Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Case Against Homeschooling

Because I am a socially-phobic selfish mom who has chosen to use my vast wealth to homeschool my children and isolate them from their poverty-stricken peers (and I have nothing better to do,) I feel I have the necessary credentials to rebut the case against homeschooling written by a public school advocate and teacher, Jesse Scaccia. I'll address Scaccia point by point. For context, an excerpt of each of Scaccia's points is in italics followed by my response:

10. “You were totally home schooled” is an insult college kids use when mocking the geeky kid in the dorm (whether or not the offender was home schooled or not) And… say what you will… but it doesn’t feel nice to be considered an outsider, a natural outcropping of being homeschooled.

This is a reason against homeschooling? What happened to all that tolerance training the non-homeschooled kids received in their 12 years of public education? I guess it didn't make the difference some thought it would.

9. . Call me old-fashioned, but a students’ classroom shouldn’t also be where they eat Fruit Loops and meat loaf (not at the same time I hope). It also shouldn’t be where the family gathers to watch American Idol or to play Wii. Students–from little ones to teens–deserve a learning-focused place to study.

You're not old-fashioned at all. In fact your comment speaks to your vast knowledge of the modern American family but alas also to your ignorance of the American homeschool family. I'm sure this is hard to understand for a teacher confined to teach in an institution all day, but the world is truly both a child's playground and their classroom. It provides both a focused place of study and the ability to roam freely. It's time to think globally and liberate yourself and your students from a classroom-centric world. And by the way, I'm not sure if you're into saving the environment but you might like to know that homeschooling is also eco-friendly.

8. Homeschooling is selfish....

Now on this one you may have a point but not for the reasons you stated. It is selfish for me to give birth to not just one but six children, feed them, clothe them, and educate them for 18 years from our increasing wealth. I mean, gosh, wouldn't it be better if we shared our burden with the rest of society? Maybe my husband ought to quit his job, go on welfare, and put my children in government assisted education so that they won't be so "geeky" when they get to college (federally assisted of course.)

7. God hates homeschooling... To the homeschooling Believers out there, didn’t God say “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations”? Didn’t he command, “Ye shall be witnesses unto me”? From my side, to take your faithful children out of schools is to miss an opportunity to spread the grace, power and beauty of the Lord to the common people. (Personally I’m agnostic, but I’m just saying…)

I"m not so arrogant to presume that I can speak for God, He does a pretty good job on His own. So I'll let Him speak for Himself on this one. Proverbs 6:16 talks about the six things the Lord hates, funny homeschooling doesn't make the list. But in Proverbs 1:8 it says "Hear, my son, your father's instruction And do not forsake your mother's teaching" Now, I wonder why God didn't tell a son to hear a public educator's instruction or warn against forsaking public education? As to your point about going out into all the world, please see point #10 above and this post.

6. Homeschooling parent/teachers are arrogant to the point of lunacy. For real! My qualifications to teach English include a double major in English and education, two master’s degrees (education and journalism), a student teaching semester and multiple internship terms, real world experience as a writer, and years in the classroom dealing with different learning styles.....

My primary qualification is that I gave birth to them, you didn't. But since you seem to be impressed by degrees, I have a double major in Computer Science and Mathematics. Those that couldn't cut the program became English majors or teachers. For real! I also have real world experience.
I won't bore you with my 46 years of experience though. Read the archives. As my son loves to say, "School is life and life is school, you never stop learning."

5. As a teacher, homeschooling kind of pisses me off. (That’s good enough for #5.)

I'd encourage you to buy a pack of Depends and lighten up. We're a relatively small group of families over all, no need to get yourself all messed up over it.

4. Homeschooling could breed intolerance, and maybe even racism.

Now, comes the heavy artillery, let's call homeschoolers racist (or come close). But remember point #1, it's those that are public educated that consider us the "geeky" ones. So who is really breeding intolerance?

3. And don’t give me this “they still participate in activities with public school kids” garbage.

Okay I won't. But remember we're the ones who are breeding intolerance you might want to watch your words here.

2.
Homeschooling parents are arrogant, Part 2. According to Henry Cate, who runs the Why Homeschool blog, many highly educated, high-income parents are “probably people who are a little bit more comfortable in taking risks” in choosing a college or line of work. “

Arrogant. Remember, it wasn't I who presumed to speak for God. As for taking risks, I think Cate is right. I hope I don't sound arrogant when I ask you this, but can you tolerate an opposing opinion?

1. And finally… have you met someone homeschooled? Not to hate, but they do tend to be pretty geeky***.

You should have really left this one off. Not to hate, but does a college educated man with advanced degrees really want to come off sounding like an intolerant freshman insulting those who have chosen to live differently than you?

Scaccia goes on to define the term "geeky" this way, "
But, in general, to be geeky connotes a certain inability to integrate and communicate in diverse social situations. Which, I would argue, is a likely result of being educated in an environment without peers."

So then how do you explain Joe Biden?

Scaccia finishes with this invite to homeschool bloggers, "If any of you are interesting in writing for us, send me an email: jessescaccia@gmail.com. I would love to have you as part of our conversation."

Thanks for the offer but I'll pass. I'm a busy homeschool mother of six "geeks" who would rather selfishly isolate myself on this blog. But if you're on Facebook, I promise to add you as my friend.

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