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Saturday, January 3, 2015

10 Things Homeschool Parents Try To Explain But Fail


There's an article going around, called "10 Things Homeschool Moms Want You To Know". Reading her points made me cringe, as it did my homeschooled friends who read it. You see, we were the kids in her article. So our perspective on these things are a little different than hers. Since this post was being passed around and lauded by homeschooling parents, I thought it worth an examination. I took her points and thoughtfully went through them here. Because I think that other homeschooled parents need to know that their perspective on homeschooling is not the only, and perhaps not the most important, one.

1. "Our choice to homeschool is not a judgment on you."

This was her first point. She goes on to say that others shouldn't feel bad, she won't judge you for not homeschooling, don't judge her for homeschooling, everyone is just doing what's best for their kids. That's all well and good and I sincerely hope it's true for her. However, this was not my experience either as a homeschooled child or as a public school parent. Homeschooling was toted as superior no matter what. And those who didn't homeschool just didn't love their kids enough or let "worldly things" get in their way of choosing the best for their kids. We were raised thinking we were superior to public schooled kids, which we learned from the seminars and books and attitudes of the adults in our world. As a mom whose kids are in public school, I can say that this attitude of superiority is still prevalent in my world. It's been repackaged by the new wave of homeschooling as "the natural, best way to teach children". But it's still a superiority complex. I think it's great if everyone just chooses the best route for their family and leaves others alone unless harm is being done, but that just hasn't been my experience in this context, then or now.

2. "Our kids are behind in school."

This one really irks me and I almost think is the most important point. Educational neglect is a very real travesty among my alumni peers. It isn't something to joke about. It isn't something to be taken lightly. This is not a good thing. The author says that her 13-yr-old daughter can't spell "were" and her son hasn't done his math. She then throws up a red herring to distract from these disturbing facts to tell her readers (who are presumably public school parents) that it's OK because our kids are behind too. Behind in what? Well, life skills! That's right, she says because her kids can change the brakes in a car and lead a Bible study they're actually not behind but yours are because they can't do basic life things, and claims importance is "a matter of perspective". But from my perspective and that of my friends, having "life skills" and not being equal to our peers in academics means that we are not only behind in school, we are now behind in life. We were taken out of the competition before we even started. Jobs, scholarships, college, all the things that could get us where we want to go in life....we never stood a chance for these. We, with all our "life skills" and "work ethics", were passed over for kids who weren't behind in school. You can complain all you like about the way things are and the way things should be, but the way things are means that if you do not have academic skills equal to your peers, you will lose. And you will spend your adult life trying to catch up. Many of my friends are in their 20's and taking high-school equivalency classes just to get into college. They are a decade behind their peers. Take it from the homeschooled alumni: this is serious and needs to be taken seriously. 

Now about the false dichotomy. Does she really think that public schooled kids can't change brakes or lead a Bible study? That public schooled kids have only "book learning"? Where you go to school doesn't make a difference, it's how you're parented that provides education in life skills. My kids are in public school. They also spend their free time with animals, art, reading, baking, camping, fishing, going on geological hikes, visiting museums, helping Dad fix things, learning horse care, and myriads of other things that will give them life skills. They are also very much NOT behind in academics. You can have the best of both worlds, and I suggest that if this mother's children are not getting that, perhaps she needs to rethink her educational methods.

3. Our Kids Are Weird

So, yeah, I was definitely weird. Actually, I felt like a freak as a child. It was tough. Maybe I would've still felt that way in public school, maybe not. But she goes on to say "don't stereotype, we're not all like that", which is cool and everything, except for the fact that her entire piece is based on stereotyping both homeschoolers and kids in public school. Huh.

4. We really Aren't All That Patient

This one is a little concerning. She says, "We aren't any more patient than you are. There are days when we scream. There are days when we cry. There are days when we lock ourselves in the bathroom for hours on end. Our kids drive us crazy too." I'm no perfect parent and I've done my share of yelling and losing patience, but, see, screaming is not really normal. Unless your child is about to be run over by a stampede or bit by a snake, screaming at children is not merely "I lost my patience". It's more like "I am overwhelmed and taking it out on the first people I see". And, no, I have never locked myself in the bathroom. If I need some space I go outside and breathe and watch my kids play and soak up some sunshine. I get out of the house and spend time in a book store or on a mountain somewhere by myself. I take care of myself so I can take care of my kids. There are healthy and unhealthy ways to blow off steam and screaming at your kids is not healthy. Locking yourself in the bathroom is a sign you need help and major self-care. Saying, "See? I'm just like you! I do crazy things that are a cry for help!" is not convincing at all. It's OK to say you're in over your head and need help, need to switch things up a bit. Many of us lived daily with parents that were stretched to the max because of homeschooling. Parents that were constantly impatient because they never had time to take care of themselves and therefore they couldn't rightly care for us. Parents who threw their hands up in the air, declared "school is over today I can't take anymore" at 10 AM, and locked themselves in their room. THIS IS NOT OK. As someone who was the child in this author's scenario, I need parents to know that this is not healthy and does not produce healthy relationships or attitudes in the home. As a parent, I get the need for a break, trust me. My husband is a trucker and I parent 4 kids alone. So take a break! You are not superwoman. But don't act in unhealthy ways, don't sacrifice your kids' education and emotional security for the sake of homeschooling. It isn't worth it and you aren't doing them any favors. And if this was just supposed to be a joke.....it failed miserably. It's not funny.

5. We're just trying to do what's best for our kids.

See, here's my thoughts: many, if not most, parents want what's best for their kids. I mean, have you ever heard a parent say, "Naw, I don't really care what's best for my kids"?  But they've been duped into thinking that homeschooling is always The Best Right Way for their kids, so much so, that all the warning signs that it isn't actually best....like screaming and locking yourself in the bathroom and your kids falling behind.....are completely ignored.  "We were just trying to do what was best!" is something we alumni have heard ad nauseam. When, in reality, they couldn't see past the picture of The Perfect Family that they so desperately wanted to what really was best. They were so convinced they were right, they let critical thinking fly out the door. They bought a bill of goods hook, line, and sinker, to our detriment. When my best friend's mom couldn't figure out how to teach her what she needed to know, she just quit teaching her. No more school. Because public school was so wrong and evil that it couldn't possibly be better than NOTHING AT ALL. The warning signs that homeschooling is not "what's best" are there. There's a bunch of them in this author's piece. (Can I just say that if your 13-yr-old can't spell, and you're locking yourself in the bathroom, and your kids are unable to operate in the society they were born into, that you are NOT "Doing what is best" for them OR for you?) But those warning signs will be ignored because Homeschooling is a hill to die on and there can be no failure. I've seen it. I've lived it. So many of our parents still insist homeschooling was "best" even in face of educational neglect, emotional abuse, and lifelong struggles due to being homeschooled poorly. So I have a difficult time with parents like this one who claim if it wasn't best, they wouldn't do it. They will never be convinced that it isn't best so the claim is pointless. I sincerely hope I'm wrong, that this parent, this author, is different. But I'm cynical for good reason.

