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Re: “What it was really like ... in one family

Unless Moonbeam and Whatnow are just trying to be spoilers here, it would appear that they are truly not happy with their personal homeschool experience. And that's okay. Forgive me for being so blunt, but this IS reality; just as my experience was overwhelmingly good, there are bound to be some kids who have a poor lot as homeschoolers. But how is this any different than public school, or indeed ANY sector of life in general? There is nothing that exists that is all good or bad - there are pros and cons, advantages and disadvantages, ups and downs to everything. That's life. So, Moonbeam and Whatnow, just try to realize that even though you had bad experiences as homeschooled kids, there are many, many families, parents, and children who have great, wonderful experiences as homeschoolers or homeschoolees. Parents who send their children to traditional schools should think about 20 years from now (and tomorrow, and every day in between) just as hard as potential homeschoolers should. I don't know whether my parents forsaw such things when I was a child, but I am currently a "successful" professional at the top of my chosen field, working all over the world. I attribute my ability to think outside the box to my parents and their decision to homeschool me.

Posted by joeydurango on 02/06/2008 at 7:56 PM

Re: “By the book

Dear Indy (one of my favorite zines, btw), Thank you for picking such a representative cross-section of books for this little review. I'm sure that no homeschool textbooks are secular in any way. (Add a liberal dose of sarcasm.)

Posted by joeydurango on 02/05/2008 at 8:07 AM

Re: “One of these things ...

Sunniemom, I'm sorry if you took what I said the wrong way (and it appears you did). I did NOT mean to harp on Christians in general. Although I am agnostic with atheist leanings myself, I have no problem with people believing in the Christian way and no problem with Christians homeschooling. Coming from the Midwest, I know many, many Christian and Christian homeschool families, many of which are wonderful. That said, I also know a few families back home who "couldn't associate" with people outside of their faith, and who started a separate homeschool group. Our original homeschool group was open to anyone - it was a HOMESCHOOL group. The new group these families started was a specifically Christian homeschool group, and one had to sign a "statement of faith" to be allowed to join. Anybody who joined that group promptly became distant from families in the other group. Silly stuff, I say. Anyhow, what I am railing against in my previous comment is what I call the "Conservative Christians", which could mean many things. What that means to me are Christians who, far from embodying the ideals that Christ set forth, live their lives in a overtly political, world bad/us good, better-than-thou manner which is decidedly not humble or forgiving. THESE are the type of people who will homeschool to "protect" their children from the bad, bad world, who will be extremely vocal about their lifestyle choices, and who seem to show up with the most skeletons in the closet at the end. Believe me, here in Colorado Springs I think this is the most dominant form of Christianity. No offense, all you CSprings true Christians. But the military-industrial complex is strong here, and you'd have to be blind to not see it in its true CSprings form: military-industrial-hyperreligious complex. A coincidence? I think not. Sunniemom, I've perused your blog before, and it would definitely appear that you are a Christian. But from what I can tell, you are the healthy kind whose belief system helps you be a nice person, and not the kind whose belief system makes them harsh, unforgiving, and myopic. It's funny, but conservative Christians remind me of nothing so much as a desparate person grasping at straws... instead of believing with that quiet faith I've seen in many people, they scream and slobber and roll their eyes, grasping the faith so tightly to escape this scary, scary world that they squeeze all the goodness out of it and are left with an empty, withered shell to hold on to. Perhaps they can sense that and that's why they're so angry all the time. These are the kind of people who often appear to the public as homeschooling poster children.

Posted by joeydurango on 02/05/2008 at 8:01 AM

Re: “What it was really like ... in one family

Moonbeam, Here's one grown (25) homeschooled person who would be more than happy to homeschool possible future children of my own in the same way my parents homeschooled their children. Sure, I "missed out" on the prom, teachers I loved, teachers I hated, etc... but honestly, I could give a damn. Most school kids miss out on truly knowing their parents, siblings, and others around them and waste an enormous amount of time in school on administrative shuffling, all shuttered within a microcosm that approximates the reality of nothing beyond high school. I'll take the real world, thank you. No need for the box. I'm certainly not saying that all grown homeschoolers think the way I do... but here's one voice to perhaps balance out your view a bit.

Posted by joeydurango on 02/05/2008 at 7:38 AM

Re: “One of these things ...

It is great to see this many homeschoolers speaking up for themselves I didnt expect to see this many comments, but count me in! As a 25-year-old unschooling graduate with three younger unschooled siblings, I found this article to be extremely biased and misleading. As Cheryl Lindsey Seelhoff wrote in her essay Who Stole Homeschooling?, conservative Christians have done a lovely job of taking homeschooling to heart and, whats more, shouting loudly about it all the time, making it seem to the general public that they are the only group interested in education outside of the public school system. My parents homeschooled their children because they felt that children should be taken care of and taught - by their parents, not by an exterior system of people. There was no religious slant to our education. We do exist! We simply dont feel the need to constantly separate ourselves from the world by 1. hiding from it, and 2. talking about it all the time. These two things are hallmarks of conservative Christians in general, not just of homeschooled conservative Christians. Christians are welcome to homeschool like anyone else, but I sure wish theyd tone down the separatist rhetoric a bit. The lack of socialization myth is, among many homeschoolers, just that a myth. My homeschool group in southern Indiana had over 50 families, and we had many activities aimed at socialization, if you must put such a word on what amounts to kids doing what kids will do. While I had plenty of friends and social interaction within our group, my social network extended far beyond fellow homeschoolers, including people from many age groups and backgrounds. I volunteered at the local hospital, played in various bands, played county league soccer, and raced mountain bikes in a state series. Contrary to popular opinion, I believe that my childhood socialization surpassed that of most school kids. Beyond public school, name another point in life where youll be forced to sit in one building all day, every day, segregated by age; how is this teaching our children how to deal with the real world? In the real world, you interact daily with people from all different backgrounds, of all different ages, of all different belief systems. A homeschool education prepares you for this in the best way possible through experience. I can understand that perhaps the article was so biased because the majority of homeschoolers in El Paso county are religious. If you live here, this will not come as a surprise after all, this is the land of the Megachurch. However, I think that Lane should have done a better job of either representing homeschooling in its more balanced nationwide variety, or of making the article definitively local in scope. Instead, what he did was take local examples and falsely extrapolate those to include homeschoolers nationwide. This is a disservice to homeschoolers everywhere, but especially those within our community that dont fit the articles poor stereotyping. If more restrictive legislature concerning homeschooling becomes reality, we will have lost one of the major reasons we homeschool in the first place. After all, families like mine homeschool to do things differently, not to re-create the public classroom in private. Stop trying to put us in a box. Mr. Reich thinks that homeschooling without sufficient regulation threatens the states interest in having citizens capable of participating in a democracy; I cry foul. Mr. Reich, turn on your television - Im assuming that you, like most Americans, have one (I dont, by the way). You will likely see coverage of Britney Spears latest breakdown before you see any news of the 2008 presidential election, not to mention this illegal and immoral war we are waging. Are we homeschoolers churning out incapable citizens? Or could it be that Americans in general are too absorbed in reality TV, fashion, and celebrity gossip to have a clue about how to truly participate in a democracy? (Which, of course, we dont have in the first place.) Mr. Reich, if youd really like to see a better informed, more intelligent, more well-rounded citizenry, begin by attacking the media giants, not by picking on one very small, mostly-well-meaning group of people. Last but not least: I like the Indy, and read it every week, but I am disappointed in this misrepresentative article. Please try to seek out the whole story before publishing one.

Posted by joeydurango on 02/02/2008 at 10:04 PM

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