Country Living Series

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Rebuttal to homeschoolers

Last night I received a lengthy and thoughtful rebuttal from a Christian public schoolteacher regarding the column I just posted called Lazy Homeschoolers.  Rather than letting the comment languish unseen, I thought I'd bring it to the forefront.
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Good Evening. I read this post because someone on Facebook linked this article to their page, and I just wanted to give my opinion of the article. I am hoping that since you open your comment section to the public that you are in favor of all comments, even if they don't mirror your own.

First of all, I have to say that the article was offensive as a product of the American public schools, as an educator in public schools, and most of all as a Christian. Here are my reasons:

As a product of public schools, I can assure you that I have never been brainwashed by "atheist indoctrination" as the original writer, Ron Strom, assumes, nor do I know any fellow public-schoolers that have been. In fact, many of my teachers in school made it very clear to me that were Christians. Every once in a while, we were taught other religions alongside Christianity, but it was always taught as strictly informational and never invitational (which I found it very interesting to learn about these other religions, especially since I have since met people practicing these religions and it is much easier for me to talk to them about my religion when I am not completely ignorant about theirs). In 9th grade, we were briefly taught about the theory of evolution, which is another concept that students need to know about (and make the decision for themselves about what they think about it) if they ever want to be involved in a scientific field (how much credibility would a Creationist have if they had never heard of evolution? none). Other than these two instances, I don't remember any other controversial teachings in my K - 12 schooling. I think it is insulting to my parents, who certainly raised me in a Deuteronomy 6:7 kind of way. They sent me to public school because they knew that a teacher, who went to college for their specific subject area, could teach me calculus, physics, literature, and history better than they could (this is not an attack on parents who homeschool, it is just the opinion of my parents). They did not ever have to "deprogram" me of what I was taught at school because they taught me to find out things for myself, and if I didn't agree with something that I learned at school, they encouraged me to study it for myself and find out what the Bible said about that subject. They did a great job of bringing me up in the "nurture and admonition of the Lord." It seems as though the Wife of Noble Character in Proverbs 31 did a fine job of bringing up her children as well, even though she was planting a vineyard, trading, sewing, making and selling linen garments. Her husband was busy taking his seat among the elders of the land, so it doesn't seem that they had the time to be the only teachers in their childrens' lives.

As an educator in the American public schools, I can absolutely assure you that I (nor my co-workers) participate in "atheistic indoctrination" of our students. We would get fired. I can also assure you that, as a math teacher, I have never even imagined giving math problems about cocaine or chopped up body parts (as a previous comment stated). Now, I understand that not every teacher is perfect, and some teachers probably do not need to be teachers. I've also met a few inadequate parents that homeschool their children, but I certainly don't write blogs grouping ALL homeschool parents together and accusing them all of doing a lousy job. Please understand that when you copy a story such as this one, you are talking about millions of INDIVIDUALS that spend most of their waking hours caring for, loving, teaching, and planning for their students (some of which don't get that standard of care at their own homes). If you would like, I can send you information about how you can visit my classroom in order to form your own opinions about my teaching and what students are learning in my classroom. Until then, please do not judge me, my profession, and the product of my profession until you actually know what happens in my classroom.

As a Christian, this article offends me because if all of the Christians take their children out of public schools (as it suggests), who will tell the children left in public school about Jesus? I really wish you could see what a difference some of my students make in the lives of others by being in public schools and telling others of their faith. Jesus spent his time on earth eating with sinners, and in Mark 2:17, He says, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." Shouldn't we do the same? I completely agree with your (and Mr. Strom's) idea that we are to provide our children with "spiritual instruction." But, how are our children to be "witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth" if they are only around other Christians? I also think that it is belittling to my religion that you and Mr. Strom assume that Christians won't be strong enough to stand up to this "cultural swamp." 1 John 5:4 says, "for everyone born of God overcomes the world." I am not suggesting that every child should just be thrown into the world and hope that things turn out okay. I am suggesting that if a child/teen has a firm foundation in Jesus Christ, then sometimes they need to be among the sinners, sharing their faith.

I just don't understand where these children are going to live and work in which they will be constantly sheltered from "pop culture" and "peer pressure?" I'm glad that I was able to experience these things while growing up because it helps me know how to handle them now that I face them in even stronger proportions as an adult.

Thank you for your time.

51 comments:

  1. As an individual that was both homeschooled and public schooled, my thoughts are this; if your home life does not have a good foundation, it doesn't matter what education you get, your hurdles in life will come from a fractured home and emotional trauma. If your home life DOES have a good foundation, your parents are supportive and encourage you to think for yourselves, to be brave, and to research things on your own, again it doesn't matter so much what your education was. Mainly though, I believe that the parents who research and weigh their option heavily are making a decision based on their convictions. What scares me is parents who simply follow the trend and do whatever their told for their children, whether that be public school, daycare, vaccinations.....etc. Stick to your convictions! But first do some research (from both perspectives of each argument)

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  2. Save the Canning JarsOctober 27, 2010 at 12:00 PM

    I can appreciate some of the comments from the public school teacher above. We need exceptional teachers and there are still some wonderful teachers out there who give their all to educating the youth.

    My mother was one of those "master teachers" who taught thematically. If she was teaching about Egypt, the math, spelling, geography, social studies, etc. was all grouped under this theme. She was a pillar of a teacher in the Great Expectations methodology and observed Marva Collins on several occasions.
    Mom held class in front of our state legislature at the state capital (impromptu) causing our lawmakers to shake their head and long to return to the 5th grade.

    So is she an advocate of public education? NO!
    Not only did her grandchildren leave public schools, she did too! How many times do we see Johnnie get Mrs. NeedsToRetire and the parents just let Johnnie coast through the school year hoping next year he will get Mrs. Exceptional. Children don't have even one year to waste. Although every community is not the same, the 4 cities/towns we have lived in have had weak teachers sprinkled throughout.

    Parents, you'll know when it is time to bring them home. One day your kid will tell you something that makes you feel sick inside and you'll think, "We can do better than this!"

    And our family did do better. My kids CLEPed college math courses while a huge percentage of their peers took zero college credit remediation math courses because they were not prepared. Had we stayed, it could have been MY kids unprepared.

    So to the public school teacher, if God has called you to be there, go for it! We all need to be where God wants us to be. But here is a newsflash: The system is broken and many families are awakening to hear God calling their children home.

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  3. Ah, she raises the old myth that if we don't dip our children in doo-doo (the public schools and popular culture) then they won't know how to deal with doo-doo. Funny how the homeschooled citizens manage to grow up and outdo the public schooled citizens... without all that "necessary" exposure to doo-doo. Jennifer

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  4. I went to public schools. They were very anti-Catholic. Why? Probably because several of the teachers had at one time been Catholics.
    My sons go to public schools, different from the one I went to. Most of his teachers are Catholic. I see them in church every Sunday. Very different attitude from the school I went to.
    Hey not all schools are the same not all teachers are bad. Maybe not most. But as they say YMMV (Your mileage may vary).
    Lorenzo Poe

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  5. Patrice, I appreciate your posting this offering, and will assume the writer meant the article being referenced was offensive to them personally, since the way their second paragraph was worded requires such an assumption.

    And, as I've said before, it's always comforting to be reminded there are still some Christians teaching in the public school system.

    I'd be interested to know in which part of the country this teacher lives and teaches, and I congratulate her or him on their good fortune to be employed in a district where Christians are so well tolerated.