6. Our kids are not trick ponies.

From a kids' perspective, this is totally legit. It was always annoying to be given pop quizzes upon a stranger's discovery that we were homeschooled. Just leave kids alone, 'k? They don't owe you an explanation for their parent's choices.

7. Grades don't reflect character.

Does anyone think they do? She then downplays grades as unimportant and character as the most important thing. Another obvious false dichotomy. And from the alumni's perspective, it would've been nice to know what our grades were. That way when we graduated and entered the real world, we would know whether we were good competition for our peers or woefully behind and unable to get scholarships and jobs. Parents liked to say that grades didn't matter, but I think they should have. Perhaps just to make sure they were teaching us the way we needed to be taught, to make sure we were keeping up and learning, to hold THEM accountable. I sometimes think now the whole "grades don't matter" mantra was really a cop-out for our parents so they didn't have anyone to judge their competency. For us, it just made everything confusing and made us think we were smarter or dumber than we really were. Trying being 18 and getting to college and realizing for the first time that grades DO matter. On a test, your profs aren't going to say "Oh, your D doesn't matter, we know you have great character". Once again, the idealism of the homeschoolers doesn't match the real world that we were thrown into as adults unprepared. 

8. Our kids are socialized.

That's good to know. She says, "People seem to have great concern about whether or not our kids are well-adjusted socially. We would like to assure you, they are doing just fine." I wonder if she's thought to ask her kids how they feel about their socialization? Because my parents, and every homeschooled parent I knew, said the same things. "They are well-socialized" actually meant that we were pretty good at talking to adults and playing with small children. But many of us have no idea still how to relate to peers. Peers scare the crap out of us. Some of us still struggle to see ourselves as adults and peers of adults and struggle to relate and socialize with other adults our age. This is the product of most homeschooling socialization. We spent our lives around adults and siblings, and, rarely some of us luckier than others got to be a part of homeschooled co-ops with kids our own ages or sports teams. Not many of us were that lucky though. And some of us were completely isolated from everyone because we were dependent on our parents to offer opportunities to socialize and many parents just didn't bother. It's a legit concern and was reality for many in my generation.

9. We Worry

Here she says things like, "We really don’t need you to list the "what-ifs" for us. "What if he can’t get into college?" "What if you can’t teach her the proper way to dissect a frog?" "What if a 'regular' school was the better way to go?" We worry about all these things and more. We doubt ourselves and hope we haven’t ruined our children. We have the same Mama-guilt as you".

This was a bit infuriating. You worry? Did you ever stop to think those worries were legit? We worried too. Worried that we'd never teach ourselves to read when you gave up on us. Worried that we were cheating our way through high school math because we didn't understand it and you couldn't figure out how to teach it. Worried that we'd never do anything with our lives because we didn't know the first thing about life. Worried that we'd always be trapped, that we wouldn't have friends, that we'd be seen as impostors if we ever stepped foot into a college or workplace. Worried that we'd never fit in anywhere. Worried that we wouldn't know how to live life outside our very small boxes and 4 walls of our house. Some of us worried because our parents hurt us and since we were homeschooled we had no one to turn to and no way to know if their actions were normal or not. You worried?! Try being us. We are the ones that are still paying for your choices to not listen to your own worries. I'm not saying your worries are less important than ours, but, really, making this all about you and your worries and your success or failure is self-absorbed. This is about your children. If you have sincere worries for their future and whether homeschooling is a good idea or not, PAY ATTENTION to those worries.

10. Our Kids Do Normal Things

That's cool she gives her kids normal kid things. She is an exception. Most of us have no idea what any of those things are like. Prom? Heh, please. Dancing in our world was like having sex standing up. OMG you'd have to touch a girl!!! Some of us were forced to dress like Laura Ingalls and never allowed to watch TV. But the one line at the bottom really bothers me: "We like being different. We are okay being different, and we hope you can appreciate us for our differences!" Do you think your kids feel the same way? Would they even tell you if they didn't? Because my mom said the same things. "Yay, us, we're different! We're not like all the sheeple!" But the fact was, I hated being different. I hated being weird and the freak. I hated it all and was miserable because of it. So, parents, speak for yourself. Maybe parents get off on being "different", wear it like a badge, parading their different children around as some mark of....uniqueness? Superiority? I really have no idea. But the point is that most homeschooled kids don't get "normal" and we didn't like being different, though our parents sure seemed to think it was awesome.

If this is the piece that homeschooling parents are passing around to describe homeschooling, they may want to reevaluate that. It isn't a flattering picture at all. Perhaps what homeschooling today needs is a good dose of empathy: put yourself in your child's shoes and see their world from their perspective. Parents who were not homeschooled need to stop writing about what it's like to be homeschooled because really they have no idea. And since it's our lives that were affected most, and our futures that were gambled, I think that our perspective is important in order to prevent a lot of the mistakes made in our generation of homeschoolers. Education is, after all, supposed to be about the children and the next generation.

57 comments:

  1. Nicely written. I am a public high school teacher. Often, homeschooling parents will send their children to public school for their high school years. I understand this decision as often the subject matter is far too complex for students to learn on their own and parents have long forgotten the material themselves. Sometimes the decision is made by the students because they see that they are missing out on high school life.

    Over the years I have had many, many homeschooled children in my room. With two, TWO, exceptions, these children have had serious difficulties adapting to public school.

    My advice to homeschooling parents is to place your children in public school in 8th grade, not 9th. This will allow them to learn what public school is like while having the safety net of middle school underneath them. The grades do not show up on transcripts, the students are still monitored closely and children are still treated like children. Also, consider the trends that I have noticed over the years:

    Homeschooled children are all "A" students. For families that assign grades, typically children are allowed to repeat tests, projects, etc. until they have reached mastery. Mastery is great. But in public school teachers have time frames. Children are expected to reach mastery in a certain amount of time. They will be tested on a certain date, not when teachers feel they have ALL mastered ALL of the content. Test grades stand. Also, homeschooling parents often over-estimate their children's abilities. I cannot tell you how many times I have had former homeschooled "A" students in my advanced classes who failed my class. Their parents assumed that the 100 from their online homeschooled science class last year actually meant their child earned a 100 in the subject. It is very hard to explain to parents that they actually bought that A, their child did not earn it. For the record, I have never once seen a transcript from a homeschooled child that wasn't full of straight A's.

    Homeschooled children are awesome at remembering basic facts and looking up information. But they tend to be poor at analyzing and deducing. I had a student that proudly recited the entire periodic table at an Open House. She read the whole thing, properly pronouncing all of the element names. She was devastated, as were her parents, when she actually failed that chapter's test. She had memorized the symbols but could not grasp how to use the tool. I believe this comes from the method of homeschooling that is often used now- Google It. Online courses with open-note tests. Self-directed research based on interests. No need to know the "why" when you can just learn the facts.

    Other problems: calling out during lecture, wanting to eat lunch during class time, making it to school on time, expecting one-on-one tutoring at his/her convenience, frustration with following a class pace. Things that exist with other students, yes, but not at the same level.

