on a totally unrelated subject – CAUTION! rant ahead!

As you may have guessed by now, we homeschool. To be exact and put a label on us we unschool.
It is a family effort. Not just me, not just my husband, not just the kids. We. Together.
It is perfect for us. We love being together, to “explore”, find out, see, hear, taste and try.

It is not easy. Nothing that’s worth anything ever is.

Every now and then I have to admit, I panic though. I wonder if my children learn what they need, to “make it” later on in live. I am worried, if it was the right decision, to let them lead the way. Specially when I talk to other parents with kids in public/private school. (or “real” school as I have been told)

We homeschool not for religious reasons, or for distrust in the public school system (although I think it is lacking). We homeschool, because we want our children to be happy, well balanced, compassionate and strong persons.

I dislike the way other parents treat us though.
I dislike them grilling my children the minute they find out we homeschool. Specifically questions like: “So, how much is 148 times 22299976?” get my goat. Do you know that in your head in three seconds or less? That is about the time they give them. Then they sputter “Can’t do that, huh?” What “real school kid” could? 
“What did you learn today?” Is the other question that gets to me.There is so much we learn each day… how can you possibly tell them all of it…
Do you see me grill your children on what they learned? Do you see me belittle the way you chose to educate your children? (oh, sorry… you don’t educate them, you chose to leave that to someone else)

Another really “popular’ question is:
“What qualifies you to teach your children?”
Hmmm dunno. Maybe the fact that we love them, maybe the fact that we care, maybe the fact that we believe in family…
That never impresses them.
So I whip it out: I have a bachelors degree in fine arts, architecture and science, I was a dental hygienist before I had kids. My husband has a degree in Radio, TV and Film and is a Cisco trained network admin. He works for a non-profit organization.

I do compare.. I have to admit.

I am not sure why it is so much better to have your children being subjected to peer pressure. I don’t know why so many “real school” parents whine about their kids being “commercialized” from the food they eat to the music they listen to. Yet they don’t do anything about it. After all, it is better to have them in school, away from home. So that both parents can go and make a living. So they can keep up with the Joneses.
Isn’t the commercialism something YOU are teaching them? Not the schools? Isn’t that something they are bringing in, rather then bringing home?

My children don’t have “brand-name” clothes. Never asked for  it. My children listen to Pearl Jam, The white Stripes, Aretha Franklin, The Rolling Stones, Son House not Justin Bieber, or Kelly Clarkson.
They read. Actual books!(Austen, Bronte, Saint-Exupéry, Defoe, Swift, Dickens, Verne, the list goes on)
They eat what I make. They help grow our food and have fun while doing so.
They are strong individuals that will not buckle to group pressure.
They are already blazing their own paths.
They still have imagination.
They are not into sex and boy/girlfriends.
They are good listeners.
They stand up for what is right, even if it gets them in trouble.

I have noticed most of the kids I see have no manners left either. Bad language. I am not talking about four letter words. (Don’t get me started on that!!!) I mean bad grammar, bad pronunciation. I bet if they would know how stupid it makes them look they would not speak that way. Their peers are doing it, so off they go.
Thank you and please are not the norm, but rather a pleasant surprise. How sad is that.
“Real” school children also don’t know how to speak to adults. They always seem to feel inferior. My children know how to handle themselves. They see themselves as equals. It would never occur to them that they might not receive the same respect they give. (They also know if they don’t show respect they won’t get any)

Regular school doesn’t teach your children everything! Some parents seem to forget that. They think education is done when kids get home at around 4 pm.

My children have chores and they do them. They know that living together meas working together. We don’t have the “don’t copy from my paper” issue… They know: sharing means to learn together. They teach each other, just as much as we teach them.
They pick up trash from the road on walks. They clean up your environment too, my ‘real’ school parent.

Tell me again why public/private schools are so much better?

I don’t have anything against public/private schools. I just don’t see why we have to be ridiculed and grilled for the way we chose to teach our children.

Don’t hate on homeschoolers. We don’t hate on you…


9 thoughts on “on a totally unrelated subject – CAUTION! rant ahead!

  1. I think homeschoolers are wonderful…many of my friends do – I wish my husband had a heart for it…I do…How bizarre the way people who think they are 'normal' treat others…to ask questions that they themselves could not answer…weird.

  2. Hugs!I know… It surprises me every time. It shouldn't anymore, but it does. Not all people are like that, but in the last few weeks we had more then our share of them. 🙂 I guess that is what triggered this post. My daughter did go to public school up to second grade. We LOVED all her teachers and I think the school was great. Just wasn't for us.Just like homeschooling is not for everybody. I don't expect everybody to drop everything and do it my way…but I do expect people to extend the same courtesy to us…Oh well, I guess it's what makes the world go round, huh? 😀

  3. (laughs) They're not, unfortunately!In my low-income town, home-schoolers get a bad rap. Some of it is unjustified but a lot of it is true–only because in our locale, the only children who tend to be home-schooled are those who've been kicked out of public school and no others will take them. When I was in high school, They stayed at home all day, played video games, and then at night ran the streets.I scoffed at the thought of it (ha! The education I received was INCREDIBLY inadequate, as you'll see later in this tale but the slightest superiority is insidious, no?) until I got to college. Many of my classmates were home-schooled, were 16 years old and JUNIORS, they had so many credits. I struggled to write a paper, when they crunched two out. I couldn't handle grammar very well and they knew all the rules. Math–don't get me started. One of the guys I dated in college was also home-schooled and he was one of the smartest people I'd ever met in my life (maybe not the most socially well-adjusted but he was a gem in adult interactions)!I felt was so unprepared and behind everyone else around me, I vowed never to talk bad about a home-schooler ever again. After some of the minds I've come across, I'd definitely consider initiating it for my own children.You're such a good mom!

