The Bitter Homeschooler’s Wish List

I’ve seen this list unattributed on at least one blog already.

If you love it and want other folks to see it, please give Deborah Markus her byline. (As a writer myself, I hope my own work will receive the same respect if it ever becomes this popular.)

A few of my favorites (and my commentary):

  • 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.
  • We didn’t go through all the reading, learning, thinking, and weighing of options 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.
  • Stop assuming that if we’re religious, we must be homeschooling for religious reasons.
    • (Our reasons currently have more to do with relationship and academics.)
  • 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.
    • (One of my favorite things as a homeschooled child was the direct connection between my personal motivation/ application and the amount of time school took to finish. 9-to-noon days were my favorites, and I bragged about them.)
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • (AMEN!)

There are more, and yes, they’re all that bitter or more so, but it’s nice to say to invisible enemies exactly what you’d never say to someone you actually loved, even when you wished they had the same information.

6 thoughts on “The Bitter Homeschooler’s Wish List

  1. I do applaud you for doing it and no, I couldn’t do it either. Please agree.

    However, I might join the ranks when my oldest goes into middle school.

    Hope you have a great weekend!

  2. My sister homeschools her kids (ages 12, 8, 5, and 4), too, so no back-handed compliments from this peanut gallery! I was never homeschooled myself, but I did have my mom as my math and science teacher when I was in junior high. While my sister hated it, it really started laying the foundation for the best-friend-type relationship my mom and I have now. And I remember more of the math (algebra and geometry) and science (physical science and biology) from the classes she taught than any other time in my schooling—even though college!

  3. I love that list. I showed it to my parents (veteran homeschoolers of 4 children) and my dad said that when people say to him, “Oh, I could never do that” he says,”You’re right – you couldn’t.” Why argue? :)

    The only people that give me a hard time are my husband’s grandparents. They see that I turned out o.k having been homeschooled (if I do say so myself!) but I guess it’s hard to trust me with their great-grandchildren. ;)

  4. This may be a bigger question than I anticipate, but can you comment on the logistics of homeschooling when kids are different ages? I know there are plenty who do it, but I can’t really make sense of how it would work. I have another year before my oldest is school-age, so there’s still time for me to think about it and prepare for it, but I just haven’t been able to decide if it’s something I’d really be able to organize and follow-through with.

  5. I’m just beginning myself, Kathy, but from what I’ve read and the little I’ve done so far I think a lot works itself out just by knowing your own children.

    Once I actually looked at a basic concept each kid needed and started there, it was sort of like having a book or toy that you know is most age-appropriate for (or liked by) that child.

    I was genuinely relieved.

    (My state doesn’t require a lot of personal record-keeping, so if yours does it may be more of a challenge.)

    I haven’t written the book review yet (hope to soon), but for a fabulous and reassuring overview I’d encourage you to read Homeschooling: Take a Deep Breath, You Can Do This, by Terrie Lynn Bittner.

    (My Library had a copy that I just picked up in passing, and I’m *so* glad now it did.)

    It is an amaizingly comprehensive guide to winning over the people whose opinions are important to us, organizing the *stuff,* actually starting the teaching, and (eventually) designing your own curriculum and studies.

    Not enough that you’ll never want another book, but definitely enough for me just starting out.

    ~ ~ ~

    You’ll probably also like the “Preschoolers and Peace” link under my “homeschooling” category to the right.

    It’ll take you to a website full of more ideas than you’ll probably be able to apply while you still have preschoolers ;)

    But I found it to be very encouraging in a “There’s someone who’s done it!” way.

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