Monday, October 20, 2014

Are You One of the Good Homeschoolers?

The other day I was talking to a woman I vaguely know and have vaguely known for years.  ;)
When I mentioned that we homeschool she held her hands apart saying, indicating her left hand, Are you one of the good homeschoolers or, indicating her right hand, one of the bad homeschoolers?

When I asked her to clarify what she meant by good and bad she had a difficult time doing so, but from her blustering I think she was referring to radical unschooling (the bad kind of homeschooling, in her mind) versus school-at-home (the good one).

I placed a hand on each of hers and brought them together saying We are somewhere in the middle, as are most homeschool families.

She had more questions but kept repeating, But I'm sure you are one of the good ones.

John making a magic wand on the new lathe! 
LOL - I'm pretty sure she wouldn't think so if she saw our homeschool day because we don't do anything at all that resembles school-at-home.

I'm not at all sure what I actually told her about homeschooling, but by the time our conversation ended she was a homeschool supporter... for some people

Well, that's something, anyway.

To be fair, she had many stories about the successes that her children had in school, some things that just don't happen in homeschool communities without alot of organization like marching band, state soccer wins, and student government. She is very proud of the accomplishments that her children have had in school and I understand that!

I'm used to people having uninformed ideas about homeschool and it really doesn't generally bother me. The fun thing about this conversation was that other people joined in who know my kids and contributed so many nice comments about my kids as people and about our family experiences to the conversation. But it was still kind of weird that her understanding of homeschool was so black and white.

Because we are somewhere there in the grey.


  1. Well, home-schooling can be a good thing, and I love what you do with and for your children. But you know that people are out there who don't teach their kids anything so that there are teenagers who can't read, or people using homeschooling to keep their children away from real life so they do not come in touch with ideas that may not be in accordance with what the parents believe; those kids will in the end most likely not be able to succeed because they have not learned the skills necessary.

    When we still lived in the States, we actually wanted to home-school our kids at least until high school in order to give them the best start possible because we saw that the curriculum was very lacking in comparison to the German curriculum I was taught as a child.

    Since homeschooling is illegal here in Germany, and we actually agree with what is taught in schools here, homeschooling is not an issue for us any more, but I highly admire what you are doing, Karen!

  2. I was talking to a neighbor for the first time last night, as our kids played outside together. She asked me about the kids going to school and I said that we are homeschooling. And she said, with a definite glint in her eyes, "OOoooh, you're one of THOSE!" I laughed and said "Well, I don't know what 'THOSE' are, but, yes, we currently homeschool." And then she went on to ask me what church we attend... *sigh*

  3. The best way to answer that question would be "we are the bad homeschoolers... very, very bad".


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