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    1. Very interesting and informative comment. Thank you for your perspective! The things you said about homeschool students definitely ring true for me (though I experienced the culture shock at 18-20 in community college). And, interestingly enough, I have always been very good at analyzing and deducing. Which is why I left my sub-culture as a 19-yr-old. But I do see a lot of what you're saying. Homeschoolers like to say that they were taught how to think, but usually that's not truth. They are taught *what* to think and not allowed to question outside the paradigm (with very few exceptions for non-religious homeschoolers).

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    2. I saw a lot of the same issues with home schoolers coming in to my high school classroom as well. I would add that homeschool parents need to teach their kids to manage their materials and their time. That was a huge issue for the former home schoolers I had. Mom handed them their English book at English time and they turned in their essay when they were ready to turn it in. But in a school setting, you have to bring your book to class and turn the essay in on the due date. It was very hard for most of them to adjust to being responsible for their materials and deadlines. Whether a home school parent intends to send them to high school or home school until they move on to college, those skills are imperative.

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    3. AmieLou, interesting point. I can see how that could be a problem, mostly with homeschools that are not structured and unschoolers. I can honestly say I didn't have a problem with that when I went straight from homeschooling to community college. I actually like having deadlines, back then and now, 12 years later, as I've gone back to school.

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    4. I am so sorry that you all are having such a tough time in life, due to being home schooled. On another perspective, I have a granddaughter, who was home schooled. She graduated from high school at age 16, graduated from a major university, with highest honors (and in the honor society all her school years) at age 20 with a BS in Chemistry. By age 26 she had her PhD in Chemistry and was employed by a major drug firm at 6 figures - going in. She has written and had published multiple papers in the Chemistry field, spoken at conferences and is now a Chemistry lecturer and researcher at a major university. I think all this depends more on the child than on the system. If you have an introverted personality and expect that there will always be someone there to assist you with everything, then being independent is going to be hard. If a child is driven by a passion for something, they are going to succeed. Some parents homeschool because the drug/sex/foul language is so rampant in the local public schools. The children all have their electronic devices, but are disciplined enough to know that they are allowed on those devices for no more than 2 hours per day. And, I observed them obeying that rule without parent intervention. So, it depends on the child.

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    5. Your granddaughter was homeschooled and now she's a total nerd! Yay!

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  2. Thanks for this. As a formerly homeschooled kid, I applaud you!

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  3. Thanks for the kid's perspective. Bowing out of conversation because I just read the public HS teacher's stereotypes of hs kids not having good analytical & deductive reasoning - my Trick Ponies would disagree with him/her and probably make an analogy to how whites viewed blacks in slavery or how men viewed women for the suffrage movement (and they are 6 & 5). Like everything in life, public school and homeschool can both be done awesomely or poorly. The valuable info I received from this article is to not create that sense of superiority or us vs. them mentality. Which is ironic, because that is the very thing we create and foster when we focus on simply discussing the cons of either side and do not focus on synthesizing the pros.

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    1. You don't have to bow out of the conversation just because you have a different opinion. You are as entitled to yours as the HS teacher is to theirs. His experience on that matter has been mine as well, so I relate to it. maybe your experience has been different, and that's fine, but keep in mind that I, as a homeschooler, have known literally thousands of other alumni and we do tend to see certain trends. I hope this next generation can do better.

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  4. Thank you for this! I was home-schooled and I definitely hold some resentment towards my parents for it. It has taken me about 10 years on my own to realize that there are other ideas and beliefs out there other than my fathers. It was always his opinions or beliefs and anyone who believed different were idiots and probably going to hell. The real world was a shock! I was weird, I still am. I have serious trouble interacting with peers. When I had children, my father assumed that I would home school them. When I told him that they were going to public school, it was pretty obvious how furious he was and basically told me it was going to screw my kids up. I don't debate it with him because there is no debating with that man, but my mother knows a little how I feel and respects it, and has actually apologized to me for not putting me in public school. It is hard for me to keep my mouth shut when people I know decide to home school! Thank you for this, and sorry for the novel....it's nice to know there are people who feel the same way, and I am not a horrible person for being against homeschooling because I was home schooled!

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  5. I attended public school K-3rd grade...then a private school 4th-8th grade after my Mom who taught at the school continued our education at home through graduation. I went on to college with no problems whatsoever. So I am sorry for you...that you and seems others on here had a bad home schooling experience. That is sad!! What I'm not understanding is how you reading someone elses post and getting on here basically bashing what they wrote is not you being judgemental back?! I think we all need to check our attitudes in life and learn to mind our own business!! Yes we all have experiences in life some good and some bad but that is no reason to act in manners that we do.

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    1. You would have to define "bashing". What I did here was to critique some troublesome things I saw and to offer another perspective, one I and other felt was important. I do not see that as "bashing" by any definition. I'm glad you have a good story. But the bad stories are plenty too and it would be good for people to understand and consider so that they are not repeated.

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    2. I have read your article over and over again and yes I still see it as bashing. You are a very angry person for the way you were done and because a homeschooling Mom wrote an article (which I have gone and read over and over) it made your angers as a child come out. If you are genuinely concerned about other people understanding home schooling and how it can go bad then you should write your own story instead of taking someone elses and tearing it apart. I would love to read it!! I think you as a grown adult need to talk to your parents about how you were done...how it has made you feel...forgive...and move on with Gods help. I am so sorry for the ways you and your friends were done. I think they are terrible but that does not mean everyone else had such or is being given such a horrible home schooling experience. I agree with many of the things you said but some of yours makes me angry because I feel you are judging all home schooling on yours. I agree with some of hers also but hers makes me angry in places too because we do not all see it that way or act in those hideous manners. I have 4 children. 2 of which I home school. 9th grade and 5th grade. My Prek and Kindergarten kids go to a private school. I do not look down on or think badly of anyone who chooses how their child receives an education if they are receiving just that...an education. My children can spell better than most of the other home schooled kids we know. I do not yell or scream nor have I ever locked myself in the bathroom or anywhere else for that matter. I do not stop school if we dont understand something...we together figure it out. Then say "Ohhhh!!!" and usually laugh cause we made it harder than it was. My children are around children their own age everyday. They need to be!! I make sure they know and see what goes on in the world around them cause I want them to be thankful for what they have. All our stuff is graded and I keep records of everything. That I will happily show anyone!! My children have more test than any of their public school friends and make the highest grades which they are very proud of. Both went to public school one til 5th the other til 3rd. I ask them all the time if they want to go back and the answer is always no. They are learning more at home than they ever did in our school district that is why I took them out because I did not feel like my kids were getting an education. Do we get behind? Yes because people die...things happen. Do we stay behind? No We work double or on normal days off to get back to were we need to be. My oldest wants to be a Veterinarian and I know what kind of smarts she has to have to do that!! Do you think I'm not goin to make sure she makes the best grades and graduates with the highest average of anyone else her age?! Yes I am!! So all I'm saying is please oh please just remember that not everyone who is home schooling or has been home schooled has the same views as you or the other lady who wrote the other article. We all have our on experiences in life don't judge others just based on yours. Until you've walked a day in my shoes or I in yours!! Right?? Btw you would probably be a great home schooling Mom just cause you know what to not do!! I do applaud you for the decisions you have made for your kiddos education because that is what school is for educating. Sorry so long!!

