Two Comments on Homeschooling: And my response

The negative comments:

“I think that it takes a great person to homeschool their kids, althouh some problems is that the kids dont get to socilize the way most kids do and i think that that is a very important thing but most homeschooled kids are very talented and smart. Overall I think that the decision should me made by the child that you are going to homeschool, because it would be very hard for a child to miss important events in their life as a child by being homeschooled and i think that that choice should be made by the child itself.”

“I have to say that you are doing a totally wrong thing to homeschool your kids, Your kids will become totally unsocial and will not be able to cope with anyone, what are you going to do about that, miss. knowitall, come on, you are permanetley damaging your frikin kids, you are being a very bad bad bad mother to your children. You are so ssefish trying to manage this on your own so you can see your kids more, i mean come on i would get so so so frikin tiredof seeing you that much, you are so so so selfish i think that you should reconsider what you are taking from your childs lives. Please stp being a bitch.”

To commenter number one:

I doubt that most children know much about what their options are when they are young. If they've only met homeschooled children, than why would they consider public school? If all their friends are going to public school, why are they going to choose homeschooling? I went out once with a guy who sold marijuana to elementary kids so that they could make their own decisions about illegal drugs. I never went out with him again. Some decisions are too important to leave to a child. Should I let my child decide if they will run out in the street? Should I let them decide if they will eat healthy food? Should I let them decide if they are going to wear clean clothes, get their teeth cleaned, wear their glasses? It is part of my job as a parent to make decisions for my child. I want to make the best decisions I can.

What important events will a child miss by being homeschooled? I did not go to prom. (The drug seller asked me to. I said no.) My school did not have homecoming at the time. 20+ years later it does, but not then. They'll miss their 20th reunion. But they'll see their classmates at every family get together.

To commenter number two:

You are rude. However, I will assume there is a modicum of thought behind your diatribe and respond despite the abusive language.

People often mention the socialization of children as a major lack in homeschooling. However, it is very seldom mentioned by anyone who knows homeschoolers well. Homeschoolers participate in sports, have clubs, go to the Y, have organizations, go to church. They are socialized often and by diverse groups of people. Often more diverse than can be found in a public school in their area. But a better question might be–what kind of socialization is best for children? Public schools were started to keep children off the streets so their parents could work. Not exactly a high bar. And the socialization the school provides is one of socialization of peers. Peers who do drugs, drink, can't speak without profanity, find schoolwork a useless exercise, despise authority. Do I want my children socialized by those people? Or do I want my children socialized among people of all ages who have had diverse life experiences and have come to define their lives by positives?

I am not saying there are not hardworking, responsible, kind children in public schools. (After all I went there once and I must be, or think I am, a paragon of virtue.) I am saying that they are not the only children. There are others who think it is great fun to pick on someone because they are different, who hit and kick and place the blame elsewhere. I've seen the adults in the public school world dodge responsibility as well. In eighth grade a girl slugged me across the face. I was sent to the principal's office. “We're afraid to send her and someone has to go.”

Yes, my sons will have to learn to deal with the “real world.” But for right now, the “real world” can bedoing soccer at the Y, taking tutoring classes, going to church, and hanging out at home. It's their real world.

And who is better able to deal with the world of bullies and liars and creeps, someone who has a solid foundation and is sure of their parents' concern for their wellbeing or a child who goes to school to be picked on by students and ignored by teachers?