I must be a moron.

So lately I’ve heard a lot about home schooling. Danielle feels the same way I do about it. We sat down a little bit ago and did a little bit of Googling. I find it amazing how some people become so wrapped up in the good things they hear, and don’t think about the bad. As I keep hearing about these differing opinions, I feel the need to rant, and give my own opinion.

I went to public school my entire life. I road the bus everyday. I had “free” lunch which means I couldn’t get anything from the “A La Carte” line (no pizza for me). During different periods, I was picked on. I was certainly not the popular kid in class (well, unless they attempted to cheat of me). I feel that these things made me a better person. I may not have been a social butterfly, but I did learn how to deal with different people.

From what I read on some websites, most home-schooling parents seem very arrogant. They talk about how their kids are better educated for being home-schooled. When someone brings up the issue that their child may not be very well “socialized”, they claim their child is. Funny that you never hear anything from the child themselves talking about their many bountiful friends or lack thereof. I read in one place about how all public schools teach is how to be proud and get better grades than other kids… but yet HSP (Home Schooling Parents) do it so their kids will be “smarter”.

Being that home-schooled children aren’t in socialized environments and don’t get structure from anyone but their parents, they become a bit awkward. I know some home schooled kids. My neighbors kids are home-schooled half the week. Their 9 year old son one time came up to me and asked me about my house. He was wondering when I was moving out so that his father could buy my house and turn it into a studio. He didn’t even think that it would not be an acceptable question to ask someone you barely know. Their daughter the other day came up to the front door, and I opened it to see what she wanted, and she immediately walked in and let her dog loose in my house without asking and said “He wants to see the inside of your house.” I feel like they are missing something vital when it comes to structure, but am not sure if it is the parenting, or the teaching. These might be okay at their house, but unless they leave their house, they won’t learn that it is not acceptable in other places. It’s not so much that they won’t socialize, but how they socialize.

What is really annoying to me is when HSPs do it because they think there child is getting a poor education and the system is not working for them. The system requires a parent’s help. If the child is not getting proper discipline at home, they are going to have problems at school. If the parent isn’t encouraging self-learning at home through studying, they will do poorly in school. A better education is not going to museums and parks everyday. These are things you should be doing with your child anyway on weekends and at night while they are not in school. Not sending them off to soccer practice. The school system is not designed for letting your child go for a few hours a day, they come back, and then they are fully educated with no need of the parents to do anything. Read to your children. Teach them things. Involve them. But you don’t need them 24/7 to do that.

The real problem is the people that think it’s trendy to home-school. People who have no skills to be a “teacher” or better yet, an “educator”. I’m sure that many of the well-educated home-schooled children were being taught by someone who had a knack to teach academics or was someone who had a degree in teaching at some point. When I think of these people that grow up so close to their parents, those are the people I will be hiring one day. And I can only hope that they will be mature enough to realize that they are not the center of the universe, that you don’t work and decide what YOU want to do for me, that you work the way I tell you to.

A lot of HSP’s will say that their children will get to learn what they are interested in. And what I feel is that this is the only thing they will focus on. The problem is, what they might be interested in (or what the parents think they might be and push) may not be something they can become productive members of society with. My child might only be interested in playing video games over why when you mix these two colored liquids it bubbles over. But that doesn’t mean I will foster his playing of video games. I didn’t know what I wanted to do until I was about 16 or 17 years old. And even then, it took me several more years to actually start pursuing that to a greater extent. Just because a 7 year old is interested in firefighting doesn’t mean that they will become a firefighter. They are 7 years old. They can’t self-learn yet.

I am reading through one site as I read this, and there is a part about how their child can braid their dogs hair, play with Legos, and read books. So it seems that while they are doing this learning process, they have other things to “entertain” them. When they enter the workforce as adults, they may not have those entertainments anymore. They may have to sit in a cubicle and sit in meetings. I learned by sitting in class at public school (and having already studied ahead and therefore already know what’s going on) and be patient without entertainment. I learned focus. Focus on the teacher. Focus on your superior. Not on myself.

