Sunday, May 15, 2011

Rebuttal to socialization

Here is a reader who took exception to my views on socialization regarding homeschoolers. I welcome feedback on this.

This column was extremely offensive. The irony is that you actually end up supporting arguments for public schools and what you refer to as "socialization. Driving your children past a local high school for the "Weekly Freak Show." Through your lens, young people -- people you have never talked with -- should be judged by the clothes they wear. If they wear clothes you don't like they are "freaks," and you are teaching your daugthers to label people freaks because of what they wear, not by who they are. If your children were in public school, they would socialize with all kinds of young people -- some with different views, some with different hair styles, some with different religions, etc -- but all worthy of respect, not judgement. My daugther is on her way to dental school, graduating with a 3.9 GPA. Wore all different types of clothes in high school. One student of mine has tatoos over most of her upper body. Not my thing, but she graduated college with a 3.8, graduate school with a 4.0 and now works with refugee communities. Boy, what a freak.

I would write more, but I am truly horrified with this column and the quickness to judge and generalize.


  1. Perhaps the author has a point. Not that I disagree with the premise of your article, far from it. But there may be some value in evaluating the role of stereotypes.

    When my daughter (now 33, with a Masters in Family Therapy, a family of five, married to a pastor) was 15, she ran with "the black blush brigade". She was homeschooled, but sought out alternative social groups anyway. In an attempt to monitor my daughter, as well as understand hearts and offer a place of complete acceptance, I opened my home to these great kids. We had monthly dinners, sometimes with 50 or more in attendance. I took some of them in as de facto foster kids, and learned why they were the way they were, and offered them Jesus as an answer. Many, probably most, took His Hand. Perhaps this experience influenced my daughter's career choice.

    While we most certainly can disapprove of the appearances, I am not convinced that making conclusions about the individual, based on appearance, is a good model. Certainly there are exceptions, but I would rather err on the side of the heart than the exterior, which is so often a reflection of pain.

  2. Writer does not address issues of dispensing birth control, bullying, guns, pro-homosexual agenda, anti-Christian bias, the school's refusal to allow kids to wear a likeness of the US flag on their clothes because it's "offensive" to someone, passing to the next grade scores of unworthy students - who dumb down next year's class, gov't control of foods they eat and videos they watch. Writer also doesn't address horrible teachers who are in that role because they can not make it anywhere else, but who KEEP that role because it takes years and thousands $$ for a district to dismiss them. Thanks, but no thanks.

    Writer neglects to note that the tattoo-covered student - though notably distinguished in her achievements, got those tattoos to mark her as a rebel and "freak"show in the first place. She's getting what the asked for. She's a freak, although a kind-hearted and compassionate one. She will NEVER hold a job in a corporate office setting because she wouldn't "fit," but it's her choosing.
    What's the point?

    The fact that Patrice wants her kids to be free from all that crap is her choosing. Christians are supposed to be different from those of the world because "the world" IS a freak show.

    It's writer's option to comment and mine to rebut. Thanks for the opportunity.

  3. Wow - sounds like a maladjusted liberal read your column and just doesn't have basic skills to understand the underlying premise of your article - must be a graduate of a public school education.

    I want the FREEDOM to make my own choices on how to educate my children, yes FREEDOM. I reject the TYRANNY of being forced into the liberal indoctrination 'education' camps that some call public schools.

    And yes, everyone in the world makes a judgement about a person based on their appearance and it is so sad that the person commenting hasn't learned this life lesson. This is something you cannot wish away as it is a worldwide fact of life ingrained in our DNA as a survival mechanism. Wishful, liberal, social justice thinking does not factor into the choices others make.

    So I reject the forced socialization argument on two levels 1) I reject tyranny and 2) I believe homeschooled children have superior social skills and educations.


  4. "But these critics also fail to realize that most homeschoolers have little interest in getting along with these types of peers."

    Patrice, I have to somewhat agree with the context of the dissention. The statement above is very telling if thats what you feel. If/when homeschooled students venture out into the secular world, they will have to get along with those types of peers because that's unfortunately what our nation has created. The kids in public schools are just trying to get along and fit in, which is natural for most people.

