Proof that ignorance leads to intolerance

The case against homeschooling

Don’t look for statistics or anything other than anecdotal evidence to support this teacher’s “case.”

In response to his top ten list, here is my rebuttal:

(aka: Why I am so glad my kids won’t have a teacher like him):

#10: If your kid is geeky, he will be mocked, whether he was homeschooled or not. There are geeks in public schools. There are non-geeks in homeschools. Oh, and in MY school, I do not tolerate mocking. So, that would be the public school kids doing the mocking, and I’d rather not send my kids off there to learn how (thankyouverymuch).

#9: Funny thing, I attended an elementary school where we ate lunch at our desks. I really don’t think it is unusual for schools to do this. Why you can’t eat and learn in the same place is beyond my understanding. Why a home can’t be a learning centered environment is beyond me too. Really, all learning takes is books, and most homeschoolers have those lying about (one or two or…five hundred). Oh, and every elementary aged public school kid I’ve ever known has attended a “pajama day” where everybody dresses in jammies and they watch movies. And they call that school?

#8: It is not my child’s responsibility to teach other children. That’s why we hire teachers. Is it selfish for me to care more about my own child’s education than another child’s? I can’t raise the world. I pay my excessively high property taxes and expect the state to educate the poor. If the state can’t do it, give me my money back, and I’ll “adopt” a few kids and send them to a decent private school (NJ property taxes on my bitty home are over $4000 a year, enough for 2 kids at an inner city Catholic school). And another thing, the rich and the poor don’t really mix. Rich people live in nice neighborhoods in good school districts. The only peers that most poor kids have are other poor kids.

#7: Really, should a self-proclaimed agnostic dare speak for God? Amazing. Anyway, there are plenty of ways to evangelize, and since they can’t pray in school, I hardly think that would be the accepted venue for preaching the Word of God. They might get expelled. So, really, I’m saving everybody a lot of paperwork by just keeping them home in the first place.

#6: Whatever did we do before our best and brightest became public school teachers? Scary thought: by high school age, most kids are self-taught. Or they go to community college. Or they go to a co-op where the mom with a Master’s in English Lit teaches the kids with a mom who has a Master’s in Chemistry. Homeschoolers are resourceful and not limited to the talent found within the local school.

#5: As a mother, the NEA kind of pisses me off. When we got married, my husband and I included “not putting our kids in public schools” in our vows (I omitted “obey” and put this in instead).

#4: I hardly think the college students mocking homeschoolers (see #1) is a fine example of tolerance and acceptance of alternative lifestyles. It’s safe to say that less than 5% of the people in this country were homeschooled, and yet bigotry is still prevalent. Seems to me like brick-and-mortar schools are doing a piss-poor job of teaching tolerance. Of course, I also think it isn’t their job to do that. I have this crazy idea that schools are for learning things like how to read and write, not having somebody else’s values taught.

#3: You are so right. My kids are totally missing out on learning curse words, how to talk back to their parents and be disrespectful of other adults, how funny toilet humor is, what websites contain free porn, three dozen different slang terms for blowjob, what drugstores will sell cigarettes to minors, who sells marijuana, and which girls are putting out. The poor dears. It worries me how they will ever function in an office environment when they’re grownups.

#2: I have no idea what Henry’s full quote was or what he meant by it. I do not see homeschooling as risky. I definitely see public schools as risky. And no, I will not gamble with my child’s education. That is why I homeschool.

#1: Name calling, intolerance. Really, you need to examine your prejudices. Maybe get away from the school building for a little while and experience real life and real people outside of an institutional setting. Being with like-minded people so much really skews your perspective on life. Maybe you need to meet some real homeschoolers and get to know them a bit before judging. Don’t let their geekiness turn you away. Try to see past the way they don’t seem to care much what you think about them and get to know how their minds operate.

Sibling rivalry

My kids were caught being nice to each other.

“There’s nothing to do,” she moans during every baseball game. “Some of us are watching the game,” I’ll suggest. But hugging your brother is another option.

Tickle the baby: nearly 20 months in, and the game still hasn’t gotten old for either of them.

Sharing the iPod. We have a docking station, but it’s not out on the deck. And this leaves one ear free to listen to the birds.

All she had to do was knock

Right now, my biggest source of entertainment is the toddler on the cusp of talking.

She “talks” a lot. And “sings.” With gusto. But the words are all her own secret language.

She just came in and ranted for a full minute. I occasionally interjected with an “Oh, no!” or “Really?” or “And then what?” She had hand gestures, and she stomped her feet. I caught the word “door” and what passes for “Jenny” and then finally she grabbed my hand and pulled. Off we went to see the source of her consternation, which seemed to be that Jenny had closed her bedroom door and she wanted in. Jenny opened the door, and the complaining stopped.

Temperaments in Marriage

The Temperament God Gave Your Spouse by Art and Laraine Bennett is a follow up to the book The Temperament God Gave You. I had not read the latter, and was concerned that I wouldn’t quite “get” the temperaments as they are defined in the books: choleric, sanguine, melancholic and phlegmatic. There is an overview at the beginning of the Spouse book which, I think, adequately identifies the temperaments – enough to make some sense of the book itself. There is also this quiz which is more in depth and might help those who have characteristics bridging more than one temperament.