    I hope this educator can take my comments at face value and will consider the great need for compassion, prayer and action in regions such as my own, where Christianity in public schools is about as welcome as an influx of serial child molesters would be.

    I'd like to present two examples of what it's like here in our area of the Pacific Northwest. The first is from one seasoned educator who found herself one of only two Christians at the school where she taught. Both were regularly targeted and verbally trashed by their school's administrators and their co-workers, who openly derided their faith and implicitly treated them as though they were a dangerous threat to the students.

    The second example hits closer to home. In this same school district, my own grandson was suspended from school after his teacher overheard him speaking to another student about Jesus. Her complaint to the principal specifically cited that she'd taken this action after hearing him say Jesus' Name.

    Sadly, these examples are not at all unique or alarming in this region. We are a predominantly Christian community, but our school system is dominated by an openly anti-Christian mindset.

    So when I'm reminded that there are areas where schools are still operating in line with America's founding principles in The Word, I'm thankful. I hope the writer of the rebuttal you've posted will keep the many communities like mine in their prayers, and will put aside their feelings of offense at the parents who make the choice to home school. It's not a blanket indictment of the entire public school system. It's simply a necessary choice in those situations where the kids need to be spared and protected from the overt and politically correct practice of Christian bashing.

    As far as the writer's assertion that we as Christians should send our kids to public schools to witness to the unsaved, well, I get the sense this person may be young and possibly childless. And I would respond that we are also taught not to cast our pearls before swine. My very smart, well-behaved and discreet grandson's own experience should suffice as an example of the downside of the writer's argument. Christ said let the little children
    come unto Me. He didn't send them out to preach. He sent adults out into the world to carry the Gospel. Yes, children can be very effective witnesses for Christ, but I believe it is we, the grownups, who are commissioned to put on the Gospel Armor and carry the sword of truth.

    I think this educator would be mightily surprised and impressed if given an opportunity to speak with home schooled students on any subject, including the theory of evolution, and I hope she or he will bear in mind the frequently outstanding performance of home schooled students in academic competitions. What better witness could they provide?

    And as for where these home schooled kids might live and work: send them to us. In our business they have invariably proven to be our hardest working, most competent, reliable and respectful employees.

    And yes, I'm a product of the public school system, too. It's a great national treasure that's falling into serious disrepair and in many ways desperately needs improvement.

    I thank God for the home schooling option.

    A.McSp

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  6. I'm truly happy that the teacher who wrote the rebuttal to your article is a Christian, but I have to ask, IS THIS PERSON KIDDING US? I don't know where he/she lives and teaches, but apparently liberals haven't infiltrated that school system... yet.

    I have a daughter who homeschools. Her daughters are around children of many different faiths and beliefs. They are NOT exposed just to other Christian children. Nor are they being deprived of a social life. They're involved in soccer and many other outdoor activities. Those arguments are as old as the hills.

    Your rebuttal teacher says he/she was never exposed to "atheist indoctrination" growing up and doesn't teach it. That's good! But when did this person go through the public school system? There was no "atheist indoctrination" when my wife and I were in public schools, either. BUT THERE IS TODAY!

    No doubt there are still many school systems that aren't pushing embracing the GAY lifestyle, teaching our children about "safe sex," not abstinence, and showing them how to put condoms on bananas, but a lot more school systems ARE doing that! This person needs to read a few of the articles on websites like WorldNetDaily and more blogs like your own, Patrice. He/she will hear very little, if anything, in the mainstream media about what most of our public schools are up to today.

    Often, children are warned in public schools not to speak with their parents of the things they're told and what they do in school. And underage girls who get pregnant are being encouraged to have abortions without their parents knowledge! I'm not exaggerating about this. You know this is true, Patrice. But your Christian school teacher apparently does not. I'm afraid the situation in our public school systems is far worse than even I can imagine, and I have a very good imagination.

    If your rebuttal teacher would read your articles more often, he/she would realize that you, Patrice, often speak of the same things with the same good reasoning that he/she spoke of in the rebuttal. The major difference between you and that teacher is the teacher obviously isn't aware of just how bad things are getting to be in our nation today! Hopefully, he/she will read more of your articles and not take anymore of them out of context.

    I'm curious to know what you have to say to this person, Patrice. He/she has a lot to learn. Our liberal progressive society is doing an excellent job of keeping so many people in the dark. When you hear only one side of any story, you can never know if you're being told the truth. If you do send this person a reply, I hope he/she listens with an open mind!

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  7. Anonymous wrote: "If you do send this person a reply, I hope he/she listens with an open mind!"

    You mean, listen with an open mind like you did?

    I've been reading Patrice's blog for a couple of months now, and while I agree with much of what she says (and even if I don't, it gives me something to chew on), I, too, found her broad indictment of the public school system to be offensive. Had I written a rebuttal, I'd like to think it would have been as well-thought and well-phrased as this one. In any case, Patrice has gone up about a thousand points in my admiration and estimation simply BECAUSE she was willing to post an opposing view on her blog and not condemn the poster as a crazy liberal because she offered a different experience.

    I am also a product of the public school system. My older daughter recently graduated from our local high school with an IB diploma--one of those "crazy liberal programs"--and is at the same college now where one of our good friends--also a graduate of the same IB program--took a degree last year. Do you know where our friend is now? On a year-long mission trip with our denomination teaching English in Chad. So much for the crazy liberal education.

    I know a number of people who homeschool their children. Some of them do a fabulous job. Some don't. But I would hesitate to paint them with as broad a brush as some of the homeschoolers use on the public school system because it's simply unfair to do so.

    What I want my children to take from their education--besides enough knowledge to function competently in the world today--is the ability to think critically, to look at a topic from many different angles, and to be willing to LISTEN (really listen, and not just pretend to listen) to an opposing viewpoint without feeling threatened to the extent that they must vilify the person expressing the opposing viewpoint or accuse them of ignorance.

    And I am not afraid to sign my name, either.

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  8. The citizens of this nation have a right to their own opinions, and the right to speak them freely. They do not, however, have any protected right NOT TO BE OFFENDED by the opinions or speech of others.

    As a product of the public schools, a former teacher in the public schools, and a Christian, I am not offended by anyone's opinion, whether it agrees with mine, or is in diametric opposition.

    I do not remember any teachers I ever had in the 13 years I spent in public school EVER indicating in any way that they were Christians of any sort. Other religions were studied, but not in the invitational fashion used currently. We were taught evolution nearly every year in some form or another, and specifically as such in 8th, 9th, & 11th grades. No other hypothesis was ever mentioned. My upbringing did not differ noticeably from the one in the original comment, except that my parents sent me to public school because they both worked, the only private schools were Catholic (we were not), and homeschooling was not exactly legal in that state at that time, rather than out of any faith in teachers' abilities or knowledge of their subject matter. The insinuation that a parent w/o a degree in a particular subject is unfit to teach that subject at the hs level is not borne out by any research into the topic. Education majors are the lowest performers academically speaking. You can check that stat yourself.

    The Wife of Noble Character and her husband, lived in a time period without public schools. I doubt that anyone else taught their children, unless they could afford a private tutor, which is far more like homeschooling than public schooling anyway.

