Mailvox: More Fear of a Homeschooled Planet

DW writes: What started as a “what if” rolled into “hey, I was reading that…” and trading stories about junior high school and rumors of unpleasantness at our city’s JHS. We determined to get our act together before the older started 8th grade. Then make that 5th grade, since grades 5-8 share the same building (albeit separate hallways). So that gave us two more full years. More talks, more incidents – such as watching in shock as a pickup truck blasted through the school bus flashers in front of our house; fortunately our little one had not started crossing yet. And the instance in which our older child warned her younger sister not to put Jesus’ picture on her collection of J-words because she heard the principal telling other students that they weren’t allowed to talk about Jesus inschool. (We encouraged her to include it anyway, and she did happily).

Well, that did it. We are riding out the last two weeks, and that’s it. We are wresting our wards of the state back and educating them properly,about life, facts, and the real things of importance. The search for how to go about it led to many web sites, magazines, and the library. While [my wife] was standing in line with a stack of homeschool books in her arms, the PTA mom behind her struck up a conversation, eyeing but never mentioning the books in my wife’s arms. Word must spread quickly, because recently our older girl was questioned when turning in a paper if she was returning to that school next year – this despite us turning in the form sent home to all asking where our child will be attending school next year. At that time, we hadn’t decided, so we said ‘undecided.’ Since the form was for ‘planning and staff estimating purposes only’ we didn’t think much of it. We’ve talked to the girls and told them of our plans and goals and dreams and they are both excited and looking forward to beginning school withMommy. So she told the truth – no.

The teacher confirmed that, yes, she was going to be taught by Mommy at home, then started the subtle game, “Well, I’m really going to miss seeing you.” And, ‘You know, you needspecial materials to teach at home. Does your Mommy have those? What will she be using?’ And, ‘Oh, is your Mommy a teacher? Has she done teaching before?’ Then she promptly dashed off a note to our younger’s teacher, and had it delivered by a student without delay. Later, we learned that our younger daughter received the same questions. Fortunately, 2nd graders that have just learned to read cursive feel no qualms about opening teacher’s notes and sharing their contents with their friends. Days later, the question comes from the teacher to our child — “Has your Mommy changed her mind about teaching you at home yet?” Nope. And on the third strike from Teacher we’re pulling them out with a week to go in the year.

This should illustrate why it’s important to keep your kids out of the system from the start. Don’t mess around with it at all. But I salute DW and his wife, and I have no doubt that this little bit of ominous weirdness will serve well to help them realize that they are doing the right thing.