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« Mushy McMushferbrains | Main | FMLA up for review, Take Action before we lose it, folks. »

February 07, 2007



Your kids couldn't be luckier than to be getting the majority of their education from you.

But I am biased!

I wish we had better local groups here. Bigger cities have better home school options. I am going to join a Chicago area progressive homeschool group next fall and start making (6-hour round) day-trips with Nat every week or two to the city.

That Girl

I wish you all the luck in the world.
I would also like to tell you that, as a huge proponent of homeschooling the landscape has changed mightily in the past 10 years.
The stigma of homeschooling really has a legitimate basis - when my first son was born (15 years ago) homeschooling was a "fringe" idea and 1000% less popular than it is now. I found myself in seminars with a very VERY small group of people I could relate to, sandwiched between the three main groups - the militants, the religious extremeists, and the "hippies". I felt very much an outsider, as I was someone who shared a lot of their educational goals but not their reasons or their extremeism. The homeschooling idea eventually caught on in the mainstream but there really were legitimate reasons to view homeschoolers with bias in the beginning.
A caveat - as with anything in real life, people are nice and helpful to people who they perhaps demonize in idealogy. I never felt ostracized by any of the groups although I shared little of their personal beliefs, if fact I was welcomed (despite that).


Good Luck, and bummer about the Montessori school.

You know that self sorting thing you mentioned? Well I fall in the can't homeschool a)I suspect I wouldn't be very good at it, and b) we both work. I would, however, love to send T to Montessori, but the closest one I know if is a 2 hr round trip. I'm afraid I don't want to send her to it quite that bad!


There are tons of montessori schools here (some are the fake type, called montessori but loosely based) and also many home-school groups. I have friends that say they home school but are soooo unorganized their kids end up playing all day, going to playdates and sports practice and getting one lesson in a week. Not what I consider home school. Then I have friends that are totally committed to it, belong to homeschool groups, have social groups they attend,etc. They are constantly turning experiences into lessons for their children. That is successful homeschooling.
As a teacher, I can see both sides of the fence. I wanted to homeschool my kids,but due to disabilities (Autism and PDD) I felt I wasn't qualified, even though I was a special ed teacher. I feel like I am not objective enough. For some reason, I do daycare and tutor and have a great rapport with those kids but feel like I cannot teach my own. Ironic isn't it? My friends even gave me homeschool curriculum for kids with special needs. I still didn't want to do it. I needed a break from my kids and I felt there was a better chance for them in one of the local programs.
They are doing great, I do not regret it. But sometimes I still wish I was doing it, I am a SAHM. Whatever you decide, it will be the right decision.


That's awesome you are considering homeschooling the twins. You are a teacher so you will be the best teacher for your boys. Don't forget that one plus on homeschooling them is ensuring that they will be fluent in ASL being that they will be communicating with you 24/7 (well, almost).

I plan on homeschooling my son Lochlan since he's home with me all day and it will ensure that he becomes completely fluent in ASL. More likely I will be following the Unschooling method mainly because the philosophy is that the child leads his learning. I rather have Lochlan be pumped about learning new stuff than forcing him to sit down and learn specific things. At this time, Lochlan is only 18 months old so I have quite a bit of time before I make some decisions, especially since Kindergarten isn't required in Vermont. A neighbor up the hill plans to homeschool her kids (her youngest is ten days younger than Lochlan) so we will be getting together occasionally. If you do decide to homeschool, it would be great to network together with other Deaf parents who homeschool. =)


Wow, I'm in awe of the amount of thought and research you've put into this subject - though it's just at par with any other subject you've written about! (BTW, you've mentioned trying to cut down on the length of your entries - please don't, I love you how explore things in depth.)

After I read this I really tried to think through what it is that bothers me about homeschooling, since I've never put my finger on it, and it's this: the larger social implications. Why is it exactly that homeschooling has become much more common and more mainstream in recent years? And what will that mean for our society, and especially gender equality, as time passes? Because let's face it, women are the ones doing the lion's share of this work, just as with stay-at-home parenting, and both take them out of the work world for years. I see so many of my friends doing or considering homeschooling or staying at home with young children (god knows I'm tempted too), women who are committed feminists and liberal-minded thinkers, and I wonder what it means for their voices to be absent from the work world. Yes, they are all doing their part to effect political change in other arenas, and they are bringing up their children as thoughtfully as they can, which is the most important contribution to the world in my mind, but the work world is nevertheless becoming more male-dominated, not less.

Of course, once you have a child, every choice is seen through the lens of their needs and wellbeing, and philosophical commitments are hard to maintain in real life if doing so runs contrary to your child's needs. I know that every family makes the decision to homeschool, or to have a mom at home, because of their own needs and circumstances; but our "choices" are constrained by the options available, and let's face it, our options suck in America right now, and don't seem to be getting better. You have spoken eloquently about this - witness your entry on FMLA. And not only is maternity leave a joke, but the workaholic tendencies of this country are only getting worse, making part-time work less viable, so suddenly thousands of people are revisiting their thinking about staying at home - mostly women. Public schools have gotten to be places that a lot of parents aren't comfortable sending their children, yet little is done to improve this besides increasing testing (!), with the expectation that individual women pick up the slack if they feel they need to. And nobody can be faulted for their individual decisions, but the sum of all of them is to return women to the home... hmmm, funny how that works.

Sorry to be so longwinded... I don't know what the answer is to all of this (other than going to the polls), and I don't want to make anyone feel they need to justify their decisions or their commitment to feminism or public schooling or any other cause. But I would be interested in your thoughts on this in your sequel!

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