"This is why I homeschool" - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-14-2005, 01:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is a spinoff of the "Is this normal at school?" thread in which Lori stated the following. I didn't want to pull the thread too much off-track so I started a new one:

Quote:
I have homeschooled and have sent kids to public school. I totally don't mind a homeschool mama or papa coming to this forum and posting a helpful post. I don't think "This is why I homeschool" is helpful, and I don't think in all honesty it is meant to be. If it *is* honestly meant to be helpful, it isn't. It comes across as a comment on how superior the choice to homeschool is, and if you would have made that choice, you wouldn't be having any of these problems now. But instead you chose to send your kid to public schools; what else did you expect? You make your bed, you lie in it.

And I find that it is often that threads in which there is a problem with a school policy or teacher, have at least one "this is why I homeschool" comment. I just think it is disrespectful
.


I understand how some people could read it as, "You ma[d]e your bed; you lie in it," but I honestly believe that many homeschoolers, including me, find public school such a toxic environment for darn near everyone that they see homeschooling as a far better, less damaging choice.

Many people -- perhaps even most? -- send their kids to public school thoughtlessly, because it's what everyone else does. Many of them have not given serious, sustained thought to the idea that public school might be a place where conformity is prized above individuality, or at the very least where children are not allowed to move at their own pace through the material, but at the pace of the majority, whether they know the subject or not.

Naturally, this is not true of every single public school on the planet, so I would genuinely appreciate the consideration of people who refrain from posting, "But MY / my kid's / my partner's school was great!" I'm glad for you. Unfortunately, those schools are coming more and more to be the exceptions and not the rule.

Anyway, very few people have given thought to the notion that they can (and maybe, given their specific situations, should) homeschool, that it would be the best thing for their child.

I think many homeschoolers are trying to break through that wall of conformity in the people who find serious problems with the public school system and are trying to say, "It isn't normal, it isn't right, and it doesn't have to be like this." Honestly, sometimes all it takes to make a somewhat radical jump from the conventional to the unconventional is to know that there are other people there who've done it too.
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Old 08-14-2005, 02:13 PM
 
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I don't think I've ever posted, "This is why I homeschool," and yet, I've THOUGHT it many, many times, never in the context of "You've made your bed..." though.

Since I've had experience with schools (as a student and as a parent,) when I come across a post about school where a family is having a particular problem that my own family has had, my feeling is "Oh, man! I've btdt! I know what you mean!" and usually, it IS one of the reasons we homeschool.

So, fwiw, the "This is why I homeschool" comments might not be coming from the pov that you think they are. It could just be commisseration.

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Old 08-14-2005, 02:39 PM
 
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Moving thread to Learning at Home.

 
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Old 08-14-2005, 02:55 PM
 
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CB~ I didn't see the thread you are referring to, but I agree with your post and with Joan's.

I often think it...in IRL and online. I think I have posted it, but as a tag on to someone else...not specifically in the school forum, though.

I love the part of your post about making the decision to send kids to school because it's just what everyone else does.

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Old 08-14-2005, 03:24 PM
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I don't think it's appropriate to respond to posts on the Learning at School board about problems with restroom use with "This is why I homeschool". Not helpful.

If someone posted on this forum about, oh, feeling frustrated because she was busy with a baby and a toddler and felt like she didn't have enough time and energy to work with her school-age child, and someone responded with "That's why I send my child to school, where teachers can focus on teaching and not on caring for other children or doing laundry or cooking," I don't think that would be appropriate, either.

I do think it's respectful to point out that certain rules are necessary for managing the behavior of large groups of children, and if you choose to utilize schools you need to take that into consideration... it's pretty clear on this site that homeschooling is an option, and anyone posting on Learning at School would know right where to go with questions about it.

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Old 08-14-2005, 05:02 PM
 
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Baudelaire,

You are one eloquent poster.

And I agree with everything you said.
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Old 08-14-2005, 06:05 PM
 
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I'll say "ditto" to everything Dar said and add a teensy bit.

I don't think it's right to go onto the school board and then talk about how great homeschooling is. Just as I get annoyed when people come here and talk about how great school is (I'm sure most of us can think of a few recent examples of this!) Even if it's with the best intentions, it just doesn't feel respectful to me. This does not mean we should keep homeschooling a secret. I mention it all the time on various boards because it's a big part of my life and who I am. I would just never go to a board specifically for school support, and bring up homeschooling.
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Old 08-14-2005, 06:09 PM
 
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Dar said it all very well! (Like she so often does) If people posted "That is why my kids go to school." here in this forum I think it wouldn't be very appropriate.

