Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » It’s Not Homeschooling, Part XXVII
  • It’s Not Homeschooling, Part XXVII

    Filed at 4:19 pm under by dcobranchi

    Heh. In Daryl’s absence, I will take on the role of bashing the fake homeschooler:

    Well, this is it. The first day of homeschool. Right about now, all I can think is, “What am I thinking?!” But the flag is hung, the desks are set up, the pencils are sharpened and the books are in front of us. We’re ready to roll.

    We are actually enrolled in a public charter school, so the school pays for all the curriculum. The school also takes care of all the testing and attendance records so if Emily ever needs to mainstream, she actually has a real CUM. I meet with a “facilitator” (teacher) once a month for record-keeping and feedback.

    Now, I realize that to many in the homeschool community, being enrolled in a public school totally defeats one of the primary purposes of homeschooling, which is, from what I can tell, to hide your children from the government. In fact, I was talking to a colleague last week about our school situation, as he was getting ready to homeschool his kids as well. He said, “I heard that charter schools weren’t a good idea for homeschooling because they send Child Protective Serivices to your house to inspect your toilets and see if there is food in your refrigerator.” Huh?!

    See, it’s this kind of thinking that really gets under my skin and makes Christian homeschooling look just plain stupid. In our homeschool, we won’t be using any books published by Abeka, Bob Jones Publishing or with the words “creation science” in them. We will be teaching Emily that the world is a complex place, logic and the “big bang” are our friends, and that God loves scientists too. (Emphasis mine.)

    Oh, this is bad on so many levels. First, while this may not be her intent, this mother is setting up to fail. Her language is anti-homeschooling: “if Emily ever needs to mainstream, she has a real CUM” (I presume CUM means curriculum). I don’t see how you can maintain a contradictory message. If homeschooling is non-mainstream, and you think the mainstream is a virtue, then why even pretend to homeschool? She’s assuming that whatever the g-schools are doing is inherently correct (i.e., “real” curriculum).

    Second, it’s wrong to derisively state that parents homeschool to “hide their children from the government.” Unless parents aren’t filing birth certificates for their kids and locking them in the basement, I’m reasonably certain the government can “find” any child. But more to the point, is it wrong to “hide” your children from something you believe is a dangerous influence. Nobody criticizes parents for “hiding” their children from drug dealers. Many homeschoolers feel that way about g-schools. Most, if not all, homeschoolers think it’s better for a child to learn from a committed parent than a group of government bureaucrats. This woman sees the government as a partner in her child’s education. History shows that such partnerships are usually one-sided, and tend to favor the government’s interests, not the child’s.

    Finally, this woman doesn’t seem to know that there are homeschoolers who don’t accept government “help” and who aren’t evangelical Christians. I know several homeschoolers who are atheists and non-practicing Christians. And it’s not like the government doesn’t push its own ideology on schoolchildren—oh, wait, that’s okay, because it’s “mainstream” ideology. Silly me.

    BTW, I notice on this woman’s website that she favorably cites a column by the child “expert” whose work I cited yesterday and who I still refuse to give the name of.

    (Hat tip: Chris)

    6 Responses to “It’s Not Homeschooling, Part XXVII”

    Comment by
    August 30th, 2004
    at 5:13 pm

    Way to Rip Skip!

    Comment by
    Tim Haas
    August 30th, 2004
    at 5:53 pm

    I wonder if CUM means “cume”, as in a cumulative GPA .

    Comment by
    Mike Peach
    August 30th, 2004
    at 6:38 pm

    Just an aside, but can anyone of you explain to me why Americans just seem to be sooooooooo religious?

    I have met some Christians (Or people who make their Christianity known.)whilst home educating on this side of the pond, but not many. There seems to be a much higher prevalence of people home educating in the US for religious reasons.

    Also, home ‘schooling’ seems to be ‘de rigeur’ over there. Why do people persist in the school bit when they have been so let down by it already?

    The evangelism I read on some home schooling sites can be quite disconcerting to a little Englander like me.

    Comment by
    August 30th, 2004
    at 6:44 pm

    to Mike: I think perhaps those that homeschool primarily for religious reasons are just more vocal about it. Over the top on ANYTHING generally repulses me as well.

    And what the heck is with that woman’s conclusion that homeschooling without the help of public schools must mean that you want to hide from the government? I don’t know ANY homeschooling families that keep the curtains drawn all day so as to not call attention to themselves, and if we are asked about school while out on an activity in the middle of the day, I very simply tell the query with “We homeschool”. It’s not complicated, it’s not illegal, and I’m not doing anything wrong, so what makes her think that the majority of us are hiding something?

    Besides that, anything I do with my life that does not harm another or break any laws is none of the governments business in the first place, including the educational processes of my chilluns. :p

    Comment by
    Skip Oliva
    August 30th, 2004
    at 7:16 pm

    “I wonder if CUM means “cume”, as in a cumulative GPA .”

    Interesting theory. Although from the context of her website, I got the impression that she was only homeschooling small children. They haven’t started keeping GPAs in elementary school, have they? 😉

    Comment by
    August 31st, 2004
    at 8:08 am

    “Just an aside, but can anyone of you explain to me why Americans just seem to be sooooooooo religious?”

    Because we can be.

    “The evangelism I read on some home schooling sites can be quite disconcerting to a little Englander like me.”

    You aren’t suggesting King George as an alternative? ;o)

    I find this lady’s entire persona conflicted as much as her homeschool philosophy: “I’m a registered Republican, but I feel disenfranchised, George Bush can’t come up with an original thought. I’m a Christian, but I’d rather read Calvin. Have I told you about “Americanized” Christianity? Is Jesus a Republican?”

    What the?!? Disconcerting indeed.