Saturday, October 26, 2013

10 Reasons Why You Should NOT Homeschool Your Children

Thinking about homeschooling? Here are 10 reasons to make like Nancy Reagan and Just. Say. No!\

Angry child

1. You love packing sack lunches.
Do you tenderly pack your child’s lunch each evening, carefully balancing healthy and delicious for a perfect brown bag delight? You’ll hate homeschooling. For a homeschooling mom, lunch is most likely ‘reheated leftovers from dinner’ or ‘You’re 7. Fix yourself a sandwich, for goodness sake!” In fact, we’re so bad at brown bagging it that, on the rare occasions where a co-op or field trip demands a sack lunch, the results are often somewhat… nonconformist.

2. You believe that training for cubicle life should start early.
You’ve read Dilbert. You know what the workforce holds for your child. While he’s sitting up straight and obedient in his desk, those lazy homeschoolers are sprawled on couches, hopping on one foot, or flopped on the floor. Who’s going to do better as an office drone? Your guy.


3. You know that recess is dangerous.
You and your school agree. Recess is dangerous and should be limited to 15 minutes a day. Who knows what those homeschooled kids are getting into as they roam their yards and neighborhoods? Their parents better have insurance for all those inevitable ER visits!

4. You love the thrill of a last minute project. The bedtime confession. The late-night run to Walmart for poster board and markers. The hours of tears and yawns, culminating in a poster that would put Shepard Fairey to shame. You love those last minute projects. They make you feel alive and productive.  Homeschoolers NEVER get that experience. In fact, they don’t even ASSIGN things like dioramas and toothpick coliseums. They figure if the kids want to build a model of the pyramids, they’ll do it on their own time.

5. Parent-Teacher Conferences provide you with a needed social outlet.
You get to dress up in your ‘professional’ clothes, sit in a room with another adult for 10 or 15 minutes, and discuss little Chrysostom’s strengths and weaknesses! It’s practically a vacation.  I have parent-teacher conferences too, but they happen when I’m talking to myself in the shower.

6. Your children are boring, ill-mannered, and irritating.
You can’t stand your kids. That’s why you pay taxes to foist them off on some poor exhausted teacher, right? If you’d wanted to raise them, you’d have majored in Education, not Film Studies! Most homeschoolers really like their kids. We think they’re funny and cool and enjoy spending our days with them. In fact, we get a little confused when people ask us how we can stand being around them all the time. I mean, have you seen their latest Lego stop-motion film? I had no idea that it was possible to mimic blood so well with little pieces of plastic!

7. You love early mornings. Especially in the winter.
If you’re the sort of person who likes to be up at the crack of dawn and have everyone dressed, in matching socks, and ready to go in 10 minutes or less, you’re not cut out to be a homeschooler.  We tend to have more leisurely mornings. Sometimes, my kids even do school in their PJs while they wait for the dryer to finish. And sometimes, we don’t start school until after lunch.

8. You equate tolerating boredom with perseverance.
Remember those long days in school, stuck at your desk, forbidden to read but waiting for the other kids to catch up? They taught you something! They taught you to conform, and to tolerate boredom. These are vital skills for success. Homeschooled kids don’t get to learn about boredom. They learn about frustration. They learn to avoid looking like they have nothing to do so that Mom doesn’t give them chores.  But boredom? There are always Legos or books or woodworking projects or dolls or papers and art supplies or ants crawling on a stick in the back yard. How can they learn to be bored when their world is full of cool stuff? Only schools can really teach boredom.

9. You worry a lot about socialization for your children. You spend time trying to craft the perfect social setting.
As a homeschooler, you don’t worry too much about socialization. Your kids socialize ALL THE TIME. In fact, you wish they’d be a little more like hermits, since it seems unfair to have to shower and get dressed every single day when you’re supposed to be a stay at HOME mom.