    Is it not the purpose of a baseball team to not only learn the rules of the game but also how to function as a cohesive TEAM? The schools aren't there to teach socialization, but to encourage it. Its the parent's job to deal with how their children dress and act, just as you do with yours. Unfortunately, not all parents are doing their jobs...and that's another subject.


  5. This person thinks reality TV is real and the government can do a better job educating than parents ... 'nuff said

    she gets what she asks for: tarted, tatto'd, uber-compliant fodder for big government and the oligopolies that run it

    those of us who home school are revolutionaries - with that decision we have given our children the freedom to think for themselves, to see the world as it is vs. the propaganda ladled out, and the freedom to mature

    good on you Patrice! and all of those who drive past the 'freak show'

    Jake MacGregor

  6. Why does someone qualify to be ‘worthy of respect’ simply because they have different hair styles, different views, etc?

    Persons become ‘worthy of respect’ when they act, speak, and/or dress in a manner that earns respect. People who have purple hair aren’t hoping for respect when they dye their hair, they’re hoping for attention. That’s very different.

    I’m sorry that this reader is so bothered with the fact that “we” are so quick to judge and generalize. However, why can’t WE speak from our experiences? This reader is! I guess the difference is that we disagree with the reader.

    Perhaps Jake needs to judge us less and respect our experiences and opinions more.

  7. I can understand his point on some things. Crazy hair colors or styles or "interesting" clothing choices can be part of growing up. There are some things that are simply inappropriate, though. Young girls who dress in skin-tight, low-cut shirts and mini-shorts who then feign disgust at grown men who ogle them (and this applies to grown women also), kids who look slovenly and like they just rolled out of bed who expect to be taken as serious workers, etc.

    To say that you should never judge anyone by their appearance is naive. The way your present yourself to the world will determine people's initial expectations. If you dress like a sex worker, people will assume you're emulating one in other ways. It's not their fault; you're the one who is making the choice to look that way.

    The only way fault lies with the observer is when they refuse to alter their initial analysis after new information is presented. The way a person chooses to appear is the way they paint a picture of their inner self.

    To the point that your children need to be in a public school in order to be around different people, well that's just silly. People are different everywhere; I don't need to trap my children in a government building for 8 hours a day for them to see that.

    And the idea that all different views are worthy of respect is false. Are the views of a pedophile worthy of respect? A rapist? The high-school bully? The racist? Different views must be judged. In judging, we analyze the merits of each viewpoint. It is only in judging that a view can be respected because through analysis comes understanding.

  8. I have to say the rebutal post has a worthy point. We've all had our generation of oddness (I wore way too much 'sky blue' mascrara and other eighties oddities), but the important thing is still being able to connect & communicate well with others in jobs, relationships etc.
    I would argue if 'socialization'is the only thing important to parents -ie: caring about the way kids dress so they 'fit in', their kids may not fair so well in other areas (education, communication, etc).
    If appearance is just a fun side-effect of who the person REALLY is -ie: they're kind, well spoken, hardworking, responsible, etc, then I'm more than accepting of those generationally fun (or freaky) styles. For these type of kids it's also apparent that their parents didn't raise them to just care about style - No, you can tell they were raised with values, ethics, structure. Clearly, their parents didn't put the focus on 'socialization' either.

    So yes, the rebutal writer gave us a nice reminder to NOT judge on looks, but it doesn't take away from the main point of the article - Are you raising your kids to be productive adults or only concerned that they're 'socialized'? If you're only concerned about dress & fitting in, maybe it's time to re-evaluate your priorities...

  9. Stereotyping comes with it's own sins, no matter who becomes the victim of it's Schism.

    It is not the cover that is of interest or importance, but the pages of the book inside it's sheath.

    To "know" the content therein, you must use knowledge of the content, which implies using wisdom first and THEN judgement.