With the difficult and often frustrating task of “getting along with others” it is helpful to have some guidance in how to communicate with those who don’t think quite the way we do. And when that someone is our spouse – someone with whom we have to deal on a constant basis – lack of understanding can lead to hurt feelings which, over time, can seriously damage a relationship.

The Temperament God Gave Your Spouse explains that your soul mate isn’t really trying to drive you nuts; he or she just is the way he is. The first part of the book describes each temperament in the role of spouse (and parent). In the second part, the book explains the best ways for a spouse to communicate with each temperament as well as offers tips for that temperament in dealing with others. It then goes on to describe the dynamics of each marriage, whether one marries someone of a like temperament or if one is in a “mixed” marriage.

This book is a good resource for ideas on how to improve communication within a marriage. You do not need to have read their first book to understand this book, although I intend to read The Temperament God Gave You for greater insight into each temperament, personalities of mixed temperaments, and how to parent children of different temperaments, which I think would be useful knowledge (anybody have a copy they want to loan me?).

I will say that I am not entirely sold on the whole temperament-as-an exclusive-way-to-classify-people idea. I would certainly hesitate to say something like, “Oh, you’re reacting this way because you’re a (fill in the blank).” Perhaps it is because I am a mixed temperament (choleric-sanguine), and my husband is even more mixed (primarily melancholic-sanguine) that I have trouble saying, “Oh, that is so – us,” to any of the relationships listed. Rather, I saw threads of commonality in most of the temperaments and found the communication techniques described in the book as generally useful for most people most of the time.

This review was written as part of The Catholic Company product reviewer program. Visit The Catholic Company to find out more about The Temperament God Gave Your Spouse.

oh, we’ll pay alright

Study: Average Family Pays $1G a Year to Cover the Uninsured

This article’s main point is that when people receive health care, somebody has to pay. And if someone without insurance receives health care, those of us with insurance pay a “hidden tax” in the form of higher medical costs and therefore higher premiums.


So, naturally, the solution is to get everybody some health insurance, right?

Except that a lot of people who don’t have insurance, do not have it because they are unemployed and could not afford it. Or they are employed, but their employer (who may be themself) doesn’t offer it, and they themselves can’t afford it, so they go without.

So, if they can’t afford it, but we make them get it, who is going to pay for it?

Yeah, basically the same folks paying for it now. It just won’t be a hidden tax.

Mary Moments

Sarah is hosting a carnival for Our Lady:

Tomorrow (today, actually, I’m just a bad blog friend) is the Mary Moments Carnival!

Are you ready?

Have you found the link in your archive or written something about Mary? Don’t forget we’re focusing on parenthood (but don’t let that stop you either).

Will you leave a comment and share the discussion about Mary?

We have an entire week of Mary’s month of May left, so let’s kick it off with a memorial to our Blessed Mother.

You can comment and leave a link here.

Two for the Road

As my husband writes in his Memorial Day post, we are listening to Rolling Thunder all day and night this weekend.

“Mommy!” Jenny runs in breathlessly. “There’s a man here on a motorcycle!”

Peter’s eyes were gleaming with excitement.

It was just a coworker stopping by because his son needed a potty break, and we were a convenient stop. They used the facilities, declined lemonade because the sky looked threatening (and likely because Bill and the boys were not home), and were on their way. Peter, the girls, and I stepped outside to watch them go, the roar of the engine quickening our pulses and painting silly grins on our faces.

A few weeks ago, Bill was disappointed when he pointed out a very pretty bike on eBay and I told him that he couldn’t have it.

It had only one seat.

So, how was your afternoon? Mine was…well…

“Interview?” asked the sales clerk looking at the black suit and blouse I placed on the counter.

Caught off guard, I answered with brutal honesty, “Actually, my husband is deploying, and I want to have something appropriate to wear…just in case…”

It took her a moment to regain her composure.

Me, too.

Mental note: if ever I go shopping with another women who needs such attire, prevent any and all interactions between the woman and the sales staff. She will not need to deal with that.

The unit with which Bill is deploying requires all sorts of paperwork, including the usual “Next of Kin” to notify in case of a tragedy. He hoped to spare me the discomfort of answering questions like “Who do you want to officiate at your funeral?” and “Where do you want to be buried?” But then he saw that I had to sign the form, so he clued me in.

It’s a good thing, too. I think I am much more suited to answer questions like “Besides the official party, who do you want to be present when your spouse is notified?” And although I am confident that he can plan a decent burial for himself, I would like to have some say in what Gospel reading is read.

“How about this: ‘In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be…'”

“I like that,” he said.

“What are you guys doing?” asked Fritz, passing by just then. Ever notice that kids are always attracted to the wrong conversations?

“We’re just talking about passages from the Bible,” I answered, blowing him off.

“But what are you doing?” he pressed. Obnoxiously astute kid.

“We’re just reading from the Bible,” I insisted. He went away.

I was a bit grateful for his interruption, though. I did okay through the other selections, but that one got me a bit teary. It was the same way at the store. I took three suits into the dressing room. The third one was the one I liked best. I looked in the mirror and asked myself if this was how I wanted to look for my husband’s funeral, and that moment of decision was emotional. But it was then that I became aware of the rather loud background music blaring in the store. I don’t know who was singing or the rest of the words, but the refrain right then was, hopefully, the theme song of my life:

“Everything’s gonna be alright…”