I really need to stop writing. The site I am reading is really starting to get me riled up as I read it. It blows my mind when I hear some of these arguments. Some are good. Some are bad though. Some children may be able to deal with homeschool better than others. Some parents may be better at it than others. The amazing thing that I learned at public school is tolerance of other people’s opinions. I have my own and will voice them from time to time, but I wouldn’t call someone a “moron” because they aren’t for homeschooling and went to public school, so they must be a moron, like some of the selfish people on the blog I am reading would do.

I want to find some home schooled people and I want to hear their thoughts. If you know any of them, please let me know how they feel about being home schooled.

Jason

I'm watching you.

9 thoughts on “I must be a moron.

  1. Tim Tebow, he is a quarterback for the Gators was homeschooled. It seemed to work for him ok.

    I am sure that not one type of education is completely wrong or right. Its nice to have the choice though :)

  2. There are benefits to both public school and home school. Everyone is different. Kids can socialize outside of school in extracurricular activities.

  3. I value your opinion here, Jason, but I think some of the things you said were just as much a generalization as being called a “moron” on the site you were reading. You implied that homeschooled children aren’t socialized and “never leave the home”, and that self-directed learning is intended for 7 year olds who already know their future careers! It sounds like you have quite a bit of learning to do on the subject, from both angles, if it is something you are passionate about. And not websites, mind you, but some good quality non-bias books. For example, self-directed learning has little, if anything, to do with picking a career at the age of 7. And I’d also point out that the majority of quality homeschools happening spend a LOT of time OUT of the house, as well as a LOT of time with peer groups in the form of homeschooling groups that meet regularly as well as sunday schools and community involvement.
    One more thing to consider is that parents are often much more “qualified” to teach a curricula geared for their children’s individual learning styles than an “educator”, because of how well they know their child. I was an elementary education major for a year and believe me, 90% of the program was geared towards teaching “crowd control”, as in, how can you get control of the classroom the size of 20-30 kids. It was then that I knew that I would rather teach my own kids than be an educator in the public school system (not the “right” choice for everyone, certainly, but the “right” one for me… for now!)
    It’s easy to read a bit and get riled up, I know (happens to me all the time). But consider the toes of good-intentioned moms and dads on both ends of the spectrum who are truly trying to develop bright, vibrant, well-adjusted children either way. (FWIW, many public schooled children are just as awkward and impolite as the random examples you pointed out, lol).
    I know a hand-full of adults who were homeschooled and “interviewed” them before decided to do this with my kids this year. What I heard back was a variety of experiences (just as you’ll hear from public schooled adults) but all of them went on to be successful, in college as well as career. They were all smart, talented, and good communicators. Shocking, I know ;)
    So keep up the good work trying to figure this out, again, if its something you are passionate about. It’s a deep, deep topic, so welcome to the rabbit hole!

  4. The choice of homeschooling is influenced by what I’ll call “mom-worth”. Mom’s feel (basically) better if they can devote their days to teaching their children. Poems like The Invisible Mom were written because mommies don’t get pats on the back. It is called a thankless job for a reason. If mom’s can find tangible ways to know that they are doing a good job, besides the behavior of their children, than I think a lot of mom;s will grab onto that.

    Of course I am making generalizations here- most mom’s that I hear talking about why they homeschool is because of the experiences they had at school. I wouldn’t say I am completely against homeschooling, but the fastly growing trend of it makes me wonder what the latent affects will be.

    I also think it has to do with the goals and priorities you have in mind for your children. If your foal is to spend as much time with them as possible, then yes, homwschool. If your goal is to keep them from being pick on, then yes homeschool. Socializing them in place of “public school” with field trips and sports or music camps or lesson, play dates with other Homeschooling moms is just an extension of the sterile environment they will grow up in and to me that is sad. Sad because really great mom’s are teaching their children very good things and then limiting contact with the outside world (the real world). Sad because we are all influenced in good and bad ways by the people we grow up with and limiting their children’s choices seems arrogant and selfish. Mom’s weren’t meant to be everything to their children. I think this trend is simply creating what is known as helicopter parents.

