Wednesday, June 20, 2007

calls you shouldn't answer

At some point, some people should just shut up. You can be against homeschooling as much as you want, but the proof is in the children, and ours just keep on being okay, one grown up homeschooled child after another. I'm friends with a number of homeschooled families, and they all seem pretty much normal. Granted, my idea of normal is pretty wide open, but that's how I roll.

To say Greg Laden is a blank is putting it mildly. He can't let go of his antipathy for homeschoolers, be it the parents or the children, and his newest post may easily be the absolute stupidest jab at us I have ever been sadly astounded by. I honestly can't do his idiocy justice, so you'll have to go and read for yourself.

Greg Laden is the kind of person who is so secure in his infallible rightness that he feels quite happy to assume that his will should be law. He has a problem with homeschooling, and no amount of answering his questions will change his mind. He's so sure that we are wrong to homeschool that truth and proof are of no consequence to him.

Talking to him is like trying to thresh wheat with a pair of socks for a flail and the idea of wheat instead of real grains. You can beat all you want, but you're not going to get any wheat worth shit out it.

And thanks to JJ of Cocking a Snook for bothering to keep going back for more. JJ, if you're out there, leave the mad dog alone. He's just going to keep growling and slathering, and reason doesn't seem to live where he is.

23 comments:

Penelope T Rax said...

Hi, I like your picture;-) That would be Bonnie, right?
I just followed this over from some blog, probably that Ladens blog. I haven't followed the whole thing, but if I get it right, he hates homeschoolers?

My kids and their peers, all in public schools are always making jokes about homeschool kids, and for the life of me I don't know why. Isn't homeschooling often linked to good academic performance? I mean, of course I love the public school in my area( small town, solid academic focus, etc.), but we have the right to choose, right? So what's the issue here? I am a local school booster, but gee wizz, stop picking on the homeschool kids! It reminds me of how kids in my generation used to laugh at retards, and say very mean stuff for no apparent good reason.
I will read along in the other blogs, but I liked your title for this post;-)

janicetwin said...

I am not a homeschooler, but I cannot see a thing wrong with this (my introduction so you know where I come from). Two days ago a teacher friend of mine,explained to me that he found out that two students in his school had been homeschooled and spoke with them. One was a really intelligent kid, homeshooled to grade 8 and went to the High School and had then been doing very well. The other one had been homeschooled for only one year in the grade school. This one said that it was very hard work, too much work for the parents and for him and did not work for them at all.

Penelope, is homeschool always connected with good academic achievement? It can be great for some however possibly not for everyone.

Who is Bonnie? Sorry, I do not know the culture well enough, I am recently from Europe. (And will be embarrassed if Bonnie is also from Europe!)

Nance Confer said...

And I hope you are sharing your thoughts about this with your kids and their peers.

It would be nice if this ridiculousness wasn't still going on when ours kids become parents.

Nance

Christine said...

Oh, but he *says* he isn't against homeschooling. Whatever. I refuse to argue, link, or even read his blog anymore, which is too bad, because when he's not going on about how we're all abusing our kids and cheating society he has some good science posts. I'm sure I can find good science posts without all the BS.

I hate the way certain people keep going back for more. They're just fanning the flames.

Nance Confer said...

Janice,

Like anything else, homeschooling is not the same for everyone. As your examples show.

It's the expectation that some anti-hsing commentators have that they somehow have the magic bullet that will cause all children to perform at some correct level or other . . . as if that's what everyone wants or needs or can do or. . . the real "Father Knows Best" attitude . . . that's where so many of them go so wrong.

But that's OK. At least there are others, like you and the other posters here, who actually keep an open mind and can see that not every child or every family is the same.

Nance

samuel said...

Janice Twin, Bonnie is the woman holding the gun in the picture at the top of my page. She was one half of the crime duo Bonnie and Clyde, popular, almost folk heroes of the early to mid twentieth century in America. To honor them, as I sort of do, isn't really correct as they were quite blood thirsty and murderous, but their story has a certain something that still is gripping several decades later.

JaniceTwin said...

I looked for Bonnie and Clyde in the Wikipedia and found this:

"notorious outlaws, robbers and criminals who travelled the Central United States during the Great Depression." Bonnie was an honor student in high school

Why are these people a people hero? It is possible that I can never understand completely the American sensitivity.

