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Topic: The Bitter Homeschooler

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Subject: The Bitter Homeschooler
Date Posted: 11/8/2007 5:41 PM ET
Member Since: 9/14/2005
Posts: 5,499
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Heeheeeheee!  LOVED this and it comes on the heel of having a friend staying with us and hearing the "You're depriving him by homeschooling" and "He's not going to be socialized," blah blah blah blah blah.  Soooooo need to have this framed for our house.  :)


The Bitter Homeschooler's Wish List

From Secular Homeschooling Magazine, Issue #1

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 know.

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 denominator.

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 one.

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!

Date Posted: 11/8/2007 5:50 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2005
Posts: 75
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First time on the forum and I really enjoyed the above post-it definitely described how I feel.  My son will be reaching school year very soon(he is 4)  Next  year I have to make all the arrangements for homeschooling.  I am definitly keeping the above post on my fridge until he goes to college.

Date Posted: 11/8/2007 6:17 PM ET
Member Since: 9/14/2005
Posts: 5,499
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Holly, welcome to the forums!!!  This is a great place for information and there are a bunch of people with tons of experience, if you ever need it.


Date Posted: 11/8/2007 7:15 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 21
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Well said!!  We have been homeschooling for 3 years now and It is awesome!

Date Posted: 11/8/2007 7:38 PM ET
Member Since: 11/2/2007
Posts: 64
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THANK YOU!  Finally something I can stash in my purse and hand out when accosted at the grocery store (etc.)  Now we need one for large families...

Date Posted: 11/8/2007 8:44 PM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2005
Posts: 438
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LOL!!  Absolutely!

Are they all yours?  Do you run a daycare?

I hate that!

Rebecca W.

Date Posted: 11/8/2007 9:04 PM ET
Member Since: 6/10/2007
Posts: 10,401
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BRAVO. Thank you for sharing that!

Date Posted: 11/9/2007 11:41 AM ET
Member Since: 4/17/2006
Posts: 47
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A reply to the remark "Do you know what causes that?" (when they say something about your large family):

You grin sheepishly and say, "Oh yes, we know.  And we are so good at it!"

Date Posted: 11/9/2007 12:46 PM ET
Member Since: 9/18/2005
Posts: 7,024
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Oney...that is HILARIOUS!  ;) 

I truly LOVE this and will include this in my hs group's newsletter for next month.  Thanks so much for sharing.  I'm also going to pass this on to my sister...she'll appreciate it too! ;)

Date Posted: 11/9/2007 4:29 PM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 2,243
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My response to people who can't believe that I'm not sending my sons to school: "I was a public school teacher for eight years, and there's NO WAY that I'd send my kids there. What does that tell you about public education?" That usually quiets their comments. ;)

Date Posted: 11/9/2007 6:59 PM ET
Member Since: 12/5/2005
Posts: 270
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Carole, Thanks for sharing that, I was in the need of a good laugh!! You know the scary thing is how many of us have actually heard the majority of those!! Thanks again for the boost! And Welcome Holly! :-)
Date Posted: 11/9/2007 7:17 PM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2006
Posts: 457
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Carole, that is the BEST!  Thanks so much for letting us in on it!

And, Cloi, I LOVE your response to people's comments!  LOVE it!


Date Posted: 11/10/2007 1:58 AM ET
Member Since: 9/14/2005
Posts: 5,499
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In regards to the large families....my best friend growing up was #10 of 11 kids.  We lived in the midwest and everyone assumed that because they had a large family, they were clearly Catholic.  Her parents would always respond with a sly smile and say, "Nope, passionate Protestants!"  LOL!  Took me years to get it, but once I did I thought it was priceless. 

It's just amazing me how rude people can be about things that have NOTHING to do with them.  Didn't anyone ever teach them manners?

Date Posted: 11/10/2007 7:28 AM ET
Member Since: 9/6/2007
Posts: 51
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I LOVE this list!  Just emailed it to one of my friends who also homeschools!  She has been doing it for way longer than me, so has heard PLENTY of comments...and sad to say, in the area where we live, she has had such a hard time that she has just about had to completely isolate herself and her kids from even going to church...because people there got to where they were even yelling at her for how wrong she was doing her kids!  Just because she is one who does not like conflict and will pretty much just stand there and smile and take whatever they have to say...so they dish it ALL out on her......Now, I got a question.....It's HER kids...what is it to these other people how she raises them?  They say her kids will be unable to cope socially in the "real world" once they get out into it.....I ask you how a young girl who is being raised in the true sense of being a lady and so much self-assurance at such a young age who now knows that she wants to be a nurse and is studying towards that goal....how is that socially inept?  They say....Well, her kids never talk at all...I say...Funny they talk to me ALL the time....I think...Maybe they just don't like you...reckon?? LOL  My friend asked me if I thought her kids were weird.....I told her no......Her kids are not weird, they are a young lady and a young man.    And I LOVE the "real world" comment....Had that one from my boss..."YOu know, he needs to know how to make it in the real world".....Now, how is being stuck in an "institution of higher learning" all day with other kids all your age, being there whether you want to be or not, stuck next to others who may or may not like you, putting up with bullying and having to accept it (no matter what the grown ups there may say)....HOW is that living in the real world?   It looks more like living life like a lab rat??? Possibly???  Those who ring the bell get the cheese, and those who can't (especially these days) either die or blow up the lab.....  OH, and I love the comment from the "large family" about "we are soooo good at it".....wish I had read that one and had it handy after the birth of my SECOND (yes, believe it or not...I actually had people who said THAT to me and me with just 2 kids !!! LOL)  GEEZ!!  Maybe I will get to use it in the future!