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    3. I'm actually not angry, nor did I write this from a place of anger. Diagnosing people's mental states on the internet doesn't seem to be your strong point.

      I tried homeschooling. It didn't work out. My kids and I are much happier with all of us in school. Not everyone is cut out to be a teacher and that's OK by me.

      This blog is full of my stories. Check it out sometime! You'll find that in the past 5 years I've addressed almost everything you've protested about here.

      I've talked to my parents plenty, thanks. My dad and I are cool. He completely understands that forgiveness and moving on don't mean that I erase my story or never talk about it or pretend the ugly parts didn't happen. My story is my own, it made me who I am, and I tell it and use it to help others, I've even based my career on my experiences. It sound a little bit to me that this piece hit a nerve with you....someday your kids are going to grow up and evaluate your parenting too, as mine will. I'm OK with that....are you?

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    4. Seems we are in the same boat cause you are not good at judging people on the internet either. All I wanted to point out is that we are not all "weird" or "different" as you so nicely put that you were and that us Moms do not all act as the other woman. Heaven forbid!!

      I am sorry for thinkin you were angry. That is just the way you came across to me by using someone elses piece to criticize home schooling instead of just writing your own.

      The only nerve it hit with me is because you along with others want to judge home schooling by your bad experiences and by another womans not true for all of us H.S. Moms lives article. I wish you could unannounced come spend a week with me home schooling my kids so you could see the good side just once.

      You said at the end parents who were not home schooled need to quit writing. Well I was home schooled so I can see it from both sides. It has not been a bad view for me in any direction.

      I somehow missed something cause I did not know I was "protesting" anything?!

      I have read some of your other post and they break my heart cause I see a very hurt little girl and no one should ever have to live with that kind of pain. I am so sorry!!

      My parents have been out of town all week. They live 20 minutes from me. I went to their house this evening to turn their house back on for them to come home. They did not ask me to do that I just did it. That in itself should tell you how my life growing up was. So am I OK with that...Yes Ma'am I am!! I would gladly now let my children sit with anyone in a room and be asked a ton of questions about their lives. Because I am confident as a parent!! :)

      I understand that everyone in life is not as lucky as others to be raised in a wonderful environment such as mine and that is sad to me. Lookin back as an adult I can see now how my stupid little grips...like havin a curfew at midnight were that stupid...when so many others had things goin on that were so much more real.

      Darcy You are in my prayers!! Keep writing and I will keep reading because I hope in writing you can find the peace you need.

      God bless you and your family!!

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    5. "All I wanted to point out is that we are not all "weird" or "different" as you so nicely put that you were and that us Moms do not all act as the other woman."

      I think you are confusing my words with the words of the author whose post I was critiquing. She had a very bleak view of homeschoolers being "weird".

      I have found peace, thank you. I am no longer religious, no longer a hurt little girl, and am doing quite well in my life. I think that people make the mistake of thinking that those who talk about their pasts, who tell their stories, and who are passionate and full of emotions are not "at peace". It's only through the telling of stories and the going back that a person can really have peace.

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  6. I was all set to disagree with you, and then I read the original piece. Ugh. I totally agree the original author needs to heed the RED FLAGS that caused her to write it in the first place. To be honest, it doesn't sound like her kids are knocking it out of the park on "life skills" either.

    I'd also agree with the high school teacher's comment about putting kids back in school in 8th grade. Folks, high school these days is academically HARD. there is a huge jump in workload and expectations from 8th to 9th. Kids don't have the time or mental resources to deal with the tougher academics combined with all the new social and school management expectations. Give them the gift of a year to ease in, learn the routine, and develop some social connections before the grades really count.

    I honestly think you were a little easy on the original author.

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    1. Easy on her? Ha! Well, I did kind of see that post as a cry for help so I felt a little sorry for her. :) I also felt sorry for all the comments of homeschooling parents on Facebook appalled that people were passing that post around as some sort of representation of homeschooling. There were plenty of parents that really didn't like it, and for good reason!

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  7. I am grateful for this post. My husband and I discuss homeschooling our son often and there are a lot of useful lessons here. I believe in the benefit of structure, even while learning at home, and making and following lesson plans that require work to be completed. My son not opening his math book in who knows how long wouldn't be acceptable.

    There are many reasons we are considering homeschooling, but religion is not one of them. We don't want to shelter him from other ideas and beliefs. If anything I'd like to expose him to more.

    We have not made a decision to homeschool yet because we know it is a huge undertaking, a full time job for the one at home doing it, and requires discipline, organization, and honest assessment of how things are going. We are lucky to have co-ops nearby that provide classes for the more involved subjects and have parties, shared expense field trips and park days. I just don't want to let my son down and need to make sure that the final decision is going to benefit him the most. There are reasons that remaining in traditional school may not be the most beneficial for him.

    Thanks again for the unique perspective.

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  8. So I am just going to add another perspective here. I was homeschooled myself 2nd-12th grade, and am now homeschooling my own kids. Much of the first article I found appalling, kids should not behind school for more than a week or two (like everyone is sick, or Grandpa just died). And parents should not resort to screaming or locking themselves in the bathroom ever. But at the same time homeschooling gave me the ability to think, argue and write logically. My mother may have done some things wrong (she was diagnosed with Asberger's when I was already grown), but she gave me an amazing education. When I went to college to study first Vocal Performance, and then Theatre, I found myself ahead of the game. I had no problem getting A+ in my general classes, and I made a bunch of great friends, most of which came from very different backgrounds than my own. I know too that I am not a rare exception, as I have many friends who were homeschooled and have gone on to be successful in life. The key difference between homeschool kids who succeed and those who don't seems to be in whether their parents are homeschooling them to protect them from the world, or homeschooling them to give the best education that they can receive.

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    1. I really didn't like the "my kids are behind". Although there may be a locical reason like my child has a learning disability, the average homeschooled child should never be behind. My oldest is ahead but she's like a sponge and soaks up everything. We do school 3 days a week all year round with breaks when we need them so that we aren't behind or overwhelmed. Yes a child may struggle with a subject and be behind but it shouldn't be because we haven't opened a math book in months. Kids need reinforcement and long breaks will only but them further behind.

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    2. That's awesome. Sounds like your mom did a really good job. I think your last sentence is definitely a key point in this discussion for sure. Even in my own experience, I got an excellent education in many subjects (grammar and writing), and woefully inadequate education in others (math and science).

      I love enough people whose parents cheated them out of an education in the name of homeschooling that I don't see them as some minor exception anymore. And even if they were, they still matter to me. Every person matters. So while I can say that my education was sufficient in many areas, I hurt for my friends and family who didn't have that and want to add my voice to theirs and do what I can to raise awareness and to help enact change.

