Wednesday, September 19, 2012

"Stroking your Cuisenaire rods and sobbing" only Simcha can say it.
You know what I'm seeing everywhere these days? Parents who've home schooled their kids for several years, and then suddenly, for no good reason, up and send their kids off to a regular classroom school. They do this without giving it much thought, because they either (a) are lazy and don't love their children, or (b) are disastrously naive about what the modern world is like, and assume that their kids will be taught Dick and Jane and how to open doors for their elders.
Or, wait. I'm seeing that nowhere. Nowhere at all.

What I am seeing is people who, for one reason or another, realized that homeschooling is no longer the best choice for their particular family. It is generally a gut-wrenching decision, made only after lots of prayer and fretting, research and weighing of options.
I'm not quitting homeschooling (this year), but I'm already having some sadness/withdrawal about getting rid of my preschool and K-2 stuff (especially my Math Manipulatives, which I love--it must be the bright colours or something). However, time marches on, seasons pass, and various other cliches.

I like the comment left by suburbancorrespondent on Simcha's post, though of course it's best not to make blanket generalizations about others' insecurities. (There are many and varied reasons to critique certain public schools, but let's not go there today.)
I do think it is homeschoolers’ insecurities that lead them to attack the public schools. But also, it is the endless questioning of their lifestyle by other people that produces some of that defensive tone. Everyone just needs to put their dukes down, I guess, and realize that all of us mere mortals are just bumbling along, doing the best we can for our kids…homeschooling/public schooling/private schooling alike.
Amen, friend.


  1. You know what I'm seeing nowhere? Homeschoolers bagging out ex-homeschoolers putting their kids into school. Really.
    Simcha lost me on this one.

    1. If that's what she was suggesting, then she must live amongst a nastier homeschool community than we do. However, I reread the piece and didn't get the idea that she was suggesting that homeschoolers openly criticize people for putting their kids in school.
      She did say, "Don't be that lady" but she didn't suggest the lady was a homeschooler.
      No matter what decisions we make as parents, there must be some kind of built-in Guilt Mode telling us we could have made a better choice (or that we could be doing a better job in whatever path we've chosen). And we deal with that guilt in all kinds of ways. Maybe it's still bothering her that she quit homeschooling, and this is how she deals with it.
      On another note, I have known some nasty homeschoolers (and probably been one myself in my younger days). I have been told to my face that I am giving my kids poison by letting them drink the municipal tap water (what would she have said if I told her I let my kids drink soda pop?)
      Another homeschooler reacted to the fact that we watch TV (as in NATURE DOCUMENTARIES, not filthy sitcoms) in much the same way as if I told her I let my kids snort cocaine.
      People are funny. And fallen.

  2. Talking about this post last night with Ted & his response was "Are you kidding? We KNOW people who'd be that way".
    Guess I'm oblivious to it, but more likely distracted by my own homeschooling dramas, & the guilt & feelings of inadequacy that I'm not doing enough for the little Blurns.
    Suburbancorrespondent was dead on - 'bumbling along, doing the best we can for our kids' sums it up.

  3. All we can ever do is bumble along. Christ doesn't ask us to be the most capable parents on the block; just to take up our crosses and follow him. As I once said in a talk given at a homeschool conference, I don't have it all together. If I ever meet a homeschooler who does, I'm going to ask if I can move in with her for a few months and take notes.

  4. See, I'd ask her if my kids could move in & then I'd go home and sleep.
    (Can you tell I'm sleep-deprived? The 3 Blurns still in nappies are riding a gastro wave)

  5. Mrs. Pinkerton, if you are getting rid of your Cuisenaire rods, can I have them?

  6. I mean, may I have them?

  7. Right now, I'm just getting rid of print materials for preschool and K-2. The youngest Miss P. (grade 3) is still using a lot of the Math manipulatives. Even so, I don't know if I can ever part with those rods. I've loved Cuisenaire rods since I was 6.

    Mrs. Blurn, I would be only TOO HAPPY to have all six of your kinder come and stay with me so you could sleep! The youngest Miss P. would be out of her mind with delight at having two babies to care for and play with. But first, you just have to move here. :(