Nance, I fear that I do not understand some your references. Who is the father, who knows best? With Bonnie the murderer and this magic bullet there must be too much shooting here!

(kidding. I know the cliche "magic rifle bullet")

Michele said...

Maybe it's because I wasn't homeschooled, but I don't understand a dang thing that guy said on his blog.

Alasandra said...

I tried to read Greg's drivel, it didn't even make sense. Perhaps he is devolving.

Glad I found your blog. I enjoyed reading your post.

JaniceTwin said...

I enjoyed reading Dr. Ladens blog. I do not read much about homeschool, it seem he mostly writes over other things which are of more interest to me.

But I agree I do not understand all of his opinions.

Greg Laden said...

It is true that I have written just under 1.000 posts but only about 30 on homeschooling, and many of those are just short notes. It isn't that big of an interest of mine....

Nance Confer said...

Why are these people a people hero? It is possible that I can never understand completely the American sensitivity.
***
It was during the Depression. They robbed banks. Banks were taking away people's homes and farms. Why do we enjoy The Sopranos? :)


Nance, I fear that I do not understand some your references. Who is the father, who knows best? With Bonnie the murderer and this magic bullet there must be too much shooting here!
***
The 1950s TV sitcom -- Father Knows Best. Greg would fit right in. :)

Nance

Penelope T rax said...

janicetwin, you asked
"Penelope, is homeschool always connected with good academic achievement? It can be great for some however possibly not for everyone."

I don't know how to answer your question really. Maybe some of these other posters have better ideas about that.Like I said my kids are in public school,and they do just fine. My oldest is an A student,a budding biochemist( which is way above my head, but I trust the school to guide) a cheerleader for the local team, a bug collector since birth,and a gymnast; my second is an artist and a budding anthropologist. Recently He has been reading some great old stuff about Freud and such--again, way above my head, but I remember it from my college undergrads. His current heros are Bruno Bettleheim,and Napoleon Chagnon, some German anthropologists. They both do independent study and such.

So all I can really tell you about the homeschoolers is that generally in America there is respect for that as a life choice, and many are very gifted children. Others, are really dogmatic and religious ( I am an atheist, which is why I popped into this debate from gregladen.com). Generally though, you can say that from what I understand there are two sides, and it is based in several particularly American ideologies and many social dynamics here. Often the news carries stories about homeschoolers who abuse kids or murder them, but the news also carries stories about spelling bee kids who are just remarkable.

Yes, we do venorate violence in many respects ( yes Bonnie Parker, the woman in the photo is an american icon especially amongst assertive women) and we do have social schisms that reflect a changing cultural environment: religion, atheism, black and white, feminists and men, and other things that influence kids pereptions in the public schools. I am personally a fan of public school.

I personally think that the kids laugh at who they laugh at, because school is a great place to feel the pulse of what is and isn't widely acceptable. In my kids, I have noticed a general trend towards laughing at : saggy pants, white kids who 'act black', homosexuals, and homeschoolers. But kids are just kids, and I feel that is the way they learn about their culture, and like kids I believe they can outgrow their biases.

So welcome to America janicetwin!! Where are you from in Europe? That is so exotic. I imagine the schools there must have similar issues?

Nance Confer said...

I personally think that the kids laugh at who they laugh at, because school is a great place to feel the pulse of what is and isn't widely acceptable. In my kids, I have noticed a general trend towards laughing at : saggy pants, white kids who 'act black', homosexuals, and homeschoolers. But kids are just kids, and I feel that is the way they learn about their culture, and like kids I believe they can outgrow their biases.
*********
Really?

On their own or with input from you?

This is part of my argument, actually, against standardization of science ed for hsers. Since public school education does not override the biases that kids learn throughout the rest of their lives, the vast majority end up believing in some god or other. You can't enforce belief. It doesn't work.

So what beliefs are enforced where in the cases you list and how much of which teaching sticks?

Nance

JJ Ross said...

