Monday, January 10, 2011

Get Out Your Soapbox...

because I am getting on it.  You see, I don't have one for this topic, because my opinions and values have been silenced in the interest of "keeping the peace" and not seeming "judgmental."  Well, I am going to say a few things.  What I have to say will almost certainly make some angry, hurt their feelings, and perhaps change their opinions of me.  Well, welcome to my world.  I feel this way often, and yet I stand there, dumb but not deaf, hurt but smiling politely.  So, maybe those people can just do what I do...tolerate the opinions of others.

I home school my children. 

No, I do not do it perfectly and I could certainly do more.  And you know what?  Neither is the public school, and they could step it up a bit too.  My kids won't graduate high school at twelve.  And you know what?  Neither will yours.  I have a hard time accepting most of the reasoning behind why people think my kids should be in school. 

I often hear that home schooled kids are antisocial.

Mine are not.

I hear that they are behind their peers.

Mine are not.

I hear that I cannot teach them everything the need to know. 

Neither can the public school.

I hear that I have to do it perfectly or send them to school.

Where is the public school planning on sending them, because they have been unimpressive for YEARS. 

Let me tell you a story:

Little Sally gets up at six every morning, hurries to the bus stop and rides for half an hour to get to school.  Then she has her highly processed, impersonal, nutrient-sparse breakfast in the cafeteria.  Then she goes to class for seven hours, learning more from her peers than she does from her teacher.  She does the worksheets, gets good grades, and doesn't really know what she is even interested in.  She leaves school and rides the bus to daycare, where she stays for another three hours, watching TV or learning more helpful hints from her peers.  Sally goes home, eats the quick dinner that her tired parents have to offer her, and then goes to bed.  The rest of the week is much the same, except for weekends, when Sally spends her time in the car, going from one activity to the next and waiting for her over worked parents to have time to play with her.

Feel sorry for Sally. 

Feel sorry for the millions of kids who are uninspired, frustrated and alienated by their public school experiences.

Feel sorry for the multitudes of teenagers who think school is a boring place, seeing their classes as just an unwanted break in their social lives and their parents as these annoying people who feed them. 

Don't waste time feeling sorry for us.

Public school is not the cure for all that ails my family.  And homeschooling may not be the cure for all that ails your family.  And that is the beauty of democracy, of freedom.  I get to make the decisions I think are best for my family and you get to do what you deem right for yours.

But, you know what?  I think home schooling is a wonderful, respectful, real way to learn about life. 
I don't think public school is any of those things.

Freedom of speech is alive, people.  Even for creepy home schoolers.

Now, I would give you your soapbox back, but my weird, uneducated children took off with it and are currently cutting it up, making a doll house out of it, complete with hand sewn curtains for the windows.  And then we are going to play with it. 

Look--we turned your soapbox into an education.

Imagine that.


  1. Amen! Great post, to each his own... I would LOVE to homeschool my kids.... you are very blessed.

  2. Well I personally think you are doing a wonderful job both as a mother and a homeschool teacher.. You have two of the most lovable little girls I have ever been around and I see them as two very happy and smart young ladies. They are learning great values and everyday lessons that will be very usefull in live as they grow up..Most people don't have the time or know how to teach their kids the things you teach yours.So keep up the GREAT work and tell everyone to kiss it where the sun don't shine. Love you, Susan

  3. I'm behind you 100% and I couldn't agree with you more!

  4. Who are all these people saying all this stuff about you and your children and why do you care? If you are confident in your decisions then it doesn't matter what others think.

    Public schooling is not as bad as you portray it in your post. I attended public school (as do my children) and we have not had the same experience as little 'sally'. My parents, my husband and myself are very well educated. We all have (I had) very successful careers and lead good lives. There where cookies on the table when I came home from school just as there are when my children come home from school.

    Don't worry so much what others are saying or thinking. It's really not that important...just as it's not important to me that you think I'm harming my children by making them attend public school.