Friday, October 15, 2010

My Response to a Critic of Homeschooling

I received the following message on my website guest book.  I tried to leave a response to her in the guest book, however, it was evidently too long to record it.  I wanted to share her comment with you:

I do not believe in homeschooling under ordinary circumstances. I have many, many reasons why I feel this why. One of the top ones is that there is no regulation in most states. There are no proctors coming out and giving standardized testing. So, there is no way to know if it is working or not for each individual child. Most people whom I know who home school do it for one reason only and it has nothing to do with education. That reason is control. They cannot fathom their children drawing an independent breath out of their sight. I have never understood why parents who home school are so darned defensive. They ask you what your views of the subject are. You politely and calmly answer their question. They then proceed to wig out. It's like they are always ready for a fight. I have to laugh about people who are always bragging about this person or that person who was home schooled and went to an ivy league college. Why? Is it so rare for a home schooled person to be accepted by a good college? If so, then that might be an argument against home schooling. But, I guess my main reason not to do it is this. If my child wanted to learn to a music instrument that I did not know how to play, I would not purchase the instrument and an instruction book and try to figure it out. I would send them to a professional instructor who taught that instrument. Most people feel the same way. Why, then, would I leave my child's academics to rank amateurs? 

This is my response to Rebecca:
This is in response to Rebecca's two guest book comments (which were the same). 

Rebecca: First of all, I didn't ask your opinion about homeschooling, so I'm not sure why you felt the need to leave these two messages to me in my guest book.  However, I would like to address your comments about homeschooling.

I did not keep my children home for control. In fact, I don't know any homeschool parent who kept or keeps their children home in order to control them.  Quite the contrary.  I was seeing that our school systems (my children were in public and charter schools) were not providing my children what they needed in order to be educated AND they certainly weren't offering them the extra classes like music, art, or other electives.  One of the main reasons I took my children out of the public school system is because they moved them to the next grade level and they couldn't even read!!  Personally, if this was how a "professional" was going to educate my child, I knew I could do a better job than that; and I did. 

I was just like you when I started this whole homeschooling adventure.  I thought homeschoolers were weird, strange and controlling.  Of course, I was saying all these things out of ignorance because I never even looked into homeschooling until a state education OFFICIAL suggested it to me in response to my complaints about the charter school I put my children in after the public school fiasco.  The charter school was just as bad, but even worse in the long run because they have no one above them to monitor them when there are complaints.  I hit a brick wall when I called the state education system about this school.  They had no jurisdiction over any charter school.  Again I ask - is this the professional  system that you think is so wonderful? 

My children (who are grown) are much more well-rounded, secure, mature, and moral than I ever was at their age and, yes, I was educated by the public school system.  Personally, I would have loved to have been homeschooled.  I would have been spared the teasing and bullying I endured EVERYDAY and I would have been able to pursue the artistic and musical endeavors that I was so suited to. 

I think the reason you hear about homeschoolers who end up in Ivy League colleges so much, is that we are always having to justify our choice to people (like you) who question our choice and wonder if we are raising scared, uneducated, heathens.  Saying, "See, my child is normal AND educated", is just our way of showing "the world" that we CAN educate our children as well (and usually better) than the public schools. 

Both of my children play musical instruments (taught by ME and other music teachers), attend church regularly, have friends, go to college, interact with the population at large, and they have good morals.  I question whether they would be doing so well if they hadn't been homeschooled. 

I find it interesting that you left this comment without leaving your email address.  I guess you just wanted to have a one-sided dialogue about this issue. 

I do hope you haven't felt that I've "wigged out" If I've sounded defensive, I am.  I defend my right to homeschool, to raise my children in a Christian home with Christian values, to love them enough to take the time to homeschool them and take them to all the classes, music lessons, sports events, and other interests that they pursued. 

I homeschooled my children because I loved them and I wanted what was the absolute best.  Homeschooling was the very best thing I ever did for them or me. 

I hope this answers your questions and accusations fully.  You're free to have your opinion, however, don't be surprised when homeschoolers "wig out" when you question their intelligence and motives.

- Julie


Here is the link to my website:  Julie's Website
You will see the button on the left side to go to the guest book and you can view the comments there.


  1. Great reply, Julie. We homeschool for academics, socialization, and increased family time. The flexible schedule and being able to tailor our curriculum to each child's talents and interests (and even weaknesses) are motivating factors for our family.

    I was educated in the public system and began honors courses full time in college at the age of 16. When I look back on my school years, I think of all the wasted time and busywork. I learned nothing in the majority of my classes, having learned the most independently at home. I want to spare my kids the ridiculous amounts of homework (pure busywork!!!) and give them ample tine to develop skills and talents, to have the time to figure out their life goals and career interest before college!

  2. Thanks, Marsha!

    You make some marvelous points and I agree wholeheartedly. I remember my own school days of busywork and by the time my two boys were in school, the busywork had gotten quite out of hand. It was ridiculous.

    The increased family time for us was wonderful. My husband had a job with strange hours and homeschooling allowed us to spend time as a family where if they had been in school, we could not have. I was literally a social mess coming out of school whereas my sons can interact and speak coherently with anyone. I was scared of my own shadow and I blame the bullying I received in school for that. My sons didn't have to go through that once I pulled them out of school.

    Homeschooling is wonderful for so many reasons and I'm so glad you brought to light even more! Thank you, Marsha!!

    God bless you - Julie

  3. I have a sneaky suspicion that she is a teacher in the public school system. They don't like homeschooling. I wish I had homeschooled my kids. My kids struggled throughout all their years of school. I had multiple meetings with teachers and principals trying to get them to help my kids. Their solution was to always hold them back.

    I have so many friends who have homeschooled their kids, my sister also. In each case their child has advanced faster and farther than the public school kids. I think it is partly because there is more one-on-one teaching and a lot more patience. Also, kids don't "slip through the cracks" when they are homeschooled.

    Also, a lot of homeschooling parents have their children involved in outside activities so they are still socializing with other children.

    And finally, if kids weren't learning from being homeschooled, they wouldn't GET into Ivy League schools. So homeschooling must work!

    Ok, getting off my soapbox now. You did very well with your response, Julie. I don't know if I could have been as kind.



  4. Thanks, Sue. :) I so appreciate your encouragement. I'll be in touch!



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