Sunday, November 11, 2007

For My Homeschool Friends

A special thanks to Tweets for emailing this to me!

The Bitter Homeschooler's Wish List
By Deborah Markus, from Secular Homeschooling Magazine, Issue #1,
Fall 2007
1 Please stop asking us if it's legal. If it is — and it is — it's
insulting to imply that we're criminals. And if we were criminals,
would we admit it?

2 Learn what the words "socialize" and "socialization" mean, and use
the one you really mean instead of mixing them up the way you do
now. Socializing means hanging out with other people for fun.
Socialization means having acquired the skills necessary to do so
successfully and pleasantly. If you're talking to me and my kids,
that means that we do in fact go outside now and then to visit the
other human beings on the planet, and you can safely assume that
we've got a decent grasp of both concepts.

3 Quit interrupting my kid at her dance lesson, scout meeting, choir
practice, baseball game, art class, field trip, park day, music
class, 4H club, or soccer lesson to ask her if as a homeschooler she
ever gets to socialize.

4 Don't assume that every homeschooler you meet is homeschooling for
the same reasons and in the same way as that one homeschooler you

5 If that homeschooler you know is actually someone you saw on TV,
either on the news or on a "reality" show, the above goes double.

6 Please stop telling us horror stories about the homeschoolers you
know, know of, or think you might know who ruined their lives by
homeschooling. You're probably the same little bluebird of happiness
whose hobby is running up to pregnant women and inducing premature
labor by telling them every ghastly birth story you've ever heard.
We all hate you, so please go away.

7 We don't look horrified and start quizzing your kids when we hear
they're in public school. Please stop drilling our children like
potential oil fields to see if we're doing what you consider an
adequate job of homeschooling.

8 Stop assuming all homeschoolers are religious.

9 Stop assuming that if we're religious, we must be homeschooling
for religious reasons.

10 We didn't go through all the reading, learning, thinking,
weighing of options, experimenting, and worrying that goes into
homeschooling just to annoy you. Really. This was a deeply personal
decision, tailored to the specifics of our family. Stop taking the
bare fact of our being homeschoolers as either an affront or a
judgment about your own educational decisions.

11 Please stop questioning my competency and demanding to see my
credentials. I didn't have to complete a course in catering to
successfully cook dinner for my family; I don't need a degree in
teaching to educate my children. If spending at least twelve years
in the kind of chew-it-up-and-spit-it-out educational facility we
call public school left me with so little information in my memory
banks that I can't teach the basics of an elementary education to my
nearest and dearest, maybe there's a reason I'm so reluctant to send
my child to school.

12 If my kid's only six and you ask me with a straight face how I
can possibly teach him what he'd learn in school, please understand
that you're calling me an idiot. Don't act shocked if I decide to
respond in kind.

13 Stop assuming that because the word "home" is right there
in "homeschool," we never leave the house. We're the ones who go to
the amusement parks, museums, and zoos in the middle of the week and
in the off-season and laugh at you because you have to go on
weekends and holidays when it's crowded and icky.

14 Stop assuming that because the word "school" is right there in
homeschool, we must sit around at a desk for six or eight hours
every day, just like your kid does. Even if we're into the "school"
side of education — and many of us prefer a more organic approach —
we can burn through a lot of material a lot more efficiently,
because we don't have to gear our lessons to the lowest common

15 Stop asking, "But what about the Prom?" Even if the idea that my
kid might not be able to indulge in a night of over-hyped, over-
priced revelry was enough to break my heart, plenty of kids who do
go to school don't get to go to the Prom. For all you know, I'm one
of them. I might still be bitter about it. So go be shallow
somewhere else.

16 Don't ask my kid if she wouldn't rather go to school unless you
don't mind if I ask your kid if he wouldn't rather stay home and get
some sleep now and then.

17 Stop saying, "Oh, I could never homeschool!" Even if you think
it's some kind of compliment, it sounds more like you're horrified.
One of these days, I won't bother disagreeing with you any more.

