I’m reposting… For a change of pace, and because I really loved this article!
The Bitter Homeschooler’ s Wish List
From Secular Homeschooling Magazine, Issue 1
1 Please stop asking us if it’s legal. If it is – and it is – it’s
insulting to imply that we’re criminals. And if we were criminals,
would we admit it?
2 Learn what the words “socialize” and “socialization” mean, and use
the one you really mean instead of mixing them up the way you do
now. Socializing means hanging out with other people for fun.
Socialization means having acquired the skills necessary to do so
successfully and pleasantly. If you’re talking to me and my
children, that means that we do in fact go outside now and then to
visit the other human beings on the planet, and you can safely
assume that we’ve got a decent grasp of both concepts.
3 Quit interrupting my son in his karate lesson, scout meeting,
choir practice, baseball game, art class, field trip, park day,
music class, 4H club, or soccer lesson to ask if, as a homeschooler,
he ever gets to socialize.
4 Don’t assume that every homeschooler you meet is homeschooling for
the same reasons and in the same way as that one homeschooler you
5 If that homeschooler you know is actually someone you saw on TV,
either on the news or on a “reality” show, the above goes double.
6 Please stop telling us horror stories about the homeschoolers you
know, know of, or think you might know who ruined their lives by
homeschooling. You’re probably the same little bluebird of happiness
whose hobby is running up to pregnant women and inducing premature
labor by telling them every ghastly birth story you’ve ever heard.
We all hate you. Please go away.
7 We don’t look horrified and start quizzing your children when we
hear they’re in public school. Please stop drilling our children
like potential oil fields to see if we’re doing what you consider an
adequate job of homeschooling.
8 Stop assuming all homeschoolers are religious.
9 Stop assuming that if we are religious, we must be homeschooling
for religious reasons.
10 We didn’t go through all the reading, learning, thinking,
weighing of options, experimenting, and worrying that goes into
homeschooling just to annoy you. Really. This was a deeply personal
decision, tailored to the specifics of our family. Stop taking the
bare fact of our being homeschoolers as either an affront or a
judgment about your own educational decisions.
11 Please stop questioning my competency and demanding to see my
credentials. I didn’t have to complete a course in catering to
successfully cook dinner for my family; I don’t need a degree in
teaching to educate my children. If spending at least twelve years
in the kind of chew-em-up-and- spit-em-out educational facility we
call public school left me with so little information in my memory
banks that I can’t teach the basics of an elementary education to my
nearest and dearest, maybe there’s a reason I’m so reluctant to send
my child to school.
12 If my child is only six and you ask me with a straight face how I
can possibly teach him what he’d learn in school, please understand
that you’re calling me an idiot. Don’t be shocked if I decide to
respond in kind.
13 Stop assuming that because the word “home” is right there
in “homeschool, ” we never leave the house. We’re the ones who go to
the amusement parks, museums, and zoos in the middle of the week and
in the off-season and laugh at you because you have to go on
weekends and holidays when it’s crowded and icky.
14 Stop assuming that because the word “school” is right there
in “homeschool, ” we must sit around at a desk for six or eight hours
every day, just like your child does. Even if we’re into
the “school” side of education – and many of us prefer a more
organic approach – we can burn through a lot of material a lot more
efficiently, because we don’t have to gear our lessons to the lowest
15 Stop asking, “But what about the Prom?” Even if the idea that my
child might not be able to indulge in a night of over-hyped, over-
priced revelry was enough to break my heart, plenty of teens who do
go to school don’t get to go to the Prom. For all you know, I’m one
of them. I might still be bitter about it. So go be shallow
16 Don’t ask my child if he would rather go to school, unless you
don’t mind if I ask your child if he would rather stay home and get
some sleep now and then.
17 Stop saying, “Oh, I could never homeschool!” Even if you think
it’s some kind of compliment, it sounds more like you’re horrified.
One of these days, I won’t bother disagreeing with you any more.
18 If you can remember anything from chemistry or calculus class,
you’re allowed to ask how we’ll teach these subjects to our
children. If you can’t, thank you for the reassurance that we
couldn’t possibly do a worse job than your teachers did, and might
even do a better one.
19 Stop asking about how hard it must be to be my child’s teacher as
well as his parent. I don’t see much difference between bossing him
around academically and bossing him around the way I do about
20 Stop saying that my child is shy, outgoing, aggressive, anxious,
quiet, boisterous, argumentative, pouty, fidgety, chatty, whiny, or
loud because he’s homeschooled. It’s not fair that all the children
who attend public school can be as annoying as they want to be
without being branded as representative of anything but childhood.
21 Quit assuming that my child must be some kind of prodigy because
22 Quit assuming that I must be some kind of prodigy because I
homeschool my children.
23 Quit assuming that I must be some kind of saint because I
homeschool my children.
24 Stop talking about all the great childhood memories my children
won’t get because they don’t go to school, unless you want me to
start asking about all the not-so-great childhood memories you have
because you went to school.
25 Here’s a thought: If you can’t say something nice about
homeschooling, shut up!