Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Why is homeschooling so offensive to some? plus our 2013-2014 semi-homeschool plan

"I am a public school teacher, and have seen many students who are home schooled. There is nothing wrong with homeschooling, but do not homeschool your children every year. Learning to socialize with others is very important to becoming a good citizen.
The US Marines will not accepts any recruit who was home schooled or attended a charter high school. Harvard also does not accept students who were home schooled.."

Someone in my 'Byzantine Catholic' group on Facebook wrote this when I asked a question about latinization and someone commented that they use a certain book series to teach catechism to their children. So, the teacher felt the need to warn Facebook about home education even when education wasn't the topic at hand. Strong feelings. why? 

I don't discuss the negative aspects of my public education or recent test scores in public education unless someone asks my opinion directly. I hate confrontation, and anyway- I am not the authority on their life! But there is something about homeschooling. Perhaps we are offensive against the collective.

There is just something about homeschooling that gets people irritated and nervous. Click on the 'homeschool' label below for my other posts on homeschooling. It really bothers many people that my children are not obsessed with 'One Direction'- and next year they will be annoyed that my children are not obsessed with whichever group is popular. 

Last week, an older acquaintance asked me if my children were "in class with lots of children...you know...because you used to homeschool...." And I just said yes. He has no right to personal information and my children are in (supplemental) classes (and park day and church services and choir and dance) with "lots of children." We were in a crowd, and I really didn't feel like divulging the ins and outs of each child's education plan. 
I'll share it here because my readers deserve the truth! (these are my children's middle names...pronounce every letter Italian-style...)
Maria- 14 years old, 9th grade- public high school connected to local community college, weekly meeting with 'mentor teacher' required, mostly independent work at home, required to take one college class each semester. Fall semester, she will take 3 hours of college intermediate ballet and 3 hours of college level choir weekly. She'll continue 2 hours of contemporary ballet and Shakespeare class every week outside of 'school'
Carolina- 13 years old, 8th grade- charter school/ homeschool, monthly meeting with mentor teacher, independent work at home, This will be a simple year for her with just 2 hours of ballet, 2 hours contemporary and a Shakespeare class outside of the house
Grigore- 6 years old, 1st grade- charter school/homeschool , monthly meeting with mentor teacher, etc, etc...I haven't decided on his outside activities yet
Georgeta- 4 years old, preschool- independent work- tap class- folding dish clothes
All four children will have a weekly 'park day' to be with friends as well as church activities Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. I'll be teaching 4 evenings a week at the college. Our life is busy! 

But I didn't explain all this to the acquaintance  After I let him think that we will school traditionally, he breathed a sigh of relief  Even though he thinks my children are delightful and intelligent, he also thinks that homeschooling will leave them closed off from the world. They "must be OPEN to the world!!!" he exclaimed. His only child, recently out of jail, was conventionally-schooled, so he must be an expert. 

There are no guarantees with raising children; I just am curious why homeschooling is such a target. Heaven forbid if I judged anyone on conventionally-schooling their children!


  1. The reason I was drawn to homeschooling originally was because I noticed such a difference in the homeschooled kids I met. (I work at a school).

    When I approached one of the kids from our school, they'd avert their eyes; they might be polite, but talking to me clearly made them uncomfortable. The homeschooled kids would look me in the eye, and comfortably communicate with me. They didn't act like I was one "of the enemy".

    At parish events I'd see the homeschooled kids comfortably playing with younger children, chatting with adults, and [by their own motivation] volunteering to help out or clean up. Whereas the schooled kids would stick with the kids they knew from class, and if no one from their grade level was there, they'd sit and sullenly act out "being bored".

    From my point of view, school is an abnormal social situation never to be experienced again. Children need to learn to communicate and interact with people of ALL AGES.