10. You think age-based academic groupings mean something.
You know your child’s grade, and what grade level she’s at in every subject. You think it’s an achievement that she’s ‘above grade level,’ and it feels like a stab wound when she’s only average. You love comparing her to her peers.  Homeschooling would be a major downer for you. Kids progress at their own rates, and you have no good way to make constant comparisons because every family has its own curriculum and its own style. You’re reduced to concrete assessments like “Jerome needs more practice with long division” or “Hildegard is having trouble finding interesting books that aren’t inappropriate for her age and experience.”  When you homeschool, you’re forced to confront each child as an individual.


Jeremiah Fargo said...

At the beginning of this, the tone kind of bothered me a bit; homeschooling is a great choice but public or private schooling can be too!

By the end, though, I was laughing and chuckling. Thank you for a smile this morning.

Mrs. Spurgin said...

Nice article. I name my children after Doctors of the Church too.

TC said...

HaHa! Well done!

Anonymous said...

Homeschooling isn't that bad, if it seems like it to you then find a group in your area, and make sure you have a good curriculum. I suggest The Weaver Curriculum as it has almost daily bible verses, and occasionally a field trip idea. You could take your entire group, and plan a lot of parties with you homeschooling friends. Plan a party for Easter, valentines day, Christmas, thanksgiving, and even summer kick off or at the beginning of school. Just an opinion from someone who is literally in the middle of it right now.

Anonymous said...

Well...thanks for nothing. I am finishing my first year homeschooling, and have really lost my flame. However, it was not for any of the reasons listed here. Your sarcastic way of insulting others with different capabilities is shameful. I am not selfish, my kids are not annoying, etc. But THANK YOU for kicking myself and others while they are down. A more honest article, assuming all positives and negatives of homeschooling would be better. However, you must have a perfect, selfless life, so how could you write something of that sort? That is, if you could wake up in time to squeeze that into your day.

Deirdre Mundy said...

Well, if you read a little closer, you'll see that many of the reasons I enjoy homeschooling are actually fairly selfish -sleeping in, not having to have the laundry ready to go at 6 am, not having to pack lunches when the fridge is full of perfectly good leftovers, etc.

Different people like different things. Some moms really like 'school-life.' Personally, I would go nuts if I had to deal with the things my school-mom-friends do. (Like permission slips. What on earth is UP with that? )

Perhaps one of the reasons you find homeschooling tough (and, honestly, I don't. The major downside for me is the mess, but... I was never a neat freak anyway) is that you DO view the perfect homeschooling mom as some sort of selfless martyr, rather than as someone teacher her kids the way she wants to teach them.

You might want to reassess your style-- are you trying to be "Pinterest Mom!" when you're really more "Dump the craft supplies on the table and check back in an hour to see what happened Mom?" Or, conversely, are you into schedules and organization but trying to unschool?

Once you get past the reading, writing, and math, a lot of 'proper homeschooling' is really about what YOU think is important and what you enjoy doing.

Also, Feb/March is a really common time of year for exhaustion in homeschooling moms, especially if your weather hasn't been conducive to outside adventures in a while.

Consider taking a week off and just field-tripping, gardening, or hiking. Remember, the public schools never finish the book, and you don't have to either. Do a little unit study for a breather. (And by 'unit study' I mean 'get a bunch of cool library books, watch some PBS documentaries (Secrets of the Dead is awesome!) and hit some museums or try some weird experiments. )

It's OK to take breaks at non-standard times. Heck, at my house we do year-round school so we can slack off whenever we need a break!

Kenneth Knott said...

Hilarious! And I like your empathetic and empowering response to your one detractor. Keep up the good work!

Rachel said...

I was home educated from K5-12th grade. Here is an article I wrote about some great reasons to consider home education!

Anonymous said...

