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    #12089 - 03/19/08 04:30 PM Re: Defensive Homeschoolers? [Re: EandCmom]
    Kriston Offline

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    And who can blame you with that idiocy around you!?


    #12090 - 03/19/08 04:31 PM Re: Defensive Homeschoolers? [Re: Dottie]
    kcab Offline

    Registered: 10/02/07
    Posts: 1603
    Loc: Sparta, apparently
    Originally Posted By: Dottie
    I was the one who explained the testing protocol to her when her other children were tested.
    Then it does sound like she sees you as experienced in this area and unlikely to get defensive. I guess I'd just take it as a compliment.

    Partly, I'm thinking along these lines due to my experience in recently moving into a new school district and having to figure out the not-readily-accessible-perhaps-undocumented rules.

    #12092 - 03/19/08 04:35 PM Re: Defensive Homeschoolers? [Re: kcab]
    delbows Offline

    Registered: 04/25/06
    Posts: 778
    Loc: Midwest
    Originally Posted By: Lorel
    I tend to feel awkward when anyone brings up accomplishments or giftedness out of context. It would never occur to me to declare my kid's abilities to a near stranger unless there was some good reason.

    That’s probably because your child is so shockingly advanced for age smile

    Originally Posted By: kcab
    Dottie - maybe she just feels like it's safe to talk to you about her kid's accomplishments? Or maybe that's not it, but might still be a useful interpretation to use.

    I tend to mention some more mundane accomplishments because I don’t want lurkers, whether they are parents or educators, to believe that every HG kid (or YS) is doing calculus at eight.

    #12098 - 03/19/08 05:28 PM Re: Defensive Homeschoolers? [Re: kimck]

    kimck wrote:

    > Dave - I like this line of thinking! Call me a bit starry eyed as well.

    Yeah, I know it may sound as if I’m arguing (in the bad sense) with Kriston, but the message I’m really trying to send her and everyone here is: “Don’t worry! Be happy!”

    When I was a kid, there was no “gifted community,” no homeschoolers, and no Internet to discuss this or any other issue. And I know lots of parents nowadays, not just of gifted kids, who are being pro-active and trying to get their kids a better education.

    I’m even feeling better about the Presidential race, which has been rather a downer for me. Sure, this guy Rev. Wright said some goofy things, but he also made some thought-provoking comments that deserve discussion. And Obama had the guts to not just dump his friend but simply to disassociate himself from some of the guys’ comments. I’m not an Obama booster (I may not even vote for him – haven’t decided yet), but I see that as one more sign that people are starting to think and speak up for themselves and that the mainstream media and the old institutions are finding there’s not much they can do about it.

    There’s a lot of ferment, thinking, and discussion going on among the people of this country that is just becoming visible. As Dylan said so long ago, the times they are a’changin’.


    #12112 - 03/19/08 06:01 PM Re: Defensive Homeschoolers? [Re: ]
    Kriston Offline

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    You know, Dave, "Don't worry, be happy" is a pretty condescending thing to say to someone. It minimizes any valid concerns they have.

    I praise the joys of the Internet every chance I get. I love the help and support I get on this forum and the HSing forum I'm on. I'm generally a happy person. Some things in life are improving, and some are not. <shrug>

    None of this is really relevant to the conversation at hand though.

    #12118 - 03/19/08 06:41 PM Re: Defensive Homeschoolers? [Re: Kriston]
    incogneato Offline

    Registered: 10/25/07
    Posts: 2231
    Loc: up in my head.......
    You know, I'm a midwest girl, born and bred. I also lived in Berkely for a short time as a young adult. I actually love both places and they are very different.
    This is just my lense, but I'd go so far as to say I could almost see them as different countries, as the cultures are quite different.
    I'm sure you weren't meaning to be condescending in any way, Dave.
    Kriston, you have a valid point, we're all here and have connected partially because most of us haven't had lovely experiences in trying to provided a realistic educational experience for our children.
    Any success we've had whether is has been in HS or PS hasn't seemed to have come easily to any of us, so it's good to keep that in mind.
    And EandCmom, wow, I wouldn't even know what to say to that comment. Just reading that provokes a visceral reaction for me. I don't think there is anything you can say to someone like that except, smell you later.


    #12119 - 03/19/08 06:47 PM Re: Defensive Homeschoolers? [Re: EandCmom]


    I can certainly empathize with your living in the South dealing with evangelicals. Even in St. Louis when I was a kid, the question was not whether you were a Christian but which church you belonged to. I assume the South is worse. My brother and I were raised attending a Southern Baptist church, but we both declined to ever “go forward,” “accept Christ as Lord and Savior,” be baptized, formally join the church, etc. Needless to say, this caused a bit of a situation.

    That’s a big part of the suffocating feeling I had in the Midwest that caused me to come out to California.

