Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Gonzo Writer Attacks Homeschooling

This has to be one of the most close minded public school Mom's out there.

The formality and structure created by going to school everyday is lost in homeschool. Monday through Friday there is a routine, a sense of purpose. No confusion or ciaos. A learned respect of the adults that are teaching them. A respect for all people is gained by following the rules in school, as do in, the rules is society. Created to maintain order. When is this learned in homeschooling?

I can assure grovestreet homeschoolers do not live in confusion or chaos (it would be nice if she would learn to spell). Our children know what is expected of them each day and they do it. And guess what homeschool families have rules, just like the majority of public school families do. Apparently groovestreet's family is an exception as she can't imagine children learning rules or respect at home.

It has been said to me…..Why does their child have to learn for six to seven hours a day when they can teach them in two to three hours. WHAT THE HELL DOES THAT TEACH? WORK AT HOME. This child is learning nothing about adult work ethic by knowing that all work can be done in two-three hours. What is normal for most of us…. Punch a clock and spend the eight and 1/2 hours at a location to collect a paycheck. Run a business and it is a up at dawn, 24/7 career. What job can you work for an hour and then go out and hug trees? Drug dealer…sorry…. that was wrong but true. I wonder, if all those San Diego students were homeschooled prior to joining that frat house. Oh again, Sorry. Just trying to prove my point.

She so totally misses the point. Being more efficient is a good thing. Employers are always looking for ways to make their workers more productive.

To me there is an elitist attitude in homeschooling…. that you are a better teacher than our hard working, well-educated teachers or our educational system. The educational system is not good enough for your standards. What are you truly afraid of your child learning in school…all the bad things you see on TV. Do you study the statics of all these negative reports or just jump on the fear bandwagon of the group of like-minded individuals you surround yourself with. Was school that horrible for you? I am only trying to figure out for reason you would withhold your child from school.

The educational system in America is in serious trouble. Grovestreet can bury her head in the sand and deny it all she wants, but if she is truly interested she should watch John Stossel's Stupid in America. Parents have the RIGHT to make the educational choice that is best for their child ~ homeschooling, public schooling and private schooling are all valid educational options. Considering that my eldest son started college at 16, homeschooling was the best choice for him. It allowed him to move at his own pace, which was much faster then what his public school counterparts were moving at. And I am sure this would come as a surprise to grovestreet but many public school teachers homeschool their own children (I personally know several of them). And I am sure this will shock poor grovestreet to the core but I have been a substitute teacher in my local public schools. I can tell you first hand that it is much easier to homeschool you own children then it is to teach a classroom of 20 or 25 kids.

What I hear from them, through their church, is so much negative information and they feel so strongly that it is right. But it is so, so wrong. The information and facts I receive are so twisted it is scary to hear. They hold ideals which appear to me to be very judgmental of others, they use alarmists tactics when trying to make a point and are very negative to the “outside” world; government agencies, public institutions. Most to all of information received come to me through email and then the email war begins. It is so filled with negativity and alarmists view it infuriates me beyond belief. Therefore I begin explaining why I disagree with the views sent… firmly denying the whole idea of these beliefs and try to prove that the facts given to me are wrong.

This really doesn't have anything to do with homeschooling. I know this will probably come as a HUGE surprise to grovestreet but not all homeschoolers, homeschool for religious reasons. In fact not all homeschoolers are Christians. Homeschoolers are a diverse group. The chicken little email senders are just as likely to be sending their children to public school as to be homeschooling.

Here is an example: I received email regarding the book “The Secret”, and how dangerous it was, it is being used to reshape the minds of all humans and we should never, ever read such material, followed by BEWARE

What does this have to do with homeschooling? Again these emailers are just as likely to be sending their kids to public school as homeschooling. And this would probably shock grovestreet no end but I agree with her. I don't want anyone telling me or my kids what books we can read. The most irritating thing about these emailers is very often they condemn a book, movie or whatever without ever reading it or seeing it for themselves.

Or the topic of the 400 children taken away from the polygamist compound and how is was so wrong of the government. The government did not move fast enough in my opinion.

