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Grizzly Mama

There's a Grizzly who has escaped the City of Brotherly Love..(and she's going back to homeschooling!!)

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Location: Out of Philly, Pennsylvania, United States

"All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth." Aristotle - Greek Philosopher.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Bitter Homeschooler's Wish List

By Deborah Markus, from Secular Homeschooling Magazine, Issue #1, Fall 2007, and thanks to Tweetey for sending this list to me.

*1 - Please stop asking us if it's legal. If it is — and it is — it's insulting to imply that we're criminals. And if we were criminals, would we admit it?

*2 - Learn what the words "socialize" and "socialization" mean, and use the one you really mean instead of mixing them up the way you do now. Socializing means hanging out with other people for fun. Socialization means having acquired the skills necessary to do so successfully and pleasantly. If you're talking to me and my kids, that means that we do in fact go outside now and then to visit the other human beings on the planet, and you can safely assume that we've got a decent grasp of both concepts.

*3 - Quit interrupting my kid at her dance lesson, scout meeting, choir practice, baseball game, art class, field trip, park day, music class, 4H club, or soccer lesson to ask her if as a homeschooler she ever gets to socialize.

*4 - Don't assume that every homeschooler you meet is homeschooling for the same reasons and in the same way as that one homeschooler you know.

*5 - If that homeschooler you know is actually someone you saw on TV, either on the news or on a "reality" show, the above goes double.

*6 - Please stop telling us horror stories about the homeschoolers you know, know of, or think you might know who ruined their lives by homeschooling. You're probably the same little bluebird of happiness whose hobby is running up to pregnant women and inducing premature labor by telling them every ghastly birth story you've ever heard. We all hate you, so please go away.

*7 - We don't look horrified and start quizzing your kids when we hear they're in public school. Please stop drilling our children like potential oil fields to see if we're doing what you consider an adequate job of homeschooling.

*8 - Stop assuming all homeschoolers are religious.

*9 - Stop assuming that if we're religious, we must be homeschooling for religious reasons.

*10 - We didn't go through all the reading, learning, thinking, weighing of options, experimenting, and worrying that goes into homeschooling just to annoy you. Really. This was a deeply personal decision, tailored to the specifics of our family. Stop taking the bare fact of our being homeschoolers as either an affront or a judgment about your own educational decisions.

*11 - Please stop questioning my competency and demanding to see my credentials. I didn't have to complete a course in catering to successfully cook dinner for my family; I don't need a degree in teaching to educate my children. If spending at least twelve years in the kind of chew-it-up-and-spit-it-out educational facility we call public school left me with so little information in my memory banks that I can't teach the basics of an elementary education to my nearest and dearest, maybe there's a reason I'm so reluctant to send my child to school.

*12 - If my kid's only six and you ask me with a straight face how I can possibly teach him what he'd learn in school, please understand that you're calling me an idiot. Don't act shocked if I decide to respond in kind.

*13 - Stop assuming that because the word "home" is right there in "homeschool," we never leave the house. We're the ones who go to the amusement parks, museums, and zoos in the middle of the week and in the off-season and laugh at you because you have to go on weekends and holidays when it's crowded and icky.

*14 - Stop assuming that because the word "school" is right there in homeschool, we must sit around at a desk for six or eight hours every day, just like your kid does. Even if we're into the "school" side of education — and many of us prefer a more organic approach — we can burn through a lot of material a lot more efficiently, because we don't have to gear our lessons to the lowest common denominator.

*15 - Stop asking, "But what about the Prom?" Even if the idea that my kid might not be able to indulge in a night of over-hyped, over-priced revelry was enough to break my heart, plenty of kids who do go to school don't get to go to the Prom. For all you know, I'm one of them. I might still be bitter about it. So go be shallow somewhere else.

*16 - Don't ask my kid if she wouldn't rather go to school unless you don't mind if I ask your kid if he wouldn't rather stay home and get some sleep now and then.

*17 - Stop saying, "Oh, I could never homeschool!" Even if you think it's some kind of compliment, it sounds more like you're horrified. One of these days, I won't bother disagreeing with you any more.

*18 - If you can remember anything from chemistry or calculus class, you're allowed to ask how we'll teach these subjects to our kids. If you can't, thank you for the reassurance that we couldn't possibly do a worse job than your teachers did, and might even do a better one.