    I think it is obvious that good teachers exist. I also think it obvious that horrid ones abound, and that the system is not conducive to improving their performance. There ARE blogs out there that slam on all homeschoolers as misguided, ignorant, unsocialized, backwards fundamentalists. I realize that not all people who are against homeschooling argue against it for those reasons.

    I do think it is fair to judge teachers without necessarily seeing them in the classroom. I am thinking specifically of a conversation I overheard between two public school teachers who couldn't put a single sentence together without using "like" "y'know" or "n'stuff" in every single phrase. I do NOT want my children learning English, or any other subject, from people incompetent at speaking their native language. I do not want my children taught by anyone shacking up with their boyfriend, either. Shall we discuss the number of public school teachers recently outed as "exotic dancers"? I have no control over who is hired to teach my children in a public school, and this is not acceptable to me.

    My children and I are called to be light and salt wherever we are, but it is my duty as a parent to keep my children from situations that they are not mature enough to handle. I remember well how "Jesus Freaks" were treated in my high school. I graduated an agnostic at best, despite being raised in the church, active in the youth group, singing in the choir, etc., because of the influence of my schooling, teachers, and peers. I will do what I can to spare my children my years in the wilderness, and their consequences and regrets. Nothing about the artificial age and ability segregation in public school is mirrored in real life. The idea that one can only learn to deal with "pop culture" and "peer pressure" in that environment is laughable at best, and dangerous at worst. My homeschooled kids still spend a great deal of time with the unsaved - playing with their friends in the neighborhood, serving at the soup kitchen, and in the extracurricular activities (TaeKwonDo, etc) in which they participate. I'd prefer my children gain 13 more years of real world experience than other adults who were public-schooled.
    Xa Lynn

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  9. Hello Patrice,

    Interesting comment from your reader. She (she sounds like a she, so that's what I'll assume) basically parades out all the standard rebuttals that supporters of public schooling traditionally use.

    The main one she uses is the "Well, I went to public school and see how well I turned out" argument. For her, that might be true. I have known one or two public schooled kids who didn't turn out too bad.

    But, here's where that argument falls apart. For every "good" example of a public schooled kid, I can counter with 10 examples of a bad outcome. Then, the public schooled supporter can counter with another good example; which I will counter with another 10 bad examples. This can go on for quite awhile.

    But, guess who will run out of examples first? The answer is obvious given the condition of public schools these days. The bad examples simply run away into infinity for all practical purposes. And, here's the thing ... it is only getting worse as time goes on. The good examples will never, ever catch up and overtake the bad examples.

    Here's why. As our society and culture degrades (as we all know it is doing) the bar is constantly being lowered as to what is "acceptable" public morality and behavior. The good examples are not getting any better, but the bad examples are just getting worse and worse.

    The biggest crime in public schools in days gone by was chewing gum. These days, armed guards patrol most high school hallways to keep the kids from murdering their teachers.

    Others here have stated excellent rebuttals to your commenter so I'll close by just saying that the public school system as we know it today is completely corrupt, antiGod and broken and should not exist.

    Furthermore, any true Bible-believing Christians who have the Holy Spirit leading their lives should have the discernment to keep from exposing their children to this tool of Satan.

    The plain, simple biblical truth is children belong with their parents. Anything other than that is not true biblical Christian behavior.

    OK. Flame away.

    Dave

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  10. VERY passionate subject for me. I've been homeschooling and running a small homeschool group for many years now.

    Sorry, I'm not buying much of that rebuttal. I imagine most teachers don't believe they are part of anything sinister, but that doesn't mean they aren't. Like so many other things, it's what you get used to. I think the heat's been turned up under the water she's sitting in and she honestly doesn't realize it's gotten so hot.

    Making reference to her personal upbringing in school doesn't score too big with me, either. Personal stories are a dime a dozen. I'm glad she has a good one, but it's a LOT different today than it was even 5-10 years ago, socially and academically, and each story is different.

    I don't know about her area, but in my corner of the world the schools are horrible and they ARE indoctrinating children, absolutely. It's got a serious liberal/progressive anti-Christian bias. It's not some overt, "Here's you daily dose of socialism for the day," (or ungodliness, or anti-Americanism, or alternate lifestyle... you fill in the blank) although it has been occcasionally, but more of a steady diet, one small bite at a time. It's built into the curriculum and it's ingrained in the culture... the source of that all important 'socialization' that everyone seems to think our kids can't grow up without, or as another anonymous commenter so aptly put it... "doo-doo."

    I blogged this once over at my old blog... if you're interested, and frankly, I don't mind being labeled hard lined or narrow about it if that's what people want to call me. They're my kids! I don't get a second chance at helping them have a good life and becoming productive citizens and decent human beings. I had to make a decision and I did so based on the fruit produced by the public schools versus that produced by the homeschooling families I had seen. I made the right choice. (Ehm, colleges agree with me, btw.)

    http://representative.wordpress.com/2008/07/25/home-school-and-public-school-according-to-representative/

    Be mindful, it's a personal opinion based on personal experience in my personal area of the country. That's all it is. That doesn't stop it from being right.

    Thanks for the great blog. I subscribe to you in my reader. Sorry for not commenting before. It's not for lack of enjoying your writing, just usually lack of time or more likely, lack of concentration. LOL

    Be blessed!!

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  11. The rebuttal letter itself proves the author of it has been brainwashed.

    As a product of the public education system myself, from K through College, here in my native state of California, I can attest to the utter disrespect shown to openly-Christian students throughout every level of the public schools, including and most especially, at the college level.

    I can also attest to the manipulation of students by teachers today. These unscrupulous teachers will use students in order to push their political agendas onto the parents. Just a couple of months ago, in this small town in a rural county, several teachers shut their classroom doors and locked them during an open house so that they could make some political point while the parents were there to see their kids' classrooms. Those teachers should have been fired on the spot, but the unions have made it virtually impossible to fire bad teachers. Additionally, the superintendent made excuses for the teachers' behavior, and none of the offenders were even so much as reprimanded. How can political agendas be foisted off on parents and students on public school grounds and nobody screams about it? Well, I scream, and slowly more voices are screaming with me. But educating the voters in this ultraliberal town is not easy, and I don't know that I'll live long enough to see the people wake up from their pot-induced stupor.

    The unions have ruined our public education system and our state's finances. They control the politicians and they don't care about educating our children, they care about growing stronger and spreading out like the cancer that they are. Not all teachers are bad, but I have yet to meet a union I could trust. And I was a 20-year union member, not out of desire to be one, but because of state mandates pushed through by unions. California is a "closed shop" state. Is that American? I say NO!!!

    Not all teachers are bad, as I said, but they don't have the courage nor the clout to fight the unions. And those teachers who support the unions, the majority of teachers, are no longer teaching - they are politicking. They are using the kids as pawns. Public schools are an abomination, and they have been that way since I was a child.

    Anonymous Patriot
    USA

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  12. I will let numbers speak for themselves.

    70% of all public school dropouts are male.
    65% of all public school graduates continuing to college are female.
    90% of students expelled or suspended from public schools are male.

    Last I checked Christianity did not support such an obvious bias towards a specific gender.

    I suppose there are still several well meaning, professional, Christian teachers out there. Yet if someone has any doubt what the American educational system has become all they need do is google the latest video from Brietbart titled "teachers unions gone wild". I will not post a link to such a video on a blog not my own, but it's an eye opener.