I was extremely disappointed in this article due to its lack of factual information.
1. That is so 100% based on the worst-possible stereotype of housewives/homeschool teachers.
2. Same as #1, and statistics show that homeschoolers are generally more advanced in academics than kids who attend public school.
3. Exercise, and that’s something American kids need now more than ever. The obesity rate in children is alarming, and children sit for so long in public schools that it negatively affects their overall health.
4. Is it a learning experience? Yes, but so is failing a class in high school. And anyway, if you think homeschool kids can’t have last minute projects, you're wrong, because I've witnessed it.
5. I know plenty of parents who do not attend the public school parent-teacher conferences, because they despise those meetings. Having a parent-teacher conference is not the only available social outlet.
6. I couldn’t find anything close to a solid argument in this one, so I’ll just say that if your kids are “boring, ill-mannered, and irritating” to you, then you need to work on your parenting skills and/or patience. Children can be stressful, but I’ve never heard a parent describe their child as “boring and irritating” unless said parent is a bad parent or the child has mental problems which cause behavioral issues.
7. “We tend to have more leisurely mornings” Once again, stereotyping. Most homeschooling parents will agree that it’s best to have a schedule/routine for your homeschooled kids. For instance, starting school at a certain time at least five days a week, or having lunch time at a certain hour every school day.
8. Every child experiences boredom and frustration. And again, this depends on the work ethic/self-discipline of the homeschooling parent. Does your child stick to a schedule/routine, or do you let them roam the house doing whatever they please 24/7? When I was bored in class, I was never “waiting for the other kids to catch up” in public school. I was finding things to do while waiting for those kids. I was writing, drawing, thinking deeply, or even just taking a nice mental break. Homeschooled kids learn to do all of those things as well in most cases, from what I’ve seen, heard, and read.
9. Myth. Homeschool kids tend to have higher moral standards and are generally more respectful towards others. They grow up around a more diverse group of people that is not restricted to their age group. There are SO many support groups, communities, clubs, churches, etc. That’s not even including the online communities. I mean, a homeschooler can even be in a full on band or orchestra. They can also take weekly classes with plenty of other kids in their own city or nearby cities. Homeschooling is becoming more and more popular, so more and more opportunities are arising all of the time. “It seems unfair to have to shower and get dressed every single day when you’re supposed to be a stay at HOME mom” … I really hope that wasn’t a serious comment. It’s unfair to have to work when you’re a stay at home mom… um, excuse you, but being a legitimate housewife/homeschooling parent is a job in itself. Many people agree that it’s the most difficult job there is. For you to suggest anything different is just wrong. Those women work so hard to maintain their home and raise their children well. It takes a lot of mental strength to be a GOOD housewife/homeschooling parent.
10. Actually, it’s very easy to compare your child to other children. Even if the curriculum you use is not grade-based, you can take their age and figure out what grade they would be in if they were in public school. If your kid is at the age of an eighth grader, compare them to the eighth graders in public school. It isn’t difficult to find out where the average eighth grader is supposed to be at academic-wise in your area (speak with adults at public schools or research it online). Then you can see if your child is behind, average, or advanced compared to kids in public school.

Karen Ricketts said...

Well said! I couldn't agree more!!

LeeLens said...

As a homeschooler myself, I found this a hilarious tongue-in-cheek post. Obviously, most of the points are sarcastic or stereotypical, but that's what makes it funny. Since every household and every child is different, there is no single education or parenting style that works for everyone! Some kids (and parents) need more socialization/activities/schedules - some need less.

I really enjoyed reading this, but was surprised at the seriousness of some of the comments. Maybe the next time you write a similar post you could add a disclaimer that it is supposed to be a joke :)

Anonymous said...

I loved every word.... every witty, sarcastic, obviously written-to-be-amusing word. And as a homeschoolong Mom of 5, I can completely relate. I can't believe anyone actually took this seriously... I sure hope THEY aren't teaching their children...

L. I. Nuñez said...

It surprises me a bit, that some people actually felt attacked by this blog post! If you hadn't noiticed Mr / Mrs Annymous, it was meant to be sarcastic.

Anyways, great job with this article.

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