I recently received an email from a former family member who has had no contact with us since mid-2000.

I have been thinking lately about whether or not organized, public education at the grade school level had a significant effect on preparing me, academically, for college. What I've decided was that grades 1-6 had little to no effect. At that time, it was more about social skills, conformity and learning how to obey authority, things that can be taught by family.

7th and 8th grades were horrible, also teaching little to nothing, but alerting me and training me by immersion on how to avoid trouble, a valuable lesson anyway, lessons I use even today.

By 9th grade though, it took six teachers who specialize in the various subjects to stimulate the minds and feed the dreams of kids who are serious about preparing for college. Not to say that it must begin here, but I think it was about this time when I started serious, critical thinking and began the knowledge foundation (each course building on its predecessor). For kids who have not had advanced math or science in the early high school years, college can be very tough. I have taught those unfortunate kids who have no foundation in math and science. They have huge dreams, but they're heartbroken when they can't keep up.

I also noticed that by the time I was in 10th grade, all the students had more or less niched into groups, or at least found each other in the crowd. The bad element that was so scary in earlier grades had significantly less influence and power because the serious students protected and supported one another, creating their own little universe. I learned a lot about trusting people and friends by 'joining' the group of Geeks who shared the same academic aspirations as I did. I'm sure the same was true of the Arts, Government, Athletics, and etc. kids.

I believe that too much insulation can make a kid exceptionally blind and impressionable to 'wolves in sheeps clothing' (the very worst kind), and thus vulnerable when eventually on their own. Their [sic] is a lot of calculated malevolance in the world today that prides itself in its covert and clever methods of trapping victims. And, they have lots of tools to use. I believe it is very important for young adults, especially, to be able to identify these types at the deepest, intuitive level. They will not be protected by a verbal lesson. I believe they must learn about it in the proactive, yet protective observatory of the real world.

What are your feelings on this?

Well, I had several feelings, and thought of several replies. For instance:

"Thank you! I had put absolutely no thought nor research into homeschooling. We just did it on a whim! I wanted to shelter them from having any experiences at all outside of our home. But your email has opened my eyes! I'm rushing right down to the local school to enroll my children immediately. We thank you for thinking of us!"

My next pending reply:

"My feelings on this are that it's none of your business."

I considered sending him a nice, long email with our reasons for homeschooling, including links to positive research, photos of them with their friends, anecdotes about their involvement in the community, evidence of their critical thinking skills even at age 6, and so on.

But in the end...I just ignored him.


I would have ignored it too.

After too many responses which took my time, energy and careful thought, I realized sometimes the reply is just not worth it.

It doesn't matter to me if I don't have the last word; I don't care if he thinks I didn't write back because I can't think of a rebuttal. This is our sixth year of homeschooling, and I'm just so tired of justifying it to people whose opinions don't really matter to me, anyway.

I would have been tempted to reply: Funny, but I don't recall asking for your opinion. I think you handled it better than I did.

I guess it's a good thing his stuporpower isn't reading minds. LOL

Daydreams & Night Things


About Me

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Bleu is a scatter-brained woman who daydreams too much and stays up too late. She is a liberal, non-theistic humanist attempting to single-handedly raise three children while trying to remain grounded and centered. But she's not bitter. *wink*