Monday, January 17, 2011

Homeschooling as a Form of Child Abuse

I have been asked by several people to share my opinions on homeschooling. Well, what can I say about this atrocious practice that cripples children socially and intellectually in order to serve the needs of fanatically religious, racist, or socially unadapted parents? When I first heard about this practice, I couldn't believe that a civilized country would allow such a huge percentage of children to be deprived of the benefits of secondary education. A free, all-inclusive system of compulsory primary and secondary education is one of the most crucial inventions of the Enlightenment. The enlightened thinkers of the 18th century see a human being as a work in progress, as a project of self-betterment and acquisition of knowledge. In order to be good citizens and full-fledged human beings, we need to engage in a constant process of getting educated.

Homeschooling parents, however, couldn't care less about their children's well-being and whether these kids will be able to inscribe themselves into a society inspired by the ideals of the Enlightenment*. All they want is to cannibalize their children's existences in order to conceal from themselves their own grievous incapacity to participate in everything our society has to offer. Such parents are lost in the stream of changes that accompanies our transition to modernity. They are confused by and terrified of everything that's going on around them and wish to make their children feel as miserable, confused and unadapted as they do.

Parents who homeschool can be subdivided into three groups** which can, of course, overlap:
  1. Religious fanatics who don't want their children to be "contaminated" by the secular beliefs of their classmates and teachers. Obviously, these people have no faith in their own religion if they think that it's so easy to tempt their kids away from it. If you need to lock yourself up at home to avoid temptation, you must find said temptation to be extremely attractive.
  2. Racists who hate the idea of desegregation. These folks (I don't really want to call them "people" because racism, in my opinion, makes one less than human) only homeschool because their racism drives them in everything they do. Who cares if their children grow up to me maladjusted, unintelligent, intellectually challenged little racists? As long as there are no black or brown people around them, the racists have achieved their goal.
  3. Bored housewives who need to justify their lack of occupation. It's really paradoxical that the process of educating children should often be entrusted to people who failed most signally in terms of academic achievement and socialization. Taking into account that housewives are also the group that suffers the most from depression, we have a sad picture of kids being taught by somebody who is perennially depressed, is not developing intellectually (reading Nora Roberts doesn't count as intellectual development) and has failed to achieve anything professionally or socially.
Homeschooled children are disadvantaged in a variety of ways. They are robbed of academic success because all they are taught to do is answer the inane questions of standardized tests like trained little monkeys. All such tests achieve is stunting intellectual development. Proponents of homeschooling tout the homeschooled kids' capacity to succeed on these standardized tests as one of the advantages of homeschooling. Their lack of intelligence prevents them from realizing that this skill is just as valuable as knowing how to jump through hoops. Which I'm sure their miserable children also know how to do really well. Deprived of a chance to learn how to take initiative, these kids are nothing but little, brainwashed parent-pleasers.

Students who attend school can counterbalance the stupefying effects of standardized tests with the help of everything else that is available to them at school (discussions with classmates and teachers, listening and responding to the opinions of others, development of critical skills). None of this is within the reach of a child locked up at home with a religious fanatic, a racist or an unfulfilled housewife. I'm sure nobody will argue that representatives of these groups end up being the most authoritarian parents you can imagine. Their poor children get no opportunities to learn to form opinions of their own, let alone express them.

Of course, children don't go to school only to acquire knowledge. School prepares us for the workplace and helps us build our social identities. There is a plethora of daily situations, conflicts, issues among students and teachers, students and administrators, students of different age groups, etc. that a regular student has to negotiate and resolve on a daily basis. These social skills are crucial to one's success in the workplace. You can't stick a person into college at 18 and expect them to catch up in terms of social skills that normal children acquire over 12 formative years of their lives. Being in school differs from any other interactions that can be offered to homeschooled children in that it is structured, it involves discipline, responsibility, dealing with authority, a schedule.

Parents who homeschool for racist, fanatical or selfish reasons that I listed here are incapable of seeing their children as separate human beings. Their kids are nothing but objects who are expected to serve the parents' egotistical needs. As a result, homeschooled children are crippled intellectually and socially. If this isn't abusive, then I don't know what is.

* If you don't know why the US is the most successful of all enlightened projects, then I'm guessing you were homeschooled by an ignorant parent.

** Of course, there are also cases of disabled children who live in areas with no access to schools for children with disabilities. These are legitimate cases of homeschooling that are caused by an obvious lack of other options. Ideally, we will see our schools, universities and workplaces become more accessible to people with disabilities but, unfortunately, it will take a lot of time to see that happening.

320 comments:

1 – 200 of 320   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

Agreed, except I would add that I know kids who have been homeschooled simply because they had to be taken out of school. One boy went to secondary school and was bullied horribly there-plus it wasn't a great school, academically.

The other schools in the area are similar or worse, so he was homeschooled for a few years. Now taking his GCSEs, he goes to a tutor group to help him there.

He is a very well adjusted boy, and I would argue that in cases like that homeschooling can be beneficial. Obviously this is anecdotal evidence, but it's a case for the benefits of homeschooling, for what it's worth.

Anonymous said...

"The enlightened thinkers of the 18th century see a human being as a work in progress, as a project of self-betterment and acquisition of knowledge."

I love this statement so much. Its so true, thank you for this.

However you realise that with this your setting your self up to receive some very angry comments of the tired and predictable "I was home schooled and it never did me and harm" variety?

2020

Clarissa said...

At least, the first two comments in the thread are intelligent and well-informed, so that's good. :-)

I'm very well-aware that there will be angry comments and loud repudiations of me on other blogs. What can I do? I seem doomed to that no matter what I say. :-) Sometimes it feels like even if I just blog about the weather, it will still make some people angry.

Shannon Drury said...

Oh, dear. You had me until you generalized all housewives as folks who have "failed to achieve anything professionally or socially." I agree that school is not merely a place to acquire knowledge; it is where we learn to get along with people who are different, including Aspies like yourself and my own handsome son, whom I tend as his at-home parent.

Now, as a well-read, snobbily educated, and politically active housewife, of course I will object to your portrayal of housewives as socially inept depressives. I object to those who assume that my Aspie child is a robotic savant, incapable of being hurt when told he's retarded.

In my feminist work, I spend most of my political action dispelling the myth of the so-called mommy wars. I understand that in previous posts you've put forth a (to put it mildly) negative view of women who "choose" unpaid caregiving work. Many women I know felt hamstrung by high daycare fees, inflexible work schedules and and the cold hard facts of pay inequity and felt that work opted-out of them, not the other way around. To pit working moms against caregiving moms is to avoid an honest conversation about entrenched inequality.

In my feminist action, I'm trying to complete the revolution that began in the second wave with women entering paid work--I feel that MEN should be entering unpaid care work. The job of caring for children will be valued and remunerated once men start doing it in large numbers. Feminist waves come and go, but children are still being born and they still require someone to care for them.

But back to the homeschool thing! I agree with you. Public schooling should be mandatory for each and every kid. I was furious when the Obamas put their girls in private school. It is utter hypocrisy to expound upon the value of strong public education....then, forgive the phrase, opt-out of it. And homeschooling is just nuts. Nuts.

Skipper Seaborne said...

This reads like a rant from someone who doesn't actually know anything about homeschooling--only has an opinion about it, which is based on...something. I can't tell what. Not homeschooling demographics, not homeschoolers' test results, not even anecdotal evidence. Nothing evident here but pure, uninformed bias. Aside from an avenue for venting, it serves no purpose other than to make the author look ignorant.

The most laughable is that if one substitutes "school" for "homeschool" in this piece, it would then be fairly true.

Don't worry about my homeschooled kids being properly socialized. At least once a week I corner them in the bathroom, beat them up and steal their lunch money.

(That was a joke.)

Anonymous said...

The post deserves no comment aside from the notation that it is purely the negative opinion of someone who knows nothing about homeschooling. "Homeschooling is just a bad idea because I say it's a bad idea!" Ohhhhkaaaaay.

Clarissa said...

In a similar line of reasoning, how can anybody say that pedophilia is wrong if they have never had sex with a child? Those idiots, how dare they condemn it when they have had no experience with it?

Bridget C said...

I guess you will count this as your first angry response. But I'm not angry with you. I feel sorry for you.

You said, "The enlightened thinkers of the 18th century see a human being as a work in progress, as a project of self-betterment and acquisition of knowledge. In order to be good citizens and full-fledged human beings, we need to engage in a constant process of getting educated"
I could not agree more, which is exactly why I chose to homeschool my three children.

You see, in our current school system, our children are learning that learning is no fun. It is drudgery to be endured before real life begins. By the time those children are released from compulsory schooling, the last thing they want to do is continue learning, because they have such a warped idea of what learning is.

Oh, and BTW, I worked while I was homeschooling, I'm not a racist, and I'm agnostic. None of your quaint little categories apply to me. And as for my kids, they are all adults now and view the world as an adventure to be had and see a world of things to explore and learn about.

As for the rest of your diatribe, it is full of so many laughable assumptions, it is hard to know where to begin with them. My kids are not extensions of me; they are very much individual human beings and were from day one. They were only cataloged and classified as something else for the few years they were in public school, where they were lumped together with many others and called the same. We were not cooped up at home all day with no social interaction. My kids learned science by exploring the world with their friends in tow. They learned to write so they could communicate with those friends over great distances. They learned to socialize with people of many different ages and socio-economic statuses. I am constantly amazed by how self-assured they are when meeting new people - they have none of the timidity I learned in school.

Ah, and standardized tests - it is not the homeschooling community who pushes these tests. We do tend to gloat about how well our kids do on them, but that is because our kids do well on them without studying for them. We don't actually care much for or about them. We take them as a hoop to jump through to continue homeschooling because various states require it. Unlike the schools, we don't consider them a measure of academic performance at all.

I recommend you broaden your horizons a tad. Get out into the world and meet a variety of homeschoolers, and learn a little more about us before you try to write about us again.

Bridget C said...

Part 1

I guess you will count this as an angry response. But I'm not angry with you. I feel sorry for you.
You said, "The enlightened thinkers of the 18th century see a human being as a work in progress, as a project of self-betterment and acquisition of knowledge. In order to be good citizens and full-fledged human beings, we need to engage in a constant process of getting educated"
I could not agree more, which is exactly why I chose to homeschool my three children.

You see, in our current school system, our children are learning that learning is no fun. It is drudgery to be endured before real life begins. By the time those children are released from compulsory schooling, the last thing they want to do is continue learning, because they have such a warped idea of what learning is.

Oh, and BTW, I worked while I was homeschooling, I'm not a racist, and I'm agnostic. None of your quaint little categories apply to me. And as for my kids, they are all adults now and view the world as an adventure to be had and see a world of things to explore and learn about.

Bridget C said...

Part 2

As for the rest of your diatribe, it is full of so many laughable assumptions, it is hard to know where to begin with them. My kids are not extensions of me; they are very much individual human beings and were from day one. They were only cataloged and classified as something else for the few years they were in public school, where they were lumped together with many others and called the same. We were not cooped up at home all day with no social interaction. My kids learned science by exploring the world with their friends in tow. They learned to write so they could communicate with those friends over great distances. They learned to socialize with people of many different ages and socio-economic statuses. I am constantly amazed by how self-assured they are when meeting new people - they have none of the timidity I learned in school.

Ah, and standardized tests - it is not the homeschooling community who pushes these tests. We do tend to gloat about how well our kids do on them, but that is because our kids do well on them without studying for them. We don't actually care much for or about them. We take them as a hoop to jump through to continue homeschooling because various states require it. Unlike the schools, we don't consider them a measure of academic performance at all.

I recommend you broaden your horizons a tad. Get out into the world and meet a variety of homeschoolers, and learn a little more about us before you try to write about us again.

Clarissa said...

It will be very nice if people make an effort not to post the same comment five times in a row. It's such a drag to moderate them. Just give the comment a second to go through moderation, and it will appear.

Also, sometimes I sleep, or use the bathroom, etc. and can't moderate the comments for a while. So you'll have to wait.

I promise, though, that everybody's comments will appear eventually, as soon as I get to my BlackBerry.

Bridget C said...

I posted the second time with my comments split in two because the first time your lovely system generated an error message telling me my post was too large. Apparently, that was just an editorial comment from the system and not an indication that it didn't go through the first time.

Feel free to delete the dups and query your provider as to why the message gets generate if the post is going to post anyway.

Clarissa said...

Actually, I wasn't even addressing you but thanks for illustrating how aggressive and inadequate homeschoolers are.

Bridget C said...

Ummmm . . . two things.

1. How can we be aggressive if we are all SAHM suffering from depression and a crippling inability to leave our houses?

2. When you complain about a phenomenon demonstrated directly above your complaint, and the person attempts to explain, criticizing them for the explanation by claiming you weren't talking about them makes you look foolish and petty. Probably not the image you want to project.

Clarissa said...

Depressed, self-castrated people cannot be aggressive?? Since when?

As to the rest, let's stop guessing at what image I do or do not want to "project", whatever I mean, ok? That's tiresome and meaningless.

wanderlust said...

Of topic question from a foreigner -- Is heavy bullying in American schools real or is it just a stereotype?

I went to school in India and was a shy and socially inept child. However, I was never bullied. Not even once. The teachers too care of that. Why isn't it the same in America?

Clarissa said...

Good question! In my culture there is A LOT of really horrible bullying in the schools, so I'd like to know what it depends on too.

Anonymous said...

This is one of the most hilarious pieces of non-fiction I have read in a long time. It is so easy to let the words flow when you don't have to do any research to back up your statements. I thoroughly enjoyed this satire on homeschooling! I, as a homeschooler, am very comfortable with my decision so this article does nothing but affirm this. I am going off to enjoy some fun time with my homeschooled children. You see, we are 3000 miles away from home now. I can do this because we homeschool. We have not missed a day of academics during this trip. Both through our books AND our experiences. I am not looking forward to getting back home with my "unsocialized" children because I will need to get back to gymnastics, scouts, soccer, piano lessons, music, art, Spanish, fieldtrips and a variety of other things my children choose to do inside the "bubble" I trap them in. I will make sure to teach my children to have compassion for those who are not as fortunate as they are because their parents are too selfish to homeschool them and don't have the desire to make their well-being their TOP priority!