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  13. I work with the public school system in a rural county in the deep south. We open our faculty meetings with a word of prayer. Some teachers get together for bible study before work in the morning. It is customary in our classroom to pray for guidance for helping our little charges. We haven't changed suddenly into anti-Christian Marxists. The community has certainly changed significantly, though, in a fairly short period of time.

    When greeting children who come into class with a cheerful "good morning", it isn't unheard of to get an "eff you, b****" in response. Our classes are filled with children who have had serial "mommies" and "daddies" passing through their lives. Children who steal from the cafeteria to feed little siblings at home when the food stamps have been sold for drugs. Children who have lived through a young life of horror that is nearly unbelievable. Children that are raising themselves. Multiple children being raised by an elderly and infirm auntie or grandma along with all their cousins because mom and dad and aunts and uncles are in prison. Often the elderly caretaker says that she can't do anything with him or her, could we just beat him for her? "No, ma'am, we are not allowed to even touch your child."

    We are not even supposed to physically block a child from running out a door when they have stripped naked and want to run through the school grounds.

    I can't condemn the teachers because I know that the rules that they are following are enforced by administration (who is under great pressure from the school board, state, and federal government). Believe me, there are a lot of parents out there looking for an excuse for a lawsuit, and teachers have to fight it at their own expense. The principal was recently falsely accused of violence. It cost him nearly $100,000 to defend himself.

    There are a lot of dedicated people in the profession; however, nobody is as dedicated as a parent. If you have the means and ability to homeschool your child, do so. I am recommending that the grandchildren be home schooled if at all possible because I know what the schools are like.

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  14. The public school system in our area has a Christian as its Superintendent as well as most Principals, and tons of teachers. It is the exception nationally, I am sure.

    But even here, there are things that MUST be taught. The inappropriate sex-ed in Kindergarten is offensive to most, but State/Federal Government state they MUST.

    If you want to fix the public school system, it isnt in need of more money. It isnt in need of more rules from the Government. It is need of LOCAL CONTROL.

    Make those that teach be held accountable to the parents of those that they teach. Problem basically solved. Fire those that shouldnt be there, throw the Unions out with the trash, cut the red tape, reward those that do an exceptional job.

    Those that do an exceptional job would / should have nothing to fear, but those that scream the most are the Unions, which has the most to lose, mainly, power.

    If the State and the Feds minded their own business and let these administrators, teachers and PARENTS have their say, school districts would SOAR. It would also be able to do this cheaper than probably what is spent now.

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  15. Agree or Disagree at least she was polite and did not stoop to overt name caling like that "gentleman" a little while ago.

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  16. I, too agree with most of the comments in reply to Ms. Rebuttal, so I won't rehash them.

    I also don't wish to be offensive, but since she professed to be offended twice, I shall say what I have to say clearly, and concisely.

    Ma'am, the piece you wrote is argument enough not to send a kid to public school. I refer to your writing, which is public high school grade 9 level at best.

    You wrote -- and from here on I will dispense an introductory sentence, and just use quotes:

    "First of all, I have to say that the article was offensive as a product of the American public schools, as an educator in public schools, and most of all as a Christian. Here are my reasons:"

    No.

    "The article" was NOT "... a product of the … public schools." It wasn't written by the public schools.

    What I'm sure you meant to say is as follows:

    "First of all, I, as a product of the American public schools myself, as an educator in public schools, and most of all as a Christian, I have to say that the article was offensive. Here are my reasons:"

    It's called "Rhetoric," and used actually to be taught in high schools.

    "...nor do I know any fellow public-schoolers that have been."

    No.

    Never refer to people with "that" or "which." Always use a form of "who." Only THINGS are "that" or "which."

    "Every once in a while, we were taught other religions alongside Christianity, but it was always taught as strictly informational and never invitational…"

    No.

    "THEY [-- the other religions -- plural -- ] WERE always taught…" Agreement as to number.

    What follows in the same sentence is perhaps your most egregious error.

    "Every once in a while, we were taught other religions alongside Christianity, but it was always taught as strictly informational and never invitational ****(which I found it very interesting to learn about these other religions…****

    "Which I found it?!!!!" This is a major, major FAIL. It is simply illiterate.*

    The "which…it" construction is an illiterate, linguistic wreck. It's an attempt to hold some ill-formed thoughts together with gap-filling glue and bailing wire -- and failing. It is totally wrong and unacceptable, especially from a teacher.

    I am truly sorry if I offend you, but you are a teacher. No teacher I learned from in public school in the 50s and early 60s -- NO apostrophes there, please -- would ever have committed such an awful mess masquerading as a sentence.

    I shall skip the numerous intervening run-on sentences as I know you were fired up.

    "I can absolutely assure you that I (nor my co-workers) participate in "atheistic indoctrination" of our students."

    Diction and rhetoric are important. There are no degrees of assurance. One is assured, or one is not, so "absolutely assure you" is redundant. Also, you cannot use "nor" without a preceding "neither; not if you want to be clearly understood.

    I do see that you are a math teacher. When I went to high school, all classes required written work -- some more than others -- but all of it was graded on the student's English as well as his knowledge of the teacher's subject. One of the things we learned to do, BTW, was divide our thoughts into paragraphs.

    Again, I am sorry to be harsh, but I don't really mean this as an attack on you, but on how you and so many other teachers were educated, and the fact that you all are passing this awfulness on to another generation.


    * Yes, yes I know the definition of "illiterate," but the word is commonly used among educated folks to refer to a writer -- or speaker -- who can read and write but doesn't grasp basic grammar and usage.

    Bill Smith

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  17. Mistake.

    In my cutting and pasting I neglected to take out a second "I." The sentence should read:

    "First of all, as a product of the American public schools myself, as an educator in public schools, and most of all as a Christian, I have to say that the article was offensive. Here are my reasons:"

    My apologies for missing that.

    Bill Smith

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  18. Ok Let's be nice all. Blogs are a freedom of speech if you don't like dont read it.
    I support ya gal. Hang in there .
    Melissa

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  19. My son is salt and light precisely because we teach him at home. I learned with my first child that I did not have enough time at the end of each day to correct the erroneous information she was receiving at her public school - that rich, white males were the cause of every plague, war, and tragedy throughout known history, and never contributed anything positive, that a theory that doesn't even follow known natural laws is fact, and you're not allowed to argue, that 2+2 only equals 4 if the entire work group agrees that it does, the list goes on...

    I am a product of public school also. I am very weak in grammar, and am learning it as I teach it to my son, because the public schools began phasing out grammar in the 70s, stating that it was harmful to children.

    I am weak in Maths, and will most likely have to hire someone to teach my son once he passes basic Algebra, if I want him to be prepared for college.

    So much for an excellent public education. The only class in which I learned, really learned and absorbed anything in high school was Spanish. Gracias, Señora Perry.

    She was the only teacher I had during that four years who wasn't just "phoning it in."

    I know how to type in spite of my teacher who would doze in a drunken stupor until the last ten minutes of the class, rousing herself periodically to take a drink from her thermos.

    That was over 20 years ago. Things are much worse now.

    Melody

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  20. there are always gonna be those who refuse to take off those rose-colored glasses and see the world as it really is. there is good and evil in everything but not many who will actually take a good look and see what is really there in front of them. when a child has to help supply his classroom with hygenic necessities and school supplies then blame the school-they are obviously over budget somewhere (probably paying someone too much) and when that public educated child comes home acting whiny, tired, does'nt want to do homework, etc..then guess what..there is a problem and it probably originated in the schoolhouse. there will always be those kids who will never amount to anything because they could not "do" school...that does not mean that they will be failures in life. and there will always be those kids who go to school because that is where they learn, are loved and have opportunities that they do not get a home. public education and homeschool education is a deeply personal and controversial issue...