  5. Misty, Bill Gates went to private school, and he did pretty well. Basing decisions on the schooling of a football star or billionaire isn’t a great way to make those decisions. You could find negative and positive on both ends of the spectrum. And yes, it is nice to have a choice. One of the many freedoms we are afforded in America.

    Chris, there are benefits, and for the right parents and the right children, it could be great. For those outside activities, you need to be sure that you are socializing with different types of people, not just people in the same circle. It’d get to be much like the Amish (not that I am putting them down, I admire them in some ways).

    Vivian, in addition to my comment above this, I didn’t say that they will never leave the house. If anything, the issue is that they never leave the environment. From what I’ve read so far, for the most part, their socialization with other children is with other homeschooled children. It response to what I read about a lot of people pulling their children out of public school because they are worried about the negative influences. I went to public school and as far as I know, everyone around me was having sex with everyone else. I knew kids that did drugs. I knew bullies (I remember one instance where I stood up to one and he never bothered me again). I’d like to think that when I raise my own children, I will raise them to not be influenced by the negative things in the same way my parents raised me to not do drugs, to not be promiscuous, to not be bullied. And as for the crowd control… humans are inherently born heathens. It’s up to the parents to, for lack of a better word, beat it out of them while they are still young. In my opinion, the world of parenting is falling apart and too many parents are following too many so called parenting experts with a bunch of letters after their name. Children are not learning that they are not the center of the universe. They are losing respect for authority. As Danielle put it, helicopter parenting as parents micromanage their children with homework, bullies, etc. But I think I will stop for now as all that is meant for another post. Well, I may have already posted on that, can’t remember. As I said, I will be keeping my eye open for home schooled people and ask them about their experiences.

    I can’t say I agree with Danielle’s comment on being picked on, but I appreciate her opinion. I appreciate everyone’s opinion.

  6. Thanks Jason. It’s good to dialogue about this, we all have different perspectives and again, a lot to learn.
    Just out of curiousity, did some one tell you it was wrong to put your/Danielle’s kids in public school and your trying to explain yourself? I just want to be clear that I am definitely NOT saying that those who choose public schooling or whatever the heck kind of schooling they want are making the wrong decision with the wrong motives. I might go public school eventually, who knows. I kinda hear in your tone and language that you feel those who homeschool ARE wrong, so its more that you are on the offense, or at least that’s the way its coming across. Just wondering what the background of this is, as I don’t think anyone should be making judgment calls about this very personal decision either way we all choose.