So many oddly named, unlinked-to-blogs personalities pop up and trail us whenever a known homeschooler makes a comment at that other blog. Not even pretending to be homeschoolers but chatty and happy to swell this homeschooling thread, even talking to each other now, heck, who needs actual homeschoolers to talk with then? -- so why aren't they commenting about hsing at that other blog (that they keep mentioning, and mentioning, and mentioning)

They sound just as woolly as the rest of the sock drawer.

Now the janicetwin persona can say "que?" -- or whatever language s/he's affecting -- and the penelope persona can mention that other blog AGAIN to reinforce what their alternate egos are slinging over there -- and they can cluck to each other about homeschooling rudeness. Anthropology keeps coming up, maybe they can make something sexual out of this too.

And then the puppet master himself can say his hands are clean, get huffy, call me over the top, maybe try to burn his censorship strawman again (although that's already turned to ashes on other blogs along with the rest of his credulity on education policy and concern for actual children.) How stupid he must really believe us all to be.

Feel free to moderate this cynical comment into the trash, sam. It's your blog and you should manage the conversation HERE as you see fit.

skullface said...

"I personally think that the kids laugh at who they laugh at, because school is a great place to feel the pulse of what is and isn't widely acceptable. In my kids, I have noticed a general trend towards laughing at : saggy pants, white kids who 'act black', homosexuals, and homeschoolers. But kids are just kids, and I feel that is the way they learn about their culture, and like kids I believe they can outgrow their biases."

Obviously you were never one of the kids who was laughed at by the other kids. This is exactly the kind of laissez-faire philosophy thats ends up with those kids becoming assholes as adults. What makes you think they outgrow their biases? When a child is not pointed out his wrongdoing, when he is not taught some empathy by encouraging him to imagine himself in the other person's shoes, he thinks his "bias" (bigotry) is completely okay. Then maybe he grows up and ends up in the group of teenagers who beats to death a gay teen in a hate crime. Smiling and looking the other way only allows the bigot within to fester.

Actually, this subject was one of the main reasons I originally considered homeschooling; school was hell for me all my life because of asshole other kids, and there was no way I was going to subject my children to the horrible society school that is public education.

Penelope T Rax said...

Nance: I am not sure what you are asking per se, but "On their own or with input from you?" Well I am certain a parents biases affect what the kids do and don't do to sonme degree, right? But I don't encourage negativity. In my locale, these are just the way it is. My input is as any parent, I admonish them when they cross the lines, and the rest is really up to them. Kids are heavily influenced by their peers, no matter who their peers are, wouldn't you agree? I don't think it is right for me to have a stranglehold on their beliefs, because that would make them kind of too much like puppets for my beliefs, rather than individuals with their own minds. I hope that answered your question.I am not sure what you are asking in the second part of your query, but I think you are against science curricula? Like I said, I don't really know much about science, my daughter is the whizz kid there. But my son chose 'soft science' for his interests, and he does quite well in his grades.

JJ: I really don't know what to say to you, your tone is so hostile! Is this the way you are on blogs? I feel like you just dumped a load of your dirty laundry on my doorstep, and this isn't even my doorstep!
I take umbrage to your disparaging remarks about my sons interests. Who are you exactly?
When you say "Anthropology keeps coming up, maybe they can make something sexual out of this too."
I really must question your intent here, and particularly because you mention it in context to my son!
I am almost sorry I posted here.
I like that other blog alot actually, because his interests are wide and varied, with a humorous and also scientific aproach. From what I have read there( and always enjoyed) I don't really see this as a 'homeschooler blog'. He seems to post only infrequently about that. Is there something I am missing? Where is that post where she says "que"?
Frankly, it looks like I have fallen into an unfriendly site, and actually about moderation,I guess I wonder whose blog this is?
" Feel free to moderate this cynical comment into the trash, sam," Is this a blog consortium or is it sams or jj's blog? please inform! Or is this the norm on this blog?

Christine said...

"Obviously you were never one of the kids who was laughed at by the other kids. This is exactly the kind of laissez-faire philosophy thats ends up with those kids becoming assholes as adults."

Thank you, my thoughts exactly!

doc said...