Shan Burton said...

Clarissa -

Thank you! My husband and children are having their weekly night out together, and the house was quiet without their laughter.

This blogpost was, as my 6.5yo daughter would gleefully declare, "Hil-AIR-ious!".

On a more serious note, I'm asking you to prove what you've written with actual anecdotal or empirical evidence. Also, because I'm not sure you have any actual understanding of what a life lived without school can be, I offer you my blog, The Unfettered Life, which is like a glimpse into our busy, untidy, inquisitive, rampantly joyous life out there in that real world the schoolkids their ages won't get to exist in for many years, yet. There are many links leading from there to the blogs of other homeschoolers, so you can explore multiple families' homeschool experiences.

www.memismommy.blogspot.com

Clarissa said...

It's kind of really rude to try to promote one's own blog in this way without being asked to, but what can you expect from unsocialized, self-centered housewives who have no idea how to interact with people?

I've never had a bunch of people pushing their own blogs so unashamedly in any other thread.

Anonymous said...

You sound scared by the idea you don't have the slightest idea what completely unfounded venom filled rhetoric you just spewed. No one is driving people to their blog, they are offering you a glimpse into their world. They're nicer than I am. You don't deserve the rather kind ways homeschooling parents are trying to pull your head out of the orifice it is so pleasured at being stuck in.

Clarissa said...

The last comment is facetious, right? I mean, real people don't write like this, do they? At least, not while sober. :-) :-)

Come on, friend, do some more of that. It's just too good. :-) :-) :-)

Anonymous said...

What a hateful, ignorant, generalizing and juvenile post!

It appears that you, in fact, are the one lacking socialization, as you do not seem to know any real home schoolers, or to have made an effort to get out in the real world, where you would certainly meet some. Because that is where home schoolers are to be found - out in the real world.

I won't condescend to correct all of the erroneous and ridiculous statements you have made. However, I find that this post discredits the entirety of your blog, as you seem quite ready to spew forth a tirade of ignorance without distinguishing between subjects on which you are actually an authority and those which you have never experienced in your life.

- Mary, home school mother of 2 well-adjusted, intelligent, well-read, tolerant, social and adventurous children.

Clarissa said...

Ok, Mary, do you also believe that I need to be personally acquainted with many pedophiles, for example, to know that pedophilia is wrong? Do I need to hang out with cannibals to condemn cannibalism?

Please try to think for a moment because your argument is too inane to be taken seriously.

Anonymous said...

The last comment was truth. Plain and simple. Why not check out their blogs after they kindly invited you instead of throwing the equivalent of temper tantrum?

I am quite sober, thanks. I just find your opinings to be comparatively worthy of watching a trainwreck. It is what it is, friend. ;-)

Clarissa said...

"I just find your opinings to be comparatively worthy of watching a trainwreck" is really priceless. Good job! Would you be willing to share where you learned to write like this? I'm very curious!

Of course, I'm not going to waste my valuable time on reading unintelligent, unpopular blogs filled with ramblings of semi-literate hysterical housewives. They are leaving samples of their writing right here, and it's very unappealing.

Carol said...

I realize that I run the risk of being labelled a depressive/lazy/high-strung/antisocial housewife (without you actually knowing anything about who or what I am) but I must encourage you to broaden your social sphere. Attacking groups of people you know nothing about might be easy, but getting to know people whose perspectives differ from yours might be enlightening. I have a feeling that your irrational anger belies a fear of the unknown.

Anonymous said...

Probably more than the uniformed opinion you have shared regarding home schooling, I am more offended by your claim of Asperger's Syndrome. As the parent of three children (out of 8) on the spectrum ranging from mild to severe, I get so offended by those using the dx de jour to excuse their rude, narrow minded behavior. I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that you weren't dxed until adulthood, and likely by someone who (guess what?) "specializes" in dxing adults with Asperger's. It just gripes me the way everyone has Asperger's these days when I have been battling in the trenches with real autism for the past 20+ years. Sorry, but I give little credence to anything you choose to complain about, much less something you obviously know nothing about. The fact that you would compare that to knowing something about pedophilia to know it's bad is the most ludicrous thing I've ever heard...

Clarissa said...

And now they have started speaking a language of their own. . .

I have no idea what "dxing" means in your world, but I'm pretty sure I never engaged in it.

I also wonder where people found any mention of Asperger's in this post. Are you seeing little green creatures too? Or hearing their voices?

This is proving to be even more hilarious than I expected. :-) :-)

David said...

lulz Sounds like jealousy to me. Who's going to want to have kids with someone who looks like a mentally retarded toad, much less have them mentally scarred by staying at home with you ?

Anonymous said...

Homeschooling parents care more about their children's well-being than whether their kids will be able to inscribe themselves into a society inspired by the ideals of factory managers. All they want is to give their children a broader existence and opportunities to participate in everything life has to offer. Such parents are not lost in the stream of changes that accompanies our transition to modernity. They understand everything that's going on around them and hope their children never feel as miserable, confused and inadequate as children force fed public system ideals.

Public schooled children are disadvantaged in a variety of ways. They are robbed of academic success because all they are taught to do is answer the inane questions of standardized tests like trained little monkeys. All such tests achieve is stunting intellectual development. Proponents of homeschooling tout the homeschooled kids' capacity to succeed on these standardized tests as one of the advantages of homeschooling. They realize that this skill is just as valuable as knowing how to jump through hoops. Which is why their children aren't as miserable as public schooled children who are forced to believe these tests are indicators of anything significant. Deprived of a chance to learn how to take initiative, many public schooled kids are nothing but little, brainwashed sheep ready to inadequately fill their spot on the production line.

Students who attend public school can't counterbalance the stupefying effects of standardized tests with the help of everything else that is available to homeschooled students (discussions with other children and adults, listening and responding to the opinions of others, development of critical skills). None of this is within the reach of a child locked up in a room with a religious fanatic, a racist or an unfulfilled school teacher.

Of course, children don't go to school only to acquire knowledge. School does not necessarily prepare kids for the workplace but it may help them build their social identities. There is a plethora of daily situations, conflicts, issues among students and teachers, students and administrators, etc. that a regular student has to negotiate and resolve on a daily basis. These social skills are not necessarily crucial to one's success in the workplace. When a homeschooled person goes into college at 18 you can expect them to have at least the same, but usually better, social skills that public schooled children acquire over 12 formative years of their lives. Being in school differs from any other interactions that can be offered to homeschooled children in that it is stressful, dangerous, emotionally damaging, draining and boring.

~dj

Anonymous said...

Hello, trainwreck watcher here.

Although I did not post the comment regarding Aspergers Syndrome, nor do I know what prompted it, you may have been 'dx'd' and not even known it. Imagine that. @@

In the western world of medicine, the term, 'DX' or 'dx' refers to the word, 'diagnoses'. So, perhaps you have never seen a doctor to be 'dx'd' by or you did and just never realized it.

As to how I learned to write as I do, well, it wasn't something I was taught, per se. It was something that came about by learning to read extremely early in life and having parents that filled my world with anything I wanted to delve into. If you thought I was going to say "school", well, Clarissa, that would have been more unfounded assumptiveness on your part.

Tsk, tsk. You are epically failing your own teaching theory (it's weak enough as it is, so I'll leave that one alone), not only for yourself, but the readers who apparently think your words have value.

It's actually rather sad, but to be expected if the majority of your learning moments were while attending classes in a cumpulsory school. Thinking outside of the box seems to be where you would like to consider yourself, you're just not there yet. Hopefully you get there before you effect the lives of any children.

Bridget C said...

Sweetie, you might want to quit while you are behind. Dx, Dxed and Dxing are very common internet abbreviations in both the Homeschooling and the Aspie community. If you aren't familiar with them, it is just another indication that nothing exists for you outside your own little world. (Dx, BTW means "diagnose" and just in case, BTW mean "by the way")

And the Aspergers has entered the conversation because at the top of your blog, in the headers, it is a category. Perhaps you have forgotten what you put there? That has led those of us with Aspie kids to go see what you have to say about that too. I for one was not impressed. You seem not to understand that there are as many ways to describe Aspergers as there are people with it. Just because YOU have a specific symptom, doesn't mean every other Aspie has that symptom. But that is a conversation for a different post's comment stream I suppose.

Clarissa said...

Bridget: if you want to discuss my posts on autism, please do me the favor of reading them before you pontificate. In every one of those posts I emphasize that everybody manifests differently, so your rants are redundant here. Or do you have a habit of commenting on the existence of posts, not their content?

Your hatred of autistics is self-evident in that you see autism as a disease that is diagnosed and that has "symptoms." How horrible to have any child educated by a person this ignorant.

fairykarma said...

I'm saddened religious fanatics and racists are not stepping forward to defend their clearly tenable positions on homeschooling....I kid! I kid!

Romantic thinkers thought a human is a work of progress....until he gets hit by a car and dies. Life is a really subjective affair is the point of that line of thought.

So what if the homeschooled kid didn't learn to socialize, maybe he'll choose jobs that don't require socialization. Maybe he'll learn to socialize. You picked up Spanish in about 2 years and presumably you know it better than people who've been speaking it since childhood.

Personally I think homeschooling should be reserved for more introverted kids who get bored at school a lot and prefer to spend hours alone; they're going to spend many hours each day alone as adults anyway, no point in coercing an impossible personality change. But homeschooling a kid you know to be a definite social butterfly; that's up there with waterboarding. If you wouldn't force your left-handed kid to use his right hand, why force a social kid to not be social?

I know people don't like to hear this. Some kids, homeschooling or not, still going to mess up their life. Some kids, despite the worst circumstances they face, still going to end up on top. I've seen enough parents put so much effort into the child raising only to end up with average kids who end up being average adults. Silly me thinking extra effort would create extraordinary adults. Nope, just another taxpayer, welcome to the club buddy. I think to myself, there must be other more important factors to how a person turns out in the end than their childhood upbringing.

Tiger Woods was raised to be a great golfer. But we all know how that story ended. George W. ...oh god let's not even go there.

LMAO said...

You come off as a very angry, bored little person in desperate need of a hobby....and some therapy.

Bridget C said...

Oh, Fairykarma, you have it so backwards. Kids in school are stuck in a desk being told to hush up and listen for many hours of the day with little opportunity to socialize. Homeschooled kids, on the other hand, are out in the world doing stuff, talking to people, socializing with each other and with the adults in their world.

And Clarissa, like it or not, Aspergers is currently a diagnosable syndrome outlined in the DSM. I love the way you have attributed a whole set of beliefs to me simply because I acknowledge reality. And you claim that in every post about Aspergers you point out how we are all different - odd then, that in the one about not liking to go to the doctor, you attribute that trait to ALL aspies. I'm not dxed, my son is and I outscore him on all the assessment tests ( I just have great coping skills) neither of us has any particular problems with going to the doctor. Good thing too, in my case since I've had everything from broken bones to open heart surgery for an aneurysm.

Clarissa said...

Blogging is my hobby and it rocks. :-) :-)

David said...

Yeah, Tiger Woods. Raised to be a great golfer. Caught having sex outside of his marriage with a bunch of women. Still a great golfer.

Clarissa said...

David: you have a great sense of humor. :-)

fairykarma: annoy these people at your own peril. :-) :-)

Anonymous said...

Do you have kids?

Pagan Topologist said...

I have found that some homeschooled students are extremely well educated when they get to college, but some are woefully lacking in some things. I suspect that the mean level of achievement is about the same as for students educated in public schools, but the variance is larger; that is too say, the best are likely better and the worst are likely worse than the traditionally schooled.

I have encountered homeschooled students over the years who were brilliant and creative and extraordinarily knowledgeable. I have also encountered some who were everything you describe here. Since those at the bottom of the distribution probably never get admitted to college, neither you nor I is likely ever to encounter them. I can only shudder at what their educational situation must be.

On a more personal level, I am familiar with at least two homeschooling families in which in which both parents are well educated and made the decision to homeschool precisely to prevent their children from having to do such things as the mindless "projects" about which you have complained elsewhere in your blog, as well as to prevent bullying because their children are "different," since they have a black mother and a white father.

So, in sum, I think you paint with too broad a brush here. All the points you make are valid to some extent, but the three categories you list are not exhaustive.

Anonymous said...

I see the Online PhD on the side. Are you going to college online? "Homeschooling" for college?!

Clarissa said...

OK, getting weird now. I don't go to college. I have five degrees, inlcuding a PhD from Yale, so being a student is kind of behind me. I teach at a university. A real university. Where I will be teaching my three real classes tomorrow. Feel free to explore the blog and learn all about my 20+ years of experience as a pedagogue.

The award was given to me by someone else. That's how it usually is with awards.

Pagan Topologist said...

OFF TOPIC I am so glad to hear OK, to read) that you are well enough to teach your classes tomorrow.

Clarissa said...

Thank you, Pagan Topologist! I feel almost healthy now and am planning to feel completely so by tomorrow. :-)

Pagan Topologist said...

My apologies for leaving out the left parenthesis before OK.

Anonymous said...

I have a question for the parents of homeschooled children (not sure if it is the same parent who keeps responding or if it is a bunch of different ones). What do you mean by saying that your kids are out in the real world, exploring? Do you mean that they get to travel more or go for more walks? Museums? What are you actually referring to?

Thanks!

sehkmet said...

I really can't come down on either side of this issue. I don't know enough about home schooling, well, just what's in the press about the religious fanatics.

I went to public schools and found it to be a crushingly mind numbing and soul killing experience. It would have been better if I'd been given a stack of books and told to read them by the time I reached seventeen. I learned to read at 3 years old by imitating my mother. She always read a lot and read to me. When I went into the first grade, my mom went to college.

I wasn't social in school. I'm still not, in fact, I've always been uncomfortable in crowds. My classes always had 35 students, sometimes even more more. Fortunately my reading skills have stood me in good stead. If you can read well, you can teach yourself anything.