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  9. When I first read this post I admit I skimmed it and started to feel defensive. I have started homeshooling this past year. My oldest is in Kindergarten. I read the "10 Things Homeschooling Parents want you to know" and at first I agreed with most of what she said. I do think that some things were not said in the best way.

    After rereading what you wrote I have to agree with much of what you said. I know others who have a similar story as yours.

    There are lot of dangers of homeshooling. You pointed out many. It's not that homeschooling or public or private education is a bad or good option in general, it's that we need to make a choice that we feel is the best for our kids and continue to follow through. All parents should be involved in their child's education in some way. We also need to reevaluate to see if what we are doing is working or not.

    I went to college to become a teacher. I have worked in schools on and off for many years, but now I love being able to use that education for my children. I live in a rural community and there really lisn't much to offer kids with learning disabilites. It isn't the fault of the school or teachers but between paperwork, bureaucracy, and overcrowding there just isn't the help for them. My middle child will probably be behind in reading and spelling because she has and continues to have problems with speech and hearing. Will she be behind in everything? I highly doubt it. Not much different if she was in public.

    As to the grade issue I think you both have valid points. Since they are elementary age I'm not worried about grades on everything. I want their effort to be awarded as much as their ability. This is one area where I very much disagree with what public schools do with our kids. When only graded on ability you miss important things like work ethic. I'd rather my kids work hard until they have finished and do their best even if it results in a poor grade then get A's with no effort. In a perfect world there would be both. I love the saying "Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn't work hard." That's what I want my kids to reflect. They still need to have a grade that reflects their ability.

    When it comes to the socialization issue I know what you saying, but what most homeschool parents are saying is that they are around many different types of people and can handle themselves better in conversations. Of course this is not everyone, but homeschooling has changed drastically in the past 5 years. Homeschoolers aren't typically socially awkward like they used to be.

    I thought you were very valid in many points and no matter what we chose, we need to stop the "I'm better then you mentality". I homechool because I love to do it and I feel like this is where God wants our family to be today. I'm not making a huge sacrifice because this is what I've always wanted to do. I will make mistakes but parents are full of them. I will worry about my kids, but there is nothing you can do to stop that. My kids aren't considered weird until someone finds out they are homeschooled. Whatever. There is a new generation of homeschoolers that are very different from those 20-30 years ago. I hope someday it won't be mother against mother, family against family always trying to out do each other.

    I do hope families will not be discouraged by your post but really take and think about what it takes to homeschool. It isn't easy and it isn't for everyone. It a decision not to make lightly. Teaching is not easy. It takes a lot of work and it's a lot of responsibility. Sometimes public school is a better choice for your kids because your relationship cannot handle it. Other times it might strengthen it.

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  10. I was homeschooled from beginning to end. My parents did most things right, some things wrong, as I suspect all parents do. My younger sisters went to high school and one to middle and high school. I never had issues going into a classroom setting after school and did very well when I took any kind of class.

    I now homeschool my three boys, but I'm fine with them going to school later if they want to. We're not religious, but we live in Guatemala and I wanted them to start out in English. Around here, public school only runs half a day, so they have half a day to hang out with their friends and cousins who live on the same street . . . just like every other kid around us.

    The author of the first article certainly did not convey her points well. I suspect she was trying to be funny, but it kind of made homeschooling parents look bad. I'm sorry you had a terrible experience with homeschooling, but I do think that the experience varies drastically, just as family life does, no matter where kids go to school.

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  11. I have a lot to say about what you have written here. Too much to actually write it all in a response. I have started a few different responses but can't seem to make it brief, so I will have to skip that part. What I want to say is that I do think people who grew up in homeschooling families should share their experiences. I think if you actually want to make a difference, you should figure out how to say it in a way that is compassionate towards to homeschool family and you are not there, at least not in this post. You seem to view it in a pretty negative light, which is understandable. I assume you had a very negative experience from what you are saying here. I do homeschool and very much want my children to have a voice in their education, that is one of the many reasons we do this. I know many who were homeschooled and ask others, often, what they liked and didn't like about their experiences. I do care but it is difficult to know what to take away from this and it is difficult to read this and not worry that some day my children will decide to take up writing publicly about how terrible it was that I taught them. I would assume as a mother you can understand that. I can also assume that as a parent of children going to public school, you won't have to worry about them doing the same to you. There is a lot of pressure as a parent. We all have to make a lot of choices and none of us know the outcome of what we are choosing for our children. I really think the author of the original blog is attempting to be relatable and funny, and is not some unstable monster.

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    1. "it is difficult to know what to take away from this and it is difficult to read this and not worry that some day my children will decide to take up writing publicly about how terrible it was that I taught them."

      I think in this statement lies the crux of why so many of you feel the need to freak out about what I've written here and try to lecture me on my "tone". You are scared. I get it, parenting is scary stuff. But actually, as a mother, I do not relate to this sentiment at all. Not because I'm anywhere near perfect, but because of how I operate my relationship with my children. And because my identity and value as a person is not in my kids, it's not in "homeschooling mom", it's not in anyway related to them and my choices for them. We are not a hierarchy in this family. My kids have a say in how they're raised. I listen to them, we are friends, we conduct our relationship very differently than most. They are allowed to express all their feelings and I will hear them and they know it. They aren't trapped in choices I've made for them with no way out. They will not have to suppress their personality and emotions and desires until they are 18 and move out. I daily admit my failings to them and ask how I can do better and I listen when they tell me. I see them as little human beings and they see me as their advocate. If, after all this, they grow up and write a blog about their childhood that doesn't paint a perfect picture of me, that's OK. It's their story and they have a right to tell it. I am under no illusion that the choices I make will save me from their criticisms as I am human and I don't need to be saved from that. They are now and will always been completely free to voice such criticisms to my face. To tell me as things happen that I screwed up. I am not afraid of my kids growing up and writing about me because I have nothing to hide and do not pretend to be something I'm not. My life....my strengths, weaknesses, ugly parts, failings, and victories....are an open book to the world and to my children. We are a team, we are equals, and we are choosing together how to conduct their childhoods and prepare for the rest of their lives. I freely apologize to them and seek to do better when I fail and I can't see that changing in the future as their concerns get bigger and their thoughts become their own. I have no need to keep up a pretense that I in any way always know what's best. They are treated with autonomy, respect, and as human beings. If a way I am acting or a choice I am making isn't working for them now or in the future, they are completely free to voice that so we can work it out together to find a way that works for all of us.

      So, no, I am not scared of my children growing up; I'm not scared of their opinion of me; I'm not afraid of their stories since they will always be the main character and not a supporting role like I was in the story of my childhood. I think that if so many homeschool parents are scared of their kids writing blogs like mine, they should reconsider their choices. Consider what they place their identity in, and what gives them value as people. I have had dozens of parents just like you voice the exact same things, and my answer to you and them is the same every time.

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  12. Interesting perspective. I am currently a homeschool mother who attended public school and felt like I could have said most of the same things that you did. I attending a very strict denomination of church growing up so maybe it's a strict upbringing that makes people feel so awkward? I still feel like I don't "get" things that others around me seem to just know. It has taken me many of my adult years to get to a point where I feel like I'm actually maturing as a person and not merely surviving.