"I met two homeschoolers once? You know? And like, one of them was really smart? You know? And the other one, OH MY GOD, he was so, like, you know, STUPID!!!!!!!!! Okay, like, and then? I was telling the smart one all like about my school and stuff? And like, how I'm on the honor roll and stuff? Like, and the STUPID one says "why does every sentence you say sound like a question?" and I'm all up in his face like saying HEY, YOU DON'T KNOW ME. God, and like, he was wearing a belt? "

This is a verbatim monologue I overheard at starbucks, between what I assume is the class valedictorian and her friend, who never said a word, just stared vacantly and nodded her head...

So obviously, this is evidence that public school is.. like, what, superior?

I Heart My Ph.D

Doh!

Nance Confer said...

Penelope T Rax said...

Nance: I am not sure what you are asking per se, but "On their own or with input from you?" Well I am certain a parents biases affect what the kids do and don't do to sonme degree, right? But I don't encourage negativity. In my locale, these are just the way it is.

**In your locale? Where would that be? Where is it OK to laugh at others? Where is it OK to condone laughing at, among others, homosexuals and homeschoolers.

**I know it happens. It happens because the message that it is not OK has not gotten through. The message that it is OK to tease and shame those who are different from you has been tolerated, generation after generation.



My input is as any parent, I admonish them when they cross the lines, and the rest is really up to them. Kids are heavily influenced by their peers, no matter who their peers are, wouldn't you agree? I don't think it is right for me to have a stranglehold on their beliefs, because that would make them kind of too much like puppets for my beliefs, rather than individuals with their own minds. I hope that answered your question.


**It began to answer my question. You take some responsibility for the message your kids are getting about tolerance. I wonder what line you are talking about, what that conversation looks like. We talk about being kind here. We talk abut not making the other kid feel bad. We talk about self-respect and respect for others. We would not simple shrug our shoulders and expect certain cruel behavior. How do you handle it when your child makes anti-homosexual remarks? Or other cruel remarks? What beliefs ARE you trying to teach them as you leave them all that room for peer input?



I am not sure what you are asking in the second part of your query, but I think you are against science curricula?

**That is not correct.


Like I said, I don't really know much about science, my daughter is the whizz kid there. But my son chose 'soft science' for his interests, and he does quite well in his grades.


**I'm glad both your children are doing so well.

Nance

Penelope T Rax said...

Nance: you wrote "We talk about being kind here. We talk abut not making the other kid feel bad. We talk about self-respect and respect for others"

In regards to cruelty and derision by kids I am noticing a trend here on this blog with grown ups that sadly echoes the worst that kids are capable of! and I think I know where it started, in that first comment by someone calling themselves JJ. Read this statement over, which is christine echoing someone, but note the sort of mean subtext:
""Obviously you were never one of the kids who was laughed at by the other kids. This is exactly the kind of laissez-faire philosophy thats ends up with those kids becoming assholes as adults."

Is it just me, or this saying that I am an ^sshole? I am certainly disheartened by this sort of thingy, and shocked actually by how frequently I have encountered this here, in this one short thread!Homeschoolers teaching tolerance indeed;-)
As a matter of fact I was a chubby child with buck teeth, and quite frequently laughed at, but guess what? I got over it, and did just fine.
This idea of tolerance has been used in so many sordid ways these days that I decline right now( short on time) to go much deeper.
But at least you seem capable of some sort of adult dialogue, in stark contrast to some of what I have found here of 'homeschoolers'.

Nance Confer said...

Well, Penelope, when you have time to answer my questions, I'll be around. Or not so much shortly -- we have our wonderful 1-yo nephew coming to visit! Hurray! :)

I thought of you this morning though, when I read a news article. Here's what I wrote:

http://cockingasnook.wordpress.com/2007/06/23/really-is-this-who-we-are/

Nance

Anonymous said...

Casual Observer here,

I am 100% for homeschooling. Period.

I also infer from some of the comments that kindness is not what the person posting had in her heart at the time of posting.

Of course, as I said, I can only infer that. And usually, when a supposed blog insult is called out, I find that the intentions were positive. It is a challenge to correctly understand someone's intentions in the web medium, especially in blog comments which are often off the cuff. It is a failing of communicating in this fashion.

I hope all people all over will teach children how to communicate with manners.

I believe that good manners are a positive influence in the world, and not a negative influence.