From about the fifth grade on I consoled myself with the knowledge that, even though I had no power, as a child, to improve my circumstances, I would one day go to college, like my mom. I also was lucky enough to have parents who could afford and valued music, dance, and art lessons. Also, my mom was very enthusiastic about college and talked about what she was learning every day.

When I finally got into college, I had to take a year of remedial math before I was able to take calculus. I started taking science classes because I didn't have much science to speak of in public school. I ended up getting a degree in chemistry.

I turned out OK, but some of my classmates had very little success professionally. It may or may not be the fault of public schools. Who can tell? I just know that if I had a child, I would move to Canada. They don't have this debate over evolution and intelligent design. Most every developed country is more enlightened then the US. We have become a real backwater in terms of the ignorance level of the average citizen.

Sorry about the ramble.

Clarissa said...

" What do you mean by saying that your kids are out in the real world, exploring? "

-Yeah, I know, how weird is that? This must be part of that weird language these people have developed to communicate with the like-minded individuals. Like the dxing thing, or whatever.

sehkmet: thank you for contributing such a thought-out and interesting response. I almost started to lose my faith in humanity here before my regular readers appeared in the thread. :-)

fairykarma said...

Bridget C.,

My mom bugs me a lot, even well into early adulthood. Chances are I'll be 40 and still purposefully single and she'll be trying to hook me up with all kinds of girls when I just want to have fun.

Were I a kid, I would not need THAT kind of person hanging around me all the time trying to mold my thoughts no matter where she took me. I would instead prefer to make friends at school whereby we would agree to meet after school to play video games, exchange Pokemon cards, ride bikes, shoplift (yea, I said it, I shoplifted with my friends a lot and I'm proud to have done something illegal), skateboard in school halls after hours, swimming naked in the river, and so much more.

God, I hate to say it, but I miss those silly high school, middle school crushes. Sure beats spending time with women now where my employment and my character is being scrutinized with each "date". I miss that feeling of being a fresh-faced newbie finally having a girl hold my hand, hug me, and kiss me. God, that first kiss knocked me out for a week. I also miss the social drama.

I miss that time when I spent the whole summer weight lifting, improving my physique and my running so that I could feel what those varsity jocks felt like all the time.

Do you really want your kid to miss all that and enter the drudgery of adulthood right away without having had time to goof off with zero consequences?

Did you not have any fun in your childhood? Don't you want your kid to be asked out to a dance by a cute girl/boy?

Homeschooling is for kids with a very huge inner life. Please don't assassinate your child's personality if they're social butterflies. Socializing is a bit more complex than a few adults who arrange playdates and fieldtrips for their homeschooled kids.

Clarissa said...

fairykarma: you said it perfectly. I'll be surprised if anybody has much to add after that. "The drudgery of adulthood" is just hitting it on the head. So true.

Green Pearl of Wisdom said...

I'll give it a try but someone with more experience may be able to word this better:

"Our kids are out in the real world exploring" means they get hands on experience and socialize with people of various ages and backgrounds. It can mean traveling more for many. It is easier to plan a trip (or take one) when you don't have to worry about school schedules/truancy issues. They have the ability to be out during the hours their "peers" are in school, which is when things like museums, zoos and other businesses are open. Not that public school children can't do this but it would be on the weekend or during fieldtrips. With 6 or more extra hours in their day, homeschoolers have more opportunities, availability and flexibility to be out in the real world. The real world being "not sitting at a desk for 6 or more hours". Of course homeschoolers are in their houses much of the time, but no more than children out of school for the summer are "stuck" at home.

Clarrisa... please try to be a little less mean. There are many groups of people who have their own lingo. aka "language these people have developed to communicate with the like-minded individuals." It was a bit unecessary to put "weird" in front of it.

Shan Burton said...

`~I have a question for the parents of homeschooled children (not sure if it is the same parent who keeps responding or if it is a bunch of different ones). What do you mean by saying that your kids are out in the real world, exploring? Do you mean that they get to travel more or go for more walks? Museums? What are you actually referring to?

Thanks!~~

Some of where we've been......


To the Atlantic Ocean, to tour the Mayflower II, to a llama farm, apple picking, camping with other unschoolers, a regional unschooling conference, a Renaissance Festival, a hot air balloon launch, fire station open houses, Adirondack Wildlife Museum, to the Y,hiking and biking and to assorted playgrounds with assorted friends, libraries, and post offices and parks and grocery stores and on tours of restaurant kitchens, and to Parelli horsemanship classes and swimming and family's homes and friends' houses and to haunted houses and pet stores and an airplane museum and homeschool co-op meetings and malls and hardware stores and auto garages,on a floating barge on the Erie Canal, our credit union, a Japanese restaurant, a dance in a neighboring state hosted by a 10yo, and on the Unschool Bus...

I'm pretty sure there are things I am forgetting.....these are drawn from the reports we file with our local school system, and occurred between May and November of 2010.

Our children are Jeremiah, age 9.25, and Annalise, age 6.5. What I mean by out in the world is that we go together to all those places that are part of our lives, and that we, as their parents, make special efforts to also include a liberal variety of adventures to spark passion and the connections that form learning.

Annalise, in particular, is very social. I often find it amusing the way adults working at various establishments react when she greets them with a cheery "Hi! How are you?" it seems surprising to see a socially open child, perhaps?

Thank you for your respectful effort to learn more. It's refreshing to see that there are those with minds willing to consider that other ways of being may also be valid.

Clarissa said...

So are you suggesting that peple whose children are in school do not visit such places? If not, then you must surely recognize that your comment is is completely meaningless within the discussion that is taking place.

I've never seen such a bunch of people who are completely incapable of hearing anybody other but themselves in any other discussions.

I can imagine what the poor kids go through with sucha selfcentered mommy.

De said...

Clarissa said, "-Yeah, I know, how weird is that? This must be a part of that weird language these people have developed..."
What is weird about "out in the real world exploring"? All those words are real words in the dictionary, none are made up, all have valid meanings in the English language.

fairykarma: all of those things you describe as enjoying and missing all happened *outside* of school.

Homeschool children play video games, exchange Pokemon cards, ride bikes, have dates, skateboard, and lift weights, among many other social activities. They actually get *more* time to meet with their friends and do these things, because they are not wasting time riding the bus, waiting in line, or something else not really pertaining to education.

Lack of social interaction is the biggest myth of homeschooling. It is massive in its misunderstanding. Our family is so busy with social items, we are hardly ever home. Not only do we have the major part of the "school day" after lessons are finished to get together for playing, clubs, rollerskating, bowling and such, our kids don't have hours of homework "after school hours" to take up their evenings, so our families can get together for more socializing.

Both of my children are very social and my husband and I make sure they get as much as they want. Sometimes, when I'm working, that is very difficult to schedule, but we always manage, somehow.

There are homeschoolers who have a parent well employed enough that the other can afford to stay home and nurture their children - sometimes, that is a dad and sometimes it is the mom. Some families have the ability to work from home and can both participate in their children's lives and education. Some families have both parents working. There are homeschoolers of every color, race, social status, income bracket and religious (or not) affiliation. It really isn't possible to honestly categorize them into 3 subsets.

Honestly, I laughed through most of this post, because it is so far from the truth as to be a parody, and my children and husband (whom I read it to) laughed, too - for the most part. My 12 year old was somewhat offended, between the laughter.

People suggested (on Facebook, where this was shared amongst some of my friends and where I first saw it) that people not come here and "feed the troll", but I respond for those folks reading who really might believe this silliness and buy into the myth of homeschoolers not being socialized. Oddly enough, we get this question most often when we are out in the social world, shopping, attending a party, visiting friends and family, etc.

Thanks, Clarissa, for the laughs, today!

De said...

Clarissa, you keep asking if you need to know a pedophile to know that pedophilia is wrong. If you stated publicly that pedophilia involved bananas, chain link fencing and pictures of Robert Redford and then said it was wrong, then yes, people would be responding that you haven't any idea what pedophilia is and that maybe you might want to know before you share an opinion on it.

Clarissa said...

Actually, pedophilia may extremely easily involve all three of these things. So I fail to see the point.

My kids play video games, so it means they are socialized is a very scary thing to hear. That's the problem with these housewives, they infantilize themselves intellectually to the point where an adult conversation is not possible with them.

I could have never argued as convincingly against homeschooling as you people have done with your comments. These comments can be used in textbooks demonstrating why homeschooling cannot possibly cause anything but harm. This is very sad.

De said...

And yet *more* chuckles in my day! Clarissa, your dedication to deliberate ignorance is vastly amusing! It would be terrifying if you were a scientist, however...

Clarissa said...

Instead of saying the same boring thing over and over , you could make a tiny little effort and find out who I am. A little hint: it's the most noticeable thing on the homepage. Right at the top of the right-hand panel.

simonsmommie said...

RE: homeschooler's socialization skills:

I fail to recall which blog I read this but it has stuck in my mind.

Paraphrasing:

"When asked the question, "But what about their socialization skills?", we answer " Please, tell us what part of a traditionally schooled child's socialization skills would you like our children to emulate?"

I have three daughters, one who went to public school her entire life, who is quite successful in both her personal and professional life- an executive in a medical software company.

Two who were both public schooled part of their life and homeschooled - one starting at age 11 and one starting at age 15. The younger we homeschooled because she was TOO social and that was becoming her focus in life. She started community college classes at age 15 - why take algebra twice when once will do? - and worked a part-time job during the hours her peers could not- therefore she usually had Fridays and Saturdays free! She had many friends who thought her parents were super cool to allow her to homeschool.
She is quite successful as well- a management analyst at a major bank and married with one child. Will she homeschool? She says no for now- but that may change once she sees what goes on in "real" school.

We started hsing our other daughter because she was told she could not read a certain book because it was "banned" and was reprimanded when
she questioned the policy. Her creativity and "out of the box" thinking wasn't appreciated in public school. She wasn't anti-social- she just didn't like a lot of people. She was quiet and a "thinker."

She is homeschooling my two grandchildren and is a stay at home mom. My grandson started talking in sentences at 10 months and reading at 3 years. He is 7 and reads on a 10th grade level and is both social and quiet. My granddaughter is 5 and quite the social butterfly despite being "stuck at home" all day while her mother reads Nora Roberts and eats bonbons.

I guess by your standards, she would be a "failure" because she chooses to walk a different path than you. While she is criticized by many, they choose HER to be their child's role model while they go off to work every day.

So, Clarissa, sweetie, it takes many different people to make up this world. How sad you want everyone to be like you. How sad for your students to have to deal with your judgmental attitude every day.

Anonymous said...

RE: homeschooler's socialization skills:

I fail to recall which blog I read this but it has stuck in my mind for quite.

Paraphrasing:

"When asked the question, "But what about their socialization skills?", we answer " Please, tell us what part of a traditionally schooled child's socialization skills would you like our children to emulate?"

BTW, I have three daughters, one who went to public school her entire life, who is quite successful in both her personal and professional life- an executive in a medical software company.

Two who were homeschooled - one starting at age 11 and one starting at age 15. The younger we homeschooled because she was TOO social and that was becoming her focus in life. She started community college classes at age 15 - why take algebra twice when once will do? - and worked a part-time job during the hours her peers could not- therefore she usually had Fridays and Saturdays free! She had many friends who thought her parents were super cool to allow her to homeschool.
She is quite successful as well- a management analyst at a major bank and married with one child. Will she homeschool? She says no for now- but that may change once she sees what goes on in "real" school.

My other daughter started hsing because she was told she could not read a certain book because it was "banned" and was reprimanded when
she questioned the policy. She wasn't anti-social- she just didn't like a lot of people. She was quiet and a "thinker."

She is homeschooling my two grandchildren and is a stay at home mom. My grandson started talking in sentences at 10 months and reading at 3 years. He is 7 and reads on a 10th grade level and is both social and quiet. My granddaughter is 5 and quite the social butterfly despite being "stuck at home" all day while her mother reads Nora Roberts and eats bonbons.

I guess by your standards, she would be a "failure" because she chooses to walk a different path than you. While she is criticized by many, they choose HER to be their child's role model while they go off to work every day.

So, Clarissa, sweetie, it takes many different people to make up this world. How sad you want everyone to be like you. How sad for your students to have to deal with your judgmental attitude every day.

January 18, 2011 2:56 AM

Anonymous said...

RE: homeschooler's socialization skills:

I fail to recall which blog I read this but it has stuck in my mind for quite.

Paraphrasing:

"When asked the question, "But what about their socialization skills?", we answer " Please, tell us what part of a traditionally schooled child's socialization skills would you like our children to emulate?"


January 18, 2011 2:56 AM

Anonymous said...

BTW, I have three daughters, one who went to public school her entire life, who is quite successful in both her personal and professional life- an executive in a medical software company.

Two who were homeschooled - one starting at age 11 and one starting at age 15. The younger we homeschooled because she was TOO social and that was becoming her focus in life. She started community college classes at age 15 - why take algebra twice when once will do? - and worked a part-time job during the hours her peers could not- therefore she usually had Fridays and Saturdays free! She had many friends who thought her parents were super cool to allow her to homeschool.
She is quite successful as well- a management analyst at a major bank and married with one child. Will she homeschool? She says no for now- but that may change once she sees what goes on in "real" school.

My other daughter started hsing because she was told she could not read a certain book because it was "banned" and was reprimanded when
she questioned the policy. She wasn't anti-social- she just didn't like a lot of people. She was quiet and a "thinker."

She is homeschooling my two grandchildren and is a stay at home mom. My grandson started talking in sentences at 10 months and reading at 3 years. He is 7 and reads on a 10th grade level and is both social and quiet. My granddaughter is 5 and quite the social butterfly despite being "stuck at home" all day while her mother reads Nora Roberts and eats bonbons.

I guess by your standards, she would be a "failure" because she chooses to walk a different path than you. While she is criticized by many, they choose HER to be their child's role model while they go off to work every day.

So, Clarissa, sweetie, it takes many different people to make up this world. How sad you want everyone to be like you. How sad for your students to have to deal with your judgmental attitude every day.