Again what does this have to do with homeschooling? The vast majority of homeschoolers have a monogamous marriage just like public school parents. In fact unlike a great majority of public school mothers, homeschool mothers are more likely to be married to their child's father. I am reserving judgement on the polygamist compound in Texas as "Officials still haven't found the 16-year-old girl whose abuse complaint triggered the massive raid". Unlike grovestreet, I like to have all the facts before forming an opinion. I do believe polygamy is morally wrong and that it would be reprehensible to force young girls into marriage. But at this time we really can't be sure what was going on in the compound. For all we know the alleged 16 year old girl who triggered the raid may have been a prank call, until they find her we just don't know. And I don't intend to rush to judgement.

Back to my original topic and why I feel that their religion may affect their decision to homeschool- In a recent email I received from one of my friends. It contain information that homeschool families are scared their children will be taken away. There are websites -parentalrights.org and hslda.org- to protect homeschool families. Why do they need protecting? Here’s an idea put your kids in public school, get to know the principal, your community politicians and be productive member of society and you will never have cause to fear such wasteful notions.

Homeschoolers don't need protection from the law. Homeschooling is LEGAL in America. You do not have to put your children in public school for 'protection'. You merely have to follow the homeschooling laws in your state. On the other hand homeschoolers do need protection from irrational fruitcakes that spread lies and misinformation against homeschoolers. As for being productive members of society, I assure you grovestreet homeschoolers are just as productive members of society as public school parents are. In fact many homeschoolers involve themselves in social issues, environmental issues and politics. In fact John and Elizabeth Edwards were homeschooling their children briefly.

Socialization and homeschool is a huge issue. In my opinion, a child will never be properly socialized through homeschooling; even though, there are many articles written to make these families feel better about their decision. Involved in music classes, athletics or meeting other homeschool families at the park. Are you spending six hours a day, five days a week with the same people? That is how you learn about others. A great example was the reality show, “The Real World”. A socialization experiment, how well did they deal with other humans unlike them. A need for the new socialization tool- MYSPACE.

I wonder why socialization is such a huge issue for her? And honestly citing a reality TV Show as an example of how real life is, is ummmmmmmm unreal. Maybe somebody is watching too much TV.

After supposedly receiving comments which we will never be able to verify as she deleted all the comments. She went on to post this.

Thank you for all you seriously committeed homeschoolers for commenting on my article. WOW– you are all defensive and pissy…Is that what you teach your kids? Quite aggressive, maybe you had bullying issues in school. No wonder I think you should put your kids in school. Don’t start pissing in my lawn. This blog is for me and only me. Every single comment came from visitors to my blog, my home. YOU FOUND ME! I don’t care about any one of you or would ever come to visit your blog nevermind waste my energy on telling you I disagree with YOUR OPINION. So GET THE HELL OFF MY LAWN, GET OUT OF MY YARD… YOUR TOMMY CANNOT PLAY WITH MY SALLY ANYMORE. You not invited here. BUG OFF. BTW - I am a mother not a father. You should read all of my blogs not just your self- centered interests.

I am a gonzo writer. If you don’t know what that means - look it up - then teach it to your children.

Jeez, I wonder why she not only read my blog, Dana's blog and Taz's Mom's blog but left comments? Apparently she likes changing the rules. As for being a gonzo writer, maybe she should consider that she isn't the only one who can engage in gonzo writing. Apparently she is less fond of name-calling, bomb-throwing and sardonic humor in the gonzo style when it is aimed at her.

A very nice blogger attempted to explain why homeschoolers went on the defensive when we were attacked. Her response (both comments will probably be deleted as she is fond of deleting comments).

Comment by grovestreet on May 13, 2008 4:36 pm I don’t mind a different perspective — I mind personal attacks. I was never aiming my opinions at anyone.

Sorry this doesn't fly. Homeschoolers are people, she was aiming her attacks (as there was more then one negative post on homeschooling) at anyone who choose to homeschool their children.

One homeschool blogger decided to take my opinion and break it up and use it for her own blog. Through that blog it sent me unwanted comments and attacks.