Date Posted: 11/10/2007 11:34 AM ET
Member Since: 9/14/2005
Posts: 5,499
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Maybe we should start a grassroots effort to start giving it back to the annoying, intrusive, rude people.....

"Your kids are in public school??!" 


"How in the world are they going to learn about the real world when they're cooped up in a classroom with kids their own age all day long, not allowed to socialize except at recess?? What?!  They don't have recess anymore?!  *tsk tsk*   Aren't you afraid they're going to be *whisper* weird because they haven't interacted with multiple age groups?  Don't you worry that they won't have had the opportunity to fully explore their interests by being involved in gymnastics, dancing, Boy Scouts, guitar lessons, tae kwon do, robotics classes, and all at the same time?  What about homework?  Isn't it sad that your kids have to be indoors all evening doing their homework, instead of playing outside with friends?  Oh, and don't even get me started on what they're learning.....*giggle*.....or should we say NOT learning in school.  It's so sad that you have to live with the lowest common denomenator teaching styles."

*pat on their shoulder*

"Don't worry....we're here for you if you ever come to your senses."


Date Posted: 11/11/2007 7:25 PM ET
Member Since: 2/10/2007
Posts: 127
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I love it!!  I'm going to copy it and send it to my on-line homeschool group!  They'll all get a kick out of it!  Thanks!  I get comments about homeschooling too.  Especially about me being some sort of saint!  Drives me nuts!  I just remind them that I never thought I could do it either. 

Date Posted: 11/11/2007 7:53 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2007
Posts: 1
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Oh that is hilarious!!  We're in our 8th year of homeschooling and I can't tell you how rude people can be about it.  And the worst ones?  My extended family.  Thankfully there are nice people in this world who compliment my kids on the way they act ...kind of makes up for all the grief we get from family. 

By the way - I am so happy to find a homeschool forum here!


Date Posted: 11/11/2007 9:23 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2007
Posts: 1,640
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I love those comments.  We are in our 4th year of homeschooling and with just one we avoid some of those comments.  I love Carole's comments as well.  Someone had posted the original comment on our homeschool group, but I'm going to add Carole's comments there as well.

Date Posted: 11/11/2007 9:52 PM ET
Member Since: 10/9/2006
Posts: 88
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I'm in my 13th year of teaching my own kids.  The first one has just been through athletic recruiting trips and has accepted both an academic and athletic scholarship university for next year.  Finally I can answer that other question:  "How will they ever get into college?"  I'm putting a copy of that post in my purse as well.  Thanks,

Adrianne the Opal Lady

Date Posted: 11/13/2007 6:03 PM ET
Member Since: 8/28/2006
Posts: 70
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I love the list and will share it and post it on fridge.  And about the Prom it is a social club and even homeschooled kids can pay and go to prom.  My child has attended several school dances with her friends.  Just girls not ready for the guys/dates yet! 

She has reported that going with a group of girls is so fun!  They all dance and talk and have a ball.  And all the girl/guy Dates the girls just sit at the table and the guys won't dance!  So, they just sit together and look bored! 

So, being homeschooled apparently gives a girl lots of options!


Date Posted: 11/14/2007 12:47 PM ET
Member Since: 10/30/2007
Posts: 98
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I'm new to the fourm and homeschooling.. This is wonderful!!

Thanks for sharing.


Date Posted: 11/14/2007 11:46 PM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2007
Posts: 185
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Wow, I love that list.

To the list of comebacks to public ed kids, here's one overheard at a homeschoolers group a few years ago. "You mean that you had to raise your hand to go to the bathroom!!! Thats disgusting"

Enough Said,


Date Posted: 11/16/2007 11:29 PM ET
Member Since: 9/7/2007
Posts: 1
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We loved it!  I read it to my oldest two and my husband.  They both wanted me to send it to their emails so they could send it out!

We've homeschooled for 16 years now!  Time flies when you're having fun...and going crazy at times!



Date Posted: 11/17/2007 11:38 AM ET
Member Since: 8/21/2007
Posts: 2
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I've been a member for a while but just found this forum today - cool!!


I love your post.    Fortunately, I don't get a lot of comments like that (other than "oh, I could never..." but it resonated nonetheless!

Date Posted: 11/17/2007 6:40 PM ET
Member Since: 10/28/2007
Posts: 191
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Your comments are so fitting.  Why should we have to defend our choice to home school.  I hate the way teachers try to make us think that we are not qualified to teach our own children.  I've watch them do it and they treat them like babies.  My kids would come home and say that their not teaching me anything.  I think their scared and intimidated by our boldness.  Who's to say that my 9 year old is going to learn how to act with other people in the world by spending 30-35 hours a week around nothing but 25 other 9 year olds.  That was the first thing I learn about public school and the whole social question.  My kids learn how to act in the world by being around many other types of people, from friends to siblings, grandpas and ofther family and friends of varing age ranges, not 25 other 5 year olds.  Never let go of your right to homeschool!