Having made the gross tactical error of admitting to Linda that I didn’t have much about which to write, I received in reply a link to an anti-homeschooling blog post on the Parents Educating at Home (PEAH) website that must be read to be believed. The PEAH website is dedicated to providing resources for the homeschooling community. I still haven’t decided whether or not to take the letter seriously. It was so poorly written, I suspect it was a parody. If you have even a rudimentary grasp of the English language your head will hurt after digesting a Seattle public school teacher’s reasons why homeschooling is bad. I attempted to number the spelling and grammatical errors in the original post in a futile effort to identify all of them, but I ran out of numbers.
Karen is a mom of four “highly capable children” and a Seattle, Washington, public school teacher who explained that the hidden agenda of public education is “how to be a member of a large complex social group "society".” The main thrust of her reasoning was the commonly misunderstood and misapplied “socialization” argument. She expressed concern that homeschooled children will be unable to “understand proper chain of command (who to go to first and why), following directions of those placed in charge of you, or trying to be a part of the society in which you live.” She explained that, “we are judged every minute of every day by friends, peers, clients, even the cashier at the grocery store. “ Karen may have a point. We all know how devastating it can be when the elderly lady running the express checkout lane at Wal*Mart disapproves of your pants.
Karen’s evidence for her concerns was completely anecdotal. If we take her observations seriously, all homeschooled sixth grade boys wear “bedazzled pants,” are incapable of “dealing with peers in small and large groups,” are incapable of “dealing with adults” on their own, struggle with “puncuality,” do not smile when they do not want to smile (there’s a capital offense), believe that everyone loves them unconditionally, and do not finish their homework when they are too tired to think. The answer to those flaws is for the parents of homeschoolers to volunteer their free time at the local school. Homeschoolers should attend a public school, maintain “perfect attendance,” and take “pride for their social group like the school's football team or drumline.” She explained that this drum line fervor “will serve them well as CEO's physicians and leaders.” She'll get no argument from me. I do believe that the late Steve Jobs’ last words were, “God, I loved my high school’s drum line!”
As if Karen did not already supply ample evidence in favor of mandatory homeschooling for all Seattle area children (would you want your children taught by a woman who thinks and writes so well?), she saved her best comments for the end of her blog post when she explained that “many homeschooled students who attempt to go to public high school and a large majority are like a fish out of water. They missed their learning window and may never be able to be a part of the social world that is thriving around them.They do not speak and are filled with anxiety or they are so inappropriate they have had referrals for aspergers.” Did you catch that? Many and a large majority. Does anyone outside of her faculty lounge take this woman seriously? I’m not certain who should be more insulted, homeschoolers or Aspy kids. I can’t wait to read the responses when the autism crowd reads this one.
Karen’s own words speak for her. They speak volumes. They reflect arrogance and ignorance, as well as a lack of critical thinking skills, writing skills, discernment, and judgment. After you visit her post and leave your comments, please share them below.