Clarissa said...

Ok, what is this, a schizophrenic episode?

People, can you please pay attention??? I asked you already within this same thread to stop posting the same comments five times in a row. It takes time to moderate them. PLEASE stop filling my mailbox with the same thing repeated endless numbers of times. The world will not end if people get to read your inane statements a little later.

How can such people teach anything to anybody when they fail to read and process a simple request? This is unfathomable to me. Are they all brain-dead or what?

Once again, for my especially gifted commenters: DO NOT POST THE SAME COMMENT MORE THAN ONCE. PLEASE. You are being VERY RUDE.

Who is willing to bet that this won't work and they will keep doing it?

Anonymous said...

clarissa you are an idiot...

Clarissa said...

Homeschoolers say they prevent their kids from going to school because they don't want them to be bullied. By anybidy other than their loving parents who, as we can see here, are great at bullying.

I'm sure that anti-semitic insults are not far behind here.

Come on, people, show us what you can do.

Tom Carter said...

I'm not a professional educator with turf to protect or the parent of a school-aged child, so I don't have a dog in this hunt. I have to say, though, that the view that "parents who homeschool can be subdivided into three groups" -- religious fanatics, racists, and bored housewives strikes me as narrow-minded and highly prejudiced.

No doubt there are cons as well as pros associated with homeschooling. From everything I'm reading (motivated by this post), I find that the cons are mostly manageable, and the pros are quite strong. As far as results are concerned, homeschooled kids score better on standardized tests, perform better at university level, and succeed at higher rates professionally. I'm not adding links; all you have to do is type a few words into Google and you get article after article that substantiate this.

melismama said...

Hi Clarissa - just wanted to say...this is what makes the world an interesting place...Freedom of Speech is a great thing! We all have the right to our opinions...Thanks for making everyone think with your post! If we were all thinking alike, no one would ever get anything done.

Gr8cook said...
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Gr8cook said...
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Clarissa said...

The homeschoolers' incapacity to hear anybody but themselves is terrifying.

Gr8cook: you obviously have read neither the post you are responding to nor the comments. Not even the most recent ones. All you are interested in is dumping your prefabricated speech without even doing me the courtesy to read the original post whih pointedly puts the cases of disabled children into a special category. Can't you read???

You are extremely rude. As are your fellow homeschoolers.

I will now repeat this for the 3rd time and maybe now some of you, gifted homeschoolers, will hear me:

PLEASE DO NOT PUBLISH THE SAME COMMENT SEVERAL TIMES IN A ROW. You are being extremely rude. You are crowding my mailbox for no reason with endless and repetitive diatribes. Everybody else is fine with waiting for a little bit before their comment gets published. You can do that too.

And PLEASE make the enormous effort of reading what you are responding to.

My heart goes out to the children of parents who are so verbose and incapable of hearing anybody else.

Gr8cook said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Clarissa said...

Really? I wonder how you'd feel when you offer people a free platform to express their Medieval views and they can't even make the effort to follow a simple request. Of course, I'm annoyed when I have to encounter the same lengthy diatribe from a person who has no idea what is even being discussed posted an endless number of times.

Do you especially enjoy people addressing insanely long, boring speeches to you 5 times in a row? Would you like me to do that on your blog? And ask my friends to do the same? Then we'd see how much you like wasting your time on moderating the same kind of boring comment.

Clarissa said...

OK, homeschoolers keep experiencing psychotic episodes.

Poor kids of theirs, seriously.

Anonymous said...

I find it slightly terrifying that someone who is so narrow-minded is teaching *anybody*. How do you treat the homeschooled kids you end up teaching?

My 7 year old finds it interesting that you would post something (as a professor, especially) that you've done absolutely no research for whatsoever.

Clarissa said...

How would I know which students were homeschooled? Would you care to venture a guess as to the provenance of this kind of data?

You can tell your kid that I have read a lot of stuff online written by victims of homeschooling. It's really tragic stuff that comes from people who were robbed of normal childhood experiences by selfish parents. These stories can easily be located through a simple Google search.

Anonymous said...

"How would I know which students were homeschooled?"

Good point. You wouldn't. Which means, then, that homeschooling couldn't possibly cripple children socially and intellectually ~ or you'd be able to tell right away which of your students were "robbed of academic success", wouldn't you?

Anonymous said...

While Googling, did you also look for success stories of homeschoolers?

Did you also try to even out your view with stories of people that the public education system has failed? The children who graduated unable to read, the children who were bullied until they killed themselves, the students who have been sexually assaulted by "trusted" teachers/coaches...

Clarissa said...

You can't be serious. Do you have any idea how many students I have? Of course, I wish I could give this kind of individual attention to every student but that is simply not possible.

"The children who graduated unable to read, the children who were bullied until they killed themselves, the students who have been sexually assaulted by "trusted" teachers/coaches..."

-Yes, the world is really scary and life is dangerous because it always leads to death. Let's all lock ourselves up and never go outside at all.

SAHMinIL said...

Yes the current model of the public schools is the result of the enlightenment. However, it's a broken and OUTDATED system! It works on the interest and image of the industrial revolution. I highly recommend that you listen to some of Sir Ken Robinson's talks at TED. Perhaps how schools are killing creativity.

Once the current model is fixed and changed then things would be different. We can't keep doing what we have done in the PASS! We need to chuck the system and start over! We can't keep applying band-aides fixes. Of course that won't happen, thus I refuse to have my kids educated by a broken system at their YOUNG age. Even though I may home educate I care greatly what goes on in the public system because I still have a vested interest. My money, despite the fact I'm home educating, is still supporting and paying for these schools.

Kelly123 said...

Wow... I'm so sorry I took my precious time away from my children to read your blog. This re-affirms my decision to homeschool. You are an educator? While I have much respect for many teachers, I cannot imagine my children sitting in your classroom being taught by you. Ugh. Your prejudice towards homeschool is disgusting. Ignorance means lack of knowledge, which clearly you have none on the subject. You also posted that there is A LOT of bullying in our school system.... why in the world is that acceptable? I want my children to WANT to learn, not to be scared of it or forced into it. I can only hope that you are not this ignorant and prejudiced in your classroom.

Bridget C said...

I stumbled across this TEDx Talk today - it is relevant to this conversation.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5KtRRmYAIPE&feature=related

If you prefer, you can read the transcript here:
http://www.ztcollege.com/the-tedx-talk/

Note to Anonymous - What makes you think Clarissa knows which students are which - that would require her to read their admission documents? I doubt she puts that much effort into the students she teaches if her efforts to understand homeschooling before writing about it are any indication.

Liese4 said...

It's not my job to change your opinion, however wrong it may be. This is your blog and you can say whatever you want, I have a blog too and I can say whatever I want. But, it seems that you like to provoke discourse by posting blazing blog posts.

I am a homeschooling mom of 4, my husband is in Iraq, my son is 16 and starting college today, my daughters have art hanging in a museum, I have one daughter with a lung disease that prevents her from being around masses of people, my children are good kids (with a side of sibling bickering now and then.) That said, we are just a normal homeschooling family; we go the the gardens and sketch art, we take field trips with our homeschool group, we have speech club, girl scouts and Civil Air Patrol meetings each month (and many, many more things including school.)

I do what I do not to prove to you that my children are better than public school children, but to give my children the opportunity to grow in areas that interest them, to become good citizens, to help others, to gain knowledge and to spark a love of learning that will make them want to learn, not just trudge through life. Might a public school do that? I'm not so sure, so rather than try something that is the path others have trod, I choose to blaze my own trail.

And for us, it works. I'm not saying that homeschooling is for everyone, it's not. But, for those that choose this path with the intention of leading their children into a wondrous world where learning happens in the least expected places - we find it exhilarating and the best education (for our children.)

I'm really sorry that homeschoolers are being so vehement about their position. Though I assume that if you wrote a piece about stay at home moms vs. working moms or atheism vs Christianity, you'd get similar comments from both sides of the camp.

Tracy Smith-Kelly said...

Well being an college educated, former school teacher...I have to say that I totally disagree with your post. It is educated people that should keep an open mind. I am both a housewife and a homeschooling mom. I gave up my teaching career to be at home with my kids. My son is both intelligent and has excellent socialization skills.

He was recently tested and scored above average on every area of the exam. Yes, even outscoring his "public schooled" peers. Whether a person decides to homeschool or to place their kids in school...it is their decision. The schools in my state have scored very low regarding academics, as well as test scores and I thought that I could provide a better education at home. Best on my son's test findings, I guess I was right. Evidently, homeschooling moms are on to something...Harvard and Berkley are now accepting those that are homeschooled. It is wrong to attack mothers for what they decide is best for their children. Educated people should know better.

eric said...

I love reading these comments. This is hilarious (or should I say, hi-LAIR-ious!)--especially since I'm a non-parent, and really just watching from the sidelines. BTW, I've never been officially "dx'ed", but there's very good evidence suggesting that I'm an Aspie. Maybe I should put it on a t-shirt: "Never been dx'ed" or better yet, "Don't dx me, bro!"

As far as homeschooling goes, well, I would have to ask myself, "As much as public school sucked, would I have liked to have been homeshooled?" The answer is, "No", becuase having to be around my parents all day would have driven me nuts. Despite my deficient schooling and un-dx'ed Aspie "symptoms", I made some good friends at school, had some good times, and was able to develop some sense of my own identity. And now I have two master's degrees, military experience, and a job, so it worked.

Anne said...

Wow. I have to congratulate you. You have managed to write the most ignorant post I have ever had the misfortune to come across. You really should educate yourself on subjects before going off on them.

I homeschool my daughter. I could easily take offense to some of the things you said about me, but I don't. Your level of ignorance is pitiable. I do not suffer from depression. Nor do I read Nora Roberts. I continue my education constantly, though not always formally. I do not lack an occupation, I have chosen one perfect for me.

So sad that you think my child is disadvantaged because she is loved so much by her mother. I know I can do much better for her than the public school system. She would be bored to tears with public education. She is already at about a kindergarten level at 2.5. And no, I have not pushed her to this. She learns so naturally and has such a love of learning. That is my number one reason to homeschool. To keep the love of learning alive.

At 2.5, my daughter knows all her letters and sounds, is beginning to sound them together to make words, can count to 20, recognizes all numbers, knows all the basic shapes and colors, has an extensive vocabulary, speaks in full sentences, can carry on full conversations, knows ASL and can follow directions. She is also very social and loves seeing other children and adults. She jumps right in during her tumbling class and is happy to show others her sign language. She goes up to other children in the park to ask if they want to play.

Wow, so sad I'm doing her such a disservice.

Clarissa said...

"Note to Anonymous - What makes you think Clarissa knows which students are which - that would require her to read their admission documents?"

-And on which planet exactly would I be allowed to read such documents?? Come on, people, be reasonable here.

eric: I don't think you will be heard. people here are talking to themselves. And very repetitively, I have to add.

Pagan Topologist said...

I am surprised that you do not have access to students' admission information. I have to look at such to advise students quite a lot.

Clarissa said...

David: it's even worse than that. I am an advisor, so I get requests for graduation checks on a regular basis. But I don't have access to the transcripts because I haven't been given that level of clearance. So I can't do the checks. So I have to hunt down the colleague who does have the access to get the information for me. Which places an undue burden on that colleague who has her own students to advise. We have not been able to resolve this issue yet.

I'd love to have more - or at least some - information about the students I advise at least. But no such luck. This is why I dislike advising. I never have anything to contribute because I don't know anything.

Pagan Topologist said...

Can students bring you a printed copy of their unofficial transcript? I hope students have this access themselves. This is a problem, surely.

Clarissa said...

What they bring to me never includes either the most recent semester or the current semester, so it isn't very useful. Maybe the reason for all this secrecy is that we are a public university? Is yours private?

At Cornell I also wasn't given anybody's admission information, but there I wasn't an advisor. I was just a Visiting P.

Bridget C said...

@fairykarma - Just because you have mother who won't let you grow up, doesn't mean the rest of us did. I have one married daughter and one who has no interest in marriage - I'm quite happy with both. Neither wants to make me a g-ma, and while I'm disappointed, I recognize that it is their choice not mine.

An aside – Video games Fairykarma brought them to the conversation, De repeated back an amended version of Fairy's and THEN Clarissa felt the need to bad talk the video games. LOL

BTW, Clarissa, video games helped my aspie son learn a lot about social skills. He and a couple other aspie boys would get together and play. Those games helped them learn to be comfortable around each other and now they don't just sit and play the games, they have actual conversations. I still remember the first time their moms and I realized from the other room that they were actually talking to each other and what a great feeling that was. So, yes, video games can foster social experiences.

"The drudgery of adulthood" LOL Fairy - "Do you really want your kid to miss all that and enter the drudgery of adulthood right away without having had time to goof off with zero consequences?" Where to begin. First who has time to goof off if they are in public school? The fourth grader I babysit has enough homework to keep her busy until bedtime. Homeschooled kids actually DO have time to "goof off” we just call it self-directed learning because our kids don’t start and stop learning at the sound of a bell.

But, "the drudgery of adulthood" - I've heard it described that way before and can't remember where. I felt sorry for the person who said it them and I feel sorry for those of you here that feel that way now. Adulthood is only drudgery if you let it be. That's one of the things I love best about my family - when the six of us are together no matter where or when, it's a kind of mobile party. We all find the "happy" in life no matter what is going on around us. Yes, we have responsibilities, but we also have learned to keep things in balance so life does not become drudgery.

Fairy asks - "Did you not have any fun in your childhood? Don't you want your kid to be asked out to a dance by a cute girl/boy?" Sure, I had lots of fun in the summer - back in the days before schools gave summer homework. None of the fun I had was connected to my school experience in anyway. THAT was just dull and boring and I had nothing in common with my peers.

Fairy, Socializing is more complex than sitting in a classroom with 30 other kids your age all listening to one adult. I don’t think you have a grasp on how complex the homeschooling social network is. My kids had local friends and distant friends that they only got to see IRL occasionally. They socialized in person and electronically. They planned their own events - even dances.

