June 2, 2009

Unbelievable Gall

I found an article today, via some other homeschooler's blogs, that just screams gall, and makes me ill. Ill to think that the woman writing this is a teacher. I can't imagine the impact she is having on the students she teaches, with such hate in her heart.

I am posting the full article below, with a link at the bottom to her actual blog. My comments on each point that she makes are in red, after her each of her 10 points.

The Case Against Homeschooling

By JESSE SCACCIA

Homeschooling: great for self-aggrandizing, society-phobic mother…… but not quite so good for the kid.

Here are my top ten reasons why homeschooling parents are doing the wrong thing:

10. “You were totally home schooled” is an insult college kids use when mocking the geeky kid in the dorm (whether or not the offender was home schooled or not). And… say what you will… but it doesn’t feel nice to be considered an outsider, a natural outcropping of being homeschooled. (So, because the kid might be an individual, thinking for himself in college and life in general, he should not homeschool because he might get teased by immature college students? This makes NO sense.)

9. Call me old-fashioned, but a students’ classroom shouldn’t also be where they eat Fruit Loops and meat loaf (not at the same time I hope). It also shouldn’t be where the family gathers to watch American Idol or to play Wii. Students–from little ones to teens–deserve a learning-focused place to study. In modern society, we call them schools. (Her opinion is FAR from Old Fashioned. As is proven by history, until the early 1900's, all children did learn where they ate, slept, and interacted with their families.)

8. Homeschooling is selfish. According to this article in USA Today, students who get homeschooled are increasingly from wealthy and well-educated families. To take these (I’m assuming) high achieving students out of our schools is a disservice to our less fortunate public school kids. Poorer students with less literate parents are more reliant on peer support and motivation, and they greatly benefit from the focus and commitment of their richer and higher achieving classmates. (I was a public school child from a family that was not well off. It did nothing for me, and had I known about homeschooling as a child, I would have begged for it. It would have saved me the taunting and bullying I endured. Having the "perfect" kids lauded over your head does NOTHING for your self esteem, or motivation. And the finances of your parents have NOTHING to do with how you make out in life. My parents both worked, but were not wealthy by any means...we would have been considered low-middle class to poor. They were not less literate, matter of fact, they are the ones who instilled my passion for reading in me.)

7. God hates homeschooling. The study, done by the National Center for Education Statistics, notes that the most common reason parents gave as the most important was a desire to provide religious or moral instruction. To the homeschooling Believers out there, didn’t God say “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations”? Didn’t he command, “Ye shall be witnesses unto me”? From my side, to take your faithful children out of schools is to miss an opportunity to spread the grace, power and beauty of the Lord to the common people. (Personally I’m agnostic, but I’m just saying…)(This woman admits to being agnostic, but she is trying to quote the Bible as evidence????)

6. Homeschooling parent/teachers are arrogant to the point of lunacy. For real! My qualifications to teach English include a double major in English and education, two master’s degrees (education and journalism), a student teaching semester and multiple internship terms, real world experience as a writer, and years in the classroom dealing with different learning styles. So, first of all, homeschooling parent, you think you can teach English as well as me? Well, maybe you can. I’ll give you that. But there’s no way that you can teach English as well as me, and biology as well as a trained professional, and history… and Spanish… and art… and counsel for college as well as a school’s guidance counselor… and… and… (Just because you have a ton of degrees doesn't make you smart, if you cannot recognize what works for each individual child and their learning styles.)

5. As a teacher, homeschooling kind of pisses me off. (That’s good enough for #5.)(Well, isn't that just a shame!)

4. Homeschooling could breed intolerance, and maybe even racism. Unless the student is being homeschooled at the MTV Real World house, there’s probably only one race/sexuality/background in the room. How can a young person learn to appreciate other cultures if he or she doesn’t live among them?(Again, this woman rails against homeschooling, insulting the people who choose this option for their kids.....isn't that intolerance?!?!)

3. And don’t give me this “they still participate in activities with public school kids” garbage. Socialization in our grand multi-cultural experiment we call America is a process that takes more than an hour a day, a few times a week. Homeschooling, undoubtedly, leaves the child unprepared socially.(Every single homeschooling child I have ever met, from the youngest to the oldest, has had more of a social adeptness than any other children I know. They can carry on very intelligent conversations with children their own age, as well as adults of all ages, on a multitude of subjects. This includes the ability to voice an opinion respectfully, not just regurgitate what they have been told)

2. Homeschooling parents are arrogant, Part 2. According to Henry Cate, who runs the Why Homeschool blog, many highly educated, high-income parents are “probably people who are a little bit more comfortable in taking risks” in choosing a college or line of work. “The attributes that facilitate that might also facilitate them being more comfortable with home-schooling.”

More comfortable taking risks with their child’s education? Gamble on, I don’t know, the Superbowl, not your child’s future. (With the abundance of violence, and lack of compassion in the public school system, isn't that environment risking our children? There are risks in all of life, in every situation. But being able to help the child deal with those situations, as a homeschooling parent, helps to prepare them better for life.)

1. And finally… have you met someone homeschooled? Not to hate, but they do tend to be pretty geeky***. (Again, who is the intolerant one????)

*** Please see the comments for thoughts on the word ‘geeky.’ But, in general, to be geeky connotes a certain inability to integrate and communicate in diverse social situations. Which, I would argue, is a likely result of being educated in an environment without peers. It’s hard to get by in such a diverse world as ours! And the more people you can hang out with the more likely you are to succeed, both in work life and real life.

One last note, to those homeschooling parents out there: it’s clear from the number and passion of your responses that TeacherRevised is missing an important voice in the teaching community. If any of you are interesting in writing for us, send me an email: jessescaccia@gmail.com. I would love to have you as part of our conversation.


Now, I should not have let this get to me. I should give it to God, and I am going to. But I could not let her ignorance go unanswered. Here is the link to her blog, and the actual article. And you can find her other post, responding to all the comments she got on the first one she wrote, here.

2 comments:

  1. Stephanie - this woman's post was awful - she and my SIL should get together and compare notes. Said SIL was quite adamant that we are destroying our children's lives by homeschooling them, that all productive homeschoolers were homeschooled centuries ago (including Albert Einstein), and so on. Just awful, hateful comments. I hope at some point both of these women learn better, but I don't hold out much hope.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Laurie,
    I couldn't agree more about holding out hope, but I feel we must. By showing this woman for who she is (an intolerant, and hateful person), we are showing even more reason to homeschool.
    Thanks for stopping by:)

    ReplyDelete

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