Homeschool mom Shez has started writing for the Examiner and one of her articles calls out unschoolers for raising monster children and hindering their kids by not teaching them to read. She later wrote a follow-up clarifying her position. On the surface, this one is her attempt to make nice to the “good unschoolers” but it’s just as preachy and judgmental. She goes on to tell those unschoolers to tame down their rhetoric so the bad unschoolers can’t hide amongst them.
She also brings up an issue that this article immediately raised with me. Do we really want homeschoolers to be publicly talking about huge groups of other homeschoolers being deadbeat parents who are educationally handicapping their children? She says yes. She says we have to be willing to talk about the bad amongst us or we end up being cult-like. I worry that this will be an invitation to legislation and oversight to make sure we’re HSing “the good way.”
We are not unschoolers here. We are not school-at-homers either. We are our own happy blend of child-led, mama-led, daddy-led and life-led. It works for us and we’re all happy (and I dare say, well educated).
I always get a bit of a stomach ache when people start judging homeschoolers. When it’s homeschoolers themselves doing the judging, it is even harder to take.
I have no doubts that Shez is doing a great job with her kids. I was on a HS list with her a few years ago and I know she’s a passionate, intelligent, dedicated mom. I do take issue with the notion that her way is the only “right” way, though.
I also hope that outsiders don’t get the impression that her article accurately reflects homeschooled and unschooled kids. She is writing about her impressions of a small group of children she interacts with in a Virginia playgroup, yet she is calling out the entire world of unschooled children based on her limited experiences.
I also wonder how the unschooling parents in her playgroup feel about her this week! I’m guessing the next meet up could be a bit awkward! 😉
What do you think?