    Even in California, the evangelical homeschoolers have their own homeschool association which you can only join if you sign some sort of pledge attesting that you have been saved by Jesus. This is kind of sad, because, when I have talked with a number of them as individuals, they are decent enough people and it would be nice to share information with them. There is, after all, no such thing as “Christian mathematics” separate from “secular” mathematics!

    In fact, people have sometimes assumed that we’re fundamentalists since we do homeschool, we don’t happen to drink alcohol, and we expect our kids to try to behave themselves! I find this pretty amusing.

    Did the other mother explain to you what the “filth” was? I can’t imagine that there is too much in the public schools in the South that is offensive to conservative Christians! Is it possible that she was just alluding to the well-known problems with violence, drugs, etc.? (I know the media exaggerate those problems, but there are some real problems nonetheless.)

    I hope we have all made clear that homeschooling is not a unified, monolithic approach or philosophy at all. Indeed, there is a lot more variety than you see among the homeschoolers here on this board, since we would not be here unless we already shared certain perspectives. I think, for example, that my and Kriston’s approach is actually very similar (although she worries more than I do, and I am trying to encourage her to be more positive and cheerful about her homeschooling and not to feel defensive).

    When I get frustrated dealing with evangelicals, I do try to remind myself that some of the greatest fighters for personal liberty in American history (e.g., Roger Williams, Anne Hutchinson, many of the abolitionists) were evangelicals, and that, by questioning the established structures of social authority, the evangelicals are actually helping to loosen the bonds of social control, even if they intend nothing of the sort.

    And, personally, I find most evangelicals to be rather nice people – maybe that’s just my effervescent optimism, again. What’s your experience of evangelicals in the South in general? If you factor out the effects of their eccentric religious beliefs, are they generally nice people?

    All the best,


    #12120 - 03/19/08 06:57 PM Re: Defensive Homeschoolers? [Re: Kriston]


    I thought it was pretty clear that I was just being a little lighthearted. You've, accurately I think, described yourself as being more defensive than I am about homeschooling, and I think everyone, including you, would agree that there is really nothing that you are doing wrong that you should need to feel defensive about. You're just bothered that some silly people may not approve of what you are doing, even though you yourself think you are doing the right thing.

    Well, you are doing the right thing, so you really should not worry, and you really should just be happy. If you were worrying about some serious disease or something, I would not say that. And I do realize that you may continue to be a bit defensive, even though I suggest you needn't be.

    But I'm really on your side, Kriston. I seem just to be worrying less than you and to be a bit more optimistic than you are. We have similar values and are pursuing similar approaches with our kids.

    So, I really do hope you won't worry too much, and I really do hope you will be happy. I hope that for everyone here, and, indeed, for most human beings. Is that really being condescending?

    All the best,


    #12121 - 03/19/08 06:59 PM Re: Defensive Homeschoolers? [Re: ]
    EandCmom Offline

    Registered: 11/09/07
    Posts: 516
    LOL Dave! I am a Christian myself so I probably have some of the "eccentric religious beliefs" you mentioned.

    My problem is not with the HSers religious beliefs but with the extremes to which some people take them - such as keeping their kids separate from others. And they are just people like everyone else - most are very nice but of course some are nicer than others! smile

    The other mother did not explain the "filth" and I did not ask! I was really too shocked to say much at all to be honest. And we do have the usual well known problems in our schools of course, so maybe that is what she was alluding to.

    I definitely don't have a negative view of HSing in general anymore since I have met such wonderful HSers here!

    #12124 - 03/19/08 08:53 PM Re: Defensive Homeschoolers? [Re: EandCmom]


    Let’s be honest – we *all* have eccentric religious beliefs! No one really knows the ultimate nature of reality, the full role of consciousness in the universe (the role of “spirit,” if you will), etc. We’re all like the blind men and the elephant.

    As a physicist, I am particularly amused when someone declares that science has proved that there is nothing except matter in motion and that our sense of our own consciousness is just an illusion. (Incidentally, you don’t hear that from top-notch scientists very often – actually knowing science tends to induce a bit more humility.)

    I am always a bit surprised by people who are so sure on matters having to do with religion, when it is so difficult to know the whole truth. But one of the nice things about being a “humanist” (I’m not thrilled with the label, but I think you’ll understand my point) is that, even if the “true believers” want to exclude me, I certainly do not wish to exclude them. As Terence said, “Homo sum: humani nil a me alienum puto” (I am a human: nothing human is alien to me).

    Whatever your religious beliefs, if you’re with me on that, we’re on the same side.

    One of the reasons we’re homeschooling is that I want my kids to internalize that perspective. Yes, we are Californians, and Americans, and participants in Western civilization. But we are also heirs to the achievements and insights of Chinese, Islamic, Indian, etc. civilizations. And while we are not Christian believers, the great cultural achievements of Christianity – Bach’s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” Aquinas’ philosophy, Chartres Cathedral, etc. – belong to us also, simply because we also are human beings.

    All the best,


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