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Paradigm Lost

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I thought I'd write a blog post about homeschooling, one of the parts of my upbringing of which I have both good and bad memories.

To be frank, I'm actually currently homeschooling my own older child (the other is too young yet). I think a lot of the difference between me and my parents lies in why, not as much in how. I'm not doing it to keep my children from the world. I'm not Christian myself, but probably 90% of the public school teachers in this area are. I'm homeschooling because I enjoy providing my children with an educational experience that I can tailor to their learning styles. If it stops working for us, we'll re-evaluate putting them in school. 

My parents homeschooled their kids because they firmly believed that public schools were instruments of Satan (although they might not have used that specific term). They thought that the government used schools as indoctrination camps to make children into atheists and evolutionists. They had both been educated in public schools, so I guess the atheist indoctrination didn't take. They both held professional licensures as well in a medical field (not being specific for privacy).

Needless to say, our education was heavily Christian-based. We used Rod and Staff, Abeka, Apologia, Sonlight, etc. in our curriculum, and participated in a homeschool reading program in the summer and homeschool spelling bees as well. My mother focused heavily on seat work and completing workbooks. Every morning she'd have a list of the tasks to be completed written out on a whiteboard. We were allowed to take the different tasks in any order, as long as they got done. We weren't allowed free play time until after the schoolwork was completed, usually by 1 or 2 in the afternoon at the latest in the older grades (we'd get up, have our private Bible time, breakfast, and start school by about 7:30). We had family Bible time in the morning and evening, and my mother would read fiction aloud to us before bed. 

The cons: massive focus on fundamentalist Christianity, extremely whitewashed American history (MLK was scorned as a lying communist--??? still haven't figured that one out), young-earth creationism, lack of education about other religions.

The pros: my mother enjoyed teaching, and I enjoyed learning. We had access to a lot of books, fiction and non-fiction. Except for the gaps noted above, I got a pretty solid educationin English, math, literature, music, and art and had no trouble moving into college classes when I was about 18. Homeschooling was one of the few things I remember fondly about a childhood I describe as "kinda sucky." I learned to cook and sew pretty well, skills that have come in handy for me, and in spite of the no-evolution bias, I was damn good at college anatomy and physiology classes because I'd learned a lot of it already from Apologia curriculum. 

It was hard to fill in the gaps, though. I'm still catching up on movies that most people my age saw years ago! And I thought I had a lot of history knowledge, but what I had were dates and fact snippets, not understanding, because I was taught a biased view of history that showed white Christians as the saviors of the world. Ugh. And studying the Bible as if it was all completely factual didn't do me any favors, either.

All in all, I'm not sorry that I was homeschooled, and I know my parents were trying to do what they thought was the right thing in educating us at home. What makes me angry is that my parents both went to college, and then tried to deny me the same choice because I was a girl and I was "supposed" to focus on homemaking, marriage, and babies. I started community college under a cloud of disapproval, but my mom had encouraged the love of learning, and I wasn't about to stop just because I'd finished high school. I had a lot of mental conflict because of not "honoring" my parents, but the urge to do something with my life overpowered the doubts that stemmed from my upbringing. I couldn't imagine just sitting at home waiting for a man. And I didn't want a bunch of kids.

My older child is doing great with homeschooling so far. But I have no fear that Satan is lurking in the halls at the local public school. If anything, I'd be worried about too much Christianity there! I know some people had utterly horrible experiences with homeschooling, and wouldn't dream of doing it with their kids. I feel that I can give my kids some opportunities with homeschooling that might not be available in our local public schools. As I said before, it comes down to WHY people choose to educate in that manner. Parental involvement is key. And as screwed up as my mom's beliefs were, she was involved and genuinely making an effort to educate us.

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  • Posts

    • SilverBeach


      7 minutes ago, Pleiades_06 said:

      Harvard is a crap shoot with it’s admission rates. They receive so many qualified candidates that it’s almost become like winning a lottery ticket.

      All highly selective universities are like this now. My alma mater accepts something like 800 out of 40,000 applicants. It's always been selective, but even moreso now because of extra generous financial support.

      • Upvote 1
    • Pleiades_06

      Posted (edited)

      20 hours ago, fluffy said:

      There is no doubt about it that the road to a school like Rice, Harvard, etc. is not equitable. Still, $65,000 is not poverty level. I've never made more than that as a college professor.

      Harvard is a crap shoot with it’s admission rates. They receive so many qualified candidates that it’s almost become like winning a lottery ticket.

      And $65,000 in Cambridge, MA (where Harvard is located) is very near poverty level for a family of 4.  Rents start at $2000 for a two bedroom apartment, not including heat (astronomical in the winter) and electric. Massachusetts subsidizes health care ( thank the higher powers) but the cost of everything else is sky high. 

      The federal poverty guidelines are outdated and problematic. They don’t account for the fact that cities like NYC and Boston are having an affordable housing crisis. The “ American Dream” is really unattainable for most of the working poor due to circumstances beyond their control. And they are fed lies to make it think it’s all their fault. 

      1 hour ago, SilverBeach said:

      Be a minority and try to get in the unions that control the work and you'll see. Or just go by any construction site and observe how many minorities are working in skilled positions. It's not 100% exclusion, but it is tokenism. Sometimes minority participation is required to get certain contracts, so out come the blacks and females. These jobs are often legacy, with the older men getting their relatives in the required apprenticeships which are often sponsored by the unions. Part of the old-boys network and institutional racism that makes it hard for non-whites to get these lucrative jobs. It's a problem with all the skilled trades too, plumbing, HVAC, and electrical. There are many barriers to entry for minorities. My knowledge is limited to metro Chicago.

      The good ol’ boys in New England like to keep it insular and white. They pay lip service to not being racist but they are the worst.

      I sometimes wonder if Jinger’s early experiences with poverty motivate her to get involved with these wacko things. 

      Edited by Pleiades_06
    • SilverBeach


      46 minutes ago, Not that josh's mom said:

      Not in metro 

      Not in metro Chicago, so I may see things differently. I do have minority family.

      Yeah, I'm black, and there is a siginficant minority presence in metro Chicago, so the disparities are very noticible. Plus, Chicago is very much a connected kind of place. It's often who you know in labor unions.

    • Lisamc7

      Posted (edited)

      Tom is really down.......the girl and him did not work out, because of you tube.  Side note: also because Andrea died five months ago today. /s/

      Edited by Lisamc7
    • sixcatatty


      10 hours ago, BernRul said:

      $65,000 is poverty if you have a family with multiple kids, and if thats both parents income combined. Because than the parents are likely working minimum wage jobs with no benefits and no paid time off.

      I teach at a low income school. All of my students are poor. And this might make me sound like a bad teacher to some, but none of them are going to Harvard, likely not even the 8 year old who reads on a high school senior level. That's the cold hard truth. And it's not because they aren't smart--my kids are insanely smart, they blow me away. It's because they've been fucked from birth by America's class system and pretending otherwise is a fantasy.

      I've had a teacher like you. She said it was impossible for me--the smart but poor girl from the family that was so dysfunctional that it was nonfunctional--to get into law school, let alone graduate and pass the Bar.  Got into law school, graduated with a B- average, passed the Bar. I've done the job I love--being a public defender--for nearly 31 years. I need to figure out if the old bat is still alive. If she is, I'm going to show up on her doorstep and show her my college degree, my law degree, license to practice and my 30 year service award.

      I don't think I'm the exception. It was just a bit harder.

      • Love 3

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