Well� as much it seems somehow to offend you, I still give you my well wishes.

You started this thread by specifically quoting some comments from me from another thread and offering your own take on my previous comments. In some cases you misrepresented what I had said or misrepresented my views.

For example, I said:
>I would rather they [my kids] be a bit blind to all of those little social cues and pressures that cause most people to fall in line with the �group,� whether what the group is doing is good or not.

You responded:
>But unlike Dave, I don't want my kids to be blind to social cues.

�A bit blind� is not quite the same thing as just plain �blind.�

And later you said of me that I
> completely buy the whole HSing philosophy
even though you and I both know that there is no single �Hsing philosophy� to buy into, but rather a large number of competing homeschooling philosophies (and, indeed, your and my homeschooling philosophies seem to be awfully close � I like how you are handling homeschooling, Kriston, and I think I could probably learn some things from you).

I do not think for a minute that these misrepresentations of my views were malicious or intentional on your part: as everyone knows, this is simply what happens when intelligent people have a serious discussion. They sometimes misunderstand or misrepresent each others� positions or views, quite unintentionally.

But the fact that you opened this thread by commenting upon my own earlier statements from another thread, and that you did mis-state my views, did clearly give me an obligation to reply to your posts and express my actual views. And, of course, since the subject you chose for this thread was your own feelings of defensiveness about your homeschooling, that inevitably meant that I would be commenting on that issue of your defensiveness.

And my considered opinion is that you need not feel defensive, that you seem to be doing a great job homeschooling and have nothing to feel defensive about, and that therefore you really should not worry and should be happy.

It is very sad, and slightly bemusing, that my conclusion offends you, but you chose this topic for this thread, you directly brought me into the thread in your opening post, and I am just expressing my honest opinion on the subject you chose to discuss.

And, Kriston, I am saying nice things about you and sincerely wishing you well.

If you are offended by that, I do not think this is a problem I can solve.

These exchanges between you and me have, though, brilliantly illustrated my original point.

I initially claimed that the process of going through traditional schools tends to make people overly, and unnecessarily, sensitive to other people�s opinions and creates fear of other people's disapproving of them, even if there is no basis for anyone to rationally or legitimately disapprove of them.

I take it that you yourself were educated in more or less traditional schools.

And, you have now gone on at great length about how you do indeed feel precisely the sorts of defensiveness and anxiety about others� disapproving of you that I initially described. And, curiously, when I have tried to reassure you that all thoughtful people should be able to see that you are a fine person doing a great job of homeschooling, that has only made you angry.

This really is exactly what I was talking about in my initial comments many posts ago. I would like my girls to grow up not feeling this sort of anxiety and, as you put it, �defensivesness� about possible disapproval from other human beings. There is always the possibility that some silly busybodies may disapprove of what one does, no matter what one does. It is just emotionally paralyzing to be anxious and defensive about that throughout one�s life.

Of course, if someone comes up with rational reasons to criticize our actions or attitudes, we should take them seriously. But, you have not suggested that anyone has offered any reasoned criticism of your homeschooling � as I keep saying, you seem to be doing a great job.

So, I continue to maintain that a reason of key importance for homeschooling is to help raise our kids so that they do not become so sensitive to possible disapproval from others that they are defensive about such disapproval, even though the disapproval has no rational foundation at all.

I think this is especially important for �gifted� kids, who, as we all know, may face multiple experiences of disapproval throughout their lives, disapproval that is based on ignorance or envy. I think we need to do what we can to raise our kids so that they are bothered as little as possible by feeling anxiety or �defensiveness� towards such ignorant and ill-considered disapproval.

You�ve helped me illustrate my point very nicely, and your and my exchange has helped me understand better the whole issue.

Again, though it may offend you, you have my best wishes, I am not being condescending in hoping that you do not worry unduly and that you are happy, and I look forward to learning more from exchanges with your in the future.

Kriston, I really am on your side.

Most sincerely,