    I literally cringed as I read that article as well, but I assumed the author was fairly new at homeschooling and still has the 'homeschool can never be wrong' attitude. I think the point about grades is important. I fell into the 'grades don't matter' trap, but they really do to a point if only because that's the way society works. I had a college professor who said, "I don't think grades are an effective measurement of learning, but until they come up with something better I'm still using them." I think that's a good perspective: give grades, but realize they aren't all that's involved in learning.

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  13. Darcy-thank you for sharing your experience. While I know you were trying to offer a different perspective, I admit I agree with the other reader who said you seem to come across as "angry". And when told that you seem angry, you become very defensive that you are not.

    I am very sorry you had a bad experience being homeschooled. Truly I am. My husband was homeschooled, he also had a bad experience. I was in public school my entire life. I had an awful experience. Socially, emotionally-public school was horrid for me. Particularly middle school and high school. And I went to the "best" schools in a ritzy community outside of Dallas. When I got to college I wasn't the least bit prepared academically. I was passed through a public school system based on letter grades and standardized tests. No one cared if I really knew "how" to learn.

    Now, do I think ALL public school kids had a bad experience? Of course not. But I know plenty that did. Just like you know plenty of homeschooled kids who had a bad experience. My point is this: we can all have issues and bad experiences, no matter how we were educated. Don't put us all in your stereotype buckets. Many of us can all play our own violin. Now that I have my own children, we,for now, choose to homeschool. It was a hard decision. I work hard to give my kids a "healthy" homeschool experience. And majority of the moms from our co-op are the same. Homeschooling has changed quite a bit in the last decade. I liked the original article you were critiquing. I related to it. I took a lot of her illustrations as humor. No I don't lock myself in the bathroom, but sometimes that sounds nice, lol.

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    1. 3 quick things:

      1. Being angry is perfectly OK. There are many things in this world worth being angry about. Educational neglect is one of them. But we all have different passions and that's OK too. Which brings me to my next point.....

      2. Passion does not = anger. I am very passionate about children's rights. I am passionate about stopping educational neglect. I am passionate that a new generation of homeschooling children do not suffer in the ways that my generation did. Actually, I'm passionate about a lot of things. I think that often in our culture, and especially in the religious sub-culture I was raised in, strong emotions and passion are very scary, taboo things. I reject such notions and see emotions, even big bad scary ones, as gifts to help us gauge our emotional health. Embrace them! :)

      3. People do get defensive when falsely accused. This is normal and healthy. Sitting down and taking every thing that's thrown at you is not normal or healthy.

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  14. I read the other article first, then saw your link in the comments and decided to read it, as well. I'm glad I did. As a homeschooling mom, I think the other author had some valid points, but I also cringed at others. I am a product of public school. I enjoyed school, had average to above average grades, my first dance was my junior prom, (super strict parents from super religious backgrounds that finally lightened up), etc. My choice to homeschool had nothing to do with the quality of public school education and I have utmost respect for the teachers, many of which I call friends. You have some very valid points that I actually try to keep in mind as we continue our homeschool journey. My children have been part of a co-op for 5 years now. They have lots of friends, but are also given grades and will be sent out of the class if they are disruptive. I like that. Most of the kids do not dress "weird" but we don't think anything about those that do. I like that, too. My children are involved in extra curricular activities such as dance and cross country. Other than the friends they have in our co-op, the vast majority of their friends all go to public school. I drill my kids on the point that we, in fact, are not superior because we homeschool and that they may one day go to public school. I will admit that I haven't pushed the 'grades' thing a lot. However, my oldest is only in 5th grade right now and elementary grades won't get them in college. That being said, I enrolled him in a local umbrella school this year that requires standardized testing because I do agree that grades will become more important from here on out and regardless of the fact that I HATE standardized tests, they aren't going away and my children do need to learn how to take them and I do need to know if and what they are behind in so they can get caught up before it's too late. We are a religious family, my husband is even a minister. However, my kids are subjected to listening to One Direction, Jason Derulo, and whoever else is on the radio because I DO want them to know what's out there other than Christian music, because it's what I like to listen to, and Christian radio stations are seriously lacking. I'm also glad that at this point, they will ask me to change the station if they know a song with inappropriate language is coming on. They are learning to make good decisions on their own. We do discuss creation as what we believe. They also know about evolution and other religions and I make a point of letting them know that those who believe other than we do are intelligent and it's not up to us to determine if they are going to hell. That's between them and God. We also watch way too much t.v., lol. My kids seem to do pretty well with others, even peers their own age. It is your concerns that I do keep in mind as I continue to homeschool and I hope others aren't so out of touch. The majority of the current homeschool parents I know are concerned with the shortcomings you mentioned and are trying to make some changes in the way we do things. So, thank you for sharing the other side of the story. I have no plans to stop homeschooling any time soon and I don't feel like you bashed all homeschoolers. You were just reminding us to not forget the children's perspective and that the world won't cater to anyone and we need to prepare them for that. Thanks.

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    1. Thank you for your comment. I appreciate it. :) My choice to put my kids in school wasn't based on my personal education either. I don't think that's a very good thing on which to base how you educate your kids. It sounds like your kids are going to do just fine, not because you're making all the right choices, but because you understand the pros and cons of your choices and you're paying attention to your kids and their needs. I read your comment and I don't see homeschooling as your identity and a hill to die on. I think that's mainly what sets apart the healthy homeschoolers from the non-healthy ones.

      Oh and you weren't the only homeschool parent that didn't like the original article. On several Facebook pages, I saw a lot of homeschooling parents that didn't like it, and I don't blame them!

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  15. Darcy-while I respect and appreciate your view, it does come across as very one-sided. You seem to paint a broad brush. Phrases like "most homeschoolers", "all the homeschoolers I knew" , "among all my alumni peers". Your view is very rooted in your own experiences and circumstances. Fine, most opinions are. But it is not a valid point of reference when throwing out a counter critique to the homeschool community. It's just your opinion, much like the other article. No I didn't necessarily like or agree with every single thing in her article, but that's her, not me. And frankly, I think that some of her points would apply to some public schoolteachers as well. I know, I know, you're not against homeschooling. You just wrote a counter piece criticizing potential issues with homeschooling. And you're not angry, you're just passionate. Okay fine.

    I totally support people sharing their stories and opinions, but at least base that opinion on actual evidence and research verses just your own experience. I know several people who were homeschooled who are happy and successful. I also know people that aren't. That doesn't make my opinion on homeschooling any more valid than the other person. My biggest problem is that your post (and others like it) are what gives anti-homeschoolers ammunition. They read it and go, "see, see? Homeschooling is bad!" And then I read it only to see that this just yet another person who was poorly homeschooled and had a negative experience.

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    1. Did you miss the part where this is an opinion piece, critiquing another opinion piece, on my blog where I write my opinions? Yes? OK then. :P

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    2. And, trust me, homeschoolers and homeschooling give the "anti-homeschoolers" PLENTY of ammo all by themselves. Case in Point: the original "10 things" post. If looking bad is your biggest fear, you've got other problems besides me putting my opinion on the internet.