@Shan - I know at least five homeschoolers who have commented here - and those are just the ones I know elsewhere. I see a few other posts that I believe to be distinct homeschoolers as well.
As for what we meant about out in the real world - you mentioned museums and that is a perfect example - when a school goes on a field trip to a museum, the kids are herded around from exhibit to exhibit and lectured to. When a homeschooler goes she is free to explore the museum at her own pace and she knows that there are these things called docents, and if she has questions she can find one and ask them. Most homeschoolers are capable of doing this on their own from about age 12 or so. Our kids are in the real world in a real way. They don’t just visit it on a field trip from time to time.

@Clarissa Also, if you are going to respond to a post, you might want to leave it in the comment stream, otherwise you just look a little like you are talking to the wind.

Clarissa said...

The author of the posts deleted them. It's her right since it's her speech. It's not like I'm going to hunt her down and force her to repost the comments she chose to delete.

sehkmet said...

Me again. It decided to do a little research online on this topic. I typed homeschooling into google and got over six million references. Most of the sites were personal blogs of people who home school, support groups, or companies that sell homeschooling materials. On page three of the listings I found the first objective site, the New York Times collection of articles on homeschooling. In the first ten pages of listings there were only six objective sites. I gave up after that.

I find this very suspicious. Most material available is no more than propaganda or sales pitches. The objective sites left the impression that the cons slightly outweighed the pros on paper.

My personal feeling is that, as bad as my public school experience was, it was better than homeschooling. I base this opinion on the objective web sites and the description of homeschooling given on this blog. It is a choice between the regimentation of public school, six hours a day, and the regimentation of home schooling, all day right down to scheduling play dates so the children can be socialized.

I don't think that social skills can be fully learned when all experiences have a parent hovering in the background or orchestrating the opportunities for interaction. A lot of public school socializing occurs because the children meet in school and begin to do things together out of school. Public schools give kids the opportunity to meet lots of other kids. They choose to make friends on their own from a large group. The home schooled have a narrower group to choose from and any interactions take place with their parents present or not far away. Only 1.4% of children are home schooled so the pool of children they have to independently interact with will be smaller than the publicly schooled. Extra curricular activities don't equalize the situation because public school students participate in these also.

Based on descriptions here, home schooled kids seem to have little to no time to be independent, knock about on their own and learn things for themselves. I know few kids who seek to spend this level of time with their parents. It sounds way too intrusive. I'd like to see some objective psychological studies on this.

I would also be more impressed with the argument for homeschooling if all the postings in favor had come from the children old enough to post. Please, parents, don't have your kids post now. If the kids haven't posted independently by now, after this post it would not be credible. I can just picture a child posting to this blog with a parent hovering over their shoulder.

Perhaps homeschooling would not have been right for my family, which is influencing my opinion. It is hard to find objective data. Until these studies are done, we have to deal with the information available.

simonsmommie said...

Clarissa, so you have decided that mothers who choose to stay at home and care for their own children are bad role models. I know plenty of well educated women who CHOOSE to stay home and care for their children themselves as well as some fathers.

Choosing to stay home to raise your own children does not a bad parent make. Choosing to do what a PARENT thinks is best for their children also does not a bad parent make.

If and when you ever have children, I can guarantee your views about a lot of things will change because right now you don't have a clue.

Clarissa said...

So if I CHOOSE (I don't know why we are capitalizing the word but whatever) to snort heroin or, say, kill a person, that CHOICE will necessarily be a good one because it's what I CHOOSE?

If that's your position, then OK, I get it. If not, however, if there are choices you think are bad, then I fail to see the point of this comment.

Liese4 said...

Sehkmet said, "I don't think that social skills can be fully learned when all experiences have a parent hovering in the background or orchestrating the opportunities for interaction. A lot of public school socializing occurs because the children meet in school and begin to do things together out of school. Public schools give kids the opportunity to meet lots of other kids. They choose to make friends on their own from a large group. The home schooled have a narrower group to choose from and any interactions take place with their parents present or not far away."

Wow, you have never met my homeschool group! Most homeschoolers do not lock their kids in the basement and do worksheets for 8 hours a day while never going outside. Most of them have support groups, but mine is the best (in my opinion and I have been part of several that sucked.) We have children from infants to 18 in the age range category. We have ADHD, schizophrenic, asperger's, autistic's, allergy prone, bodily disabled, and more DX (diagnosed) problems in our group. We have Mothers who hold Master degrees, Fathers who are teaching their children, Grandmothers who have stepped in, working Mom's, bind Mom's, entrepreneurs, and parents who never finished high school in the teacher role of our group. We have Jewish, Christian, Mormon, Agnostic, Atheist, Pagan and lots of other religions (or non-religion as the case may be) in our group. Yet, we all get along and we all learn from one another.

When Park day rolls around, Moms aren't hovering, we are far removed from the playground having adult conversation while children play with others of various ages, races and religions - all without our input. When they have a problem, they solve it, they don't come running to Mama to step in. They include, not exclude, they ask questions and converse, they just play.

One doesn't have to go school to make friends or be socially adept, those things come with having relationships and conversation with others.

If everyone thought the same way as me and acted the same way as I do, that would be a very gray world. When we invite others into our lives and listen to what they have to offer, to glean the knowledge that they posses that we may have not stumbled across yet, that is when our world becomes a vibrant tapestry.

Bridget C said...

@Clarissa - Odd, you say Gr8cook deleted her own posts. I don't seem to have that option on mine else I would have deleted my duplicate above. Interesting.

@Sehkmet - you won't find a lot of objective data on homeschooling because it doesn't exist. NHERI does studies, but you won't consider them and unbiased source. Most of the newspapers who have done in depth features on homeschooling have also shown bias one direction or the other.

I think homeschooling is great for many but not all families, but I would love to see some true studies done comparing outcomes overall, because the anecdotal evidence I have will not and should not convince anyone it is better. And BTW - I don't think it is better for everyone. For some people a brick and mortar school is a good fit, for others an at home electronic charter school is the best fit, and for others the various forms of homeschooling are right. The trick is in finding the style that fits your family - and having lots of choices available is important in doing that.
I'll help you out with a few links to what is out there:
http://school.familyeducation.com/home-schooling/human-relations/56224.html

This one is a good starting point if you want to hunt down journal articles:
http://www.indiana.edu/~homeeduc/index.html

And here's one study to get you started.

(oh, and when searching for objective or authoritative sources, it often helps to use an advanced search and limit the search to .edu sites only.)

Green Pearl of Wisdom said...

"It is a choice between the regimentation of public school, six hours a day, and the regimentation of home schooling, all day right down to scheduling play dates so the children can be socialized."

Home schoolers do not "regiment" all day. And when my kids were in school we still had to schedule play dates. Children are not socialized by being around people who are equally inexperienced at being socialized. Which is not the same as socializing. (For the many who don't know this) We were always told we weren't at school to socialize.

My children had more home schooled friends than friends from school while they were still in school. Now they are happy that they get to actually do things with their friends. Besides, the home schooled kids we knew weren't as rotten as the classmates we invited to our home. They were always nicer and better behaved. (My family experience, not generalizing PS children)

"A lot of public school socializing occurs because the children meet in school and begin to do things together out of school. Public schools give kids the opportunity to meet lots of other kids. They choose to make friends on their own from a large group." Home schoolers also have the opportunity to meet lots of other kids and choose to make friends on their own from a large group. They also do things together outside of school.

Out of the 1200 kids I was in school with I made about a dozen friends that I interacted with outside of school. Why? Because they were immediately next to me in one of my classes. So what does the size of the group matter if you're only exposed to the people in or near your personal space. Yes, I am including time not in class, which would be time spent eating next to other people who are eating, or on the bus to and from home. Of course these non-classmates groups had a little more variation but not much.

Just like public school children do things with their friends (and meet new people or friends) without their parents present, so do home schooled children.

I understand there are kids who did not enjoy or who may mourn their home school experience. This does not mean every family or child in the home school community has the same experience.

If I were told that I'd have to go back to school (any year before college), I'd probably try to kill myself. I'd probably fail to kill myself, pathetically.

Does this mean I think all public schooled kids were permanently scarred or that it is wrong to send a child to public school? No.

Clarissa said...

"Does this mean I think all public schooled kids were permanently scarred or that it is wrong to send a child to public school? No. "

-It gets really scary when people ask themselves questions and then provide answers.

Talk to yourself much?

Kate said...

Homeschooling allows parents the ability to tailor the learning experience to the needs and learning styles of their children. As you mentioned yourself, homeschooled students to significantly better on standardized testing. I agree that this is not the only way to assess learning, however it is a test of knowledge gained. Critical thinking and the ability to engage in discussion and debate can certianly be gained through homeschooling co-ops.

Homeschooled children also have numberour opportunities to gain social skills. As many of the homeschoolers who have posted here have shared, they have the flexibility to participate in mind-opening extracurricular activities.

Your response to terms you don't know demonstrates the closed-minded fear you purport to despise in stay at home mothers and homeschoolers. Perhaps there is an issue with projecting Clarissa.

-Kate

Clarissa said...

Yes, you can delete the comments you want to delete. There is a little picture of a trash can next to the date and time of your comment. All you need to do is press it.

If you look at the deleted post, you will see the words "This post has been removed by the author." Who do you think the author of that comment was?

Seriously, people, are you being dense and paranoid on purpose to discredit the idea of homeschooling? Anybody who reads this will draw unflattering conclusions about your intellectual capacities.

I'm starting to think somebody hired you to discredit homeschooling. Because nobody could achieve this better than you.

Anonymous said...

I find it funny that your justification for not feeling the need to do any research on something is the compairson to pedophilia. Imagine if people used that same justification for anything they choose to speak out against. "I don't need to have taken spanish to know it is a stupid language" for example.

Anonymous said...

I find it funny that your justification for not feeling the need to do any research on something is the compairson to pedophilia. Imagine if people used that same justification for anything they choose to speak out against. "I don't need to have taken spanish to know it is a stupid language" for example.

Anonymous said...

I find it funny that your justification for not feeling the need to do any research on something is the compairson to pedophilia. Imagine if people used that same justification for anything they choose to speak out against. "I don't need to have taken spanish to know it is a stupid language" for example.

Anonymous said...

I find it funny that your justification for not feeling the need to do any research on something is the compairson to pedophilia. Imagine if people used that same justification for anything they choose to speak out against. "I don't need to have taken spanish to know it is a stupid language" for example.

Anonymous said...

I find it funny that your justification for not feeling the need to do any research on something is the compairson to pedophilia. Imagine if people used that same justification for anything they choose to speak out against. "I don't need to have taken spanish to know it is a stupid language" for example.

Clarissa said...

Anonymous: can you read? At all?

I have said already that I have done a lot of research on this. I said that one doesn't need to engage in an abusive practice to know it's abusive. Can you see the difference?

And these people who can't understand a simple text are teaching kids? Oy vey.

Anonymous said...

I find it funny that your justification for not feeling the need to do any research on something is the compairson to pedophilia. Imagine if people used that same justification for anything they choose to speak out against. "I don't need to have taken spanish to know it is a stupid language" for example.

Clarissa said...

And for the 4th time I'm asking you, geniuses, not to post the same comment 11 times like this last one was. You are so not advancing your cause by this ridiculous rude behavior.

Seriously, are you people trying to look bad on purpose?

Green Pearl of Wisdom said...

I did not ask myself that question. If it were directed at myself I would have addressed myself in the second person. It was presented to the general public. I'm willing to bet that you already know it is perfectly acceptably to speak of one's self in first person while addressing the public about one's self. And the reply was just in case anyone actually couldn't guess my answer.

It is petty of you to nit pick things (such as one's proper or improper use of grammar) that are not pertinent to the discussion.

simonsmommie said...

Clarissa:

People who do not know how to present an argument usually resort to focusing on the presentation instead of the context.

You have no logical response so you have resorted to criticism and illogical comparisons.

At least, for all intents and purposes, you have shown yourself to be quite ill-informed and care nothing about educating yourself in matters you know nothing about. Your narrow mindedness reflects your state run education which I hope my tax dollars did not help pay for.

Anonymous said...

Clarissa said...

"Does this mean I think all public schooled kids were permanently scarred or that it is wrong to send a child to public school? No. "

-It gets really scary when people ask themselves questions and then provide answers.

Talk to yourself much?

You are so childish. LOL Is that the point of this post? To show how completely you don't understand something and therefore just act like a two year old?

Anonymous said...

It's so obvious you were raised by daycare providers. No wonder you are so jaded and close minded. It's great to see the public education system in action with you.

Anonymous said...

You know, for a woman who portrays herself as educated, you sure don't know much about argumentative writing. What you've provided is a fallacious, one-sided rant about a topic you know nothing about it. You clearly haven't researched anything, and when asked for academically credible support, you resort to insults. Thank God you aren't teaching MY children. They at least no a thing or two about critical thinking.

Clarissa said...

"It's so obvious you were raised by daycare providers."

-God, I wish I were. But no such luck, unfortunately.

I did go to school, though.

"Your narrow mindedness reflects your state run education which I hope my tax dollars did not help pay for."

-Since when is Yale a state-run school??

Clarissa said...

"Thank God you aren't teaching MY children. "

-Finally, we agree.

"They at least no a thing or two about critical thinking."

- What does "no a thing" mean? "Not a thing"? Or something else?

Anonymous said...

I find it funny that your justification for not feeling the need to do any research on something is the compairson to pedophilia. Imagine if people used that same justification for anything they choose to speak out against. "I don't need to have taken spanish to know it is a stupid language" for example.

Clarissa said...

It is estimated that 850,000 children in this country are home-schooled -- the overwhelming majority by parents who have only the best interests of their children at heart.

But homeschooling is largely unregulated. A CBS News investigation reports how some children have suffered abuse -- and much worse -- while no one was watching.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/10/14/eveningnews/main578007.shtml

Clarissa said...

