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HOMESCHOOL IS BORING

Filed at 12:22 pm under by dcobranchi

Interesting LTTE of the Portland (OR) Tribune:

Home schooling can be too protective

As a former student home-schooled in North Portland, allow me to fill you in on the dirty little secret of home school: It is dreadfully boring (Taking lesson plans to the hearth, March 26). I have no doubt that home-schooling your child protects them from the dangerous influences of social interaction. However, it unfortunately also protects your child from the influence of fun. How exciting can it be to spend the majority of your day at home? Trust me, not much.

When I was home-schooled, my two best friends were a scrawny apple tree in the back yard and the mailman. Oh, how I loved the mailman.

Yes, change is good. I would rather have been subjected to the taunts and jeers of my peers, than be stuck at home for one more day.

Home school is safe and boring.

Justin Morton
Arlington, Va.

9 Responses to “HOMESCHOOL IS BORING”


Comment by
darby
April 23rd, 2004
at 12:50 pm

I asked my 6yo, “Do you think homeschooling is boring?”
“No.”
“Why not?”
“Because there’s interesting stuff to do, and fun stuff, and most of it is like what I’m doing right now.”
That would be playing with Legos and watching Hamtaro on TV, while he waits for a little buddy of his to show up (he’s due over in about 15 min). They’re going to have lunch together, and then we’ll all be heading down to the beach for the afternoon.
I expect other homeschoolers will write in to the Portland Tribune and with luck Justin Morton will realize that it isn’t that all homeschooling everywhere is boring, only that his particular homeschool was boring. Which is too bad, but it’s an issue he needs to lay at the feet of his folks, rather than try to blame it on homeschooling as a whole.


Comment by
J Aron
April 23rd, 2004
at 5:48 pm

I often wonder if letters like that about homeschooling are really written by people who homeschooled. If they were homeschooled then there must have been a really good reason why the parent chose to keep them at home..
There is no indication how long this person was homeschooled..
in any case there are many kids just a miserable if not more miserable in g-schools..


Comment by
Tim Haas
April 23rd, 2004
at 6:56 pm

Was he homeschooled, or home schooled, that bizarre hybrid stuff they do out West? Was he one of those kids signed out of school by worried parents and stuck in front of a computer to do exactly the same stuff as g-school peers?

Had he been homeschooled, he would have sufficient skills to offer a cogent explanation of his boredom so that we wouldn’t have to speculate.


Comment by
Dave
April 23rd, 2004
at 9:46 pm

Can anyone confirm that Justin Morton is a real person that was home-schooled?


Comment by
Jennifer
April 26th, 2004
at 4:06 am

I have to admit that I and many of my peers found regular school boring. Maybe it’s simply a case of the grass being greener…if this fellow actually exists and was indeed home schooled. Or homeschooled.


Comment by
Justin Morton
April 26th, 2004
at 10:24 pm

Actually, I am a real person, I was homeschooled and I did find it boring.

It’s not a knock on all homeschoolers, just a reflection on my own personal experience.

I am a very outgoing person and I crave social interaction. Something homeschooling did not provide.

Oddly enough, I find that parents who homeschool are incredibly insecure and refuse to accept any criticism. Homeschooling obviously has its benefits, which you already recognize. But there are also drawback, and one of those drawbacks is limited social interaction.

This doesn’t mean your son or daughter won’t develop socially, it just means they might be bored.

Homeschooling works very well for some children, I just don’t think it works for all children.


Comment by
darby
April 27th, 2004
at 5:52 pm

I don’t know if you’ll see this comment, Justin, but I wanted to let you know that actually I agree with you on one point – homeschooling does not work for all children.
Public school does not work for all children, either.
That’s why having choice in how we educate our kids is such an important thing!

Public school isn’t the cure for boredom. I can’t *describe* how bored I was in school. It was that suffocating kind of boredom, when you literally feel like you can’t breathe. The clock is ticking away at an excrutiatingly slow pace, the class is never going to end, and all you can think is, “Oh please, shoot me now and put me out of my misery.”
Then the bell rings, and you drag your sorry rear out of class for 15 minutes of semi-respite before it’s back to sitting and being so bored you could cry.

Shrug. That was just my own experience. It was my son’s too, as he was telling me last year when he was in school, “I’ve done everything. There’s nothing left to do. All I do is wander around and wait to go home.”
But my daughter loooves public school. She claims it’s never boring. I’m not her, so I have to take her word for it. I guess for her, it isn’t boring. And that’s why she goes every day.

As for the social issue – I don’t see that my son’s social interaction is at all limited. He sees other kids every day, and complains sometimes that we’re always “going somewhere”. I had to promise him one day off a week, just so he could have some time to himself.

Your original post came across as critical of ALL homeschooling as boring and socially limited. You weren’t clear that it was only that your parents didn’t recognize or provide for your need for social interaction. In which case, as I said, your criticism is not so much of homeschooling as a whole, but of how your parents managed it. They could have (and from the sound of it, should have!) provided a lot more social opportunities for you.

I’m sorry your homeschool experience wasn’t that good.


Comment by
Justin Morton
April 28th, 2004
at 9:49 am

I wrote the letter to be funny, not to be fair. But I understand why you take offense. If I homeschooled my child, I wouldn’t like the letter either.

Anyway, my parents actually did provide me with a fair amount of extracurricular activities. I played basketball for a local school, we wrote a weekly homeschool newsletter, we went on field trips…yadda yadda yadda. Also, I was the oldest of seven, so there were plenty of siblings to hang out with. Nevertheless, I was still bored.

I’m glad your son likes being homeschooled. And as long as he’s enjoying himself, and you don’t mind the work, then homeschool to your hearts content. It will make you both happy.

P.S. — What amazes me most is that I can write a letter to a small bi-weekly newspaper and end up having a discussion with a group of people all over the world. I do love the internet.


Comment by
CindiD
April 28th, 2004
at 3:48 pm

Hi, I tend to agree with some of what you say, but I think everything is a case by case basis. I think that there are many homeschoolers out there that simply will not admit to or recognize that their child is not enjoying their homeschool experience. I have met parents that tell me how excited their children are about learning everyday and then when I meet the kids, they often look comatose to me. A lot of “yessing” the parents, too. I find that so many of the homeschoolers that I have met micromanage their children, also live vicariously through their children. This is not a sweeping generalization, though. There are just as many homeschool parents that are the total opposite of that, allow their children to experience life (and even public school if that’s what they so desire), are willing to accept that a subject they find thrilling may be absolutely boring to their child, realize that homeschooling their child is about THEIR CHILD not them. But let’s be real and admit that just like with every walk of life, there are homeschoolers out there that are doing the wrong thing by their child. Well gotta go now to eat my apple, cucumber and mustard sandwich my son just made for me.

Best.