Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Homeschoolers - Winning The Diversity Bee Too!



Yeah, they mispelled *Virginia* at a spelling bee....I get it.

Moving on....

Recently I appended myself and kids to an advertised *homeschooler* hike.

It's always somewhat awkward to crash a new social group - even one with a clear open invitation. One just never knows what to expect.

Again, my kids are small so I am limited to stroller-friendly paths. Most of the group took steep trails while me and the Prince (age 4.6) and Princess (age 3.0) took the 2.4 mile *leisurely* route with just one other parent and her daughter.

As much as I thought I was *crashing*, this woman totally one-upped me. She lives in Canada; is in Boston for the summer; and just found out about the hike from Google or something. Now how's that for an intrepid act of homeschooler *socialization*?

Would you do such a thing? Most of the *highly socialized* people I know won't go into a local bar by themselves. I've seen plenty of my peers wait in the car until the precise moment their jabronis show up - lest they have to be seen alone for 10 minutes at the bar!

Though she spoke only a little English, by the end of the hike I learned that she was a raging vegetarian, and a staunch *environmentalist*. Just my kind of gal!

I also met another woman, a real crunchy type, who used the term *conservative* quite a bit; let's just say, it wasn't exactly a *term of endearment*! (That was an Oscar-winning film from 1983.) Point of fact, this woman told me that *lawyers are conservative*. I only wasted a second or two trying to decipher that one!

Another mom there had their child wearing a shirt with a quote from Corinthians on it.

And still another drove a very large car with a prominent *Ron Paul for President* sticker on it.

If this group didn't represent real, ideological *diversity* then I don't know what would!



I talked to a bunch of the older kids. I asked one young man what he was studying; what he was good at. He said he didn't know what he was good at because he *was homeschooled*.

Now I knew full well that he was homeschooled - all the kids there were - and I pointed that out.

I pressed the 11 year old to list his favorite subjects. He said he didn't have subjects; that he *was homeschooled*.

"I know...", I reiterated.

He said he'd guess his favorites are math, science, and history.

"What history have you studied? Have you done any world history like the Roman Empire?"

To which I got more shrugs and sighs. This little dude was losing his patience with me.

He snapped, "I'M HOMESCHOOLED....I just read a bunch of books with random facts."

Hah! Take that C-Nut!

Now I knew what he meant, eventually anyway. Many homeschoolers reject the conventional teaching of history. They deprecate dividing history into periods of time or geography. Of course it's most certainly wrong to, right off the bat, tell students about the broader themes of eras and civilizations. They should gather their own data until the events, people, and ideas of the past coalesce in their own minds. I've even heard of some who advocate learning history by strictly reading biographies.

Have to end this post here. I just thought some of y'all would find that last anecdote humorous. Heck, it took Taylor probably 100 attempts to smack me down that good!

8 comments:

TAYLOR said...

C,

So are you admitting I HAVE smacked you down that good (at least once) before?

Rider said...

As you increase your exposure to homeschoolers, I think you'll find them to be a very interesting group of people, most highly opinionated and more than a few a little flaky. Obviously this is a self-selecting population. Anyone with the confidence, dedication, ability and resources to homeschool is probably not a dullard.

Until recently my kids were in a charter school whose curriculum was a classical liberal arts education (including Latin starting in third grade!). The school attracted a large number of former homeschoolers. I've always assumed political and philosophical leanings at your average neighborhood school were normally distributed. That was decidedly not the case at this school, with poles on the left and right and relatively few in the middle. The result constant turmoil, including divisive board and PTO decisions, parental overinvolvement, and the resignations of two pricinpals and a curriculum director within three years.

west coast killer p beater said...

I don't remember if I've mentioned this already but I recently found out that the singer, John Legend was home schooled...and before you start clowning him, I'll let you know he went to the better of the 2 *killer P's*.

CaptiousNut said...

Taylor,

Yes. I reckon you once or twice hit me with the force of an 11 year old (girl)!

Rider,

Thanks for the interesting comment. Though about means, I feel like some of the homeschoolers I've met aren't well off at all. One I just crossed paths with doesn't even own a car!

Admittedly I don't know much about charter schools. Though I'd bet that, to me, they'd seem as a mere *tinkering* within a failed system. Twenty-five years ago I was sent to the tinkering du jour. I was sent to a *magnet school* that looked great compared to my former, untracked neighborhood grammar school.

I've probably only talked with about 15 homeschooling parents thus far as I am new to the local group. Put it this way, they all have a good story to tell. This isn't a *boring* group of people by any stretch!

West Coast Cryptic,

Killer P's?

You talking about UPenn or something?

I've never heard of this John Legend.

west coast tom. said...

He's a fairly popular singer that went to Princeton. He's a got a hit single all over the radio out here...in SUNNY SoCal.

TAYLOR said...

WCT,

True, it is soooooooooooooooo sunny out here. Absolutely perfect weather, to be honest!

I actually just started growing some small vegetables-- tomato plant and herbs. The directions had a stern warning to wait until the threat of frost had passed before planting outside.

I chuckled at the realization that I could've planted in the middle of winter, if I would've liked to.

CaptiousNut said...

Taylor,

I applaud your *green* living!

Thanks so much for offsetting the global impact of my flown-in produce!

TAYLOR said...

C,

Sorry, not so fast.

Realizing I was about to strike a win for the greens, I grabbed my dad's 1957 Chevy Bel Air and parked it in the driveway and left it idling for days.

So, I think I managed to not only not offset myself, but negatively externalize myself as well. Take that, envirowackos!