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    #12034 - 03/19/08 10:54 AM Re: Defensive Homeschoolers? [Re: Dottie]
    OHGrandma Offline

    Registered: 01/05/08
    Posts: 830
    Things have changed a lot at the schools between now and the time when our youngest graduated high school 9 years ago. Now our schools have signs on the door that say, "No Guns, No Latex". I couldn't figure that one out for a long time, until someone suggested the allergies to latex, and balloons are made from latex. I just kept envisioning kids attacking each other with water bombs!

    #12035 - 03/19/08 11:02 AM Re: Defensive Homeschoolers? [Re: Dottie]
    Cathy A Offline

    Registered: 05/26/07
    Posts: 1783
    Loc: West coast, USA
    OMG, Dottie, that scenario just about gives me a heart attack. Your DD could have been passed out in the bathroom, abandoned there by the nurse!!! Not humorous at all! I would definitely complain to the school.

    St. Pauli Girl--apology accepted--anyway, your son really DOES have allergies! I hope your son's school is on top of the allergy issues but you may discover they're not as aware as they think they are. I have had people say things to me like, "This doesn't have peanuts in it, just peanut butter." Dairy allergies are tricky (I know because both my kids were allergic to dairy as toddlers.) People don't really know what is or isn't a dairy product. People don't know how to read labels. I was naively trusting of DD's preschool, and found out that her teacher had offered DD a Reese's peanut butter cup. (See peanut butter comment above.) Fortunately, DD refused.

    I did a 30min training session with the same preschool about peanut allergies and how to use the epipen. Two months later, I went in to give them a fresh epipen because the old one had expired. The lady at the desk says, "Oh, this must be for your DD's bee sting allergy." eek


    #12037 - 03/19/08 11:35 AM Re: Defensive Homeschoolers? [Re: Dottie]
    questions Offline

    Registered: 11/24/07
    Posts: 864
    It's all scary stuff. I had an eighth grader on the lacrosse team I coached a few years ago who had an epi-pen for a peanut allergy. I was told to remind her to have it with her at all times, and that only she was allowed to administer it. I went to the trainer and requested a lesson. (I had seen anaphylactic shock years ago as an EMT and didn't want to rely on a 13 year old being required to save her own life). The trainer showed me how to "help" her inject herself, if the need arose. She was an incredibly mature kid, and her parents and she were confident that she could take care of herself. Still,...

    #12046 - 03/19/08 01:02 PM Re: Defensive Homeschoolers? [Re: questions]
    Cathy A Offline

    Registered: 05/26/07
    Posts: 1783
    Loc: West coast, USA
    You did the right thing, questions. Even an adult can suffer impaired judgement or unconsciousness resulting from a drop in blood pressure. If the blood pressure drops too low, even an epipen won't work because the medication pools in the muscle tissue and isn't circulated in the bloodstream. It doesn't matter how mature a person is under those circumstances.

    Dottie, I don't think that epipens are overprescribed. I think that people need to stop thinking of them as something you only use in cases of "life or death." There is very little risk associated with epinephrine but people fear administering injections so they tend to wait too long. Deaths due to anaphylaxis are associated with delay in receiving epinephrine. This chart can give you a better idea of when epinephrine should be administered.

    #12049 - 03/19/08 01:15 PM Re: Defensive Homeschoolers? [Re: Cathy A]
    snowgirl Offline

    Registered: 02/24/08
    Posts: 361
    Cathy - thanks for the link to the chart - that's interesting. My DS5 (the one with fewer learning issues than his twin brother) has peanut allergy and has gotten hives from peanut vapor. Fortunately his classroom is peanut free, but he too has brought home holiday treat bags with candy containing peanuts (peanut butter cup, snickers), put together by the well-meaning room mom. We're just lucky he didn't eat it without asking first - it first happened when he was only 3, but continues to be a sore spot for me.

    #12050 - 03/19/08 01:19 PM Re: Defensive Homeschoolers? [Re: Dottie]
    mamabird Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 03/05/08
    Posts: 46
    Originally Posted By: Dottie
    And there is TONS of contradictory literature on the subject of bee allergies about the necessity of the epinephrine anyway. It's all so very confusing!

    I am a firm believer in epinephrine for bee allergies. I am VERY allergic to 3/5 types of bee venom. I have had epinephrine in two different circumstances and it definitely achieved the results I needed, breathing. I am also allergic to Benadryl so you are lucky to be able to use that!

    Wow, I just can't believe all the people with very serious allergies out there, and the ignorance of the schools on the topic.

    #12051 - 03/19/08 01:30 PM Re: Defensive Homeschoolers? [Re: mamabird]
    kimck Offline

    Registered: 09/20/07
    Posts: 1134
    I also apologize if I seemed like I was making fun of life threatening allergies. We actually have life threatening antibiotic allergies at our house and I hold my breath every time we need to give the kids any antibiotic.

    Our school actually seems to do a fairly good job with food allergies. I know parents who've gone out of their way to thank the school and teachers for being so sensitive about allergy issues. My son is in a peanut free classroom this year and I take it very seriously. I'm shocked some schools can still be so insensitive.

    #12052 - 03/19/08 02:10 PM Re: Defensive Homeschoolers? [Re: kimck]
    Cathy A Offline

    Registered: 05/26/07
    Posts: 1783
    Loc: West coast, USA
    Originally Posted By: kimck
    I also apologize if I seemed like I was making fun of life threatening allergies.

    Thanks, kimck. I know that nobody was trying to be insensitive. It just struck a nerve with me. It's probably because when I talk about my kids' food allergies so many people assume that the kids just don't like the food in question. So it really bothers me when people joke about allergies being a matter of preference.