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  21. If you enroll your children in public school, you give up your right to direct their education. Whatever trash the schools wish to teach, you will have to accept.

    Note these cases in which courts have stated just that:

    Mozert v. Hawkins County Public Schools (1987). The answer given by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals was clear: Parents have no such right [to alternative instruction for the objectionable material]. Once a child has been submitted to the public schools for his education, parents lose all ability to control the course of instruction.

    Fields v. Palmdale School Dist., 427 F.3d 1197 (9th Cir. 2005). "In sum, we affirm that the Meyer-Pierce* right does not extend beyond the threshold of the school door.

    "The parents’ asserted right “to control the upbringing of their children by introducing them to matters of and relating to sex in accordance with their personal and religious values and beliefs,” by which they mean the right to limit what public schools or other state actors may tell their children regarding sexual matters, is not encompassed within the Meyer-Pierce right to control their children’s upbringing and education."

    *In two significant cases, Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390 (1923), and Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510 (1925), the U.S. Supreme Court recognized that the Due Process Clause does protect the right of parents to control the upbringing of their children.

    The Palmdale case asserts that Meyer-Pierce rights do not extend to sex education.

    The First Circuit Court of Appeals made a similar outlandish ruling in Brown v. Hot, Sexy and Safer Productions, Inc. (1995).

    This case involved a mandatory, school-wide assembly that contained offensive and suggestive sexual material.

    The First Circuit said that while parents have the right to choose alternative forms of schooling, they have no constitutional right to direct their child’s education inside the public school.

    To me, this collection of case files seems to be plenty of reason to keep my children at home.

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  22. I went to public school. I was bored out of my skull the entire while -- and I understand the curriculum has-been/is dumbed down to an ever lower common denominator at increasingly frequent intervals. However, when I imagine how I would have been shaped by homeschooling, I invariably conclude that public education was for me -- and is probably for most people -- the lesser evil. Public school does have the dubious benefit of giving a child a profound understanding of the enormity of the social and 'cultural' forces arrayed against him/her, and against the realization of him- or herself as a spiritual entity -- not narrowly Christian, you understand, but as a living spark of God, however one understands that. My father was a vicious alcoholic and my mother (understandably) a chronic depressive completely defeated by life and my father. Which do you pick as the better homeschooler? But, (you protest), my own big loss at family lotto was a grotesque aberration? I don't think so. I hadn't a single friend whose parents weren't in one way or another just as destructive to them as my parents were to me. It's a part of maturation to grow up and apart from one's parents; to be a self-defined entity and make one's own path to God, one's own mistakes and spiritual triumph -- and yet I've not in my fifty-plus years observed a parent who doesn't indoctrinate his/her children in *one* rigid parent-determined faith -- and make conformity to that doctrinal coercion implicitly or explicitly a condition for loving and being loved, (i.e. if you love me you'll profess my faith, and, if you profess my faith, I'll love you) -- quite effectively lacerating their children to emotional shreds if the latter have any spiritual integrity, but far more often producing clones of themselves, because all children need to love and be loved. So.... send them to public school?; or homeschool them, and deny and thwart their own realization of God. (And I babysat for a Mormon couple who instructed me to play a tape as the children were falling asleep of One Little, Two Little, Three Mormon Babies, to the tune of Ten Little Indians -- Ten Babies in My Fa-mi-ly. Don't tell me it doesn't happen.) Send (my?) children into a place of boredom and conformity and cynical manipulation, designed solely to produce (properly deadened) useful social units? -- or homeschool them. Is this a choice? I didn't have any kids, and this was one of the reasons. I consider myself an excellent parent.

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  23. She says the teachers are just giving the theories for children to make their own decisions. I did not find this to be the case in my schooling experience. I had a teacher one time tell the class that evolution was the only truth, and anyone who didn't believe in evolution was stupid.
    Interactions I had like this had influence on my decision to homeschool my child.

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  24. On a side note I copied this from a teacher's blog today:

    "We got one of "those" emails at school yesterday....the one that tells us we can't have a Halloween party. No problem....we've been getting those for years. Most teachers plan a party but don't make any reference to Halloween thus being able to say, "We aren't having a Halloween party." (I love that teachers can find the loop holes in just about anything! We are like miniature lawyers in the classroom when wording is vague :) "

    I imagine she is a wonderful person although I don't know her personally, and I am NOT trying to make her look bad, I just thought this was a good illustration. Teachers find a way to get their way in their classrooms, "like miniature lawyers". It's human nature. If your child is in public school you can bet the teacher does this to some degree.

    Just sayin'.....

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  25. While visiting my parents this last week in WA state I noticed the top local news story on TV was about the shocking number of highschoolers that are currently being treated for heroin addiction in their small farming community.

    The reporter interviewed several local teens and they all talked about being approached at school constantly to buy heroin. And pot. And meth.

    How delusional would you have to be in this day and age to truly believe that the public school system is still an excellent place to send your children?

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  26. New Canaan, CT is a very upscale bedroom community to NYC. It's the kind of place where kids drive BMWs to school. The town is known for its great schools:

    http://www.acorn-online.com/joomla15/ncadvertiser/news/localnews/75383-anti-bullying-assembly-leaves-its-mark.html

    Bill Smith

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  27. We recently moved from a small, conservative oil town, to a more rural setting. The high school my 16yo daughter attended was considered a "good" school, and because of the oil industry, it had a decent budget. We had always taught her that she was in school to learn, not to socialize, and she was a diligent student, but would often come home in tears, "Mom, all I want to do is learn, but there's so much DRAMA!"

    Girls getting pregnant left and right, boys coming out of the closet, mainstream PG-rated movies being shown without parents' consent on a regular basis to primary students during teachers' meetings and planning days. One teacher who instructed my daughter to lie to me about a request I'd made of him that he didn't feel like complying with, the same teacher who consistently refused to allow my daughter to call me from the office, another teacher who sometimes behaved more like one of his students and didn't have the greatest personal boundaries *ahem*...and on and on it went.

    Many of the kids were churched, but the youth groups around town were as bad as the school! The kids went unsupervised and the leaders were just overgrown teens, wanting to entertain and be "friends" with the kids instead of getting serious about God. We pulled our daughter out of the youth group the night she climbed the stairs on the way to her class, only to discover a boy and girl playing some serious tonsil hockey in the stairwell.

    We finally stopped attending anything but Sunday morning services and prayed for the day when my daughter could "come home" to school.

    This summer, her bio father (my ex) suddenly and unexpectedly was removed from having an active role in our lives, and my husband and I were able to start educating our daughter at home. All I can say is, Praise God for the freedom we have to homeschool!

    Birdy

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  28. NEWS FLASH: 10/28/10 - Hollywood, CA

    Barbara Boxer's (D-Senator, CA) campaign has just been accused of violating state law. Flyers requesting volunteer help for her campaign were passed around public schools in Hollywood, CA. Such flyers on public school property violate state law in that no political campaign material is to be on public school property, much less soliciting volunteer help from students or teachers or staff. The senator denies knowing anything about it and blamed her lower staff member(s) for the violation. Others suspect the teachers' union were the initiators of this violation. Whomever is guilty of this breach of law, it is another reason to shun public schools. They are using the children as pawns...and as campaign volunteers, if they had gotten away with it.