Parents who educate their children at home could be using it to cover up abuse, neglect and forced marriage, the Children's Minister has claimed.
Baroness Delyth Morgan said home schooling could be masking a range of evils including sexual


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1123182/Home-schooling-cover-child-abuse-sexual-exploitation.html#ixzz1BQxcTu1D

Anonymous said...

Aside from being an academic advisor, what exactly do you teach and where? I think you are magnificent and would send my children for direction from you in a heartbeat. I don't care what these angry mothers say, you sound brilliant!

~Bob Sparks

Anonymous said...

- What does "no a thing" mean? "Not a thing"? Or something else?

You've just proven my point. You care more about a typo than you do about presenting facts and avoiding fallacious arguments.

You don't KNOW a thing about critical thinking.

Clarissa said...

"I find it funny that your justification for not feeling the need to do any research on something is the compairson to pedophilia."

-Buddy, this has been answered a gazillion times. Can you read? You are like a broken record, really.

Clarissa said...

Homeschool family charged with murder, torture, child abuse

http://roscommonacres.com/2010/02/homeschool-family-charged-with-murder-torture-child-abuse/

Anonymous said...

So if you weren't raised by daycare providers, did your mom stay home with you? And if she did, when you say "God, I wish I were. But no such luck, unfortunately", what are you saying about her? I can guarantee that those are words that will NEVER come out of the mouths of my children ~ or my mouth having been raised by a stay at home mom.

"-Since when is Yale a state-run school??"

I'm sorry, were we speaking about college? I was under the impression we were speaking about school and homeschooling *before* college.

Clarissa said...

When I was growing up my mother was an extremely successful professional woman for which I'm profoundly grateful. As for schooling, it could have never occurred to me that you would wonder if your taxes paid for a person who was raised on another continent. You are aware there are different continents and stuff, right?

Anonymous said...

It saddens me that someone who considers herself a feminist and an intellectual could be so utterly misinformed and biased not only about homeschooling but towards parents (men and women alike) who choose to raise their kids full time.

I taught public high school and college English for 12 years and can tell you that the factory model of education that you are so attached to, a model that sees kids as "widgets" to be standardized, that expects all kids to learn all things at the same time or be dubbed a failure, that prizes test scores and rote memorization ahead of true intellectual curiosity and creativity, that praises blind conformity and adherence to authority does more social damage and developmental stunting than homeschooling.

Are there extremes where religious fundies don't let their kids read anything except the Bible? Of course! But to paint all homeschoolers with that brush is just ignorant.

And public education is not a movement of the Enlightenment. Our form of factory schooling follows the Prussian model, a model that wanted a crop of citizens who were socialized not to think independently but to follow orders and join their place in a mundane workforce that required minimal reading, writing, and math skills.

Anonymous said...

Columbine High School Massacre (two PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS GO ON SHOOTING RAMPAGE) ~

http://articles.cnn.com/1999-04-27/us/9904_27_school.shooting.judge_1_court-officer-teens-counseling?_s=PM:US

Man Kills Wife and kids after being fired ~

http://articles.cnn.com/2009-01-27/justice/family.dead_1_kabc-suicide-police?_s=PM:CRIME

Why don't you Google "mother kills children", "father kills children", and "child kills parents". Let me know how many of the articles are about homeschoolers doing those things.

Anonymous said...

So, YOU don't even have an education from the American public education system, and yet you are trying to tell everyone how wrong *they* are for not being willing to send their children?! People who actually HAVE experience in the system, from going to public schools themselves, from experiencing it through their children, or from teaching in the system?

You really are a moron! You obviously know NOTHING about the American public education system, and therefore have absolutely nothing of worth to say on the subject. Especially since you are only Googling phrases that will find you 'information' that will back your ideas. You seem completely unwilling to even look at anything that doesn't prove your (pathetically narrow) views.

Clarissa said...

I have experience educating kids in the American public education system.

Clarissa said...

http://www.home-school.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=136

Anonymous said...

You obviously do not have children yourself to make many of these non-educated comments, but that is typical of someone ensconced firmly in the myth of public school education. Moms homeschool because they want their children to NOT have to be taught to some silly standardized test that doesn't mean anything. One can be taught like a monkey to answer a test correctly and have NO clue what that knowledge means or how to actually apply it. As for teaching in a public school, at least half the educators don't care. Mothers CARE about their childs education more so that some govenment burecrat that once she gets tenure sits back and does practically nothing and then whines about the low salary they make for 9 months of the year. Get your facts straight before you condemn a class of people who have their childrens welfare firmly and foremost in their mind.

Clarissa said...

"burecrat"? Who gets tenure? And complains about a low salary? You haven't even been able to learn like a monkey apparently.

You people should be shown on television for the purposes of anti-homeschooling propaganda. Such a bunch of hysterical, illiterate ignoramuses can hardly be found anywhere else.

BroadSnark said...

You might find this video on unschooling interesting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwIyy1Fi-4Q

Clarissa said...

What's shocking is how little these people care about their kids. When I was raising a teenager I know that if I'd been told that I was doing something that would damage her, I'd have never started vocipherating about how everybody was a moron and how fantastic I was. For the kid's sake I would have considered any such observation carefully. Because a mistake might have harmed another human being.

It's incomprehensible to me how anybody can be so self-involved that they don't even make the tiniest little effort to analyze what it is they are doing. Poor, unfortunate kids who are hostages of such inconsiderate parents.

Kate said...

I will agree, tenure is a serious problem in the public school system. In no other industry can employees reach a level (after only a few short years, I might add) where there an absolutely no consequences for poor performance. If an engineer at Apple stopped working hard, they would be fired. Teachers, however, can do as little as possible once they reach the magical tenure level without fear of being fired.

Clarissa said...

The ignorance is stunning. Do you know how many tenured college professors have been fired this year? Search the blog and you'll discover that what you are saying is a ridiculous myth. Tenured people are fired all over the country.

The only person who cannot be fired is an unintelligent, abusive, unfulfilled, hysterical parent. Unfortunately.

Kate said...

Then tenure should be unnecessary. Your job security should be based on your ability to do your job well, regardless of your years of working.

Clarissa said...

It's painful to have to educate people about such basic things. Tenure is a mechanism that allows educators to express and generate ideas freely without fear of retribution. It's central to the very idea of academic freedom. Tenure is NOT awarded based on the number of years one worked somewhere. It is awarded on the basis of excellence in several spheres of one's career.

Kate said...

That may be its purpose, but its result is that if layoffs need to happen, a new, fresh, untenured teacher is going to be laid off over a lazy, incompetent teacher with tenure. It is incredibly harmful to the educational system.

This is why parents are pulling their children out of public school and putting them in private or home schools.

Rachel said...

Labels: homeschooling
Reactions:
[] funny
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[✓] ignorant and prejudiced

Public school is good for many but it doesn't fit all sizes. When I volunteered at my local school I saw several children that would have greatly benefited from 1-on-1 attention (which I gave when I was able) but the public schools just don't have those resources ...and that was *before* the huge funding cuts! Listen to this talk titled "Changing education paradigms" to understand more. http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_changing_education_paradigms.html

I graduated my public school with honors. I paid my own way through two years of college until I had to stop to in order get more hours at work in order to pall off all the bills. I live in a major U.S. city. I have sent my son to public school where I volunteered many hours every week to in-class support to two classrooms as well as the library all to show my support for the school.

I'm not rich. My husband and I don't bring home huge paychecks; we work very hard for our money and to make smart choices to make what we have fill our needs. I don't sit on my butt all day unless I'm ill and even then I have to work double hard the next day.

I left work to stay home to teach him when public school failed him. My son is autistic and did okay (not great) for a few years but then 2nd grade happened and he was overwhelmed. Rather than learn how to teach him or give the teacher any assistance, the administration stuck him in an empty room and sent him home every day at noon. I couldn't really even volunteer anymore because they kept bringing him to me instead of doing their jobs. All he was learning was how to rebel and copy other kids' misbehavior.

He's actually learning now that I've brought him out of the public school system (where I still continued to volunteer for two years). His classroom now consists of not only our home, but the car, the zoo, the grocery stores, the library, the mall, friends' houses, the city, nature and wherever else we go.

I follow an approved curriculum and allow my son to research extra material which interests him if he wants. He DOES do just because he he's curious and wants to know more. This week he and his best friend have been experimenting with the paper airplanes. They've learned quite a lot about aerodynamics just by playing with different designs. (Similarly, toddlers learn about gravity by walking and stacking blocks.)

Last summer he took his required test given by a state-approved tester and he passed in the 99th percentile. Had I left him in the school that put him in a glorified box he wouldn't have been able to concentrate long enough to learn half of it.

My son isn't perfect by any means, but no human is. In this environment I can keep things quiet when he needs to concentrate and he can go where he creates adventures when his self-control levels are appropriate.

In conclusion, please become educated on a subject before you write an information or review piece. Once you post something on the internet its out there and you can't every really take it back.

Rachel said...

http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_changing_education_paradigms.html

Anonymous said...

Is there a reason you ignored Bob Sparks' question? You are extremely confident, why not share what it is you teach and where you advise? You said it was a real university. Which one is it?

Carly said...

Rachel, thank you. That post is fantastic. I would be another check in that reaction box.

Rachel said...

Our children are not cookies for our cookie cutter schools. The system does not work for everyone. This is in your post about Aspergers:

"When I was little, the scariest thing I could hear was "Go play with other kids." I remember the feeling of wordless desperation and deep terror at this command. My parents made desperate efforts to make me more sociable. I understand that they were worried about me but their attempts to make me what I simply cannot be were very hurtful. Asperger's doesn't mean that your child will not be able to have a social life. She will if she chooses to. But it will be on her terms and in a way that will make her comfortable."

"In reality, our main difficulty lies not with having emotions but with expressing them in socially acceptable ways."

"We often have very high IQs and some very special and valuable skills. The price we pay for that often entails having difficulties with things that come very easily to other people.""When somebody interrupts our deep conceentration on this interest, it feels physically painful. Just let her do whatever it is that interests her."

Guess what? I HOMESCHOOL MY ASPERGER’S CHILD because the system failed him. I homeschool him because when he was in public school he couldn’t concentrate and acted out inappropriately. Rather than learn how to teach him, the administration decided to put him in a empty locked room and sent him home daily at noon.

My Asperger’s husband was also skeptical of homeschooling at first. Then he read the legal text that went along with the contract to transfer our son to a special public school for kids with autism. It said (paraphrased) that the school district (not the parents who know the child best) would choose what was best for our child and could hold us in court for up to two months before letting us have any say. My husband told me that we were going to give homeschooling a try.

It took a while to find the correct curriculum for my son’s learning style but since we’ve found it he is learning SO much. He can have his quiet time while he needs to concentrate and then he can make paper airplanes (or whatever the week’s obsession is) with his best friend when his self-control levels are acceptable. Last year he passed at the 99 percentile on the state’s required tests.

I am not a bad mother for choosing home school. I’m giving my son the best education possible for him. He cannot do that with 25 other people fluttering bright objects past his eyes. Neither should he, or anyone else, have to if they have another option available to them. Being a fellow Aspie you should be more tolerant of other people’s differences.

Rachel said...

Our children are not cookies for our cookie cutter schools. The system does not work for everyone. This is in your post about Aspergers:

"When I was little, the scariest thing I could hear was "Go play with other kids." I remember the feeling of wordless desperation and deep terror at this command. My parents made desperate efforts to make me more sociable. I understand that they were worried about me but their attempts to make me what I simply cannot be were very hurtful. Asperger's doesn't mean that your child will not be able to have a social life. She will if she chooses to. But it will be on her terms and in a way that will make her comfortable."

"In reality, our main difficulty lies not with having emotions but with expressing them in socially acceptable ways."

"We often have very high IQs and some very special and valuable skills. The price we pay for that often entails having difficulties with things that come very easily to other people.""When somebody interrupts our deep conceentration on this interest, it feels physically painful. Just let her do whatever it is that interests her."

Guess what? I HOMESCHOOL MY ASPERGER’S CHILD because the system failed him. I homeschool him because when he was in public school he couldn’t concentrate and acted out inappropriately. Rather than learn how to teach him, the administration decided to put him in a empty locked room and sent him home daily at noon.

(continued)

Rachel said...

(continued from previous page)

My Asperger’s husband was also skeptical of homeschooling at first. Then he read the legal text that went along with the contract to transfer our son to a special public school for kids with autism. It said (paraphrased) that the school district (not the parents who know the child best) would choose what was best for our child and could hold us in court for up to two months before letting us have any say. My husband told me that we were going to give homeschooling a try.

It took a while to find the correct curriculum for my son’s learning style but since we’ve found it he is learning SO much. He can have his quiet time while he needs to concentrate and then he can make paper airplanes (or whatever the week’s obsession is) with his best friend when his self-control levels are acceptable. Last year he passed at the 99 percentile on the state’s required tests.

I am not a bad mother for choosing homeschool. I’m giving my son the best education possible for him. He cannot do that with 25 other people fluttering bright objects past his eyes. Neither should he, or anyone else, have to if they have another option available to them. Being a fellow Aspie you should be more tolerant of other people’s differences.

Clarissa said...

*) because there is no Bob. It's just one of many aliases of one obsessive troll.


*) because just today I blogged twice about it. Anybody with half a brain could read those posts and see the answer.

This has gotten very repetitive and boring, people. Unless someby new shows up and says something original, I won't be commenting any more. Feel free to post your own repetitive comments though.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps only half of your brain is working because you are still suffering from your illness, but you did not disclose what university it is you teach at. Specifically, on this thread, you have only said you work at a state funded university.

You did blog about crying in class today while reading _El Cid_, but that simply says you read _El Cid_. I will therefore assume you teach some sort of literature, but what specific literature, I am unsure. Is it International Literature, Spanish Literature, English Literature that uses international influence? What do you teach and where do you teach it?

Bridget C said...

Bob asked exactly what and where you teach and you think mentioning Spanish and El Cid in a post and listing Midwest USA in your profile answers that question. Let me guess, if someone asks where you live so they can deliver a package, you tell them Planet Earth

Oh, and BTW, I'm not sure you grasp tenure all that well. My mom was a teacher and acted as a union rep for a while. It's really hard to fire someone with tenure, not impossible, but very difficult.