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    3. No. I didn't miss it. Which is why I stated repeatedly that this is your opinion. The problem is that when your opinion generalizes a piece of the population, many do not distinguish between actual truth and your collective experiences. But maybe that's because all those readers are homeschooled, and they apparently can't think for themselves.

      My point is that for all the homeschooling parents who are actually trying and are seemingly successful, you are taking away from that by providing a very narrow view. At least present both sides.

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    4. Allow me to direct you here: http://darcysheartstirrings.blogspot.com/2014/08/we-are-not-threat.html

      And here: http://darcysheartstirrings.blogspot.com/2014/03/on-homeschoolers-stories-and-dismissal.html

      And here: http://darcysheartstirrings.blogspot.com/2014/10/the-accidental-world-changers.html

      That should be enough for now. :D

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    5. Ooops, I lied. One more. You'll like this one: http://darcysheartstirrings.blogspot.com/2014/05/if-shoe-doesnt-fit.html

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  16. Darcy, I am uncertain of one thing, even upon perusing your recent posts ~ are you a Christian family? Do you hold yourselves accountable to raising your children according to what Ephesians 6:4 says about the nurture & admonition of the Lord? (the Greek word used there is paideia) Because I do think that that is an important consideration when it comes to the discussion about the schooling of children, which I don't see discussed here. And as someone who stood alongside you in your Christian wedding ceremony ten years ago, I guess it is just sad that I even have to ask.
    I was one of your homeschool peers, entering college at the same time with a homeschool diploma ~ and now I am joyfully homeschooling my children. My parents were not perfect in the paideia of raising me, nor am I with my children. But we seek to glorify God and raise saints for His Kingdom in whatever way He reveals is best for our family, which necessarily involves saturating them in a worldview framed by, for, and with Christ. We daily give it up to Him. Incidentally, not only did I love being homeschooled all the way until college (and then was a straight A student at community college and a private university), we also love the challenge of homeschooling, as do our children, and we are encouraged by parents and grandparents and even great-grandparents.
    Anyway. I'm just interested to see your take on the calling regarding paideia, and I haven't found it here myself yet.

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    1. No, we are no longer Christian. We were still Christian when we decided to put our children into public school and have never believed that Christians must homeschool. Even my parents did not believe that. I do not believe homeschooling to be a uniquely religious thing and many of my homeschooling friends are not religious, though religious people have and do use it to make sure their children learn only what they want them to, as my parents did. I absolutely will not be raising my children in a religious home. We are free from the abuses we've suffered in the name of Christianity and quite happy to stay here. Many of my friends are still Christians of every shape and form and I respect their beliefs but do not share them.

      Don't be sad for us! We have a thriving marriage, are still madly in love, 4 beautiful, intelligent children who are being taught how to think not what to think, some pretty amazing friends, a blossoming career for me and dreams for Sky, and a wonderful, full life in a beautiful place we love. Which you would know if you cared to keep up our friendship, a friendship I valued, btw. Also it's ironic that you dumped me as a friend years ago yet feel the need to admonish me now and pretend you know me. I'm not that person I was 10 years ago. And I'm overwhelmingly grateful for that!

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    2. Also, in case you actually do care to know, I've written in detail about where I am spiritually in these two posts:

      http://darcysheartstirrings.blogspot.com/2014/08/a-time-to-search-and-time-to-give-up.html

      http://darcysheartstirrings.blogspot.com/2014/04/and-so-i-choose-freedom-to-love.html

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    3. Darcy, I do care. And while I don't think this is an appropriate place to discuss anything about "dumping a friendship" I am more than willing to talk to you (especially if there is hurt that I need to address) about it in a more appropriate place. I wasn't pretending to know who you are now (that's why I was simply asking). I'm just surprised. Please don't be defensive, I was asking from a place of concern because I honestly did not know that you left the Christian faith. I have read many of your posts so thought it likely, but did not see the blatant truth in so many words before. So thank you for answering my question.
      As for Christians needing to homeschool, I totally agree: there is no reason that Christians need to homeschool (or any religious people need to *homeschool*). I do believe that Christians need to provide their children with a Christian education, but that can be done by homeschooling or by traditional day schooling. It isn't the method of schooling that I believe is important, but the worldview which a child is educated in. If you agree with the worldview provided by the government schooling system, then I agree that is exactly where your kids ought to (or at least, legitimately can) be. Only you and your husband have the responsibility to raise your children in the worldview you see through, and it sounds like your children are being educated in a place consistent with your worldview. So good for you.
      I am glad you are happy, Darcy. And I'm thankful for the years we spent together as friends, truly. Our lives have gone different directions, but that does not mean that the intersection of our lives in the past wasn't a blessing. It was.
      Thanks for answering my question and sharing the specific links to re-read. Peace be with you.

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    4. You are always welcome to e-mail me. My e-mail is the same as it always has been.

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  17. I was homeschooled growing up. It was the absolute best thing my parents could've done for me. I loved every minute of it. I did well, and found myself ahead of all public schoolers in college. Lol. I had a very difficult major but had no problem with my classes because of my amazing parents who homeschooled me! My organic chemistry professor asked me after a test if I was homeschooled. I replied yes and he said he had thought so. He told me that he had only ever had 3 homeschool students in his class . He said that the homeschool students had an average of 98%. The public school average was 75%. He told me that he wished he had been homeschooled and he went on to tell me that I, and all other homeschoolers should consider themselves lucky to have parents who loved then enough to spend their lives with them instead of dumping them in school all day.

    Homeschooling gave me some great activities. We had a basketball team, a football team, a soccer team, a swim team, etc. We had prom, yearbook, graduation, etc. I had plenty of friends and had no trouble once I got out into the "real world".

    Homeschooling is great because it focuses on the individual child. If I was struggling on a subject, my mother would slow it down a little until I clearly understood it. Then we would move on. If I excelled in a subject, we could speed ahead to challenge myself even more. In public schools, an exceptionally bright child is at the same pace as a child who is struggling. A child who is struggling will have to keep struggling. A child excelling won't be challenged. Public schools almost seen like they're moving a herd of cattle through. No one can slow down or speed up.

    I am so so sorry about your experience with homeschooling. I hurt for the pain and anger you now have. However, a time will always come when it's time for us to move on. Have people hurt us before? Yes, but we have to move on and quit dwelling on the past. Have we been treated in an unkind way? Yes, but harping on the past will only make us bitter.

    Darcy, please leave this behind you. Please move on and no longer dwell on things that happened so long ago.

    Your parents are human. Perhaps they made a mistake in homeschooling you. Perhaps you need to think of the blessings you encountered while homeschooling.

    Recently, a friend of mine lost her five year old child to cancer. She said she was full of anger and pain but wasn't going to dwell on that. She said she would USE the anger and pain in positive ways. I would say she does an excellent job of doing so! She focuses on the good. She looks for the positive. She forgives.

