I’ve added a category for the ‘homeschooling can be hazardous to your health’ type of article. I’ve called it “Don’t try this at home.”
The snips from the following articles ran on so much, that I was in danger of glaringly violating copyright. Because of that, I’ve just added some comments.
Parents learning to say it’s okay to stay home, Estes Park Trail Gazette, Estes Park, Colorado
Federal reequirements: There are no federal requirements, much less “many” of them, … unless, of course, one uses a publicly-funded program that requires NCLB testing. The testing of homeschoolers, as compared to kids enrolled in publicly-funded programs, must be a Colorado requirement.
- “Socialization is the easy part. I just corner the kids in the bathroom every few days and steal their lunch money.”
The second article in the series is a bit more upbeat, but an “Uh-oh” tone still comes through.
Bringing it home: a look at the daily lives of homeschool families: Transition from home to classroom is as simple as sitting at the kitchen table, Estes Park Trail Gazette, Estes Park, Colorado
“Enter a world:” They’re at home, for goodness sake. It isn’t as if they step through a worm-hole between the sheets and the shower.
Long hours: How are the ‘hours’ any longer than combining a career with chauffeuring children (since the ‘lost income’ from a homeschooling parent’s job is so damaging)? I’ve worked with a child in school, and homeschooled, and — concerning time — all it boils down to is where you’d rather spend your time. Regardless of where they’re schooled, if you have kids, you’ll:
- have a busy schedule
- spend more money than you probably would on just yourselves
Socialization — the dreaded s-word.
The writer contrasts “other” resources with school activities. “School” is normal, “other resources” are aids for these social underachievers.
This quote appears in both articles: At times I’m definitely overwhelmed by the curriculum …
Homeschooling “obstacles:” Sending your kids to public school has its own set of “obstacles:”
- schedules, school clothes, supplies for the classroom
- teacher in-service days, snow- (hurricane-, sandstorm-, windstorm-) days, vacation days
- PTA/PTO meetings, parent-teacher conferences, papers to sign
- allergies, head-lice and mono.
Regardless of what you do, ‘it’s always something.’
I generally try not to pick to pieces articles based on style, but some of them just beg for it. I’m assuming these two articles were supposed to be ‘about’ homeschooling, but the negativity is obvious. Word choice conveys feelings that either the writer wants to convey, or perhaps is unaware of:
- little or no meaning
- task of homeschooling
- not a simple one
- responsible for many financial considerations
- which often prevents at least one parent from holding fulltime employment
- definitely overwhelmed
- are we doing it right?
- allowing students to spend time away from home
- regardless of the many enrichment programs that exist to support alternative education families, many still question a homeschooler’s ability
- regardless of the many precautions parents take
- aren’t always clear lines drawn
- boundaries … often become blurred
- enter a world
- despite the long hours
- many others have criticized homeschooling parents
- While most homeschool students participate in school sports
- hardest challenges
- common problems
- periodical doubt
- inevitably persists
- many obstacles
- questions and concerns for the future of homeschooling
- lack of income
- visible obstacle
The combined effect of the word choices plays down any positive attributes. Some people call this ‘balance,’ but I look at it as having a lack of focus.
If there is a third (or more) article in the series, it hasn’t yet come to light, and I didn’t find it at the website.
posted by Valerie