Mr. Brown……thanks for the entertaining letter. Allow me to respond.
I thoroughly enjoyed your reply, especially your assumptions. First of all, I’m not speaking about the homeschooling that is taking place only in my living room, I am speaking of the homeschooling that is taking place in thousands of living rooms. How? Because the homeschooling movement has been changing, evolving and growing, which is why I recommended anyone who thinks they understand homeschool to get educated on the topic. And no, my kids DO NOT jump out of bed to start their day, except on the one day a week they meet up with all the other families that are participating in Classical Conversations (a curriculum that is taught through the trivium). However, as their teacher, I am very aware of WHAT they are doing, the LEVEL of performance they are giving, and WHERE they are having difficulties or mastery over the subject immediately. My kids are not loitering around in the halls, bathrooms or being truant. They are not “taught” by teachers who teach only what the government has prescribed, nor are they surrounded by kids who hate and resent the system. You are concerned about “social learning”? How sweet. Unfortunately, your basis of argument is incorrect. Placing peers together in a graded context breeds an unnatural hierarchy, competition against each other as opposed to performing to one’s personal best and rivalry. It’s a complete failure.
Sterile environment? Treats and cookies? That’s your kid’s school, not mine. My third grader learned to translate part of Book of Luke from Latin to English (It’s part of the Bible, just a little fyi). He learned, by memory, to draw all fifty of the United States, identify each state and capital, the four Appalachian Mtns in New England, in the South, the Western Mtns, NW Mtnns, Great Lakes, Bays, major rivers in the East, West, historical Trails, canals, territories and terrains, deserts and 10 of the US most prominent features and draw them on his map. He learned his multiplication tables up to 15 x15 in my sterile environment. All the cubes and squares. He learned his formulas for the area of a rectangle, square, triangle, circle, circumference of a circle, the associative, commutative and distributive, and identity law. My eight year old memorized, drew and identified the four types of tissues, the axial skeleton and three types of muscle. The nervous, digestive, excretory, circulatory, lymph, respiratory and endocrine systems. Don’t get me started on his history lessons that spanned from Christopher Columbus to present day, his memorization of all our presidents in historical order and this kid can explain to your public school kid what an atomic number is, an element, and the parts of an atom. He can tell him the first 10 elements on the periodic table by its number, element and mass. And this un-socialized kid played competitive all-star baseball in the fall, spring and summer.
So, no, I don’t wipe my children’s asses. I teach them how to learn and that the learning process never ends. I teach them that their absolute power resides in their mind and in their hearts, not in what popular culture feeds them. I teach them to be independent as opposed to dependent. I teach them to reach as opposed to wait and be spoon-fed. My children will NEVER be victims of society, yours already are. If my 13 year old son, who spends time weekly at the gun range in target practice, who competes on a Majors level of baseball, travels to throw a ball from a mound EVER enlists in the military……it will be as an officer and your sons will be BLESSED to serve under him. So, thank you. I have done an EXCEPTIONAL job, however, I have not done it alone. I have done it with thousands of other homeschooling moms that are too busy to wipe their children’s asses once they have been trained to wipe it themselves. And united we are STRONG. For our kids. Because they are worth EVERY SACRIFICE we make for them. Have a subpar, mediocre school year.
And GOD BLESS every teacher that works in that system that truly wants to make a difference and feels overburdened, trapped and disrespected by students, parents and their own administration. They are the true heroes and my hat and heart go out to every
one of them.