Mail Bag Flame

Posted by Annie on Dec 12, 2007 in Uncategorized |

Clueless in New Jersey

Clueless in New Jersey

I opened my e-mail today and about fell off my chair. You can imagine my surprise, to find this e-mail waiting for me. I have posted it exactly as I received it.

The web site you have for hme schooling is the most ridiculous thing I ahve ever
read in my life. You have a comment in there that says home schooling cirriculum is good because the student can choose the reading material that suits his interest. Ok now you tell me what kind of intelligent decision a 5-11 year old can make on what he or she should be reading. Thats is why there is cirriculum in school.

It also states that the student has the ability to study and learn when they are well rested. How about a home schooled student whos parent is so lazy that she sleeps all day and makes the kid do schoolwork at 9 and 10 at night? Home schooling is not the right choice. Children need to be around other children and expanding their horizons without the constant hovering of the parents.

This is a bogus web site and anyone who falls into this is an idiot.

~Joan Collins

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  • Milander says:

    There will always be people who cannot see past their own nose. Don’t let them get to you and where ever possible just don’t bother to reply.I’ve heard that people like that, who try to stir others up in on-line forums, are know as Trolls. An appropriate description I think.

  • Anonymous says:

    Notes and questions….Kids can and do teach themselves to read at and before age 4. Not all. But some do it even earlier (I saw one who had taught himself to read at age 2.5), and not all of them are even homeschooled. Imagine!Selecting their own quality books (from a group of books made available by parent or teacher) happens all the time too, regardless of whether or not the child attends public school. There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s even a highly touted parenting strategy: give the child a choice between acceptable options. As for “ciriculum,” has anyone looked at the school textbooks lately? Almost any reading material willingly selected by a child from the public library would be at least as good as (or even far superior to) what children his age are being forced to read at school. Is his study hour better spent with eyes glazed over, staring at the page of a textbook, or eagerly devouring a stack of library books?The idea that there does not exist on this planet one single individual qualified to homeschool his or her own child sounds a bit bizarre. What about people who routinely teach 30 or more at a time in the public school setting? Would those same teachers’ lessons, taught to their own children in their own home, be considered narrow-minded indoctrination? Is this person saying that all parents (including herself) are narrow-minded and that whatever they say to their own children should be considered indoctrination?Is school really the only place a child can meet and play with others?Is forcing kids into daily mass unsupervised association really the optimal strategy for teaching social skills?For many kids, the actual learning takes place at home, regardless of whether or not they attend public school.Do we really need to spend our time lambasting others for their parenting decisions (whether or not to homeschool is a parenting decision) rather than spending it on our kids? 😉 Parenting is a huge responsibility and parents always have plenty of challenges without being attacked by others from the outside. Let’s stand together; all of us are parents, regardless of the choices we make, and all of us want the best for our kids.Parents, kudos! for all that you undergo daily for the sake of your kids. And… keep up the good work! I look forward to seeing how these young ones turn out. :)Also, obviously Annette and her husband spend a lot of time, effort, and energy on making sure that their child’s needs are met. Seriously, that would be obvious to anyone looking at the website (as opposed to just reading one page). ~MWC

  • Melody says:

    I think it’s important to read between the lines here.Most likely Joan is feeling regretful and/or inadequate about her own life choices. Instead of dealing with her feelings she is lashing out at others. People often fear what they don’t understand so homeschooling is an easy target, but as long as we homeschoolers are confindent in our choice there is no need to feel anything other than empathy and sadness for someone like Joan.I hope Joan will find true joy & peace in her heart someday then perhaps she’ll learn to love and appreciate the diversity in our world rather than fearing and attacking other viewpoints. Peace and love to all.

  • Shawn K. Hall says:

    Bravo, Beth.

  • Beth says:

    Annette, I think I understand the “almost fell out of my chair” feeling you have. I have been shaking my head and trying to figure out where to start with commenting on this…. well, idiotic piece of … oh, I can’t say it! Perhaps a bit of sarcasm (look it up, “Joan”):My 12 year old has been choosing her own reading for quite some time now. Actually, ever since she learned to read, she’s been choosing her own materials, with an occasional recommendation from me, our librarian, other friends, family, and websites. Imagine that! What is this world coming to, where mere children can read what they chose! I suppose next she’ll be following her own interests to learn more about horses, and *gasp* reading cookbooks and trying out recipes that sound good to her! Help! My daughter is in severe danger! I must save her from herself and enroll her in school right away. Clearly, this child needs squelching, and your heads-up comes not a moment too soon.Everyone knows that real learning can only occur between the hours of 8:25 and 3:05, Monday through Friday (and NEVER on weekends, holidays, teacher in-service days, and certainly not in the summertime). Why, she might get “ahead” and then where would we be?Yikes, she is heading towards the bathroom now: I wonder if I should make her wait until recess, or at least issue her a pass. Well, I’d write more, but it looks like I better go and confiscate all the history of ballet and veterinary science books she’s currently absorbed in. What was I thinking, letting her CHOOSE, for crying out loud, what she could read? Thank you, dear Joan Collins (sure that wasn’t Crawford??) for setting me on the right path. I will enroll her in the local school immediately, before she can learn anything else that she might actually be interested in. Oh, and by the way, you know when you type words and those pretty little dotted red lines show up underneath them? Well, get this: they aren’t Christmas lights or fancy, automatically-added underlined emphasis, it means you spelled the word wrong, you idiot!Blessings on us all, especially the dull and ignorant.~Beth

  • Annette M. Hall says:

    Dear Melissa,Thank you for your kind words. They mean a great deal to me. I’m not sure why I let this one letter get to me. I suppose it could be that it took me completely off guard. In my own mind homeschooling has come so far that it’s really hard for me to believe anyone but a school official could write such nonsense.Thanks again for your kind words.As always, Happy Homeschooling!