"The true measure of a man is how he treats a man who can do him absolutely no good."
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Old 08-14-2005, 07:25 PM
 
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I personally was affronted by the "this is why I homeschool" post. My kids go to marvelous public schools. My hubby and I give of our time and money to help keep them that way. Homeschooling is not for our family. My kids are not in a "toxic" environment, thank you. Let's all try to respect each other's choices, hmm?
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Old 08-14-2005, 11:57 PM
 
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I think that sometimes, people don't really think of homeschooling as a real option. I think it makes a lot of sense to point it out to parents who are having issues that Could be resolved by homeschooling. But I think there are much better ways to phrase it. "This is why I homeschool," especially only in written words, without verbal tone and inflection to aid in communication, DOES come off as more judgmental, and hardly helpful. It doesn't even sound like a suggestion, imo. It just sounds more like, 'Well, I don't have that sort of problem."
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Old 08-15-2005, 02:30 AM
 
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I found that particular post to be offensive for all the above reasons. It wasn't helpful. I feel like I have to send my kids to school because I have to work. I wish I could homeschool so comments like that just sound insensitve and snippy. Had it been part of a longer post, in context, it might have been helpful. But when I read it I thought, geesh, it's like someone going into GD forum and saying, "well, that's why I spank my kids," or going into the Cosleeping forum and saying, "well, that's why my kids sleep in a crib." It doesn't address the problems the OP was discussing and sounds judgemental and superior. I have seen a lot of similar post around here, so I kinda feel used to it, just scroll by.
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Old 08-15-2005, 02:42 AM
 
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I read the thread, and thought to myself "Boy, am I ever gald we've decided to homeschool" but I didn't post that because I knew it wouldn't be helpful. I'm sure the OP of that thread realizes that homeschooling is something that some people do, but for whatever reasons, it doesn't work for her family. If she'd come to "Learning at Home", posted the story, and then asked for help in transitioning to homeschooling, then we could maybe add that little quip to the end of our helpful suggestions.
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Old 08-15-2005, 03:55 AM
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well personally, if I had written "this is one of the reasons / or this is why I homschool" it is not a put down of someones else's choice of PS just an empathic type of showing understanding. Saying this is one of those situations which I dealt with, or which I feared would have to deal with.


Although I can see how it could come accross as rude. Kinda like someone going to a parenting forum and saying "this is why I chose not to have kids" or something. I think the wording is too strong.
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Old 08-15-2005, 11:00 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar
I don't think it's appropriate to respond to posts on the Learning at School board about problems with restroom use with "This is why I homeschool". Not helpful.


I think saying "this is why I homeschool" on the Learning at School board is very rude.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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Old 08-15-2005, 11:12 AM
 
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Hey, I'm "the Lori" who posted the above quoted piece.

I don't have a problem with homeschool people commenting constructively on something in the school forums. A post with "This is why I homeschool." and nothing else doesn't come across as positive or constructive. A post that contains some suggestions for rectifying the situation, and adds "Homeschooling is always an option; it's the option that works best for us." would be, in my humble opinion, acceptable and constructive.

Also, where our children are involved, I think most of us would like to fix situations rather than flit from one to another. If everytime I encountered a problem with schooling, I changed my school tactics completely (from homeschooling, to public school, to private school, to boarding school, back to public school, etc...), that isn't healthy for anyone. My view is this: in life, we meet with some crummy situations. Rather than ditch everything, work to make the situation beter. Don't just run at the first sign of a problem. When I come here with problems with school (or anything else, for that matter), certainly I want a variety of input. And sometimes, yes, changing the situation entirely would be appropriate, and it is nice to know it is an option. But mostly, I think those of us who post on the school forum are looking for ways to improve the school situation for our children. When I'm working hard to figure out a way of dealing with a school issue, and someone posts "this is why I homeschool" I think "argh! That's not helping!"

I know that most of the time it isn't meant that way. But that is how it comes across. I know that when you read the forums, you probably *do* think that repeatedly, with a sigh of relief. When I read other forums, I think things like "Well, that's why I don't have so many kids" or "That's why I'm married to a nice, stable guy" or "That's why I don't live in a big freakin town where my kids can't even breathe." etc, etc. But I don't POST those thoughts, you know?

Thank you for the nice discussion of this. I think, on both sides, it has been very civil and enlightening. I appreciate the homeschooling input on the learning at school forums when something constructive is added to the discussion, and I come here often, mainly to browse for ideas to implement at home or in the school setting. I hope we can all continue to help and support each other.

Lori
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Old 08-16-2005, 03:58 PM
 
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What Dar said.