  10. There are a lot of behaviors that come along with social misfit-ism: drug use, promiscuity, rebellion, disrespect for authority, exposure to anti-Christian music and values, suicide, and on and on. If you chose to "socialize" your daughters in public schools, could they successfully avoid being influenced by all of those things that may be undesirable to you? Perhaps--they'd have to have some pretty strong values. It's more likely, though, that they would end up absorbing at least some behaviors that you are specifically trying to avoid. So one of her tatooed students earned great grades and is helping in a refugee camp. So what! We can all pick out the notable exceptions to prove a point. The fact is that the bulk of overly tatooed people have a perspective about authority and "art" and values that is probably contrary to what you want to teach your daughters. So her daughters "wore all kinds of clothing" in high school. So what! If we presume--just for an example--that they wore sexy clothing, how many boys (and teachers for that matter) did they tempt sexually (in direct contradiction to Biblical values)?

    The commenter criticized you, Patrice, for "stereotyping" kids based on how they are dressed. Empty stereotypes are bad. However, it's not an empty stereotype when you can show a strong, direct connection between the stereotyped behavior and another behavior you are trying to avoid.

  11. Your attacker is very simple-minded and makes the mistake of using notable exceptions as an attempt to prove you wrong, as well as other gaps in logic.

    There's a variety of simple ways to invalidate your attacker. First off, compare academic statistics between homeschooled children and those in public schools. Strike one. Next, point out that using not-everyone-is-like-that logic to prove trends and numbers wrong is inaccurate and highly subjective. Strike two. Lastly, recognize and explain to this attacker that the choice of clothing a person wears does offer insight into what kind of a person they are and will continue to be. Strike three.

    But if you really want to humiliate your attacker, tell them this: "You say I judge people on the clothes that they wear and generalize them, but you do the same, because in presenting two students who have good grades you imply that students can be judged and generalized by the grades they make."

    Your attacker is, put simply, inconsistent in their logic and beliefs. If judging someone by their looks is wrong, then judging by their grades should also be wrong. After all, some of the most brilliant minds and successful people in history have made poor grades and had little attainment in school.

    I know this, but my sense of logic stops me from using this information recklessly, because I understand that while some people who made terrible grades do move on to become highly successful most don't.

    Furthermore, your attacker shows with the sarcastic sentence that they are more interested in personal one-upsmanship rather than arriving at a logical, statistic-supported, valid, reasonable, and balanced view of the situation. Your attacker acted out of emotion, feeling offended, and after their attack they received an emotion boost, content that "You got served."

    These people can be seen everywhere, using the same faulty reasoning and arguing on every issue on the internet and in reality. Frankly, they offer proof of just how dangerous a social democracy can be when people with such simple and wholly inaccurate views of the world and a poor grasp of logic are given political power and allow their voices to be heard.

    It usually goes something like this:

    Speaker 1: *Points out a trend and general occurrence.

    Speaker 2: "NUH-UH NUH-UH I know someone(or a few people) who completely disproves your point.

    Speaker 1: *Points out that some exceptions do not invalidate the rule

    Speaker 2: Wow, you sure posted a lengthy response. I guess I must have really touched a nerve there.

    Why did your attacker focus on clothing? Don't they realize that there's more to a freak show than the clothing? What about the slovenly way they walk and how unkempt their hair is? What about how they stare at their cell phones and other devices as they drag themselves along? What about the way they stare at each other's bottoms and remark "Girl, you got a nice a**." Was that last statement a racist stereotype or something I've personally experienced more times than I would like to recall? The latter. I could go on and on but you get the idea. All of these things offer a view into who these people really are and what they will do with themselves in the future.

  12. Throwing public school GPAs out there as evidence of acceptable education is worthless. My stepkid rates a 4.0 asleep on the desk drooling like the kid in "Ferris Bueller"...

  13. having a 4.0 gpa, nowadays, is like being the tallest midget


  14. Well,as my wonderful father always says "If you lie down with dogs you get up with fleas." That pretty well says it all for me.

  15. I wonder if sometimes it's actually possible to judge an unknown book by its well-designed cover:

    I choose plants at the nursery based on how healthy they look...

    I choose fruits and vegetables based on how fresh they look...

