At another website I go to sometimes, but try not to frequent as I have seen people through the years just be attacking and really say awful things, there was this person who comes in and posts what I thought was anti-home school stuff. Basically, she posted that she was concerned about this family of home schoolers. She claimed that the kids were seriously behind. She claimed the oldest, 13 yr old, is at a 4th grade level. Mind you, she only knows these people casually and is not a professional who has done diagnostic testing. She claims the younger are so speech delayed that they are incapable of communicating. But then she claimed when they try to speak to her and others, no one can understand them at all so everyone just smiles and nods. She also went on to say that when she discusses this family with others, everyone agrees that this family has all these problems. She also said that the family has moved several times and never stays in the same place long..meaning..she has not known them long. She also complains that the father is domineering. She feels if only the children were in public school, they would be up to grade level (whatever that is supposed to mean) and they would not be speech delayed and would be getting all the help they need. She wants to know who she can report this family too. She did not say what state they are in.
I told her that she needs to butt out. I told her without formal testing, she does not really know where they are academically. If she only knows them casually, then she really likely has no clue where they are at. I also told her that the public schools were not a magic solution and that there is nothing to say they would be better off there. I shared that our local public school had 3 suicides in the last month. Also, if they do have special needs, then the one on one and individualized environment of home schooling may very well be what they need. She then kept harping on how the public schools could fix all the problems and that some of the children seem very spoiled. I pointed out that the public schools cannot find "spoiled." That at the end of the day, the kids will still go home to the parents, who can very well spoil them there still. I reiterated that the public schools are not a magical catch all cure for everything. I also went on to say that while speech therapy can possibly speed up speech development in a child, in many children, it does not. In the ones that it does, it might only speed it up by months. With the exception of very specific cases like hearing impairments and stroke damage, most kids simply overcome the speech delays on their own anyway. It might not be on someone else's time schedule, but it will still happen. Again, she harped on the idea that the kids would not have any of their problems if only they were in public school. She started to say stuff like they were failing to thrive. Someone made a comment that some people home school to cover up for child abuse. I then asked how she could know they were spoiled or that the oldest was at a 4th grade level, if they were incapable of communication? I then pointed out that while she may wish to blame home schooling, public schools have their own problems. They have way higher rates of suicide, lower average literacy rates and test scores, higher rates of drug abuse and self esteem issues. Bullying is a major problem in the schools right now, and bullying is not what it was 20+ years ago, it has taken on an all new dimension. All sorts of things have been going on in the schools from kids having sex on school property at 12 yrs old (happens here) to dealing drugs on property, and so on. So I said, the point is, that public schools are not a magical cure all for all the worlds problems so while she keeps harping that if only they were in public school, they would be so much better off, she really does not know this. I also suggested she stop gossiping because she keeps talking about how much she has discussed this family with other people.
SO....then I was attacked and told that I was saying all public schoolers are bad (I never said that) and that all home schoolers are perfect (to the contrary, I actually brought up a home school family I know of where they had a child who is horribly spoiled, but sending him to school won;t change that because at the end of the day, he will still come home to his parents). One person made just a one sentence response to me saying "did you forget your medication today?" which obviously was meant as an attack. I made it clear when I said "on average,..." and "statistically speaking...." and said stuff like while there are home schoolers who have this problem, there are plenty of public schooler who have these problems too. Public school did not cure it.
I really feel this person was being anti homeschool. I have heard too many times through the years where someone looks to a home school family and has preconceived notions about the family and they cannot even see the truth about that family at all. For example, I was home schooling my other children, but not my child with autism spectrum disorder. A particular person KNEW I was not homeschooling the child with ASD (at that point in time, he is home schooled now) and started in on me how they think that home schooling is causing his social problems and he did not seem to understand how to socialize with the other kids. I had to remind her that that child, the one who had troubles socializing, was my only child in public school. I did comment on the other website that I do have a child with autism spectrum disorder who has been in school for K-2nd and this was his first year home schooling. But that I am certain if he had home schooled all along, that I would be told his autism is caused by home schooling.
Anyway..wouldn't you feel like this person was attacking home schooling? She just kept making claims about the family and the levels their kids were at that sounded almost impossible..and made conflicting remarks about it. Made claims to know exactly what grade level the oldest child was at. But then also said her relationship with them was casual and that she has had many conversations with other people discussing those children. She claimed the younger children were incapable of communication, yet, they tried to speak to her but were intelligible. She claimed to know their reading level (how could she if she could not understand their speaking and had not tried to test them, she has only a casual relationship with the family so when could she have tested them?) She was claiming the 9 yr old was not capable of speech, but tried to talk to her. She also claimed the 13 yr old was specifically at a 4th grade level in most subjects. Again, she only has a casual relationship with this family and claims their speech is so far gone that they cannot communicate, but managed to figure the 13 yr old is at a 4th grade level. And specifically, she wants to know how to report this family so she can force them in to public school where the kids can get the education they need.
I even posted that while I understand there may be plenty of fine experiences with public schools and some fine staff members and so on, public school is not a catch all solution for problems and will not cure everything. She also wanted the public schools to cure the fact that she perceives the dad as too domineering and that she perceives the children are spoiled.
She just reminds me of every single person you ever hear that says while they don't know any home schoolers themselves, they just know home schoolers never have contact with the outside world, they never socialize, they are not educated, they have emotional problems, they cannot function in the world, etc etc. I guess after...how long have I been at home schooling? Eight years. I have heard enough from bigoted people that when I see it, it is very obvious what they are trying to say. When someone claims to have assessed a home school family in such a derogatory way just based on a brief casual relationship and have drawn all these conclusions and want to find a way to force this family in to public school, it just says to me it is anti homeschool. How would you have taken all this?