Like Philomom, my kids go to an excellent public school, which they love and is providing them with a great education. We bought the house we live in based on the school district. Is it perfect? No. So, sometimes I may complain about certain aspects of it. I have a friend who sends his kids to a private school that costs $20,000 per student. Guess what? He sometimes complains about certain aspects of it, but that doesn't mean it's not the best choice for his family, even though I cannot fathom paying that much for middle school.

Those of you who feel obligated to trash all public schools because of teaching experience, yours isn't the only viewpoint. My dh is a public high school teacher, and I have two sisters and a SIL who also teach. Not everyone who has taught in the public school system is unceasingly negative about it.

Homeschooling is completely not what I want for my children. Being in charge of their homeschooling would be my personal version of hell. My kids would hate it. However, if other people think that it provides the best educational experience for their children, that's just fine with me.

Lori raises an excellent point. I also read some of the homeschooling threads and I do think to myself, "That's why I'd never homeschool my children." But what would be the point of posting that other than to denigrate the choices of those that do?
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Old 08-16-2005, 04:06 PM
 
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if homeschooling would be more beneficial than public schooling. My childhood would have left me maimed or worse had I been homeschooled. There were other issues involved, but homeschooling isn't always what is best for everyone. I think on the learning at home board, that is ok to say...but to say it on the learning at school board comes off as insulting and cold. Perhaps it would be better to say "Well, I don't know about that issue because we haven't faced it due to our choice of homeschooling, but I'm hear to listen and help how I can". While that might just make some parents say, ya know...why aren't we homeschooling...it wouldn't shove it in their faces or be judgemental.

I have found that scars from words last much longer than scars that bleed, so I like to tread lightly.

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Old 08-16-2005, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire

Many people -- perhaps even most? -- send their kids to public school thoughtlessly, because it's what everyone else does.
Anyway, very few people have given thought to the notion that they can (and maybe, given their specific situations, should) homeschool, that it would be the best thing for their child.
Whether you like it or not, it is a luxury and a privelage to be able to homeschool. Many public school children come from homes in which the parent(s) has no other choice.

Yes, I have thought about it and have researched and met many homeschooling families. It is just not a viable option for myself.

1819 is the date of the First Settlement in Minnesota. That is only 186 years ago.
The genocide of Indigenous Peoples of America is still taking place.
1863 was the beginning of Red Lake reservation, only 142 years ago.

As an indigenous person, I have to put my kids in the school system or else risk losing my children. I have already been charged with educational neglect and gone to trial. Thankfully, the judge dismissed my case after seeing all the records.

Right now, I have had to give away my two oldest children to keep them safe. I still have my two babies, but I do not know for how long.
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Old 08-16-2005, 04:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies
Whether you like it or not it is a luxury and a privelage to be able to homeschool. Many public school children come from homes in which the parent(s) has no ther choice.
thank you.
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Old 08-16-2005, 04:23 PM
 
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Hhmmm, I don't normally jump into the homeschooling or public school threads just because the only experience I had was my own in public school.

I do see where people would be offend when asking for help or advice on a situation that occured in school only to have someone say ,"That is why I HS". Yes, there are many beneifts to HS but that is for an entirely different forum and of no help to the OP. It would be just as insulting for a single working mother to vent about how tired they are and how much stuff they have to do, and then have someone say "That is why i got married". A bad example but you see the point.
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Old 08-16-2005, 04:41 PM
 
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I do think it was rude for someone to post in the schooling forum "this is why I homeschoo"l or whatever was written (I don't go to that forum so didn't read said post). Although I have thought the same thing numerous times IRL and online. I don't say it or post it because it isn't what the person needs or wants to hear.
I do not think that raising my kids in the manner I see fit as a privilege and I am truly saddened that anyone lives such a reality.
Homeschooling is not a luxury for my family. Homeschooling shouldn't be seen as a luxury at all but a viable option for every family who wants to do it.

OUR DAUGHTERS ARE PROTECTED SHOULDN'T OUR SONS BE TOO! :
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Old 08-16-2005, 05:05 PM
 
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ICAM with Dar!

MitB right on! Maybe folks could step into some other people's shoes for a minute?
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Old 08-16-2005, 05:09 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheacoby
I do not think that raising my kids in the manner I see fit as a privilege and I am truly saddened that anyone lives such a reality.
Homeschooling is not a luxury for my family. Homeschooling shouldn't be seen as a luxury at all but a viable option for every family who wants to do it.
it should be a viable option for every family that wants it, but it is not.
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Old 08-16-2005, 05:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfmama
it should be a viable option for every family that wants it, but it is not.
I agree.