    ETA: I sure am defensive about it! blush Maybe I should start a thread about defensive parents of allergic kids...

    Edited by Cathy A (03/19/08 02:13 PM)

    #12053 - 03/19/08 02:14 PM Re: Defensive Homeschoolers? [Re: Kriston]


    Part of your and my difference in perspective on how people view homeschooling may be regional. I grew up in the Midwest (St. Louis) and came out to California precisely because of what I felt to be the suffocating pressures to conform in the Midwest. It’s not that I and most Californians were into the hippie thing or anything like that, but California does tend to have a very strong “mind your own business" mentality where ultra-green Naderites live next door to Jerry-Falwell fundamentalists and no one much thinks about it – out here, even hard-right conservatives support “medical marijuana” (they see it as a states-rights issue, which I suppose it is). I know that the Midwest has mellowed a great deal since I grew up there, but my wife and I (her family came from the Midwest to California when she was five or so) still have a bit of that suffocating feeling when we go back to visit. (And, yes, I know the Midwest does have its virtues – stability, a strong work ethic, etc.)

    For example, our neighbors within a couple houses one way or the other include practicing Catholics, Shiite Muslims from Iran, Jewish immigrants from South Africa, and traditional Protestants. We’re atheists. None of us find this strange, and, in California, it’s not. In the Midwest, I think that level of diversity would still be a bit unusual. (Incidentally, we’re in the politically and culturally conservative part of California – you should see what the radical liberal areas of the state are like.)

    Also, homeschooling in our area was started decades ago by ex-hippie types up in the Sierra foothills (such as Dave and Mickey Colfax, to name some early well-known homeschooling pioneers) and this may cause homeschooling to have a slightly different reputation out here.

    You wrote of:
    > The quiet that came in the conversation after my neighbors heard we were going to HS and the lack of phone calls for playdates from many of them. The different sort of questions you start getting at the doctor's office when you HS.

    We just don’t get that at all – so, I think this really may be a regional difference.

    You also wrote:
    > However, I do think I am more sensitive to the problems I'm describing than you are, Dave, because you completely buy the whole HSing philosophy. I believe that you really don't care what others think about this matter. You've very comfortable. You think Hsing is the very best thing ever. You are an evangelist because you are a true believer.

    Well… I do care a little about what others think! And I’m not sure there is, as you put it, a “whole HSing philosophy.” As I’ve mentioned, the dominant homeschooling philosophy among secular homeschoolers out here is a watered-down version of “unschooling,” and I disagree with that fairly strongly, as I think you do also. Most of the local homeschoolers are not really completely consistent “unschoolers,” but they seem to feel guilty about not being so. I don’t feel guilty in the slightest about not being an unschooler, since I think it is a remarkably silly approach (though I do fully respect their right to make that decision for their families). I do try to be sensitive to their defensivesness about their being unschoolers and try not to hurt their feelings.

    Are you acquainted with Ivan Illich’s classic book “Deschooling Society”? It’s a critique of the whole turn to large, impersonal, centralized institutions in Western society during the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries – it’s not just about schools, though he uses schools as a paradigmatic example.

    I read Illich in college, and he convinced me, though I’m certainly not a dogmatic follower of his. So, I suppose I do not so much buy into one of the variety of homeschooling philosophies as I do buy into a larger anti-coercive-institutional philosophy as epitomized by Illich.

    To me, the whole nationalism/socialism/imperialism thing that characterized the twentieth century is part and parcel of what Illich was talking about on the more personal level, and, I have to admit, I passionately hate the whole stupid thing.

    Perhaps, the reason I am so cheerful and so non-defensive is that I really do think Illich’s and my side is winning. I think the nation-state, the public schools, American imperialism, state socialism, and all the rest of that stuff is in its death throes, and I really love seeing it happen. The old let's-all-think-the-same-thing mainstream media is dying, the kids take the unbelievable diversity of the Internet for granted, and a new world is dawning!

    I realize that I may just sound like a starry-eyed optimist. I assure you that when I was a kid I thought the fascists were taking over (I remember Richard Nixon). But, I really do think the times are changing, quite radically, and that the old institutions that stifled human individuality and creativity, such as the public schools, are dying, and I am indeed inordinately cheerful about all this.

    All the best,


    #12054 - 03/19/08 02:38 PM Re: Defensive Homeschoolers? [Re: Lori H.]

    Lori wrote:

    >Last year, while reading Johnny Tremaine and also reading about the Boston Tea Party he made comments about the "taxation without representation" and he thought in some ways that described our situation. We have to pay taxes but we don't have the right to the services our taxes pay for. He sees problems with our education system and even our form of government that I never questioned when I was a child and he is only nine.

    Lori, I’m coming to admire your son more and more, even though I’ve never met him!

    I do think there is an inherent dynamics to the homeschooling situation that causes homeschooled kids to question the legitimacy of authority, even if that’s not what the parents intend at all.

    One reason that I’m not bothered by the evangelical homeschoolers, even though I strongly disagree with them on numerous points (starting with evolution), is that I suspect that some day it is going to dawn on a lot of their kids that if it is okay to question the authority of the public schools, the government, etc., then just maybe you should also consider questioning the authority of the church, the Bible, etc. also. I suspect there may be more anarchists-atheists being bred by evangelical homeschoolers than their parents realize.

    There is sometimes an irresistible tide in the affairs of humanity, and I think your son, and a lot of other kids nowadays, are riding that tide.

    Of course, I’ve already admitted to being a bit of a starry-eyed optimist, but sometimes optimists turn out to be right.

    All the best,


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