    1. Annie- this is a big thing for me, too- after last Saturday's vigil, we had a dinner to celebrate a parishioner's wedding anniversary- my six year old son greeted everybody and then sat with a 'stranger' (of course- I was observing)...it isn't just personality, my kids have more experience with people of many ages

  2. You're son was a joy to interact with, even though he says he's too shy.

  3. The post that was made on FB is wrong! Not only does the Marines accept homes chooled children but Harvard recruits them actively! Why? Because statistically home schooled kids achieve higher test scores, they have better study habits, they know how to think and reason, and they are traditionally more polite, respectful of authority and caring about the possessions of others. I have five sons, all schooled at home K-12, who entered various branches of the military. Though none are Marines one did look into it and was looked favorably upon by the Marine recruiter.

    Stick to your guns!

    1. Yes, the Marine Corps doesn't have a way to recruit them, since they don't go to the cafeteria like students at regular high schools where recruiters often go.
      Now, homeschoolers might have higher test scores, but that is the only thing everyone has in common. Everyone's curriculum, even in public school, is slightly different with advanced classes and special programs and the like.

    2. Not everyone has higher test scores in common. My homeschooler currently tests in the bottom half of the nation wide national-religious testing. I don't expect that will actually change significantly. When he will be tested with the secular group, I expect him to be even lower in the testing range.

    3. One problem with test scores I have seen with some homeschoolers/charterschoolers- they don't really care! They don't 'teach to the test'

    4. auntie- FIVE sons in the military???? You are a special mom

  4. I think most people get their ideas about homeschooling of the very visible homeschool advocates, like the Maxwells, ATI families etc. I would say, if the Maxwells' isolationist, minimal education, no tertiary education, stay-at-home daughter ideals and lifestyle was the norm for homeschooling, I'd have an issue with it, too.

    The extremes are much more visible than the average homeschoolers.

    1. very true!

      I would never be one of those stay-at-home daughters-type...but I have a little sympathy now that my oldest is 14....maybe we can have a gap year and live in Romania for a year before the first two go off to university???? ;)

  5. My opinion about homeschooling has changed over the years. I never knew it existed until I ran into a bunch of homeschool moms on a conservative Catholic moms email list. That's where I first learned that I was an awful mom because I worked and put my kids in daycare. I saw moms whose online persona was such that I wouldn't trust them to babysit my kids (life was one crisis after another over what seemed to me to be nothings--these gals looked like they had no real life, they were all wrapped up in having babies and spending time on the computer)and they were refusing to expose their kids to outside influences. They saw any attempt to regulate homeschooling as a threat, and frankly, I was concerned about their kids getting a decent education or being prepared for life in general. Over the years I've still never met a homeschooling mom in real life but I've "met" plenty who seem like intelligent competent people with logical reasons for choosing to homeschool.

    1. thanks for commenting, RAnn!

      I think like everything there is a big mix of people with homeschooling- we even have a 'pagan' (yes, truly) park day- lovely moms and kids, but I am not going to shoehorn that activity into our week. We see them as part of Shakespeare class, but I'm not going to go out of my way to cultivate those relationships (they probably feel the same way about me!)

  6. You said:
    There are no guarantees with raising children; I just am curious why homeschooling is such a target. Heaven forbid if I judged anyone on conventionally-schooling their children!

    Funny you should say that. I was just discussing that very question with my own home schooled children the day before. We were wondering why, even though prisons are filled with poorly socialized products of the public schools, everyone questions the socialization of the well behaved homeschooler. ??? We don't get it.

    I guess if my children were to begin to sleep around, get pregnant out of wedlock, or get some young lady pregnant out of wedlock, start drinking heavily and talk like drunken sailors, or if I had to bail them out of jail. Then they would be considered well socialized. No thanks!

    Keep up the good work!


    De Maria

  7. My husband used to be a public school teacher and had a very poor view of homeschooling. The reason public school teachers tend to have such a low view of homeschooling is that they generally see the abysmal failures show up in class. My husband once had a girl in the 8th grade who had been homeschooled up to that point and she couldn't do basic arithmetic. They see the really tragic situations where a child's education has been totally ignored and then paint with a broad brush. We have since met a variety of homeschooling families and he thinks quite highly of it now and views the cases he saw in school as the tragic exceptions that they are.


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