    What more evidence is needed to prove the depth of corruption and betrayal of trust in our public schools?

    Anonymous Patriot
    USA

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  29. I can honestly say that the people I know who have home schooled have had poor results. However at least conceptually speaking I know that my personal experiences are rather limited and certainly not worthy of statistical consideration.

    I do think it can be done well even though the few families I know who have done it haven't had great results.

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  30. I think what it really boils down to is the teacher that wrote the rebuttal has a different definition of "atheist indoctrination" than Mr. Strom or the rest of us. She or He is taking a very simplistic approach to the definition, thereby missing the forest for the trees.
    So, I would like to say to you: If your classroom and school are completely void of the true definition (as we see it) of atheist indoctrination, then I say, "Congratulations and AMEN"! You and your school are truly a minority within the public school system at large and you should be commended by every person that posted on this blog claiming the title of "Christian". Now, having said that....I think you are possibly misguided. But, that's my opinion. I can only share with you why I home school and why I share the opinion of Mr. Strom about both public and private schools. For me, I feel commanded by God to train my children up in the way of my Heavenly Father. I feel I am supposed to speak to them about His laws when we rise, when we walk, and when we lay down at night. I have not been commanded to enroll my children in a public school system or to turn them over to be trained by anyone else for the majority of their day.
    As far as teaching other religions and evolution..it is both the intent of me and my husband to teach them these things. Here's how we will do that. First, through prayer. Second, after we have done our very best to create salt and light. You see, as a "Christian", it is my goal to have them view those subjects through a Christian lens. Plain and simple. Do I want them to "make the decision for themselves about what they think about it" as you put it? Yes, I do...after I have helped create the solid foundation built on rock that I feel I am commanded to do. As far as the Proverbs 31 woman, I would wager to say she had her children in tow when she went about her tasks. The vast majority of home schooling parents would be the first to tell you that, yes, there are people claiming to home school that are doing it for the wrong reasons or not truly doing it at all. Those are unfortunate situations and most definitely do not represent the whole. You say you have "met a few inadequate parents that home school their children". Personally I think "inadequate" is a poor choice of wording. Unless someone is severely mentally challenged, anyone can be a teacher...again, my opinion. For the teachers that "spend most of their waking hours caring for, loving, teaching, and planning for their students"..they are certainly to be commended as well but, you must understand that in our minds, they are "teaching and planning" with offensive materials and mindsets. And I would further challenge some of them to reconsider putting all of those efforts into staying home and "loving and caring for" their own families. As for all Christians pulling their children out of the public school system...well, I think that's a bit far-fetched but, if that's what it takes to wake a nation..then, so be it! The truth is, I am merely a sinner, saved by grace. Oh, I am a believer and a child of the most high God. Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior...but... the term Christian, for all intents and purposes, means "Christ-like". And I can tell you that there are days when I doggie paddle to fit that bill...and I mention this to say that you claim that title for yourself and the teachers you work with but, again...it's possible the definition can be lost in translation. Because of that, parents can't simply make the assumption that since a teacher or anyone else whom they leave their children in the care of for hours on end claims the title..that our methods are parallel.
    As far as "where these children will live" and "if a child/teen has a firm foundation in Jesus Christ....", that is our job, their parents, to pray over, commit to, guide through and teach...it is commanded of us.

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  31. Overpriced, overated, blowhard, union college meatheads. The teachers union is useless and should die to have mercy on the kids they have exploited.

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  32. Patrice, thank you so much for sharing my original (incredibly long) comment and even reposting it as a separate blog post. I have found it very interesting to read all of the comments, and I promise that this comment will not be as long as the original.

    I am fully aware that a person's experiences are going to heavily outweigh the opinion of a stranger that lives 2,000 miles away. Because of this, I'm not going to respond to all of the comments, questions, and accusations. I did think it was important to let you guys know that I have been encouraged by reading so many successful accounts of homeschooling. To be honest, before reading most of your comments, I had not been exposed to many positive homeschooling situations. Most of my experiences were with friends from church and community activities who didn't like being homeschooled, felt that their education was inferior to peers that went to public school, and have been adamant about sending their own children to public schools. So, it was very refreshing to hear about homeschooled kids who are happy, well-educated, and not left alone all day (many of my high school-age homeschooled friends' parents worked during the day, so they were left alone, with only their Gateway curriculum to keep them company).

    I also hope that my side of the story has left you encouraged. I want you to know that there really are schools left in America that are a POSITIVE place for children and teens to spend 7 to 8 hours a day. I'm sure that we could all benefit from helping each other instead of finding the worst examples of "the other side's" failures.

    My only regret is that Mr. Bill Smith did not feel called to be a high school English teacher. I hope it eases your fears, Mr. Smith, to know that I don't pass my atrocious writing to my students because I teach 7th grade math, and the only writing I show them is how to write equations, and I'm quite good at that. My apologies for assuming that I could just write what was on my mind in a casual forum (one where you used "BTW" and others don't even capitalize) without being singled out for my grammatical errors.

    Thanks again, Patrice. I appreciate the opportunity to participate in such an important conversation.

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  33. TO BILL SMITH!

    I'm a product of the public school system. Would you mind if I sent you my posts to be proof read before I post them? :)

    Sincerely,
    Margaret, CA
    (self proclaimed student of Bill Smith)

    ***Since there are 30+ comments to this post I thought I would lighten up things a bit.***

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  34. Wow. I hope all of you "Christian homeschoolers" are proud of the way you treated this public-school educator--by responding to her comments with derision, scorn, name-calling, and a thorough critique of her writing style. And yet this teacher had the grace to respond to all of your comments with a thank-you. I know who I would want educating MY children.

    I also second this person's thanks to Patrice for having the courage to allow this discussion to take place on her blog. Patrice, I will keep reading.

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  35. responding to her comments with derision, scorn, name-calling, and a thorough critique of her writing style.

    Annnnd, that's exactly why I hide the fact that I homeschool. As a group, I am embarrassed to be associated.

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  36. Janet,

    Not everyone responded to the teacher in the ways you mentioned. But if you try to come at it from another angle you might see it differently. For example, I hear someone like her say there is no athiest indoctrination at all and my jaw drops that she could be so blind. As a home schooling parent I can get frustrated quickly listening to people like the teacher attempt to sell me what she believes to be good and right and what I know to be bad and wrong. After a while it can bring out an anger in people and there are times when it is a righteous anger. Lines between righteous anger and "tolerance" have become way too blurred. I went back over my response to the teacher and I'm very comfortable with how I spoke to her

    Angela

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  37. I think it dose have something to do with were you live.Small towns and rural still have more christian teachers in the public schools. so you have more godly teaching.were some parents, home school because of what is going on in there schools. all of us as christian and read this blog, know the way ,our country is headed. and what the groverment wants our children and grandchilden to learn. what is not what want we belive, that jesus is lord ,the bible is the word of god,and the constitution of american still hold true in our hearts.we are looking at a very differant furture .we might all be home schooling our childern.the public school teacher will be told to teach what the goverment tells them to teach,i hope the christian teachers can be sly like a fox and find a way around it , or will they be like peter and say they do not know jesus so they can kept there jobs to pay there bills. will we all stand together to see that our childern leand what is right. i am getting ready to maybe haveing to teach my grandchildren at home, i will not let them teach them that it is ok to have two mommys or two daddys.this is not in line with the word of god. on Paratus familia blog she talk about a whole diffent way of looking at living off the grid, you have to think how am i going to do this in a whole other way. we to need look at what is cooming and ,get ready to teach them and help each other . untill he comes. American woman

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  38. Angela said, "As a home schooling parent I can get frustrated quickly listening to people like the teacher attempt to sell me what she believes to be good and right and what I know to be bad and wrong."

