St Gabriel Windows

St Gabriel Windows
Photocopy c. 2013 Jamie Laubacher

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Lessons Learned

Some things you definitely learn the hard way; some are anticipated, some totally take you off guard. Some come by way of surprise attack.  In the end, I guess you learn what you are really made of. 

Recently, I was very humbled to be very humiliated by someone who really is a total stranger to me, who doesn’t know me whatsoever, but very personally attacked me for my educational beliefs and convictions of upholding traditional homeschooling as defined by law in this country.  This came about after they publicly reprimanded me in a rather cutting and rude way on a Facebook forum, and I later removed my posting, and wrote them privately – apologizing – for apparently not reading their regulations better.  I was cordial, I did not make commentary, and I left it at that.  I received a private email back asking several questions, and I felt this group administrator seemed sincere, so I answered them.  That was my second mistake.  To make a long story short, they basically creamed me not only in their private mail as well as on their Facebook page (a mutual friend told me). No, last I had heard they hadn’t mentioned by name; that may have changed.  If they did, shame on them. Much of it was exaggerated even to the point of adding words I never used in reference to particulars.  I’m getting over it, although rather shocked by the whole thing.  One thing I learned, is that it isn’t okay to really have convictions and uphold them, or at least be honest about them.  Nobody really wants to hear the truth.  They ask for it, but when you speak it, they become completely defensive, because it isn’t really a truth they want to believe in.  Why?  Because really hearing the truth might cause them to have to re-evaluate what they are doing and change and people also don’t really like to change for many reasons. That part is certainly their own business.

I was persecuted for my Christian beliefs firstly, and next in regard to home education.  I know people don’t like to believe that a freedom that was already fought for and laws written for will go away.  They like to think things will remain the same forever.  Well, we can hide our heads in the sand.  The truth is: homeschooling is a freedom that many heroic families before us fought long and hard for, passing laws in this country to allow families to fully choose the kind of education – the very curriculum – they wish to educate their children with.  It is no light matter when a) school is mandatory, and b) it must persist from ages 6 through 18 in most states.  That is a lot of formative years.

People didn’t think abortion would ever be made “legal”, and it was.  I was a witness to the year it happened. Now people fight with great conviction to get Roe vs. Wade overturned.  FREEDOMS can be won and can be lost.  It is no different with homeschooling.  The political scene is hot with wanting to strip away anything autonomous and bring all and everyone into and under public formation only. Home schooling is more widely accepted, yes, to a point.  If you are a traditional homeschooler, that for which special laws were written, you are still looked at sideways.  If you say you are doing school on line, you are by far more acceptable.  And there are divisions among the two as well.  Yes, we wish everyone could just be buddies…but asking some of these factions of home educators to join forces happily is like asking protestants and Catholics to get more together on some things…and well, you know there are definite distinctions as well as some common ground.

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I’m not here to make anyone feel bad about doing on line school, it is another school choice and it’s likely a very wise one.  After Columbine, many families around the country were looking for other ways to school that eliminated the school building, and they were looking for better academic standards overall.  William Bennett did a fine job developing K-12 and many states use this program in their cyber school options.  It would likely be the first choice in cyber school I would opt for if going a public on line route.

Someday, I may have to. Our public tracking system indeed knows how many school on line in districts and how many outside the box still participate in traditional home schooling.  Make no mistakes, they are counting heads.  I see in the future, where on line will be the only option as laws governing homeschooling with be overrode by only public “home” options.  The majority rules in most cases.  And with a precarious government mix of wishy washy Republicans and Liberals axing programs left and right, and even dictating health care reforms and imposing or rather stripping away religious freedoms in conjunction with heath care coverage….believe me, anything is bound to happen…little ole’ homeschooling rights will be a thing of the past in no time.

I know, I don’t sound optimistic.  But when the family is key first, the family fighting the rights to “parent and educate” without public intervention or mandates is paramount.   Parents need more than just on line options –they are wonderful options, don’t get me wrong, but….. what happens when on line options include body biology (sex education) or reformation history that isn’t showing your church in a truthful light, or a little heavy on the Darwinism or pro-environmentalism…..maybe your curriculum isn’t integrated with all the Christian beliefs you would prefer to build upon year after year to form your children in both God and academic standards.  Then, you need the freedom and law that upholds traditional home education.  And what if it’s not there? When families don’t stand up and fight, and make use of those rights, exercising them, then there will be no need for them.

There are a few solid voices still out there …voices crying out in the wilderness….for the family, for traditional homeschooling laws to remain upheld….I pray those voices are strong enough to awaken people that this one remaining educational freedom will continue to be available for future generations.

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To learn more about traditional home schooling, visit here:

Homeschooling: Getting Started

To formulate a grade level plan that spells it out:

Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum

The Well-Trained Mind

2 comments:

Megan@TrueDaughter said...

I'm sorry this is still plaguing you. I sort of see it as another of those "mother fights" - some moms are horrible and fight about breast over bottle, others fight over to work or not to work, and still others fight about how to educate their children. Belief systems turn into the way we live our lives - if we are lucky - Christianity leads to wanting marriage and children leads to nursing mothers who often want to stay home which quite often leads to homeschooling. Of course this is not the theme for every family, but it does come with a core set of beliefs. Many times other mothers, other people who don't believe the things we believe think that we are wrong in our choices, or even are judging their choices. That makes them angry and conversely, super judgmental. So much hatred and anger and meanness comes through, and with the veil of the web, they never have to look you in the eye to lay on the hate. I hope you can let it go, and just keep fighting and VOTING for the folks who will make sure that homeschoolers get to school their children in the way they see fit.
As for the whole online school vs homeschool thing - I think that depends on the front you are on. I feel a lot of judgement for using k12 from some traditional homeschoolers, like I am a sell out. But, I honestly don't feel like homeschooling is the only option. I am thankful we have many options. We as a family have always said we would do what was best, educationally, for each child. This coming year we will be doing traditional homeschooling with two students, possibly three, depending on what Kenzie and I decide is the best course for her. I sent one back to high school, and that SAVED US ALL. We would not be on speaking terms if I had kept that child home a minute longer, and I feel that Kolbe might be the same kind of kid. He might need school. If we lived in a school district I had the slightest faith in, I may have enrolled him already. We'll see as each kid comes along, and do what works the best for that child. I am GRATEFUL to have all of these options. I think all parents need to carefully weigh the educational options before them, and make the best choice for each child. So I am fully with you in voting for and trying to ensure that traditional homeschooling is ALWAYS an option.

Home School Mom: Denise said...

Thank you Megan. I still feel like I was very rudely insulted, attacked and misrepresented because of my beliefs. It was okay that she believed the way she did, but not okay that I defended my beliefs. I totally respect there are different ways to parent, educate, work or not work...in this case it just came down to the homeschool group thing and it being exclusive to traditional homeschoolers. Reminds me of the Eucharist and it's not just for anybody either..but those formed to recognize what it truly is...then they can partake of it with full respect and reverence. It is an exclusive communion and we are condemned for that too. I pray that religious freedom remains...in this country...because without it, traditional homeschooling will also be tossed aside. That is where my concerns lie. Well, it's been an eye opener for sure. Live and learn, eh!!!! thanks again