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Old 08-16-2005, 05:17 PM
 
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Don't you all see that we put each other down quite often, without realizing it and not with malice intention. We all just have separate opinions, and sometimes others say something that just hits a nerve for others.
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Old 08-16-2005, 05:30 PM
 
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I think it's pretty clear that saying "that's why I homeschool" in the school forum is not helpful, respectful, or appropriate. Hopefully folks will be more sensitive.

However, i thinkthe underlying issue here that really gets my attention is this idea that homeschooling is an option for everyone.

MamaInThe Boonies has already outlined one situation where that is not the case.

I also want to remind people that in order to homeschool, you need a stay at home parent, which requires a level of economic privilege that many of us simply do not have. You also need to be able to meet whatever your local/state requirements are, which may or may not be possible fordifferent families for a huge variety of reasons. The implication that people who send their kids to school do so thoughtlessly without considering their childs best interests, is frankly insulting.

Personally, I think homeskooling/unschooling would be the best option for my child, and I have yet to come up with any ideas on how I can actually make it happen.

The ability to homeschool is absolutely a privilege.
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Old 08-16-2005, 06:26 PM
 
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To all of the people on this thread that are supposedly so offended by the supremely intelligent Baudelaire posting in the school forum, why are you all posting in the homeschool forum?

I find this rather baffling. And certainly more than a little contradictory to your supposed stance.
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Old 08-16-2005, 06:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kristine
To all of the people on this thread that are supposedly so offended by the supremely intelligent Baudelaire posting in the school forum, why are you all posting in the homeschool forum?

I find this rather baffling. And certainly more than a little contradictory to your supposed stance.
I haven't heard anyone say they're offended at CB posting in the school forum. I've heard people discussing how saying "that's why I homeschool" in response to discussions of difficulties with school is not helpful and can be experienced as a slap in the face. The OP invites people to discuss this, and this post wasn't started in this forum.
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Old 08-16-2005, 07:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kristine
To all of the people on this thread that are supposedly so offended by the supremely intelligent Baudelaire posting in the school forum, why are you all posting in the homeschool forum?

I find this rather baffling. And certainly more than a little contradictory to your supposed stance.
Hmm, well, Lori was the one quoted from the other forum (well put by the way), but I was the one who originally posed the question about whether it was appropriate for "This is why I homeschool" in a forum about public schooling. In response to my question, many many homeschoolers jumped right in and said I had no right to be offended because these are not support forums and that they would not be offended if we came over and criticized their choices.

So hearing that over and over again from homeschoolers sure made me think that it would be okay to post dissenting opinions here. It was encouraged even! Go read that original thread if you don't believe me. (Although clearly, when the shoe is on the other foot...).

In response to the statement that many people send their children to public school very thoughtlessly, I'm sure that's true in some instances but I'm sure it's also very true that many people, like me, made an active very thoughtful decision to send our children to public schools. Sure, there are lots of negatives associated with that decision, but there are many positives as well, just like there are positives and negatives associated with homeschooling. It's a matter of where your priorities are--which positives are important to have, which negatives are important to avoid?

That's why I think it is especially unhelpful for homeschoolers to lurk in the public school forum, select those threads that are consistent with their negative position about schooling outside the home, then pounce with such brilliant statements as "This is why I homeschool" (all the while ignoring all the positive things people have to say about public schooling).
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Old 08-16-2005, 07:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kristine
To all of the people on this thread that are supposedly so offended by the supremely intelligent Baudelaire posting in the school forum, why are you all posting in the homeschool forum?

I find this rather baffling. And certainly more than a little contradictory to your supposed stance.
CB started this thread in the school forum and it was moved here by a moderator, so the link is still there. Plus, the school people who are posting are, IMO, trying to be nice about it. This is NOT the same as the people who come here and randomly post about how great school is over and over again.

I am a homeschooler. I love homeschooling, I think it's awesome and if I have my way, my kids will homeschool as long as they like. However, I also strive to teach my children that everyone is different. I have told my dd that some children love school and *want* to go and some parents think school is a great place for their kids. I do not want her to grow up with the narrow minded opinion that the way we do things is the only way and everyone else is simply ignorant. Sure, there are some people out there who truely *are* ignorant about homeschooling, but there are also a lot of people who *have* given it a lot of thought and decided it was not for them and their kids.

We're all trying to keep this a nice, respectful discussion and so far I thought it was working. I really hope that people understand that the homeschoolers who post these things on the school board are not speaking for all homeschoolers. I certainly understand that the pro-school people who post on this board are not speaking for all pro-schoolers.
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