Thursday, February 23, 2012

Liberals, Homeschool Your Kids! Homeschool Atheist Momma Responds

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Well, I read another article where the author was very anti-homeschooling. At first I thought I guess I AM pretty sensitive, as my family always says, maybe I need to chillax 

Now that this article has been out for awhile, I see that many homeschooling parents are riled up about it. And I have to ask, what are we doing to this author that makes her so hostile and vehemently against our choices for how we educate our children?

Since I don't know this author, all I can do is apply the information that I do have in order to understand her stewing and brewing about homeschool. Especially as I see no evidence that she has done much research on the subject. 

Many people who have "anger issues" tend to be very insecure and tend to feel very personally injured by events that often have nothing to do with them. Comparisons and negative self judgement can also bring forth an angry response, seemingly out of left field. Belief systems, unique to each person, often contribute to the activity in the mind of a person that leads to anger and angry outbursts.

In short, the root of anger can usually be found right inside the mind of the person expressing the anger. Have you ever thought of that? A person who is frequently angry can often name forty eleven reasons, causes, triggers, or roots of their anger outburst. While the truth is, it is the assumptions within their own mind that actually "cause" the resulting anger. Assumptions that, usually, result in the effected person feeling an overwhelming sense of anger.

Without the self awareness necessary for recognizing this, chronically angry people tend to lay blame squarely on outside issues. They tend to feel antagonized by relatively neutral stimuli. In other words, my guess is that it is the writer's own personal "demons" that are causing such a stir on the internet these days.

I don't know Dana Goldstein, the author of the now-infamous article against homeschooling. I'm sure she has her own reasons for looking in the extreme margins of homeschooling in order to characterize the entirety of homeschool as so negative.

For example this concluding excerpt from Goldstein's article says:

...government is the only institution with the power and scale to intervene in the massive undertaking of better educating American children, 90 percent of whom currently attend public schools. 
(And it’s worth remembering that schools provide not just education, but basic child care while parents are at work.) Lefty homeschoolers might be preaching sound social values to their children, but they aren’t practicing them. If progressives want to improve schools, we shouldn’t empty them out. We ought to flood them with our kids, and then debate vociferously what they ought to be doing.

Maybe she is afraid of the responsibility of homeschooling children.  Maybe she feels unable to undertake such a lifestyle.  I can generously wonder if, perhaps, she has observed some negative homeschooling examples out there.  I can only guess.  What I do know is that none of "us' needs to respond to her hostility.  I also hope that homeschoolers and others who read that piece will not let it's opposition cause them to doubt themselves or their homeschool choices.

I can see that her anger over the audacity of parents to homeschool their own children is not based on research or observation, but on something a bit more...close to home.


I read here, on Dana Goldstein's own website that she is the child of public educators. In fact, I am the sister to a remarkable public school teacher. But I am not invested in supporting the school system because of my love and affection for people who have, themselves, invested in it. I am not as optimistic as her "13 years" of wonderful public schooling have made her. I have seen the schools; haven't you? Goldstein claiming that homeschoolers "jumping ship" of the ailing schools is a part of the problem. I suggest she consider the possibility that she is confusing "cause" with "effect".

Dana Goldstein does remark that her main argument again homeschooling is that it is not healthy for the common good. Honestly, I have never considered this point of view much. I can see no way that our being in school would even begin to touch the major problems with the school systems in our country. 

The common good. Eh?

I say to the Liberals as I say to the Conservatives:  Get your facts straight and your nose out of my family. AND I pay my taxes:  the state schools get my support whether I would have them get it or not.  
They don't also need my children.


Have YOU read this Goldstein article and seen it written about and written about and written about and discussed elsewhere on the net?
Don't you wish the furor would simply die down?
She's wrong.  It is as simple as that.

14 comments:

  1. Oh well, when I do my research on Dana Goldstein, I see that I don't agree with her *politics* either!
    LOL

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    1. I think a portion of the piece was left out. It starts with "In short.." and ends with, "Assumptions that, usually, result in the effected person feeling..." Kendra

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  2. I, too, wrote on her uninformed treatise against liberal homeschooling (apparently it's fine for conservatives). She seems quite young (and if her picture is correct, looks young), and since I hear no reference to what she's doing for her own children, I am assuming she doesn't have any.