That's what bloggers do. And did she seriously think she could trash homeschoolers without getting some sort of response?

This blog is not an anti-homeschool blog–it is a personal journal.

Then choose the private option instead of the public option for your blog. If wordpress doesn't offer a private option switch to blogger.

Never did I go to search out these bloggers- they began coming to me. I can see the upset if I went to their blog and made my opinions known there.

Actually she did come to our blogs and she did leave comments. Maybe she is catching on to how blogging works.

Does anyone see where I am coming from?

HT:EternaLearning Academy ~ Thoughts Like These Damage Homeschoolers Everywhere


  1. That nice poster was me (bashful smile here lol). I am glad you liked it LOL. Also wanted to add even Christian homeschooler's aren't all fanatics! I am a Christian but that wasn't the major reason we decided to homeschool. I am not afraid of my children reading books. Maybe I want them to read age appropriate books (meaning maturity wise not age alone). Because in the end they will have to choose if they want to be Christians or not. I can't make them decide that. We try to live by example but that doesn't mean they will want to be Christians later. So even Christian homeschoolers aren't necessarily trying to put our children in a bubble. Dare I say that my children have friends how parent's are unbelievers? (gasp LOL). I just didn't want anyone to think all Christians are fanatics :D.

  2. Hi Jody, Although we aren't homeschooling for religious reasons and I use a secular curriculum and belong to an inclusive homeschool group my family is Christian. But I truly enjoy my friends who hold different religious beliefs. They have taught me a lot.

    You said
    want them to read age appropriate books (meaning maturity wise not age alone).

    That's a good point. And when you are blessed with advanced readers it is a sometimes difficult job. I wound up explaining the death penalty to a six year old because he was reading one of my books when I was in the shower. Not only did I have to explain the death penalty to him he ruined the book for me as he got to the end before I did. LOL

    I was very careful what I read after that.

  3. LOL I know what you mean my now eight year old read's beyond his grade level to and has for a while. So I do know what you mean about finding good books for them to read.

    We do use Christian Curriculum but I do find I have to supliment with non Christian books and I think we are leaning towards the unschool or relaxed style of homeschooling. I am also part of an inclusive homeschool group and a part of a local MOMS Club that is secular in nature (though there are Christians in it too). I so agree with you too on enjoying friends with different beliefs than I have. I even have a friend I chat with online (for a few years now) that is a wiccan. I may not agree with their religion but it doesn't make them any less my friends :).

  4. Come and have a virtual mimosa on me and forget about that lame excuse for a blogger! :-)

  5. Hi Jody,
    We have a pagan family in our inclusive homeschool group and they are a wonderful, interesting family that I have enjoyed getting to know a great deal. The Mother is usually one of the first to offer concrete help.

    Hi Crimson Wife,
    Thanks for the mimosa.

  6. Apart from one unworldly young mom blogger who can't even figure out what she believes for herself much less explain it coherently from post to post! -- we might note that the larger root cause behind such polemic is the incoherent confusion of religion (Church) and academic education (School).

  7. That is great. I honestly don't like seeing where someone who is supposed to be Christian put down other's for their beliefs. Granted I may not agree with their beliefs or unbeliefs but that doesn't make it right for me to disrespect them ya know?! I hope you are having a good day!

  8. Hi Jody,

    Having a terrific day here. The weather is nice, so I have been weeding the butterfly garden. Just taking a lunch break and checking my email.

    Hi JJ,

    You said
    we might note that the larger root cause behind such polemic is the incoherent confusion of religion (Church) and academic education (School).

    True so true. We also might note that the unbelievers want to force their secular/humanist or whatever you want to call them beliefs on believers. And the believers want to force their religious beliefs on the secular crowd. IF everyone would be content to believe whatever they wanted and leave other people alone we would all get along much better.

    In fact IF they would actually listen to each other they might learn something. I have learned a lot from my Pagan and Wiccan friends and I hope they have learned something from me. We all have something to contribute. It's so sad when one group is so entrenched in being right they have to put other groups down.