    As far as implying that homeschooled kids don’t leave the house, I took: “…unless they leave their house, they won’t learn that it is not acceptable in other places” to mean you were implying that, but I guess in context that may not have been what you were getting at, completely.
    To provoke a little thinking on the “trend” aspect of this; have you considered that, in the whole history of education, public schooling is the trend, not the other way around? And people learned to socialize, work, so on and so forth before the last hundred years or so, didn’t they? In fact, might many of humankinds most prominent thinkers, authors, scientests, etc come from such eras? One could almost argue that homeschooling is actually more of a return to traditional schooling, away from the trend of full-time public schooling that came about only during times of war.
    Per Danielle’s comment: many homeschooled parents, the ones I know and myself included, do not join homeschool groups made of some tiny sampling of people who are only just like us. They come from all aged parents, different religions and political background and so forth. The variety can be just as diverse as the kids who show up for the first day of kindergarten. And this isn’t even the one and only peer group either. For example, when Chris and I enroll our kiddo in soccer at the local community center this year, his peers will likely be a handful of all different folks, many races, esp minorities, as well as kids whose parents are same-sex, all kinds of stuff. Don’t assume homeschooled kids/families don’t “get out” and get in the “real world” (and also don’t assume that a 6-8 hour classroom setting is every one’s “real world” – to me, that’s a bleak reality!) Now, you’ll find great examples of just what you’re talking about, I give ya that! (I’m sure some staunchly religious homeschooled families in rural areas or something DO intend to helicopter parent and shelter their children). All I can add to this conversation is my own perspective and experience, and I can assure you that me and the ones I know in this inner-city area are the exact opposite of helicopter parents (for realz).
    Also… I don’t know that I’d say my goal is to raise my kids to be in cubicles (as you mentioned as an example of a disciplined, structured adult career)- I’d rather they be equipped for just about anything by instilling in them a love of learning and exploration (which may or may not be encouraged in a public school setting– each case seems to be different). Maybe they’ll be National Geographic Explorers, artists, or heck, insurance salesmen if that’s what they really want to do ;)
    ANYWAY, my point is, there are a variety of ways to “do homeschooling”, many of which are very successful and well-balanced, and have nothing to do with feelings of wanting to shelter or be weirdly enmeshed with your children, lol. It wouldn’t be fair of some one to say that all parents who public school simply hate spending time with their kids, or are lazy, sad and selfish, etc etc — so don’t make the same one-size-fits-all parenting judgments about those who are doing it this way, either.
    Since we are all very different, both with our approach to educating our children as well as child-rearing in general, (I certainly disagree with beating the inborn heathen out of my child, for example. *TOTAL wink wink*), it makes sense to be open minded and respectful about each others views.

    Hope you don’t mind my rambling. This is a very interesting topic and I have way tooooo many thoughts on it!

  7. oh oh oh – sorry for double commenting (I’m so relentless LOL)
    I just left your blog and went to that of a friend of mine’s who is the one who spent time showing me her homeschool values when I was trying to make this decision. Ironically, she JUST posted about leaving a homeschool co-op that was made of largely the same belief system in exchange for one that was more diverse because her intention is to NOT shelter her kids. A few days ago, she posted about a guy who made a back-handed comment about public schooled kids and she was ashamed because this isn’t an “us vs. them” thing. Maybe you will find some things on her blog that add to this conversation and your thoughts about what “all” homeschoolers are like?
    http://emergent-homeschool.blogspot.com/2009/06/intentional-choice.html

    Enjoy!

  8. Okay, so I heard back from a friend of mine. He married one of my BFF’s back in Florida and is one of the funniest, well-rounded guys I know. I asked him how he felt as a homeschooled adult since Jason was hoping to hear from one, and this is what he wanted to share as his experience:

    “To answer your question, yes! I did like being homeschooled. I am very grateful and thankful for having parents who wanted to sacrifice and invest in my future. I had my Mother and Father to mentor me. If you want to start with facts, over 90% of major universities, and 75% of Ivy league schools look for, and prefer applications from home school grads. Mostly because they know there are there to learn and become contributing members of society. Because of my education, I was awarded a full academic scholarship to Taylor University and Florida Gulf Coast University. As well as many other opportunities I might not have had from a public school education.

    When my family moved to Florida we joined a group called C.H.E.S.F, (Christian Home Educators of Southwest Florida). A three hundred plus family group of home schoolers that had organized sports, field trips, drama dept., yearbook staff, and full Graduation and Commencement ceremonies. There where other mothers who were Music teachers, accountant, lawyers, doctors. We would go to other family’s houses for classes in subject that other parents were strong in and vice versa. The number of group like this since I was in school has grown exponentially.

    I don’t feel like I missed out on anything. I think if people are confusing and sense of arrogance in home school parents for a sense of deep pride. They know that their child has been taught and instilled with the moral fiber that they chose for them.

    Not this world’s
    Not their public school teacher’s”

    So there’s just one example of a homeschooled adult who is glad they were. Like I keep saying- there are all kinds of ways to do it! Some successful and some not- just like public school systems, classes, agendas, teachers, etc. There are a ton of factors to consider, aren’t there?

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