    Simply put, she just does't know what she's talking about. As a physician assistant, I remember parents coming in with their children for well-child exams. Some would ask about a parenting issue -- toilet training, tantrums, etc. I learned quickly that as a non-parent, that I KNEW NOTHING. I could read books and remember what my parents said, but I KNEW NOTHING. I like to think I avoided the mistake she's making, assuming by reading an anecdote or two and finding a study or so only tangentially related to her topic that she "knows" homeschooling. It's a mistake we all make sometimes, but she made it public, presented her credentials, and was terribly wrong.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts! (My comments are available here: LIberal Homeschoolers: What We Really Are

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    1. Sarah, that link didn't work! Could you repost?!

      Thanks so much for your insight.
      Similarly, I remember, before having kids, thinking that I knew what it would be like.
      I was totally wrong!

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  3. I wish I could say that I didn't become completely pissed off by her post. I did. For me, I am tired of various factions of this country being convinced that it's okay to tell me how to live my life because I am a woman. I really believe that one of the underlying undercurrents to the entire issue regarding the rejection of home schooling is the innate cultural rejection of women and most especially stay at home moms.

    I have no proof for this. But that is my hunch. And quite frankly, I am tired of it all from the left and the right.

    Living in a red state, I see talking heads making it very clear how women should act, their reproductive issues, their sex lives, breast feeding birth options--and now this.
    Make up our minds already.

    To me, this is more of the same, because it feels like an extension of the derision I felt from "fellow" feminist when I first decided to stay at home with my children.

    That being said, Karen you make excellent points.

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    1. Thanks!
      I am tired of that same thing. I would venture to say that the religious right feels just as tired of feeling "attacked"...
      What is the solution?
      I don't know...

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  4. I think it's a mixed bag of nuts. Some of the Conservatives I know, do not act anything like the talking heads we see on the boob tube.

    I think sometimes, the wingtwits are alienating some conservatives even now as we post here.

    Santorum just came out and said: There is no such thing as a Liberal Christian. Meaning you cannot be a Liberal and a Christian simultaneously.

    If other church goers try to enforce that issue, it could shrink attendance and membership in some churches and political groups significantly by alienating people who share a belief, but perhaps not the politics.

    It happened over the Gay issue, I imagine it is only a matter of time before it erupts over others.

    For me, I try to let people tell me their stories, let them show me who they are. I don't have to agree or like everything they do, to consider them a friendly acquaintance or even a friend.

    How can I have a discussion with people if I cannot listen to them at all?

    Communication is a two way. Even if it is painful.

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    1. How does 'President Santorum' sound you you?

      *shiver*

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    2. I disliked Santorum 15 years ago [therabouts] when he first tried to make it sound as if Faith Based Initiatives [which I object to across the board] was a program for certain Christian Sects.

      It's not often someone finds a way to make a turd even less palatable, but this guy Santorum--has a knack for it!

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  5. I found your response on Leanne's Life on the Hill.

    I am finally starting to read Holt (a week or so back, coinciding with the infamous Salon article). I found a series of quotes that address social change.

    http://home4goodmichigan.blogspot.com/2012/02/assumptions-challenged-darwin-and.html

    Further--and off topic--I appreciate this:

    "A person who is frequently angry can often name forty eleven reasons, causes, triggers, or roots of their anger outburst."

    Forty eleven: a tidy indicator of a big number while acknowledging that it's an exaggeration. Must remember that one.

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    1. LOL...that's something my mom used to say!

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  6. Hello! I just found you through pinterest. :)

    I don't feel all that insulted by the piece. I'm a former high school teacher turned home schooler. We are not religious. :) My husband is a flaming atheist. I am a former librarian who puts the books about Christian myths next to the books about Nordic myths and Greek myths.

    I went to 25 schools before I dropped out of high school at 16. I have seen schools from every financial demographic and I've been through schools with a wide variety of different ethnic/cultural makeup sets.

    Public schools are not where I want my kids to be. I knew that when I was 17 and I didn't have kids. My kids would deserve better than that. I don't feel threatened by other people telling me that I should care more about other peoples kids than mine. :) I just don't care.

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    1. WELCOME. WELCOME. WELCOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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