Wednesday, November 2, 2011

If You Don't Like Homeschooling, Just Blame Asperger's Syndrome

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.


  1. Is this some sort of inside joke of this website? This is the second link I've seen from PEAH that knocks homeschooling. In case you didn't see it, here is the other:

    These articles make me wonder how serious the site is about selling curriculum to homeschoolers. Since the articles are written without any disclaimers from the site, I have trouble believing they have any dedication to the homeschooling community. This seems to be a ploy to get homeschoolers to visit their site.

    Peace and Laughter,

  2. My mistake. I finally made it through the whole article (you were right, it was difficult) and saw the note at the bottom. But still, why post this on a site that caters to homeschooling? It's like bear-baiting. Tie the vicious anti-homeschooler to a post and let the homeschoolers attack her. It makes wonder if this teacher knows her article was used as it was.

  3. That's too funny! The public school system taught me that if I talk to my peers I will get made fun of, and I couldn't talk to adults because they were either too busy or didn't care about the childish things on my mind. Not to mention they were authority figures and completely unapproachable... So... I would have to disagree with her 100%! I was public schooled and didn't speak!

  4. I KNEW you wouldn't be able to resist this one, Arby!!! Just when you think you've heard it all, someone comes along to prove you wrong!! This article just takes the cake! GREAT response!

    And, just for the record, I have known the Heather, the owner of PEAH, and her husband for years, and I assure you, there are no improper motives involved in posting this article. She is always willing to post the opinions of her readers regardless of their views. And I fully believe that the author of the article intended for her article to be used on the PEAH site. I greatly respected Heather's very kind disclaimer posted at the end of this article. Her restraint amazed me. I'm pretty sure she knew that others would respond as I'm certain she wanted to herself!!

    Thanks for taking the bait, Arby! Your response was perfect!

  5. They think everyone is going to love them? Huh? How awful, to be brought up amongst civilized people who don't treat them badly! How dare those idiot homeschooled kids think that people should treat them well?? Ugh!

    And does she mean CEOs *and* physcians or the physicians of CEOs? And isn't there some basic test for literacy you have to take before you can become a teacher? Never mind. I remember my 6th grade teacher. I know the answer to that one.

  6. I don't....I can't....That's just so...

    And yeah - public school IS all about teaching people to fit in and not make waves and develop terror of being different...and that's one of the reasons we don't participate.