Monday, July 16, 2012
A Little Rant about Home Schooling Stereotypes
The general consensus seems to be that the best part of Mother's blog is when she is NOT pleased and is bitching about something. Okay then, if that's what you all want to read, I can give you that. I have always got something to bitch about. But you are still gonna have to put up with the occasional kitschy post too, cause that's just how I roll.
I did get one response to my “Atheist Rant” yesterday that I do want to address, and although the comments were positive for the most part I am going to end up being bitchy in the end so just wait for it. The comment that got me going was about homeschooling, and how that particular person couldn't do it personally, and the only people that they knew who did were religious zealots with weird kids. That was the basic gist that I got from the comment anyway.
First off, I am not taking offense at what was said, and I am totally paraphrasing out of context here, but it brought up some issues that I want to address. I have written before about the fact that I have been a “Homeschooler” for over 20 years, well, technically, for over 40 years, as I started learning long before I started school and have learned far more myself outside of a classroom than I ever did inside one. So it is a subject that is rather near and dear to my heart.
Yes, my children are a little weird, and socially awkward, and not only do I not deny that fact, I am damn proud of it. My ex-husband used to try to belittle my eldest son, by remarking on the fact that he was 16 and still a virgin, and he didn't even drink or use drugs. I am sorry, when did that become a “bad” thing? At 16 my son was a full-time College student, with a part-time job helping run the entire IT department of that College. His job involved not only dealing with computers, but also people, of all ages and skill levels, and he excelled at it! Today he is 25, he is a College graduate with a full-time job as an assistant manager, he has a beautiful girl friend who appears to be genuinely found of him, and he has a Mother who could not be more proud of the man he has become. And yes, he is fucking weird! And he is also damn proud of that fact! He has a heart of gold, and more integrity than any person I have ever known (religious or not), but he is a unique individual to the core and I would like to think that the years he spent learning at home rather than at “school” played a HUGE part in allowing him the freedom to become that person.
Of course I could be totally wrong. He could secret despise me for allowing him to stay home when he asked, but somehow I doubt it. I think he would have mentioned it by now since he usually tells me when I have pissed him off. I am the first to admit I was THRILLED when he asked and I learned that we could. I hated sending him to school. From the first day of Kindergarten I hated it. When other parents were counting down the days till they could send their kids off to school, I was dreading it. I don't like public schools. I didn't like them when I was a kid, and I like them even less now. I have nothing against teachers mind you, I have known some awesome teachers who really inspired me and made positive impacts on my life. Its the school, the whole damn system I don't like. Well, that, … and the other kids.
But more than that I hate being separated from my kids every day all day long, and then when they finally do get to come home they are supposed to spend even more time doing “homework” assigned by their teachers. Sorry folks, this is my fucking time, you had your time, if you couldn't make proper use of it that is not my problem.
I have mentioned before that I am weird right? So hopefully none of this is coming as a shock to anyone, but I like my kids, well, most of them. I enjoy spending time with them, and I enjoy helping them learn about the world in their own ways and in their own time. Do they miss out on a lot of social interaction with other kids, yes. And that is part of the point. They don't get bullied or harassed, which they all did to one degree or another when they attended public schools. They don't have to deal with a lot of peer pressure until they are old enough to know their own minds and make their own, responsible decisions.
Its funny, EVERY single member of my extended family has voiced their disapproval of our choice to Home-school, either mildly or profusely, at one time or another, but EVERY single one of them has also remarked repeatedly on how intelligent and well-behaved my children are EVERY time they encounter them. Gee folks, why do you suppose that is? You don't suppose there could be any connection there do ya? Naw, its just a fucking coincidence I am sure … yeah right.
The stereotype about most home-schoolers being religious zealots, well, there are certainly more than a few of those, but I don't know what proportion they really are. I certainly don't have any real religious motivation, or even anti-religious motivation for it. For me it is about providing my children with access to the best educational opportunities I can provide them, and for helping them grow up to be decent, happy people who are not afraid to do whatever they want to do in their lives. In some cases I may have succeeded a little too well in some areas, and not enough in others, but I did the best I could with what I had to work with. What more can anyone really do?