18 If you can remember anything from chemistry or calculus class,
you're allowed to ask how we'll teach these subjects to our kids. If
you can't, thank you for the reassurance that we couldn't possibly
do a worse job than your teachers did, and might even do a better

19 Stop asking about how hard it must be to be my child's teacher as
well as her parent. I don't see much difference between bossing my
kid around academically and bossing him around the way I do about
everything else.

20 Stop saying that my kid is shy, outgoing, aggressive, anxious,
quiet, boisterous, argumentative, pouty, fidgety, chatty, whiny, or
loud because he's homeschooled. It's not fair that all the kids who
go to school can be as annoying as they want to without being
branded as representative of anything but childhood.

21 Quit assuming that my kid must be some kind of prodigy because
she's homeschooled.

22 Quit assuming that I must be some kind of prodigy because I
homeschool my kids.

23 Quit assuming that I must be some kind of saint because I
homeschool my kids.

24 Stop talking about all the great childhood memories my kids won't
get because they don't go to school, unless you want me to start
asking about all the not-so-great childhood memories you have
because you went to school.

25 Here's a thought: If you can't say something nice about
homeschooling, shut up!



At 11/11/2007 9:26 AM, Blogger Bridget Jones said...

I like 25 the best!! Good for you guys!!

At 11/11/2007 10:07 AM, Blogger tshsmom said...

I'm partial to 15, 16, and 24 myself. ;)

At 11/11/2007 11:40 AM, Blogger Hammer said...


I got every single one of these. It was heard to bite my tongue and sometimes I didn't bother.

At 11/11/2007 8:08 PM, Blogger Jeannie said...

I always figured anyone who homeschooled was braver than I was - and more organized - and would be fairly confidant that they could do a better job than the school system. There isn't nearly as much homeschooling here in Canada as in the States - I don't want to say our schools are better but they are more homogenous so perhaps there isn't the need to avoid schools that are not of a very high standard as much.
I admire your dedication.

At 11/11/2007 11:16 PM, Blogger MonicaR said...

I loved this when I saw it. The thing that I'm hearing lately is the prom thing. After pointing out that there are a few homeschooler proms in the area - I point out that, though I went to public school, I never went to the prom myself.

This list has it all! lol.

At 11/12/2007 10:51 AM, Blogger tweetey30 said...

Tshsmom I got this from a home schoolers group I joined but havent been in contact with for over two months now. I just cant get to most of the activities they are offering because we have only one vechile and Jeff needs it to go to work.

At 11/12/2007 5:36 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Hammer, with all the problems you're having with the public school system, I'm sure you could identify with this.

Jeannie, I never in a million years figured that we'd ever homeschool. Our school failed our son so badly that we had no other choice. Now I can't believe that we didn't think of it sooner.

Monica, I've never been a fan of Prom either and refused to go when I was in high school. Z has actually gotten a bit snippy with people over the Prom topic.

Tweets, the most important thing you need is a DRIVER'S LICENSE!

Thanks for sending this list. It's GREAT!

At 11/12/2007 8:29 PM, Blogger Gardenia said...

Well, I'm sorry - but I still think homeschooling persons deserve a medal of honor or something - not that you and others are saints, but that you care enough and have enough courage to do what YOU think is best for your child.

If people are saying all those things to you and the kids, then they are certainly overstepping their boundaries. I often find in those cases, just asking "why is it so important that you ask" either opens a good dialog or sends them slinking off.

At 11/13/2007 6:07 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Gardenia, thanks for the vote of confidence!
Homeschooling isn't easy, but it's well worth the effort.

That's one thing about my blog friends; they'd NEVER say the stupid things on that list. However, ask ANY homeschooler and I guarantee that they've heard ALL of these comments and more.

At 11/13/2007 6:56 PM, Blogger Vancouver Voyeur said...

As Hammer said, "AMEN!"

At 11/13/2007 8:00 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

VV, I bet you heard a lot of this crap too.

At 11/14/2007 5:43 PM, Blogger Cherie said...

Thanks to you and Tweets! This is great!!

#12 made me laugh out loud.

You are right, tshs, as a home schooler for 2 decades, yep, I've heard 'em all. It gets to be funny after a while - a simple smirk suffices.

At 11/15/2007 4:48 PM, Blogger Candace said...

Such an awesome list, LOL! ^_^


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