  9. Except that historically, theology was at the heart of formal education. Oxford, Cambridge, the University of Paris, the University of Bologna, Harvard, Yale, Penn, Princeton, Brown, Dartmouth, William & Mary, etc. were all founded specifically as religious institutions.

    Secular education is a much more recent development that began during the so-called "Enlightenment" of the 18th century and really gained traction in the 19th and 20th centuries.

    Plenty of people would make the argument that the marginalization of religion in education has played a significant role in the problems of our modern society...

  10. I can see where you are coming from Crimson Wife, and I actually agree to a certain extent. And IF we all shared the same religious beliefs it wouldn't be a problem. Since there are so many differing religious beliefs in America and there seem to be so many extremist on both ends of the spectrum I am not sure how you could put "religion" in the public schools.

    On the other hand IF every parent is free to teach their children what they believe without the interference of busy bodies (government interference) then it shouldn't be a problem.

    I do wish that people could learn to respect those who hold different beliefs and show tolerance for the choices people make. I get so tired of all the intolerant jerks.

  11. So Alasandra, are you saying that you are intolerant of the intolerant jerks? LOL. ;)

  12. LOL!!! I suppose I am, but if they'll just leave me alone we can all live in harmony.

  13. #1. This started when an email was sent to me by a homeschool mother wanting me to sign a petition at PARENTALRIGHTS.ORG, I then was directed to HSLDA? It was full of alarmist information. I got upset.

    This is what triggered my blog!

    #2. What is the HSLDA...if not, to defend homeschool families.
    #3. I posted this out of anger from these emails. Instead of sending it back to her = to whom it was directed at. I never meant to come out to demean the whole homeschool world. Like you are demeaning me...
    #4. - The following artlicles and responses were trigger as a reaction to all of your groups comments.
    I did not comment to you first. I was immediately put on the defensive.

    Please stop harassing me.
    I understand I shook up your whole homeschool community and am making an attempt to listen to you.

  14. saw your question about HSLDA and I wanted to answer it. I made a post on my blog because I am sure many other people have questions about HSLDA & Homeschoolers

    Many homeschoolers are not members of H$LDA and are infuriated by their alarmist emails. We are also infuriated by the fact H$LDA claims to speak for all homeschoolers. They do not!

    H$LDA has their own political agenda (an agenda which I do not agree with), which they need money to achieve. So they convince homeschoolers that they need protection (when people post anti-homeschooling rants HSLDA rejoices as it helps convince homeschoolers HSLDA is still needed). I did several post on HSLDA.

    Coincidence or Conspiracy
    One Homeschool Association to Rule Them All………..
    Home-School Non-Discrimination Act of 2005
    Do You Have to Join HSLDA to Homeschool?

    Apparently you did not realize how insulting the post you did on homeschooling would be to anyone who had chosen to homeschool their children. But think about it. How would you feel if a stranger told you “I think you are damaging your children by sending them to public school”. Since you seem to be new to the blogging world, I’ll explain that a vast number of bloggers have their google search engine set up to send them emails on topics that interest them. I have homeschooling as one of my topics, so I got an email notifying me of your post. I didn’t exactly come looking for you. I am sorry things got out of hand and I appreciate your latest post.

    "Homeschool may not be for my family. Life experience plays a role. You have your reasons to homeschool. It is not my place to condemn it."

    Thanks, and if you have any further questions regarding homeschooling I will be happy to try to answer them.

  15. Oh I have to laugh, Grove Street, because someone sent me the same email. It was another homeschooling mom in a co-op that I belong to (mostly Christian homeschoolers, but a few oddballs like me too). Just remember that wacky conservatives are everywhere, not just homeschoolers. There's really no link, except maybe more wacky conservatives choose to homeschool for religious reasons than the rest of us wacky people.

    HSLDA definitely defends homeschool rights, but they also have a political agenda that reaches far beyond homeschooling and homeschool issues. That is why I choose NOT to have anything to do with HSLDA.

