The Real Cons of Homeschooling, revisited

I am hard to shock.  I really am.  Sometimes, I credit myself for simply being even-keeled, sometimes I berate myself for being too jaded.  Reality probably falls between those two extremes.

But, just a few minutes ago, my jaw dropped as I read a comment on the most excellent blog of homeschooling mother and author, Tammy Takahashi.  She first posted a great article called The Real Cons of Homeschooling more than a year and a half ago, on October 4, 2006.  I’ve been following it ever since.  It now has 44 comments, and they run the spectrum from super-pro-homeschooling, to hs’ing skeptics, to hs’ing detractors.  Given Tammy’s personality and beliefs, I think her blog is a perfect host for such a discussion.

I myself have commented probably too much, four of those 44 comments, but it continues to be an interesting conversation.

A recent commenter, though, said something that made my jaw drop, me gasp, and say out loud, “She cannot be serious.”  It was this:

I think home schooling is just a parents power trip and, in all fairness, do not see the point of having home schooling be an option for students and parents at all.

Homeschooling as “just a power trip”????  That’s a new one for me.  I responded, not very kindly, and suggested that the writer move to Germany, where homeschooling is outlawed.

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About Karen Joy

I'm a partially-homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 19, 17 and 15 years old, and three girls: 11, 8, and 3. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I very casually lead a very large group of homeschooling families in the Phoenix area. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on April 16, 2008, in Homeschooling. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. I read that too!!! And my jaw did the same thing and I spoke out loud to the computer – although I can’t remember what I said. “Are you KIDDING me?” is one thought I had! I do remember that. It amazes me how stupid some people are!

    I SOOOO wanted to reply but I think have a couple or more comments on there already as well and didn’t want to keep going with them since it’s Tammy’s blog and not mine. 😉 I wanted to ask her if she even has kids and whether or not she’s even familiar enough with homeschooling to be able to make that kind of accusation. I’m going to have to go read your comment now! 😀

  2. Okay, I just read your comment and now I’m cracking up because you said basically the same things I was thinking! That’s too funny! 🙂 Great minds think alike right! 😉

  3. Wow. That was quite a comment… I couldn’t resist a response to that one 😀

  4. Ya, I saw that one go through and I was not sure what to make of it.

    I wonder sometimes what the motivation is for people to comment on blogs like that.

    But, as with letters to the editor in newspapers, the comment speaks for itself.

    I’m glad you said something, that way I didn’t have to 🙂 Thanks 🙂

  5. MLBAH ~ Great minds, indeed!

    Michelle ~ Your comment was great, and brings up another good point. My kids’ medical needs are not nearly as severe as Jacqui’s, but it would certainly highly complicate schooling for them, especially my 8yo who has an LD and does best in small, uncomplicated, routine, quiet environments, and my 6yo who has celiac disease and is anaphylactic to peanuts. I started hs’ing simply for academic reasons, but the longer I’m at it (and the more kids I have!) I see increasing need for keeping them at home.

    Tammy ~ Glad you approved! I sent this to you privately, but I think I want to post it here, too: I think the author’s attitude is really reflective of the attitude fostered by those who run the public
    school system: that parents have no authority to teach their kids, and no authority over their own children while they’re on campus. I think the p.s. system is up a creek because (among other things) now that they have what they wanted (i.e., the removal of all parental authority), they
    don’t like it: it’s resulted in parents who TOTALLY turn their kids over to the p.s. system, and won’t take any responsibility for their kids’ behavior, learning, character, attitude, etc., parents who won’t work w/ teachers, parents who won’t volunteer or get involved. I see that turning around a BIT, at least in younger kids — the p.s. system is proclaiming that it’s the parents’ job
    to get the child “ready for school” and take a more active role in their education. But, they still don’t want us to homeschool our kids.

  6. I loved your response on Tammy’s blog. I feel the exact same way about the fact that kids DO need to be sheltered. Every time I turn on the TV lately, I hear about another teacher having an “inappropriate relationship” (or worse) with a student – and this is the LOCAL news, not the national news.

    Aside from that, if your child is in public (or some private) schools, you have to worry about them having evolution and the gay agenda (or as they call it, “equality”) shoved down their throats; schoolyard bullies, including the ones who come to school with weapons and Columbine-style plots (one such instance was uncovered in a local Austin-area school last year); exposure to all kinds of ungodly language and values from both children and adults; higher risks of catching every illness that goes around; not to mention much greater student-to-teacher ratios and a higher probability of the student slipping through the cracks in one or more subjects. And that’s not even a complete list.

    Obviously, we can’t shelter our kids from every single thing that life could possibly throw their way, but I take very seriously my responsibility before God as my children’s parent – and I will protect them from as much as I can while raising them in a way where they can go into the world and make correct moral decisions.

    As far as other parents go, I don’t really care what they do. Their method of schooling is their decision and their business. I have a sneaking suspicion that traditional-schooling parents who accuse homeschooling parents of arrogance feel guilty that they aren’t homeschooling their kids too. Why else would the issue provoke such a response? Why do they care?

  7. Amen and Amen, copacetic!!!! VERY well said. 🙂

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