    Hmmm, I heard nothing in her comments about ""selling" anyone anything. All I heard was an opinion based on her experiences, which are clearly different than yours. That doesn't make her right and you wrong, or you right and her wrong. It makes your experiences different. Nor did I hear anything in her comments that led me to believe that she was trying to convince all the homeschooling parents out there that they should send their kids to public school. I DID hear her attempt to show that not all public schools or public school teachers are as bad as some homeschooling parents have made them out to be.

    You know, I would so much love to hear homeschooling parents--when asked why they homeschool--respond simply with "because I believe it's the right thing to do for my family." Period. If homeschooling parents believe that strongly in what they are doing, then there should be no reason for them to tear down the other side in order to support their choice.

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  39. Hi Janet,

    I homeschool because I believe it's the right thing to do for my family.

    Kris in AK

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  40. Janet,

    Discussion: an act or instance of discussing; consideration or examination by argument, comment, etc., esp. to explore solutions; informal debate.

    Debate:
    1. a discussion, as of a public question in an assembly, involving opposing viewpoints
    2. a formal contest in which the affirmative and negative sides of a proposition are advocated by opposing speakers.

    The point of the posts is "discussion".
    It is perfectly fair and acceptable to point out the perceived faults and failures of each side.

    If the public schools were doing so great, there would be no reason to do this...AND there would be no great exodus occuring.

    And by the way, I too, homeschool, because I believe it's the right thing to do for my family. Yet, I am eternally grateful for those who boldly proclaim the benefits of homeschooling AND point out the deficiencies of the public school system. We are all well aware that there are exceptions, and thank God for that....but by and large....the risks for the hearts and minds of our children are too great to ignore. These risks need to be exposed and addressed.

    Donna G.

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  41. Well said, Donna. And, Janet, you'll just have to pardon me for assuming that it goes without saying that if we had to create a list of reasons why we home school, #1 for most of us would be because its right for our family.


    I'm done.

    Thanks so much, Patrice

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  42. Donna, I'm not sure where you got the idea that I thought there shouldn't be a debate or a discussion. If I recall correctly, I repeatedly thanked Patrice for allowing opposing viewpoints to be aired here--and by opposing, I don't mean viewpoints opposing homeschooling, I mean viewpoints opposing the idea that all homeschooling = good and all public school = evil. The world simply isn't that black and white.

    My children attend public school, taught by people who sit next to me in worship on Sundays. I know our teachers are praying for those kids (I substitute teach at several local schools). Our students are taught to be respectful of authority and to treat each other with kindness and compassion. For those of our students whose home life is less than ideal (their parent(s) can barely take care of themselves, let alone their children, and homeschooling is out of the question), the eight hours they spend at our school are the best eight hours of their entire days. My heart bleeds for those kids. Someone has to take responsibility for educating them, too. I was not taught that it was a Christian value to look to myself and my needs first and neglect the needs of others.

    It is possible to have civil discourse that involves the airing of "perceived faults and failures" without resorting to the kind of comments and behavior that I saw directed at the original poster--calling her blind, brainwashed, and delusional because she expressed an opinion based on her experience with the public school system. Attack the faults and failings of the public school system, yes--because I don't disagree with you that there are many--but don't attack personally someone who has chosen to make that their field of service. As the original poster said in her second comment, "I'm sure that we could all benefit from helping each other instead of finding the worst examples of 'the other side's' failures."

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  43. I too homeschool my children because it is the right thing to do for my family. It is my job to educate my children and protect them. As one who has worked with students in churches for years I can tell you that so many of our "Christian" students fall into the peer pressure of their friends in school where they are affected and influenced more by their friends than they are and influence on their friends. Many are not mature enough in their faith to be able to handle the peer pressure and be the witness for Christ that has been given as a reason not to take their children out of public school. It is my job as an adult to lead my kids and others to Christ, and protect my kids. The positives of homeschooling outweigh the negatives so we choose to homeschool because it is the right decision for my family.

    Steve from NC

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  44. I don't think I have ever had the pleasure of having anybody EVER respond to me in a positive way about homeschooling except other homeschoolers Janet. I don't recall one single instance in the 12 years I have been homeschooling where a non-homeschooler actually said something positive or asked me intelligent questions about what we do.

    No, I get immediate defensiveness, excuses why they can't/won't homeschool (I don't care and didn't ask them why they don't) blatent accusations and really, really ignorant statistics about socialization and important social milestones like the kids missing their senior prom.

    Putting the shoe on the other foot, what if when people tell me which public school their kids attend I immediately started listing off all the things I thought were bad about their choice? That would go over like a lead balloon.

    I have had adults ask me where my kids go to school and then turn to my kids and start peppering them with questions about history, algebra and science. What if I did that to their kids? I know what they would do, they would go ballistic, that's what they would do.

    Why is it O.K. to treat homeschoolers one way, but turn things around, and we start expressing our opinions about public schooling and boy oh boy we are the ones that are intolerant and accusing.

    We have 7 professional teachers in our family in several states and a foreign country. Not one of them put their own kids through the public school system.

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  45. So true, Grandma Tillie,

    Most homeschoolers, if not all, have faced far more scorn, than what some feel was directed at the teacher. It's a regular, every day occurence for those that even bother to mention that they are homeschoolers.
    I personally, choose not to mention it anymore, unless hard pressed to do so.
    I have no interest in validating my position to anyone.

    I also agree with your statement about how people respond to the fact that you homeschool. I've received all of the same comments you described....and frankly, I'm tired of it.

    Yes, there was some sarcasm and defensiveness in some of the posts responding to the teacher.
    But in general, most were just sharing their experiences and insights.
    I think most homeschoolers live their lives dedicated to their families, and to the training of their children. Most don't go around trying to make a case against public schools or the teachers that teach there….though again, I am grateful for those that do!
    We aren’t preoccupied with the public schools faults and failures, yet we acknowledge them regularly, and go on about the business of quietly, loving and raising our children.
    We're not living in caves, grunting at each other, and we are not worried, as the teacher put it,
    about whether our children will be able to function in a world where they haven't been exposed to peer pressure, or the ever important pop culture.

    Whether we share our concerns with criticism or sarcasm is not the point.
    The point is that we all know exactly why we don't want our kids in public schools and we have no illusions about it....those reasons have been clearly and abundantly, shared here.
    You can choose to see them as they are, or you can choose to focus on the few comments that were personal, and thereby, discount or divert the whole argument. It’s up to you.

    Donna G.

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  46. It is interesting how many people have felt the need to comment on their own history as a product of the public system. The truth is that most of us were, even among those of us who now homeschool. I have yet to figure out what possible relevance this statement can have from the "anti-homeschool" crowd and the "offended-by-homeschooling" crowd other than to alert us to the fact that emotions are coming into play rather than rational thinking. Unfortunately, I'm afraid that the people who use it are sometimes implying that they know everything about it and we should believe whatever they have to say about it.