    And I'm not certain, but I think the continuation of this particular issue is no longer directed at you. It has taken on a life of its own as a general rant against people who rant against homeschooling. :)

    That's kind of the way these things go in the blogosphere -- someone posts something. Someone picks it up on their feeds (many bloggers subscribe to feeds that they can insert keywords into so they are alerted when someone posts about a subject of interest a blog) and that person posts more, pointing people to the original post. Then, people who know that blogger rally and before you know it, your little personal rant has been published all over the place and people are picking on you.

    Sometimes thick skin helps. Sometimes responding helps, depending on how you approach it. But always remember that we don't know you, and you are the best judge of yourself and how you really feel. We can only go by what we read.

    There are two bloggers who, in my opinion, continually maintain a level-headed tone no matter how ugly a conversation gets and they are Dana and Dawn. I try to learn from them.

  16. Oooh Alasandra, we posted at the same time!!

  17. I need to take lessons from Dana and Dawn as they are always nice and unfailingly polite.

    Unfortunately I love satire and sarcasm comes naturally. The gonzo writing style is so appealing, I could do it in my sleep. Whereas Dana and Dawn's well thought out responses take time and thought, at least for me to emulate them.

    Hopefully we can all take it down a notch and learn from each other. I even think me and grovestreet may have some things in common. Who knows we might wind up being blogging buddies, stranger things have happened.

  18. And in our perfect little world, Grove Street will soon be extracting her children from public school and opening a blog on homeschooljournal.net. Oooops. Dreaming.

  19. Actually my perfect world has already been achieved when grovestreet posted this

    "Homeschool may not be for my family. Life experience plays a role. You have your reasons to homeschool. It is not my place to condemn it."

    That's all I ask.

    I am thrilled that public school works for her family. If one day for some reason it doesn't then I am thrilled that she will have options to choose from, homeschooling among them.

  20. It sounds like emotions got high. One being her getting those emails (I am not a part of H$LDA either.) and she posted with emotion and misinformation and then that in turn made everyone else emotional LOL. I am glad she understands a little better now though.

  21. Wow, Not June Cleaver. I'm very humbled by that.

    Nice job, Alasandra. The most difficult thing I had in this whole non-conversation was the "Gonzo" thing. I don't know what is supposed to be literary since exaggeration seems to be the beginning point of the conversation.

    But the virtual Mimosa was good. As was the time I spent watching the Muppets on YouTube after looking for snippets including Gonzo. :)

  22. Oh...and on the religion thing. I am all for people passionately defending their beliefs and not compromising, regardless of what those beliefs are.

    I just don't like the intimidation, name-calling and attempts to silence opposition, regardless of which side it is coming from.

    Very often, those who are most vocal are responding to their misunderstandings of what the other side actually believes or practices. Or generalizes based on a few. I think largely because no one extends the other side enough respect to actually listen.

  23. Thanks for the compliments you guys. :) It's a little funny becuase I see myself as extremely prone to bouts of snarkiness. Maybe that's becuase I know the posts I write before I edit and write the more polite ones. :D

    Grovestreet - Totally with you on the HSLDA crap. There's a large group of homeschoolers who find them, to say the least, questionable. Personally I think they're a bunch of nuts bent on christian dominionism that I wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole, but that's just me.

  24. I know a lot of people who joined HSLDA because they were told they had to by the Christian Homeschool Group they joined or they were scared into joining by an overzealous school counselor, attendance officer ect who didn't know the law in Mississippi. So I would hazard a guess that not even a majority of HSLDA's own members agree with them 100%.

  25. Dana, you made a good point when you said.

    "Very often, those who are most vocal are responding to their misunderstandings of what the other side actually believes or practices. Or generalizes based on a few. I think largely because no one extends the other side enough respect to actually listen."

    I think that is exactly what happened here, and it would be so easy for me to take the most obnoxious public school Mom I know and write a post about public school parents but it would be grossly inaccurate as thankfully there are very few public school Mom's like her. She was keeping the kids up late at night so she could go to the casinos (they have a baby sitting service). The little girl that was in my first grade class slept all day, she was so tired and often showed up in the same clothes she had on the day before.


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