Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Friday, March 24, 2006


Here's an enjoyable defense of homeschooling by Melissa Wiley, who answers some of the most common (and silly) objections to homeschooling. (H/T Amber)

And over the years I've decided that it's that same genuine concern that prompts a lot of the negative responses people have about homeschooling. I just wish these folks would stop and think about what is REALLY bothering them, what their concerns really are. Usually, their objections are based on assumptions they have never seriously analyzed.

Like this one. If I had a nickel for every time someone has said to me, "But you're not a scientist. How are you going to teach them biology, chemistry, trigonometry?" I could pay my mortgage and have change left over. I always answer, quite seriously, "Well, I took those classes in high school. Didn't you?"

"Of course," the skeptic will say, "but it's not like I REMEMBER any of it."

This cracks me up. Sometimes I'll say, if I'm feeling snarky, "Then surely I can do a better job than your teacher did!"

I knew a guy who used to say, when asked about socialization, "But we don't want to be socialists!"

I was worrying the other night that I wasn't doing enough "educational" stuff with Noogs. The only structured activity we do is her reading lesson, which only takes about twenty minutes and isn't necessarily daily. Then two things struck me:
1) Noogs isn't even four yet; and
2) So?
I'm not trying to conform to some abstruse government standard of grading and testability, so instantly my life is easier than that of a teacher in a public school. The only demanding parents I have to please are myself and Darwin, and I don't call myself up to complain. And as Noogs is already learning to read, we seem to be doing things well so far. The girls can count and sing the alphabet song and memorize stories. I never planned to send them to preschool, and I don't think that they're behind the curve for not having gone. Besides, what could be more educational than having a new baby around the house?

I don't think anyone has ever asked me, now or when I was being homeschooled, about socialization. I wonder what the new buzzword question for homeschoolers is?


Anonymous said...

Sounds like you're doing a great job to me if you have her almost halfway through that book already...reading at 4 is awesome!
Blessed weekend to all of you!

Dorian Speed said...

So, like, *you* were homeschooled? And you still know how to, you know, talk to people, and stuff?


Anonymous said...

I get that from people ALL the time. They allways say to me, *In a ditzy voice* "Like, did you like, have a LIFE before you went to like, high school?" And I say, "Why yes, did you?"

Amber said...

I still get asked the socialization question all the time. I even had someone ask me how my daughter would learn to stand in line. I've also had a few people feel the need to tell me about a weird homeschooling family they know. Obviously I need to talk to more interesting and thoughtful people!

Sometimes I feel like I need to make the distinction that we are going to homeschool, not just keep the children home from school!

R.S. Ladwig said...

Hey Darwin,
(Enjoy the blog, really stimulating) My wife and I are all for homeschooling. For me to send my children through public school would be to go against my conscience. As far as the "socialization" argument I think it is silly just look at the social skills of teenagers coming out of high school. Every other word is a swear word almost all teenagers graduating highschool have experimented with drugs of some kind, as well as have experimented with sex. I'd say if that is considered "normal" socialization then I'd want my children to be abnormal thank you very much.

bearing said...

Every child will be socialized by someone --- the question is by whom? Do I want a five year old to learn social skills from twenty other five year olds? (And I have two words to anyone, really, who is worried about socialization: JUNIOR HIGH.)

About the natural sciences: I always feel a little bit guilty when I answer questions like "But what about trigonometry?" Because, um, I have a PhD in chemical engineering, and I have lost count of the number of math courses I took at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

But I hate to give that as an answer, because I don't believe that's a prerequisite for homeschooling math. Any more than I believe I need an English degree for my kids to learn English literature. Or a history degree for my kids to learn history.

Anonymous said...

I think my brain was in a fog the first time I commented on this entry...hehe..
The socialization question always cracks me up...
You, Mrs Darwin, know the youth group we have up here and there were times, I wish we didn't have so much socialization! Just daughter never lacked for friends and now my older son is there...looking forward to the play for the Bible Institute this summer (they're putting on Job again).
People seem to think that your kids are socialized if they only spend time with their peers. My kids have spent time with lots of age groups and they're good with all of them. I have had many people comment on how well my children interact with adults, especially elderly people. Perhaps because we have had so much time to spend with my parents, they have a real empathy for older people. It shows in my daughter's ability to cheerfully work in a nursing home, being an aide (not a fun job!) and my sons always being eager to hold the door open for an older person and/or carry something for them. They even know how to talk to them!
I've also noticed how good that homeschooled children are with little John is especially good at trying to help the little ones.
When my daughter started college last fall, she is on their soccer team and had to talk to a counselor. They gave them a questionnaire. The counselor (who happened to be a nun) was amazed that my daughter didn't drink, do drugs, and wasn't sexually active.
She was so impressed, telling my daughter how refreshing it was. Made me feel sad for all those other young people who've been "socialized".....

Kevin J. Jones said...

Some wiseacre has noted that people who think public school grads aren't competent to teach their own children implicitly believe that public schools don't educate competently.