    And I can judge, simply by looking, that a growling dog with neck hair raised and teeth bared should be avoided.

    I use simple sight as a first gauge of threat level. Granted, the threat level is constantly being reassessed. But, asking me to disregard what my first sighting is telling me is asking too much.

    Just Me

  16. just one more case of a liberal trying to give away something that must be earned. Self-esteem and respect must be earned. Self-esteem by knowing that your self and respect by showing others that you are worthy of it. Liberals do not want to be judged because they know that they fall short.

    If you want to be respected by others the great thing is to respect yourself. Only by that, only by self-respect will you compel others to respect you.
    ~Fyodor Dostoyevsky

    In my day, we didn't have self-esteem, we had self-respect, and no more of it than we had earned.
    ~Jane Haddam

  17. As a fosterparent of public school kids I have to DAILY un/re-program my kids. You must respect that gay lifestyle is normal, that white guilt needs atonement, that the mexican thanksgiving is more important than ours, that cfl lightbulbs are better for kids, that to show patriotism is putting down other countries, that there are no winners unless everyone finished at the same time, that being taught to 'test' is better than being taught to learn, that reality tv is real, and it just goes on and on. I think you are making a great life for your kids, but if you stray against the 'norm' expect to be vilified.

  18. There's more than a few serial killers, mass murderers, psychos, out there that not only look "normal" but for the most part conducted most of their lives "normally".....Looks and even lifestyles, to an extent, can't give you clues to what's really going on in another person's brain at any given moment.....

    One thing is constant, there's bias and judgement on both sides of the "fence".....just as there are successes and failures on both sides of the schooling & raising kids issues.....However, the freedom to choose one's way of living life shouldn't be regulated by anyone, government or other person wise.....people will always talk, and act certain ways, it's when they attempt to interfere with other peoples' choices that things go over the boundaries.....

  19. On one hand the person has a point in that people wear all kinds of crazy things when they're in high school. I can remember a pair of pants that I would wear that was white with all kinds of pastel colored stripes on them. (Totally blushing here--how embarrassing.) The thing is though, I wasn't being disrespectful to adults or sleeping around or smoking cigarettes or worse and I definitely was not wearing clothes that showed the world what I was made of. =0 My mother would have shot me!

    Judging a book by its cover is usually not a good thing because you find out you MAY be wrong about it. That's okay though because like Michelle said, "The only way fault lies with the observer is when they refuse to alter their initial analysis after new information is presented." Honestly, if it looks like a duck and acts like a duck it probably really is...a duck.

    I manage a breakfast restaurant and I will tell you that I have standards that I will not change. If you can't spell correctly--not going to hire you--if you come in looking like a hoochie mama--not going to hire you--if you come in with your pants hanging halfway down your butt--not going to hire you. You can be really nice, but I am in a business where what you look like matters. I don't even let my employees wear face piercings at work! You don't know where to look when someone has those things all over their faces! So while the person who wrote rebuttal has a few points, I'll tell you that in the real world it doesn't matter. I have high schoolers who are going through fazes in my restaurant all the time and I'm not hiring them because of how they look. Or how they talk. One kid asked me for an application by saying, "Yo...can I have a application?" Sure...yeah, right in the "NO" folder with a comment on why.

  20. The person who wrote the rebuttal is crazy if they think that it doesn't matter how they dress in high school because they're all worthy of respect. Work in a restaurant when these little darlings come in and act like animals and clean up after them.

    Or what about when they come in and apply for jobs? "Yo...can I get a application?" Sure...and then I put it right in the NO file with why--he didn't know how to speak correctly, he had a face piercing, he had those big holey things in his ears and his clothes were at least 4 sizes too big. (Yes, a real applicant.) If he had at least spoken intelligently I would have actually given him a chance...

    Based on experience I have to say that if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and walks like a duck, it is most likely....yes...a duck.