  4. I have nothing against homeschoolers. My friend and neighbor homeschools her boys. But don't think that all regular school kids are like the ones you have seen. My son has done nothing but regular school (he's finishing up 4th grade now), and he knows how to be polite, how to talk to adults, read (he's working on the Lord of the Rings trilogy), and listen to REAL music not Disney crap.There are also regular school parents that don't believe that education stops when the bell rings at the end of the day. We do workbooks during summer vacation. All time off from school actually. Everything is a learning opportunity. I resent that you think that parents who go off to a job outside of the house WANT to do that and it's so we can keep up with the Joneses. It's more like, if we want to pay the mortgage on our house and all the rest of the bills, both of us need to work. My son has been in day care since he was born and after school care when he started school, and I honestly don't think that his education is that much lacking than someone who is homeschooled. Education is not just a teacher, it's the parents as well, and if the parents raise the child right and educate them in addition to the schooling, they should be upstanding citizens just like your homeschoolers.

  5. Hello Karen! I have not attacked your kid in particular. I have not questioned your parenting skills. I also stated that I do not hate regular school. Basically I did the same thing you did in your comment. I resented. I resent that we get treated the way we do.Maybe I am reading a tone into your comment that is not there in real live.We both should be happy that we love our lives the way they are! I think not a lot of people are that lucky!

  6. I can appreciate your rant. First, we hired a tutor to home school our kids, but that didn't really work out, so I did it myself for awhile and it IS hard. I found that my youngest really took to it and flourished, but my oldest had a harder time of it. She couldn't separate the mom from the teacher and it became frustrating for her. By 6th grade, it became evident that private or public school would be a better option for her. By the way, my children both tested advanced in just about every subject. I don't regret any of the choices we've made for our children. We feel that we changed as their needs changed and I think that's all you can really do. I had people testing my kids, too, and it's unfortunate that people are so judgmental, but as long as you know that you are doing what's right for them, that's what's important.And don't get me started on the manners and lack of respect children and teenagers have these days! I'm saddened that this has somehow become acceptable behavior in today's society. I raise my kids to show respect, use their manners at all times, to stand up for what they believe in and defend it, and to work hard for every penny. Thank you for the post.

  7. Thank you for your comment! I absolutely agree! The children are THE most important consideration when you think about homeschooling or not. It definitely is not for everybody, or every child. We had that "weird" period too, where my daughter and I had to get used to "Mom-mode" and "teacher mode". A clear distinction is not always easy or possible…Since we unschool that has become better… not so much stress on "doing it like school at home".Our children have the option every year. If they say they want to go to public school they are free to go. Once the school year starts they have to stay put though. (seeing things through) Glad you found your way!

  8. I know i’m commenting really late on this post, but I just now read it 🙂 We’ve been hs’ing Mikes daughter since she was in 6th grade, and she is now 16. It took her a few years to adjust to this, and those were pretty rough, but now, she loves the freedom she has in her schooling. She has a job, and she’s arranged her school schedule around that. We told her ‘school is the most important, if you can handle the job and get school done, you can keep the job’. As a result she does school on Sat morning. And as long as she keeps doing good work in school, I feel like her job is just as much a part of her education as her math book. She has to learn the responsibility’s of having a job, how to handle money. Make the choices – go to this friends house overnight when I just did school and worked all day. Most of the time she says no, that’s too much for me, and they figure out a weekend day.

    She reads ‘real’ books – Jane Eyre, Dante’s Inferno, Confessions by Ausgustine, Bewulf, Canterbury Tales, Shakespeare – instead of ‘fluffy’ books that don’t challenge the mind and are the easiest reading possible. Her favorite book? Jane Eyre. Odd for a junior in high school, I think. And she gets to read current authors, as long as I approve them. She desperately wants to read all of Steven Kings books – lol but so far, I’ve only allowed a few of them. She’s a good writer and has read his book on writing.

    She’s matured in ways I didn’t expect. You never have to tell her to do her chores, she does things around the house without being told (vacuuming etc) just because she realizes this is where we all live, and she needs to contribute.

    I know I’ve gone on and on, and didn’t mean to – I would just rather my child get a good education (we have a crappy school system) and be socialized by people of all ages and types – not her peers only. I’m 53 yrs old, I couldn’t handle another teenager acting like all the other teenagers! And, after 6 yrs, she’s finally gotten it in her head that I’m on her side and not out to get here, or here to ruin her fun. She’d understanding the reason we’ve disciplined her and at this stage, doesn’t repeat the indiscretion. I call that success.

    Hs’ing in right for us, doesn’t mean it is for everyone else. 🙂 Karen

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