is beautiful!! Did you make it?

EC Gefroh said...

Thanks Michelle. No, a friend made it. Feel free to use it if you'd like.