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.

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12 thoughts on “Proof that ignorance leads to intolerance

  1. I don’t home school, but I agree with the points you make. Homeschooling is a great option if it is what works for your family (personally, I know it wouldn’t work for me.)

    My kids are in public school and there are days I wonder why they bother going (we watched a movie today, we did test prep)- but I also know the school district offers them a lot too. There are activities and programs that they wouldn’t be involved in otherwise, and that they enjoy.

    Are they learning in school? I hope so, though they both learned to read at home and my 6th grade daughter says she learns more about history and politics around the dinner table than she ever does in class.

    Do they hear curse words in school? Undoubtedly. Do they use them at home (or anywhere)? No.

    And honestly, people talk about “socialization” at school – but these kids are in classrooms where they’re “not allowed to talk” and then go to lunch (where at our school they must keep pretty quiet) and they have half an hour recess – that’s not much time to socialize in.

    There are kids in the schools who have made life hard for my kids on occasion. But my kids learned how to cope and how to deal – lessons that are valuable – even if I would have preferred they not learn them quite yet.

    It comes down to the fact that there are pros and cons to every type of education, but for someone to denigrate another person’s choice simply because they wouldn’t chose the same thing, is ridiculous.

    Sorry for the long comment. 🙂

  2. Thank you for your comment, Christine. I am happy we parents have options and to criticize someone’s choice is wrong. I fully support all teachers and sincerely desire that all children be given a fantastic education. Homeschooling is hard and just won’t work for every family.

  3. Wow, read the original “editorial”, all the comments and your rebuttal. You’re a tiger and the right one to take on this topic! I love the comment about “defensive” homeschoolers, typical.

    I agree, not everyone can or should homeschool, and not every child can or should be homeschooled. I am so thankful we have so many options when it comes to educating our children. Homeschooling is what works for us.

    I am all for making sure ALL children get a great education and thank God for folks willing to get down in the trenches to provide that education for them.

  4. There is a discussion going on in Sonlight land about this very article. I posted a link to your post about it. I hope you don’t mind!

  5. Thank you! Nicely done. I have not read your blog before, but I will try to again.

  6. Great post, Michelle.

    (I love it when you get all snarky and funny. Oh wait, that’s standard. Well, anyway. Cracks me up, even as it terrifies me.)

    I need to print this to remind myself why I feel called. (per our other discussions.)

  7. Tell that guy that my mom teaches English at a community college. She says that she is seeing more and more homeschooled students and they are far & away the best-prepared. They can READ critically, WRITE well and WORK independently.

    My Catholic-schooled kids have not ever had Pajama Day, for which I am very thankful. I know that some “down time” is always good but I hate when they come home and say they saw a movie that wasn't even loosely connected to the curriculum.

  8. You spitfire, you. Your rebuttal is right on, and I’m keeping it tucked away for when people start asking me why I’m homeschooling.

    Oh wait…they’re are already some folks asking why my oldest isn’t in school yet? “Aren’t you afraid of sheltering her?” someone asked me.

    She’s 4 years old. ‘Nuff said.

  9. Excellent rebuttal. It puts the original article to shame.

  10. Something to which you tactfully allude but don’t quite “go there”: what would the author say to the obvious corollary to his “you’re totally homeschooled” excuse for an argument?

    You know. I mean, it’s not like anyone uses terms like “gay” to denigrate. By his logic, parents should be doing anything they can to try to make sure their kids don’t turn out gay, because…well, people make fun of that!!!!

    I realize he wrote what was probably intended as a blog rant, but he shouldn’t pretend it’s an argument…

  11. Thank you for writing such a thoughtful rejection of that guys article. I have home schooled and put my kids in public school. I home schooled because (at the time) it was what we decided was best for the kids. It was – they are more prepared to handle the public school now. In the sense that they are well catechized in the Faith, have been taught how to critically respond to books, in writing and in speaking. They learned to work hard and to do their best and stay organized. When we get to HI, I hope they will do well in the public system – because they now desire to go to a regular school. The oldest is in HS and loving it. I was surprised he is failing Algebra, but we know the root problem: not asking for help right away . . . and not taking advantage of the schools after school programs.

    As parents, we need to stay involved all.the.time.

    God bless you!

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