Green Pearl of Wisdom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
simonsmommie said...

Clarissa:

It appears that you have gottenm upset, not bored, as there are mistakes in your posts:

So: you have a child ? Because you stated the following:

"When I was raising a teenager I know that if I'd been told that I was doing something that would damage her, I'd have never started vocipherating about how everybody was a moron and how fantastic I was. For the kid's sake I would have considered any such observation carefully. Because a mistake might have harmed another human being."

leading us to believe you have had children and did not have the courage to believe in yourself enough to parent effectively.

BTW: you misspelled vociferating.

Also: you misspelled Somebody in the last paragraph.

Unless someby new shows up

Looks like you run away when you get backed into a corner. Better to leave the discussion than admit that in this case you are misinformed, ignorant and really on write this blog so that you can blast people with what you perceive as super-intelligence when in actuality, you know nothing about parenting or what true parental love is.

I'm so sorry your mother cared more about her career than being involved in her child's life - that is evident from your snide remarks about stay at home mothers. You are jealous of American homeschooled children.

Rachel said...

I apologize for any repeating that happened with my posts. The blog gave me an error stating that the post had too much content to process and didn't give me any options other than closing the window. I assumed the posts were lost as they would have been on another site.

----

Clarissa, I honestly believe that you didn't even read what I wrote. I'm saddened that you are not open to ideas that are different from your own. There's a lot of beauty to be missed in a narrow-minded world view. I hope your opinion doesn't do damage to a child with a real need out there. :( Farewell.

Anonymous said...

Clarissa, now that you got your 150+ comments for a single post (wink, wink), I hope you'll leave these trolls to talk to themselves. They seem to really dig it.

Or are you now aiming at 200+ comments? ))))))))))

In any case, good job.

Anonymous said...

Well, Green Pearl of Wisdom, I respectfully disagree. "Clarissa" has repeatedly claimed expertise. The moment she made the claim that she received her Ph.D. from Yale and teaches at a publicly funded university while simultaneously proving to be a complete nitwit in the arena of debate, education and society, she opened herself up to questioning said expertise.

No worries, some of us lazy, uncaring homeschooling mothers are quite resourceful. She doesn't teach, advise or anything else in the world of academia under the name "Clarissa", so it shouldn't have been a big deal.

Clarissa, I realize you ran from the thread when it got to the point that you couldn't take repeating your asinine opinion, since it is baseless. But watching you fall apart over it has been entertaining. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and blame on you being sick, but only when I am busy being the Tooth Fairy.

Oh, you also may want to put your Superego in check and have your daddy not post with his last name. Made it way too easy to find out where it is you teach.

This "troll" does her homework.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, my mistake. This isn't a troll. It's a GROUPIE!!! She'll be ruffling through Clarissa's garbage in a little while and sticking printouts of her posts under her pillow as she falls asleep in tears that her idol isn't paying attention to her any longer.

Green Pearl of Wisdom said...

Sorry Anonymous... "troll"...

I'm not sure how to respond. I didn't take everything she said at face value but you've sort of reached "awkward" when you went out of your way to seriously look her up.

I'm gonna go away now.

Anonymous said...

I just idetified myself as a "troll". Since you are taking up "Clarissa's" fight because she couldn't take the heat and for some illogical reason you would give someone so ill-equiped to debate "idol" status, that makes you the "groupie", Anonymous.

But I have had a blast being here. Thanx for adding to the entertainment.

Josie said...

@"you've sort of reached "awkward" when you went out of your way to seriously look her up."

Agreed. This comment just made you look seriously disturbed. You have to have something wrong with you to go investigate people like that. Do you have a life? No need to answer because you scare me.

George said...

It saddens me to read of how Black and White you make this issue. My Orthodox Jewish cousins live in a "leave us alone" type of world, where if one of their many children or grandchildren is Gay/Lesbian or in any other way "Different" in an "unacceptable" direction, I would argue that the public school model vs. private Yeshivas are in a sense similar to homeschooling, though it is a "social world" apart from their homes.

Homeschoolers raised in a conformist / religious mode - yes, I have issues with their home schooling.

Where one or two parents in a household have "the answers" for their children that don't respect the individuality of each child and let the child grow in helpful ways, I agree with you.

It is obvious though that many home schooled children have a different kind of social world amongst both other children and adults where they experience a lot of good things in their lives.

I tutored in "good" to "excellent" public elementary and middle schools in the range of 10-15 years ago and saw kids who were "normal" (perhaps in the range of 40%) doing ok. The top 20% of kids - learned mostly in spite of the teaching, not because of it. Many could have learned much, much more and more importantly have experienced much more I suspect. The low achievers - were oft times drowning falling further and further behind.

My 23 year old son was a "success" and now is a very good high school science teacher. My 12 year old step-son struggles and public schools - even the alternative one he is in are tough on him.

Home schooling isn't "good" or "bad", but rather good for some and bad for others. (I'm formerly "geo" - and I hope that you will listen at least.)

Anonymous said...

"Oh, you also may want to put your Superego in check and have your daddy not post with his last name. Made it way too easy to find out where it is you teach. This "troll" does her homework."

Do such individuals truly not realize how crazy such comments make them sound? REALLY REALLY crazy. I dont think this troll has kids so that's a relief because who wants a screwy parent like that.

Anonymous said...

Oh please, I do my job as a parent. If someone refuses to answer questions about their own claim as an academic advisor and professor at a university, it would be a dereliction of my duty as a mother to ever allow my 19 year old twins (who will be attending GRADUATE school next year) to choose said university. If it scares you that I just ensured they will never come in contact with "Clarissa" in a learning evironment, oh well, you obviously don't get it. Mothers protect by instinct, how do you brilliant followers of this blog not know that?

Anonymous said...

I think we'll see another one of these posts pretty soon

ANTex said...

I don't have anything to contribute on the topic but I have to say that I really admire people who are so skilled at promting their blogs. For a fairly young blog you are doing exceptionally well. Many bloggers work for years and don't get this kind of readership or number of comments.

ANTex said...

Sorry, 'promoting' .

Cheryl M said...

I don't think it's out of line to want to know where she teaches. I have no doubt the gormless idiot will still be there when my now-13 year old-- hell, my now-10 year old-- is applying to universities and we'd like to stay as far away from there as possible.

It's laughable how much she rants about the teabaggers yet is proud that she uses anger as a "teaching method". Sort of like Beck and Limbaugh use anger and fear to get their poor dumb masses all stirred up.

Anonymous said...

Wow, the poor kid won't even be able o choose what college to g to without mommy dearest hovering around. Are you arranging his marriage too?

Cheryl M said...

No, moron, we're going to let him go off to college with no parental input whatsoever just like every other parent in America. Do you have an aide that helps you remember to breathe in AND out? You and your sock puppets are getting less coherent, Clarissa.

Anonymous said...

I will post here as a homeschooling mother to state that your post does not anger me in any way, we are all entitled to our own opinions and we are all entitled to make the choices that we think are best for our families. Although, if you really knew what a homeschooling day was like maybe you would reconsider. Yes, there are those that abuse the option of homeschooling and use it to abuse their children, or hide behind homeschooling to keep from having to live their lives outside of the home, but in all honesty, those are the ones that in a public school setting would find a way to do the same they would just hide it better.
That being said. I have a well socialized child, who enjoys other people, he talks to adults in normal conversational context at the age of 5. I have a friend who was told by the public school system not to place her child in school she would be bored out of her mind. At 4 years old she was placing at 8 year old level (min). I have often been asked about socialization, sometimes by people who can't understand what the word means. My son stood talking to someone for 10 minutes having a conversation and then he mentioned that he was homeschooled when asked what school he went to. She looks at me and says what about socialization. Seriously, how can you even ask about socialization after having stood here and "socialized" with my son for the last 10 minutes. My son is extremely smart, enjoys learning, has lots of friends, we are not at home much for "learning" we go out and take swim lessons, play games, hang out, watch movies, walk through parks, take care of animals, do things that required him to be actively involved in things rather than sitting in a classroom staring at a teacher who is trying to teach at the level of her lowest performing student rather than each individual. We do do "classwork" as well but we are done with our "school day" before noon most days which leaves us a lot of time to spend learning things other than standardized lessons.
I went to public school and the only thing about being there that I enjoyed in all honesty was spending time with my friends, I hated the learning aspect of it (I did not hate learning, I read non stop, I studied outside of school, I just hated being forced to sit at a desk and stare at a teacher all day). My son still gets to spend time with friends probably more time with them than most public schooled children get honestly because he is able to actually spend time talking and playing with them whereas if he was in a public school he would be forced to sit quietly while the teacher talked. The only opportunity for "socializing" being in the hallways on the way to classes or at lunch time. That being said, I need to get back to my day as my son is asking to start our school day and I need to go spend time with him rather on something such as this. Have a wonderful day.

Carolee Sperry a.k.a. The Blogging Biz Mom said...

Hi Clarissa!

I have 3 kids- ages 13-31 (I believe in spacing :-)I have always wanted to HS but I listened to the nay-sayers.

For the record most homeschoolers are MORE socialized AND many colleges prefer HS students over PS. They recognize that HS students are self-directed and PS students need to be told what to do...

My first son was BORED with school since second grade. He was acting out, not handing work in and getting poor grades.

Yet everyone always remarked how smart he was. He NEVER cared about his work or seemed to pay attention. He skipped school more than he attended. He quit school at 16 and took his GED without studying beforehand.

Did very well, DESPITE not really attending school much as a teen. He still has not really found his place in the world. I believe PS really failed him .....

Second son had similar problems but different personality...he got more serious about school in HS and ended up graduating this past June.

Last year I HS my 13 yr old. We were waiting for a Dx (my daughter knows that one!) because she kept having sore joints. It ended up being Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis.

With all the doctor appointments and days she could barely walk, or unable to even hold a pencil,HS was a wise choice for us. She could do the work when she was able....

It was such a great, enlightening year! We joined a homeschool co-op where my daughter attended classes with other children once a week. Many of these children were also in her youth group, so she saw them a couple of times a week.

I have NEVER been so impressed by a group of kids. They were all extremely happy, polite and helpful. What struck me the most was how nice the older kids were to the little kids....

(con't below)

Carolee Sperry a.k.a. The Blogging Biz Mom said...

(Con't)

We went to museums, she took piano lessons,did Girl Scouts, youth group, YMCA.

She would jump out of bed in the morning and offer to make us breakfast. She helped get chores done so we could go enjoy the world.

No locked doors here (like the public school where PARENTS can't even enter without staff admitting them!)

She helped HS a friend's 1st grader, made money helping our neighbor after surgery, and by babysitting kids.

She interviewed Stan Monro of Toothpick City and had the interview published in a magazine(http://www.toothpickcity.com)

She learned about blogging and started a babysitting blog for teens.

We made a solar oven, played around with solar electricity, did science experiments with her uncle, volunteered to train and socialize a puppy for an organization that raises and trains dogs for the handicapped. There were dog raisers 13 years old to 60-something there.

Anyway, the crap hit the fan when her father (who has had NO COMMUNICATION with her for a couple of years)called his brothers house when she was there.

She talked to him and he was really let her have it about homeschooling! HE didn't like it, yadda, yadda.

My daughter was so sad after that. Next thing you know, she starts talking about going back to PS.

THEN, her cousin- who is more like a Dad to her than her real Dad- starts in.

"Don't you want to go to your prom?" and "Don't you want to go to college?"

That was it- she wanted to go back to PS. After a lot of thought, I let her.

I don't want her to regret it if I did make her stay home.

The kicker? She's miserable with locked doors,walking miles to get from class to class, endless paperwork, having her creativity squashed, mean kids...

AND... Dad still is not around, and the cousin moved down south to start a campground.

Next year is high school. I think she is looking forward to it because there is a little more freedom of choice regarding classes. BUT I sense that she would really LIKE to HS again...and frankly so would I.

Like many people mentioned, HS is not for everyone. For one thing you have to like your kids and enjoy being with them.

I hear so many parents say they can't wait for summer..or vacation to get over so there kids can go back to school and stop bugging them.

That to me is very, very sad.

Please consider reading every book you can get your hands on about HS. That was ALL I did the summer before I HS.

Last thing..I just thought of this as I am doing a blog post about presidents for a magazine I do work for....

Some of our greatest presidents, including Lincoln never went to college. Lincoln was SELF EDUCATED!

I could go on and on but this is already a book!

Thanks so much for hearing me out....

I am aware that there are incomplete sentences...I was trying to get essential points in without wasting tons of space- which I did anyway. Sorry!

Carolee Sperry a.k.a. The Blogging Biz Mom said...

(con't)

We went to museums, she took piano lessons,did Girl Scouts, youth group, YMCA.

She would jump out of bed in the morning and offer to make us breakfast. She helped get chores done so we could go enjoy the world.

No locked doors here (like the public school where PARENTS can't even enter without staff admitting them!)

She helped HS a friend's 1st grader, made money helping our neighbor after surgery, and by babysitting kids.

She interviewed Stan Monro of Toothpick City and had the interview published in a magazine(http://www.toothpickcity.com)

She learned about blogging and started a babysitting blog for teens.

We made a solar oven, played around with solar electricity, did science experiments with her uncle, volunteered to train and socialize a puppy for an organization that raises and trains dogs for the handicapped. There were dog raisers 13 years old to 60-something there.

Anyway, the crap hit the fan when her father (who has had NO COMMUNICATION with her for a couple of years)called his brothers house when she was there.

She talked to him and he was really let her have it about homeschooling! HE didn't like it, yadda, yadda.

My daughter was so sad after that. Next thing you know, she starts talking about going back to PS.

THEN, her cousin- who is more like a Dad to her than her real Dad- starts in.

"Don't you want to go to your prom?" and "Don't you want to go to college?"

That was it- she wanted to go back to PS. After a lot of thought, I let her.

I don't want her to regret it if I did make her stay home.

The kicker? She's miserable with locked doors,walking miles to get from class to class, endless paperwork, having her creativity squashed, mean kids...