*19 - Stop asking about how hard it must be to be my child's teacher as well as her parent. I don't see much difference between bossing my kid around academically and bossing him around the way I do about everything else.

*20 - Stop saying that my kid is shy, outgoing, aggressive, anxious, quiet, boisterous, argumentative, pouty, fidgety, chatty, whiny, or loud because he's homeschooled. It's not fair that all the kids who go to school can be as annoying as they want to without being branded as representative of anything but childhood.

*21 - Quit assuming that my kid must be some kind of prodigy because she's homeschooled.

*22 - Quit assuming that I must be some kind of prodigy because I homeschool my kids.

*23 - Quit assuming that I must be some kind of saint because I homeschool my kids.

*24 - Stop talking about all the great childhood memories my kids won't get because they don't go to school, unless you want me to start asking about all the not-so-great childhood memories you have because you went to school.

*25 - Here's a thought: If you can't say something nice about homeschooling, shut up!

Oh - whoever came up with this list - Thank You! I think it just about covers everything. I have run into SO many people who have SO many misconceptions about homeschoolers. It's gotten to the point that the girls and I just bust out laughing at people when they say some of this stuff. I have also run into plenty of people who take our decision to homeschool as a personal judgement of their decision to send their kids to public school.

I do get tired of listening to this stuff sometimes.


Blogger Abouna said...

Of course you can always tell some of those people that by homeschooling your kids you don't have to worry about them getting pregnant, shot or shooting someone else, being given birth control pills or getting abortions, you know, all that "good stuff" that goes along with a public school education.

Yes, I have heard of the Redeomptorist priests? They are a teaching order of priests in the Roman Catholic Church. I believe they may have been founded in Germany.

12 November, 2007 01:06  
Blogger Abouna said...

Sorry, I was wrong, the Redemptorists were founded by Saint Alphonsus Liguori, in 1732 in Italy. This order first came to The U.S.in 1832. They are an order of priests and brothers, whose main mission is to spread the Gospel by going among the poor and homeless. They also have an Order of nuns.

12 November, 2007 01:17  
Blogger MonicaR said...

Well - those things you mention avoiding by foregoing a public education would be considered a plus by some of the leftys I know. lol.

Thanks for the info about the Redemptorists. Our new parish is staffed by Redemptorist priests. I had never heard of them before. This parish is very active and spiritual which is something I'm not used to. lol. I like it, though. In fact I think it's wonderful. Many of the parishes that we've belonged to over the years have been very dry and coldish, in a way.

12 November, 2007 01:24  
Blogger tweetey30 said...

You are so welcome. I got this from a Home Schooling Group I joined about two months ago but havent been in contact with because I cant go to the activities they have because we only have one car for the moment.

12 November, 2007 12:18  
Blogger tshsmom said...

Gee, this post looks oddly familiar. heehee

The worst person we have ever encountered in this regard was Z's former psychologist. Z started having anxiety attacks because she kept insisting that Z HAD to return to public school to be "socialized".

12 November, 2007 17:20  
Blogger J_G said...

I admire you greatly Monica for homeschooling your children. I have no doubt that your children will have a well rounded education and will become responsible, learned and exceptionally sociable adults. If I had children I certainly wouldn't waste their time and mine by sending them to a public school. I would probably opt for a Christian private school or home school.

I did have to laugh at the line in #1 though...And if we were criminals, would we admit it?
I got a good laugh from that line.

12 November, 2007 21:34  
Blogger MonicaR said...

Tweetey - I hope that you are able to participate soon. I know that if *I* were in that group, I would be more than happy to come and pick you and the girls up.

OMG, tshsmom. The thought of that just almost makes me want to hurl. The list really is quite accurate, wouldn't you say? I thought I was the only one who had to listen to that garbage.

Jennifer - I am glad that you enjoyed it and thanks for commenting. Thanks so much for supporting our decision. It means a lot and I appreciate it.

13 November, 2007 20:25  
Blogger Mr. Grey Ghost said...

This list is both funny & effective, should definitely put to rest any stereotypes about homeschooling.

14 November, 2007 17:35  
Blogger MonicaR said...

I sure do hope so, Mr. Grey Ghost. I'm not sure though. Last year a friend of mine desribed my kids as 'isolated', in spite of the fact that they're involved in so many activities that we don't know which way is up sometimes. Her kids? They go to school. That's it.

15 November, 2007 22:40  

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