    I hope and pray we all will do the same. I believe you do have scars, Darcy. I believe your childhood gave you those. I believe you still have anger and that's okay. While you do need to move on from some of it, you can use other parts of your anger. Right now, your anger is using you. It is making you bitter, jealous, hateful, and negative. Don't let it do that to you! Use it and look for good things! Look for the positive! Don't pick apart every article you read!

    If you keep letting your anger control you, you will lead and live a miserable life. I pray that you use your anger for good so you can live a joyous life!

    I will be praying for you!
    Blessings!

    And pleas excuse any grammer mistakes as I am typing on my tiny phone:p


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    1. I think it's wonderful you had such a great experience. I don't see how anything you wrote here has anything to do with my article, however. Do you have any critiques of anything I actually wrote?

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    2. After reading through my response to your article, I realized I put things in a very bad way and would like to apologize to you. I'm very sorry for putting things the way I did.

      I would like to say that I think you are an excellent writer. Your writing makes me think which is one mark of a great writer.

      I would also like to say that you seem to be an excellent mother. I can tell you truly care for your children and want only what's best for them.

      I think part of the reason I went off the way I did was because I have heard many people telling me lately that I should not consider homeschooling my kids. I guess one gets tired of hearing others saying what they need to do with their kids!

      I believe that homeschooling and public schooling and private schooling are all options. They all have benefits and all have problems. That's okay.

      The article that was written I disagreed with on many levels. It portrayed homeschooling as something it is not. That made me angry.

      I certainly wish the best on you and your family.

      Do you have any critiques of what I've written?

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    3. Do you mean of what you wrote before and apologized for? lol :) I didn't feel like bothering, since most of it was unfounded assumptions about me that were definitely incorrect. A lot of commentors have come here and accused me of all manner of attitudes and motives instead of critiquing and discussing what I actually wrote, and I should have probably stuck to how I answered you....asking about the article, not letting side issues come up. People who prefer to attack your motives are not out to learn anything or have a constructive conversation. So kudos to you for realizing that. :)

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    4. I find your article to be opinion based, not fact based. Flavoured by your experience, and a negative experience at that, which is quite evident in your writing. I found it quite fitting that the one commentator responded with their own experience as well, though you said it didn't have anything to do with your article...

      I found the first comment quite informative. Though, I also think that public school students are at a great disadvantage by being neglected to be taught about religion at all, which is something that you said was a disadvantage of homeschooling. They are further neglected in any guidance or teaching in many many matters of morality and values.

      Who is really better off? Homeschoolers? or Public schoolers? OR maybe there is much much more to this matter than simple academics....

      I do encourage you in your writing :).

      Take care

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    5. Um, yes, it was my opinion based on my experience. So what? This is my blog. I post my opinion here. It's how blogs work.

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  18. I find it pretty interesting that a woman with the privilege of not having the kids at home all day every day due to having access to high quality public schools where people share her cultural values and who has a husband with a job that offers total flexibility in being able to be there to give her ample options for "self-care" has such a total lack of sympathy for the situation the poor woman who wrote the OP is in.

    I do not know if you actually live somewhere conducive to letting the kids just run around as much as they want safely because you're a mile away from the nearest paved road, but it would not be surprising.

    What I got out of your post is that these women will continue to have to lock themselves in rooms because nobody will help them and even women who learned from observing such bad circumstances will just sit atop their mountain of privilege and look down on them instead.

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    1. You could not be more ignorant about me, my family, and my situation. I suggest you stop talking. You're embarrassing yourself.

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    2. Whoa. Not all parents who public/private school have the privilege of having alone time or a support network.
      Not all have husband's who work 9-5 or flexible schedules either.
      Many, many of us are single parenting while husband's work 12-20 hour days or away from home if we are lucky enough/want to have a life partner.

      Time to step back and walk a mile in someone's shoes I think.

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    3. Whoa. Not all parents who public/private school have the privilege of having alone time or a support network.
      Not all have husband's who work 9-5 or flexible schedules either.
      Many, many of us are single parenting while husband's work 12-20 hour days or away from home if we are lucky enough/want to have a life partner.

      Time to step back and walk a mile in someone's shoes I think.

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  19. You definitely don't know Darcy. You are so far off it isn't funny. I'm curious why you would assume those things about her.

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  20. Darcy doesn't have a "mountain of privilege" - I would laugh if this weren't so depressing. clearly, this person has no idea who Darcy is in real life. sad they would make such harsh assumptions!

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  21. Thank you for this post. I think anyone who decides to be the sole source of education for their children needs to look at all the angles. I have seen some amazing children who came from homeschooling families as well as some who are so neglected the damage takes years to be undone. As a public Montessori teacher, who also tutors homeschooled students in my spare time, I think parents should be aware of what you have mentioned as well as the following:
    Every parent has blind spots and it takes a community to remember all the details that young children need as they are getting started. This includes phonemic awareness, proper pincer grip and letter formation, a proper balance between creativity and rote memorization, asking for help when it gets hard, and especially a knowldege that the educational standards are much higher today than they were even 20 years ago when we were in school.

    The students in the upper elementary classrooms at my school must learn topics and concepts that I didn't learn until HS and college, and many people, even educators forget how much today's children must learn.

    From my unscientifuc, anecdotal perspective, even the best homeschooled students can be lacking a couple basic skills mentioned above, which makes it hard for some when they have to play catch up in later years. Some students have transitioned wonderfully, but others, sadly, need a lot of interventions to get there. It is unfortunate when a student who cannot form their letters at 12 years old, struggles to write a 3 paragraph essay that takes 30 to 40 minutes for most fourth graders. It is sad to see children have social problems such as learned helplessness or bullying because they came from a manipulative and controlling home environment. I know many people decide to homeschool because of common core, but what is worse is shielding your child from learning, hard work, and responsibilities because of baseless fears from other homeschoolers saying how easy and superior homeschooling is to the dreaded public school. I can help students who are behind learn how to multiply and divide while their peers have already mastered long division and are on to algebra, and our smart ones love to help out and it is a great learning experience for all, but I often wonder how those children that I don't see do longterm. What is it like for a child to never expand beyond the lessons of their parents. The best home educators do not do it alone and develop phenomenal networks.

    Years ago, I had a parent pull their child out because he wanted to be homeschooled, yet found out later, the most he ever did in one day was read half a chapter of a book 2 grade levels below and and a math worksheet, but played on his tablet all day. I often wondered if in a couple years, he would decide, as a teenager, to choose purposeful work.

    In the end, we all as parents, don't have it figured out perfectly and must constantly make course corrections. My oldest is about to graduate from HS and a community college, but I will be the first to say that I made mistakes both as a parent and a teacher. In the end, hopefully we all learn to appreciate each other's points of view and learn from them.

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  22. Did my parents also homeschool you on the quiet?

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  23. I realize that this is an old post, but you took so many words right out of my mouth. The line that really speaks to me; "Some of us still struggle to see ourselves as adults and peers of adults and struggle to relate and socialize with other adults our age. This is the product of most homeschooling socialization."
    Great read.

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