AND... Dad still is not around, and the cousin moved down south to start a campground.

Next year is high school. I think she is looking forward to it because there is a little more freedom of choice regarding classes. BUT I sense that she would really LIKE to HS again...and frankly so would I.

Like many people mentioned, HS is not for everyone. For one thing you have to like your kids and enjoy being with them.

I hear so many parents say they can't wait for summer..or vacation to get over so there kids can go back to school and stop bugging them.

That to me is very, very sad.

Please consider reading every book you can get your hands on about HS. That was ALL I did the summer before I HS.

Last thing..I just thought of this as I am doing a blog post about presidents for a magazine I do work for....

Some of our greatest presidents, including Lincoln never went to college. Lincoln was SELF EDUCATED!

I could go on and on but this is already a book!

Thanks so much for hearing me out....

I am aware that there are incomplete sentences...I was trying to get essential points in without wasting tons of space- which I did anyway. Sorry!

Carolee Sperry a.k.a. The Blogging Biz Mom said...

(con't) sorry if you get this more than once- getting error message..

We went to museums, she took piano lessons,did Girl Scouts, youth group, YMCA.

She would jump out of bed in the morning and offer to make us breakfast. She helped get chores done so we could go enjoy the world.

No locked doors here (like the public school where PARENTS can't even enter without staff admitting them!)

She helped HS a friend's 1st grader, made money helping our neighbor after surgery, and by babysitting kids.

She interviewed Stan Monro of Toothpick City and had the interview published in a magazine(http://www.toothpickcity.com)

She learned about blogging and started a babysitting blog for teens.

We made a solar oven, played around with solar electricity, did science experiments with her uncle, volunteered to train and socialize a puppy for an organization that raises and trains dogs for the handicapped. There were dog raisers 13 years old to 60-something there.

(con't below) Sorry!

Carolee Sperry a.k.a. The Blogging Biz Mom said...

(con't again!)

Anyway, the crap hit the fan when her father (who has had NO COMMUNICATION with her for a couple of years)called his brothers house when she was there.

She talked to him and he was really let her have it about homeschooling! HE didn't like it, yadda, yadda.

My daughter was so sad after that. Next thing you know, she starts talking about going back to PS.

THEN, her cousin- who is more like a Dad to her than her real Dad- starts in.

"Don't you want to go to your prom?" and "Don't you want to go to college?"

That was it- she wanted to go back to PS. After a lot of thought, I let her.

I don't want her to regret it if I did make her stay home.

The kicker? She's miserable with locked doors,walking miles to get from class to class, endless paperwork, having her creativity squashed, mean kids...

AND... Dad still is not around, and the cousin moved down south to start a campground.

Next year is high school. I think she is looking forward to it because there is a little more freedom of choice regarding classes. BUT I sense that she would really LIKE to HS again...and frankly so would I.

Like many people mentioned, HS is not for everyone. For one thing you have to like your kids and enjoy being with them.

I hear so many parents say they can't wait for summer..or vacation to get over so there kids can go back to school and stop bugging them.

That to me is very, very sad.

Please consider reading every book you can get your hands on about HS. That was ALL I did the summer before I HS.

Last thing..I just thought of this as I am doing a blog post about presidents for a magazine I do work for....

Some of our greatest presidents, including Lincoln never went to college. Lincoln was SELF EDUCATED!

I could go on and on but this is already a book!

Thanks so much for hearing me out....

I am aware that there are incomplete sentences...I was trying to get essential points in without wasting tons of space- which I did anyway. Sorry!

sehkmet said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bridget C said...

Wow, you really don't get it do you? See, we don't choose for our children - most homeschoolers start letting them make their own choices much, much sooner than public school parents do. The thing is, because we treat them with that kind of respect early on, our kids have respect for our opinions too.

I'm sure that the Anonymous with twins will simply show those twins this conversation and tell them who the prof is. The twins are perfectly capable of figuring this out on their own - that they probably want to avoid a school with teachers with these kinds of problems. I know my kids would have.

BAM said...

http://sudval.org/ and much else in the history of education.

I am a professor of rhetoric with a PhD from a Woman's University, and I am a historian of rhetorical education; my wife has masters degrees in Education and Library Science (Information Studies). We homeschool. We unschool. And for none of the reasons you espouse. And we aren't alone. And it's because of our experiences within the system and with its products that we make our decisions (for example, your hateful, uninformed rant).

My daughter is seven and writes books and blogs because she wants to. And she started multiplication of her own accord when she was barely six.

Find out what you're talking about before you spout your vitriol. You are in a position of power and should know better.

Anonymous said...

I don't know which public schools you went to, but the shitholes I was forced to attend were anything BUT enlightened.
I ended up being an autodidact because the teachers at my high school couldn't teach to save their life, and their excuse was to blame it all on me, so I managed to barely graduate with a 1.9 average.
Once I escaped and went to community college, guess what!? I was getting straight A's!!
And don't even get me started on the endless bullying that the teachers DID ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO STOP!
You're a fucking moron. G

SAHMinIL said...

Really who lets there 10, 9, 8, 7 year old or YOUNGER free to roam the streets or to just take off on a bike ride with their friends?

I'm sorry but that just doesn't happen or at least not in my neck of the woods. I may homeschool but my kids but we are friends with others that do not homeschool.

We have to call and make arrangement to see each other and allow the kids to play. (This is even true for my neighbor that lives 2 doors down from me and the one behind me). It just doesn't happen otherwise.

Not because I don't allow it, but because of scheduling, scouts, gymnastics, sports, and other "after school" activities that prohibit the kids from just playing after school.

Some of my peers with children, don't even have dinner as a family any more, because they are being pulled by a million and one activities. (Not all of my peers homeschool their children).

I can't tell you the countless times I have taken my kids to dance or scouts only to see other eating fast food in the car, because that was the only thing they had "time" for.

Or have sat through the kids dance lesson only to listen to parents call the teacher to ask for an extension on homework because their child (10-8) does NOT have the time for it because of all "running" the family has to do that night for dance, scouts, cheer, etc.

Really if they don't have time for homework when are they going to have time to just come knock on my door and say can I play or can Johny and I go for a bike ride?

Furthermore when is the last time you honestly had seen a child 10 or younger just riding down the street on their bike without a parent or much older sibling/babysitter in tow?

Clarissa said...

My stat counter shows that there are people who have been sitting on this post, hitting the Refresh button every 2 to 15 minutes for quite a while. A couple of people have been doing this ever since the post was published on Monday. Others for a shorter period of time but still they have refreshed the screen dozens and sometimes hundreds of times. One person is writing comments under several different aliases.

Guys, this is starting to look obsessive and kind of sad. Maybe it's time to move on. There are other things in life than this blog. Seriously.

Bridget C said...

@Clarissa - I'm sorry that you don't understand the concept of conversation - which is what is happening here. See, we can't participate if we don't see the responses - hence the refreshes. As for the thing about people posting under more than one alias - project much?

Oh, and I'm still waiting to hear how I can delete my own posts since I see no option to do that.

@Sehkmet - You seem to have me confused with one of the people posting under Anonymous. For the record, I have two girls, 26 and 23 and ONE 19 year old boy. Also, what makes you think the mentioned twins are male? I see nothing to indicate gender either way.

Question though - when someone presents herself as an authoritative source - why should I accept that without checking into what her credentials actually are?

Bridget C said...

Oh, and BTW - If I wasn't down with a cold this week, you wouldn't have to be dealing with me. My head is too fuzzy to write HTML so I'm entertaining myself with you among other things. You have offered up hours of chuckles - first with the post, then with your feeble attempt at real responses and finally with the ad hominem attacks when you ran out of things to say.
So, thanks for the entertainment, even if you are promoting some really inaccurate views of homeschooling.

Clarissa said...

Bridget C: I never presented myself as an "authoritative source" on homeschooling. This is a blog of personal opinions, which is stated at the very top of the page.

Get well soon and keep warm!

Anonymous said...

I really don't understand why people are taking time out of their day to respond to this blog...it's clear that the writer has no interest in other opinions, as she rudely shuts them down and constantly uses sarcasm as a shield. Homeschoolers and homeschooling supporters, don't waste your time. She's truly not worth it.

SAHMinIL said...

Bridget you can delete your post especially if you have a blogger account. The icon next to your name is the same as anonymous so you may not have that option seeing the computer/system may not see that it's YOU.

Having a blogspot blog myself I can tell you when a comment is deleted by the blog OWNER (in this case Clarrissa) it will say "comment deleted by blog author".

Seeing the the deleted comments did not say that, but deleted by author that means that yes indeed the person that MADE the comment deleted it.

Email me off this blog (my email can be found by clicking on my screen name) and I can email you example of what it looks like when a blog owner truly deletes a comment vs the author of the comment itself.

Clarissa said...

"Homeschoolers and homeschooling supporters, don't waste your time."

-Hear, hear!

Anonymous said...

Sehkmet ~

When the hell do public school kids have time for "independent play"? School from 8 to 3, homework for 2 or more hours, dinner, if they do any outside activities...when do they "play"?

Anonymous said...

Clarissa ~ I have a serious question for you. Are you against stay at home mothers because you consider yourself a feminist?

I know it doesn't have anything to do with homeschooling, but you brought up how awful you think SAHMs are, so it made me wonder if it was just because of the feminist thing.

I thought the whole point of the feminist movement was that women would have the right to *choose* how to live their lives.

Anyway, I disagree with this whole post and most of what I've read on your blog, but bravo getting people to read your blog and maybe think...although this particular post wasn't written in a way to make people think.

Clarissa said...

I'm sorry, Anonymous, I have to run to an appointment right now, but here is a post where I explained at length why I reject the "choice feminism" you refer to:

http://clarissasbox.blogspot.com/2010/02/why-i-dislike-third-wave-feminism.html

I also said on several occasions that the most powerful tool of any oppressive system is to make people believe they choose their own oppression.

Thanks for asking this intelligent question.

Bridget C said...

Thanks SAHM for the info. I stand corrected. No need to send samples, it hadn't occurred to me that people with registered account would have other options.

And Clarissa - every time you talk about Yale or being a teacher you are presenting yourself as an authoritative source - or are you trying to now claim that teachers don't know anything about education? Those are your options now, hon. Either admit that you are presenting yourself as authoritative - a teacher with a degree from Yale, or that you aren't authoritative on the matter because you know absolutely nothing about it. Which claim do you want to own?

Clarissa said...

Bridget C.: The best thing I can do for you right now is to ask you to leave and not come back. I hope you have enough self-respect not to insist on staying where you are explicitly not wanted. Please be so kind as to go away now. OK?

Not-A-Fan said...

Clarissa said...
Bridget C: I never presented myself as an "authoritative source" on homeschooling. This is a blog of personal opinions, which is stated at the very top of the page.


An opinion is a subjective statement or thought about an issue or topic, and is the result of emotion or interpretation of facts. An opinion may be supported by an argument, although people may draw opposing opinions from the same set of facts. Opinions rarely change without new arguments being presented. However, it can be reasoned that one opinion is better supported by the facts than another by analysing the supporting arguments.

One would think that as a "Professor" you would go out of your way to research the facts to substantiate your opinion. I bet you ask your students to do. You should be embarrassed by your behavior. You have taken every opportunity to bully and belittle those who have responded to your blog. It is obvious that you have control issues and I am sure this has filtered into all of your relationships. You feel superior and try to imtimidate with your use of big words while hiding behind your computer. Your sarcasm and lack of compassion is totally unbecoming of a so-called "Professor". I bet no one in your life ever quite measures up to your high standards. Your display of "Blog Bullying" is disturbing. You have stooped to a level beneath any one of those who have responded here. You advised others in a previous comment to get a life and stop "refreshing" the page and move on and yet there you sit watching the clock and counting the minutes as the page refreshes. Clarissa, I think it is YOU that is being obsessive and kind of sad. Maybe it's time YOU move on.

Anonymous said...

Clarissa said...
Bridget C.: waahh! waahh! You're making me look like an irrational idiot on my own blog! Go away and stop making me look stupid or I'll stomp my feet some more!

sehkmet said...

@ Bridget C I am sooooo sorry I made this mistake. with the amount of comments, I must be having trouble keeping them straight. This is awful, please accept my apologies.

I'm trying to figure out how to edit or delete the comment, but I can't find the icon to do this. I have truly looked and I can't find it, really. There is no garbage can icon next to the posting date and time or my name. Is it possible that somehow it isn't being transmitted with the rest of the post?

Clarissa, I hate to bother you about this and I know I must sound inept, but could you please delete my comment at January 19, 10:31 AM?

Anonymous said...

Okay, one more quick (and final) question on the feminism thing. I would have asked on the other post, but since it was so long ago, I didn't know if it would mess anything up. Don't you think it would be *more* oppressive to have the choice of whether to work/have a career or to stay home and raise your children? Isn't it oppressing to remove the choice?

Anonymous said...

I'm curious as to whether or not you'd be interested in speaking to another university professor who is choosing to home-school, or if you are as close minded as you appear to be. I enjoy a variety of readings by academics of assorted stripes, and I find that the greatest intellects frequently highlight the limits of their learning.

Bridget C said...

No need to apologize Sehkmet. I was just alerting you to the fact that you had us confused. The simple acknowledgment that it was an error is fine. See my last post to SAHM for an example - and also the explanation of why you, like me, aren't seeing the delete icon is in SAHM's post that I was responding to.

Since my very presence seems to be bothering Clarissa so much this will be my last post unless someone directs something to me specifically.

Anonymous said...

You're confused; this is not a useful provocation. Your post and these responses contribute little. You're lazy.

Clarissa said...

"Don't you think it would be *more* oppressive to have the choice of whether to work/have a career or to stay home and raise your children? Isn't it oppressing to remove the choice?"

-I'm not lobbying to pass the legislation that will make such a choice illegal. I am simply expressing my opinion about such a choice. To do so is an unalienable right I have under this country's constitution. People who want to shut me up demonstrate their profound disrespect for the Constitution of the United States. Or maybe just their ignorance of it.

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