    At least the person who wrote the rebuttal openly admitted that she felt personally insulted and didn't like being grouped in with the public school system, although she also went on to give her endorsement of all of the parts of it that she has ever been associated with.

    It is hard to respond to someone like that, someone personally and emotionally wrapped up in a need to make the schools something which they generally are not, in the experience of so many people across the country. Those of us who have experienced being indoctrinated and having to deprogram our children when they come home in the evening cannot simply decide to turn a blind eye because of the occasional person who managed to never see the same thing.

    When I was in school I saw a very small bit of it in elementary, more in middle and a lot in high school. There was an obvious change going on from year to year, as to how much of the agenda of the corrupt was coming through and how strongly. By the time my son got to school, the need for deprogramming started in Kindergarten and I can hardly believe that it took me 5 years to smarten up enough to bring him home.

    The facts of the matter remain--no matter how someone claims to be in-the-know and insists that the schools are good and worthwhile or that children are the ones who are supposed to spread God's word rather than be children, inherently of an age to need to be trained up in Godliness.

    Luckily, in our neighborhood and in our church, the teachers who we know who are good people, are also open and honest with us about how bad things are getting for them at work rather than allowing their connection to public schooling to make them defensive and angry that we are making a different choice or that we do so because we see how corrupt the schools have become. That is a blessing I must be continually thankful for.

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  47. I must mention that I have come to know some of how wide spread the NEA is throughout school systems across the country and I have read through the resolutions that were passed at their last convention. I can in no way justify any person allowing themselves to be involved in that on any level, no matter the laws in their state or the rules of the school system they are employed by. I am certain that on judgement day, no excuses will be effective in trying to justify being a part of such a work of evil. I am praying hard that the good teachers who are still out there will join the homeschooling parents in removing themselves from whatever fallacies of logic they have used in the past to allow themselves to be entrapped in such a situation. Real change can happen and real change is not dependent on redeeming the old and failing system nor on specific individuals who must refuse to jump ship. The inference that is often made that people who don't sacrifice their own dear children to the schools somehow don't care about the other children in the world or that they never do and never would do anything for the lost is a mistake in and of itself, but it is also a fallacy of logic in making an argument to give up 40 or so of your child's waking hours to be trained, guided and influenced by others, who "might" be good people if we are blessed as the students of the author have been, but so few others have been.

    When facing widespread corruption, denial of the situation for the sake of the few who haven't recognized it (or haven't even had the opportunity to see it), is not a rational reaction.

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  48. hmm, perhaps this is a silly thing to respond considering that the author might only be trolling, but since this Janet Szabo keeps writing back in with the least helpful or informative comments in this whole wonderful discussion, I say to her:

    I think that if you let some time pass and then come back and reread what you have written you will see that the tone and heat of your own posts is exactly that which you seem to be trying to rebuke. You offer little rationality, logic, help, edification, or reasoning. You simply attempt to be scathing. I guess if you are enraged and that makes you feel better, maybe you will continue to be happy with your posts even after time passes.

    The truth of God's word includes, not only the oft misused and taken out of context, "judge not that you be not judged, but also (as context) a wonderful chapter on judging appropriately and wisely. It is not wrong for us to see the evils in the world and make decisions to improve our lives, encourage others to improve their lives, act as watchdogs, and discuss on the internet things that are meant to empathize with each other over our shared views; new info; personal reflections; etc.

    I hope that if our doing so enrages you, you will find peace for yourself through the power you have to ignore us.

    BTW, I know a great public school teacher whose last name is Szabo and she and I manage very well in spite of our widely differing views. If you are related to Karen, say "HI" for me. ;p

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  49. I personally think that it's very sad that homeschooling families are constantly ridiculing everyone who doesn't choose the homeschooling option for their family. Isn't it wonderful that we live in a country where we have the freedom to choose our educational preference? Why do we choose to battle over this? If homeschooling works for your family that's great but it's unnecessary to bash other families for choosing different options. My husband is a teacher and we chose to homeschool our children. Our oldest will graduate this year and he has done extremely well. Homeschooling seemed to suit his needs perfectly. My second oldest son has never really embraced homeschooling but continues doing his lessons at home while also participating in extracurricular activities at our local public school. Our daughter decided that after seven years of homeschooling she wanted to go to public school and we've been thrilled with her success. On a personal note sometimes I feel as though our children don't appreciate having me around all the time the way I expect them to. Surprisingly my relationship with my daughter has improved since she's been enrolled in public school and I'm thankful!!
    Let's stop battling with one another, let's trust that each loving family will determine for themselves what educational choice meets their personal needs the best. Every option, whether homeschooling, public school or private school, or charter school have pros and cons. You couldn't possibly know what choices would work best for our children and I would never presume to understand what choices would best fit your families needs. The one common link we share is that we both love our families and are attempting to do what is best for them daily.

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  50. Well, I know I said I was "done" with this thread but, I thought it only fair to comment about a positive public school experience we had this weekend.

    We live in North Texas and we drove out to West Texas this weekend to visit friends and watch their son play football. He has just recently been bumped from j.v. to varsity.

    West Texas high school football....now there's a spirited debate!

    Anyway, somewhere in the third quarter, one of the players on "our" team got clobbered. I just happened to be watching right when it happened and he didn't move. Well, the coaches ran out and gathered and still, no movement. The players on his team knelt on the sideline to watch. The silence coming from the stands was deafening. I began to pray, as I'm sure many did, and then continued to watch for any movement. Minutes ticked by, achingly slow, and then the paramedics came across the field with a stretcher. There was still no movement and no one was rushing to lift him onto the stretcher. So we are now close to ten minutes into this whole ordeal...which is way longer than you think it is for something like this...and suddenly the opposing team, in a sea of black uniforms, begins walking across the field toward our side. Our boys stood and met them in the middle of the field. We were so very priviledged to watch as these young men melded into an ocean of blue and black uniforms,fell to their knees, bowed their heads and lifted up their peer as he still lay motionless. And they remained that way for nearly three minutes. Finally, we watched as the player was lifted to the stretcher and pushed across the field. We were still holding our breath until a triumphant arm shot straight up off that stretcher, pointing upward! Thank you, Father! It seems the young man had been knocked out and then finally came to complaining that his neck hurt and they were taking all precautions before lifting him. I'm so happy to tell you that about an hour or so later, we had the further priviledge of seeing him walk into the local hamburger hangout with his parents because he was "starving"!

    All of this happened at a public school event, on public school property.

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  51. I attended public schools when I was young and was never home-schooled. I later went on to college and spent a few hours each day working in a public school classroom as a reading tutor in an attempt to gain some experience in the classroom to go along with my teaching degree and certification. It was while I was there that I realized just how much the schools have changed since I attended as a student--and I'm only 30 years old! Long story short--I continued my education and now I use it to home-school my own children, including my 5 year old with special needs. All my children are doing just fine and are actually ahead in most subjects. I think if a family wants to home-school, other people--like the teacher above who's so ticked off and thinks my children are too sheltered simply because they don't attend public schools--should refrain from comment and judgement. While she spoke her piece, she actually turned around and judged those of us on the other side while trying to make the point we shouldn't judge her until we've seen her classroom. What's good for the goose is good for the gander lady. Just some food for thought.

    Btw--I'm just loving the blog Patrice :-)

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