  21. I must sadly say that my 3 children went to public school(becasue of legal issues). All of the typical things went on there-drugs,sex,tatoos,piercing,and clothes,, the whole nine yards. As one earlier poster said each day she has to deprogram her kids- I completely understand. Every evening my children and I had talk sessions and homework. Much to my amazement my children never were attracted to any of that(SOCIAL STUFF). Not because I forbade it but because to them it was inappropriate. In todays world I would never-never-never allow my child to go to public school not becasue of the other kids but because the accademics are so lacking. Todays society is way too accepting of bad choices and it is the RESPNSIBILITY of the parents to educate their children in the ways of the world... Schools are for accademics PERIOD!! So regardless of what you believe, judgeing on looks and behaviors has always been here and it will always be here .Socialization is a learned skill ,PARENTS should CHOOSE what is learned and teach that to their children.A basic life lesson is if you dont want to be judged dont go out of the way to draw attention to yourself(blue hair,tatoos,you underwear showing etc)...

  22. Well, if they don't like what you wrote, they don't have to read your blog. Years ago, I had a blog and I used to tell people I welcomed conversation but I didn't like preaching and condescension. Of course, Google eventually kicked me off anyway.....

  23. @Crustyrusty

    I hear what you are saying about the grading system. I am in Canada and my oldest is an honour student. In my opinion he should not be because his grades are mostly mid 80's and his writing skills are not very good.

    He has this class called Leadership. When I asked him and his friends what is the class about and what do you learn, nobody could tell me anything. Could not even say what they actually do in that class.

  24. Commenter's illustrations justifying freakishness is tantamount to using Winston Churchill as a justification to fail in school. The exception proves the rule? I liked your husband's response.

  25. The person who wrote that rebuttal is a very confused individual indeed. The way we as individuals choose to dress speaks volumes about who we are and what our worldview is. Looking at the way a teen age individual chooses to dress will tell you much about their parents as well. When Patrice and her daughters drive past the public high school they are seeing the outward signs of the following beliefs:
    1. "Skank" clothing is "cute."
    2. It's good for high school girls to dress "sexy."
    3. Traditional values/principles such as chastity, modesty, and purity are "old-fashioned" and are to be shunned.

    A wise person sees the outward signs of those beliefs and recognizes them for what they are. The fool pretends that those outward signs don't exist or that they are meaningless.

  26. "I manage a breakfast restaurant and I will tell you that I have standards that I will not change. If you can't spell correctly--not going to hire you--if you come in looking like a hoochie mama--not going to hire you--if you come in with your pants hanging halfway down your butt--not going to hire you. You can be really nice, but I am in a business where what you look like matters. I don't even let my employees wear face piercings at work! You don't know where to look when someone has those things all over their faces! So while the person who wrote rebuttal has a few points, I'll tell you that in the real world it doesn't matter. I have high schoolers who are going through fazes in my restaurant all the time and I'm not hiring them because of how they look. Or how they talk. One kid asked me for an application by saying, "Yo...can I have a application?" Sure...yeah, right in the "NO" folder with a comment on why."

    Good for you for having standards! I sure wish the Apple store (computers not what grows on trees) had the same hiring practices!

    But I digress. One thing that I didn't see mentioned is that I do not want other 9 year olds "socializing" my 9 year old. The things they find humorous and discuss nowdays is a little eyebrow raising for this momma! The few hours on the football field and lacrosse practice is enough of that.

    Plus, we limit tv watching time. Let's face it, most of the participants in the "Freak Show" probably spend a lot of time watching tv which glorifies tattoos, etc. and provides incredibly negative and raunchy desensitization and socialization for all ages.

  27. I had a friend. No aquaintance at one time that used to complain of how people used to unfairly judge him due to his love of tattoos and clothing that would make him scary looking (Rogue Biker look). he thought people were shallow for not getting to know him before passing judgment.This was a point of contention between us since it was clear he wanted people to view him as a bad a**.I should mention He was 5 ft.10 300 pound weightlifter fully sleeved tattoo wise with shaved head and a skull tattoo on his scalp and gauged ears.He eventually found people who were more excepting of appearance.It was a friendly little group of guys from a nationally recognised Biker club.Nice guy or not the look he promoted was who he desired to be.Quack Quack