  • Melissa Z. says:

    I’m sad to see that Joan is so unhappy in her life that she feels the need to share her anger (and her ignorance) with the world. Annette, your tree is abundant with fruit. You have been (and are) an incredible asset to the homeschooling community. Please don’t waste your precious energy engaging with morons such as Joan. She (and others like her) truly aren’t worth the energy you give them. Blessings, MZ

  • Anonymous says:

    Homeschooling isn’t for everyone, that is true. There are people that should definitely not attempt it, their children are much better off in public school or in a public type setting. By the same token, public school is also not for everyone. Thankfully we live in a country that still allows us choices. That’s what this really boils down to, freedom of choice. When people in this country complain or take a stand against the choice that someone else has made, that is considered freedom of speech and is also, thankfully, still allowed in this country. When people call for government intervention, that’s a different matter. Remember, whatever government solution or resolution you deem necessary for my child, affects your child and all our children. The more control you demand for my child will also be controlling yours. We all must live and abide by the same laws. Do you really want more government restrictions and laws, especially concerning our children? Maybe you have more faith in our politicians than I do. Maybe you don’t mind living under a government nanny, or worse, Big Brother. That’s not what I want for this country or my children. That is not what this country was founded upon or what people have fought for and died for. I have nothing against public school, per se. Public school does have a lot of problems that may or may not be fixable. I think people that utilize the public system or defend it need to realize this and understand how these problems affect their children.Homeschooling isn’t perfect either. It is not the absolute answer to public school problems. It’s an option. And it’s a trade off. People who have researched, done their homework and made a conscience choice to homeschool know this. You have to decide which benefits and sacrifices of each option will best suite your family and situation. As a homeschooler, at least I can say I made the choice. I believe most people who use public school do not see it as a choice. They believe it is a compulsory, established institution that we must all abide by. Like the IRS—another debate altogether.Putting their kids in school is an automatic knee-jerk reaction, instead of a conscience decision. And that’s how they get through much of the rest of their lives. Like zombies, following the mainstream and sticking to the path of least resistance. What kind of a mentality is this? Is this any way to live? Is this what people want? For everyone to keep step with this sort of mindless, apathetic existence? No thanks, I’ll pass.

  • Annette M. Hall says:

    Well if it isn’t the pot calling the kettle black. Yes, I admit I was in a tad bit of hurry in my response and missed the “d” in “educated,” in my first sentence. I’m guilty. But did you actually read what you wrote? OMGI only wish I was homeschooled then I wouldn’t have wasted so much time reviewing material from the previous school year and might have actually learned something useful. I quit school in the 9th grade. I did however, earn straight A’s in college.I really don’t appreciate being called a liar. My son and many others for that matter have taught themselves to read at four or even younger. According to John Taylor Gatto, any child can be taught to read in 100 hours. I can’t comprehend what the schools find so difficult.Go, ahead turn me into the authorities because we homeschool when-ever and where-ever we choose. Because life is learning. Since my husband and I work from home, we keep our own hours. We work when we want, sleep when we want and yes, even homeschool whenever we want.I’ll give you the prize for the day though. You are one of the most closed minded individuals I’ve ever met.

  • Anonymous says:

    First of all I would like to say I can see you were home schooled because you don’t know how to spell and use correct grammar. The people who home school their children are lazy. They feel the need to teach their children at their convenience and not allow the social stimulation needed for children to grow and become productive ,independent adults.I have spent 26 years with my children who all went to public schools and are well adjusted adults. And vry well educated and have great jobs. Unlike the home schooled children I know that are sheltered and brain washed by their parent. Yes parent.I highly doubt a 4 year old can teach himself to read. A four year old doesn’t have the concept of teaching himself how to read. I am not ignorant to home schooling. Home schooling is ignorant. And the people that home school their children at 9 and 10 at night should be turned in to the authorities. Laziness that is all it is. Or being afraid that your child will have to be independent and on his own for a couple of hours out of the grasp of the overbearing obsessive parents. Your email is on an elementary level and it means nothing to me coming form an idiot who doesn’t allow their children to be in the real world. Read in your email below that I might want to take the time to “education” myself. You really should take the time to educate yourself in spelling. Yes you were home schooled. It shows.~Joan

  • Annette M. Hall says:

    Gee Joan, why don’t you tell us how you really feel? I think parents who send their children to public schools to be educate by complete strangers are idiots, not to mention too lazy to take responsibility for their own children.Obviously, you’ve never spent much time with your own children, if you think they are too stupid to know what their own interests are. My own son taught himself to read at the age of four – on his own. I simply interacted with him and provided plenty of educational stimulation.Before you continue to spout of and show your complete ignorance of the history of American Education, you might want to take the time to education yourself on the subject.John Taylor Gatto, was named New York City Teacher of the Year on three occasions. He wrote the book, The Underground History of American Education. Gatto takes you through, step-by-step. In his book you will discover that our school system was built because it’s cheaper to build schools than it is to build prisons.The Underground History of American EducationI know that the book was not written on an elementary level, so if you find the material too difficult, at least try to make it through the preface of the book. It’s worth your time.~Annette M. Hall

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