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"I've been homeschooling since BIRTH!" and other things that make you cringe


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Context is important. I wouldn't blink if someone said something like, "At first I worried about whether I'd be able to teach my kids, but then I looked back and realized all the important things I had taught them already - I'd been homeschooling since birth." That comes off quite a bit differently than, "Well, I've been homeschooling MY kids since BIRTH, and let me tell you..."

 

In general, I put "homeschooling since birth" in the same category as, "I'm a SAHM, so that means I'm a cook, a psychologist, a nurse, a teacher, a chauffeur, an interior decorator, and a chief financial officer." :001_rolleyes: Look, I respect what you do and I agree that it has value, but you sound silly when you try to professionalize it like that.

:iagree: wholeheartedly.

My question is, if your next-door neighbor works 30 hours a week and puts her kids in daycare during that time, but after work and on weekends she also does all these things that you mention, do you think of her as a homeschooler? Somehow I'm guessing not.

 

Most parents who are middle class and up do these activities with their tiny children. They read to them, point out animals in books, go outside and explore, talk about the weather, go to the zoo, count with them, get them educational toys and videos, do puzzles with them, teach them their letters. Read Parents magazine. They're not marketing that magazine to homeschoolers; those activities are just part of the definition of "good parenting."

:iagree::iagree:

I couldn't have said it better!

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Oh, thanks for the tip!

 

I just emailed my daughter to give her the skinny on how to home school chickens. It's true you know, they (chickens) can do math by the age of 3 days and without formal instruction.

 

These would be unschooling chickens technically I think.

 

I wonder what breed is best for this? Perhaps I should order a special one from the island of Singapore?:lol:

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2009/apr/01/chicks-mathematics-arithmetic-sums

 

I suppose I could order some genetic material later this afternoon and have them flash frozen or however you do that...

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Here's my thought -

Don't MOST parents do the basic stuff with their young children? As in, teaching them the basic stuff before they start school? They read aloud to them, sometimes a lot. They teach things - Letters, alphabet, counting, colors, shapes, etc, etc... so to me, it is more of a parenting thing. Not a 'home schooling since birth' thing.

I don't care if people say it, but I'm thinking, like what did you do to homeschool them that young? :D

 

Not the ones that I've met. Most of the parents I know have their kids in daycare until dinner, let them spend the evening in front of the tv, and then put them to bed as early as possible. The daycare might do some of that stuff, but then it definitely wouldn't be hsing.

 

I've even met a couple of sahms who had their (only) children in full-time day care so they could "get something done during the day."

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After reading the whole thread, I can't recall all the different points I wanted to address, and I'm not going back to do so. But, here's my attempt.

 

I've never offered unsolicited homeschooling advice to parents of children older than mine, and certainly not with the announcement that I've homeschooled from birth or for the number of years that my oldest is in age. But, I don't generally offer unsolicited advice. If someone asks me how long I've been homeschooling, my answer is usually a questioning smile and shrug and "I guess since birth?" I've had parents of older children ask my advice and I say I've not been there, but I've read about it and discussed it with others, and I'll tell them what I know.

 

So, yes, I say it. I don't find it any different than saying "from the start," or "we always did." It's just a way to say that my children never went to any B&M school, and that for us, "homeschooling" is a way of life. It's a part of who we are as a family. I don't take my cues from the government as to what constitutes a good education or when that should take place, so I don't see why I should only say that I'm educating my children at the point that the government says I legally have to. Will I no longer be homeschooling him on his seventeenth birthday, because he can legally be done in my state then?

 

I think some of you are sadly misinformed about the quality of parenting of the vast majority of Americans if you think that the kinds of things preschool homeschoolers do are just what parents do. Yes, they SHOULD be what parents do, but they're not. But, then, I consider what we do (and will do) to be a part of parenting, not some extra task I'm taking on. It's been labeled homeschooling by the public, so that's the term I must embrace if I expect others to "get" what we do.

 

As others have stated, the norm here is for children to be sent away as soon as preschools take them. It's unfashionable to send your child to "daycare," so that means when the PRESCHOOL label kicks in at age two, over 50% of middle/upper class children here are sent to one. By age four, it's well over 90%. And no, those who choose not to send their child to preschool are not all "homeschooling." A conversation overheard between two moms in one of our (middle class) playgroups made this painfully obvious. Mom A was asking Mom B if she had any problems from not sending her oldest to PK. Mom B told her that she was behind in some things but that it all evens out by the end of the year, but, she said, there were some things that you should make sure they know. For instance, the teacher gave her a hard time because her daughter didn't know which side of a book was front/back, where to start, etc. Mom B was a VERY involved, loving parent, but in her opinion, academics (including reading books apparently) are for school.

 

And what if someone doesn't send their child to PK and instead works with them at home, but then send them to K? Did they homeschool? In my book, yes. The same way that someone who pulled their child in second grade but then sent them back in fourth grade homeschooled. Anyone who takes on the sole responsibility of their child's education in this day and age is homeschooling in my book. I don't really care what other people call it or if they're annoyed by it.

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Not the ones that I've met. Most of the parents I know have their kids in daycare until dinner, let them spend the evening in front of the tv, and then put them to bed as early as possible. The daycare might do some of that stuff, but then it definitely wouldn't be hsing.

 

I've even met a couple of sahms who had their (only) children in full-time day care so they could "get something done during the day."

 

The only people I know whose children even have a bookcase or even a bookshelf in their bedroom are home schoolers.

 

And I have had people say they need to put their 2-4 year old in preschool so the child can learn their colors and shapes and such. And often the kid is already in daycare.:001_huh:

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The only people I know whose children even have a bookcase or even a bookshelf in their bedroom are home schoolers.

 

And I have had people say they need to put their 2-4 year old in preschool so the child can learn their colors and shapes and such. And often the kid is already in daycare.:001_huh:

 

That is so strange and so out of the norm for where I live now or where I grew up. :confused:

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That is so strange and so out of the norm for where I live now or where I grew up. :confused:

 

And it has nothing to do with money either, tho that is often assumed. I actually met one mom that said buying books for her children to own was a waste of money. (It took everything I had not to gasp aloud at her blasphemy.:) )

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And it has nothing to do with money either, tho that is often assumed. I actually met one mom that said buying books for her children to own was a waste of money. (It took everything I had not to gasp aloud at her blasphemy.:) )

 

She meant because they were at the library every week and always had so many books checked out there was no need to go buy a bunch, right? (not that I think owning children's books is a waste, but surely she didn't mean they didn't need books at all, right?)

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She meant because they were at the library every week and always had so many books checked out there was no need to go buy a bunch, right? (not that I think owning children's books is a waste, but surely she didn't mean they didn't need books at all, right?)

 

:lol: I'm fairly sure that your hair should start turning white right about now because I would bet that she meant that books were for school, not home and that they didn't need books.

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That is so strange and so out of the norm for where I live now or where I grew up. :confused:

 

Same here. Everywhere I've lived, and all of the ps families I know, regardless of income, put an emphasis on education and family and quality time with kids.

 

Although I'm not sure how I'd run into many families who don't take their kids out and about, or who just plop them in front of the tv, much less know the state of their after-dinner activities or their bookshelves because I'm always out and about doing family and kid activities, meeting the folks who are out and about doing family and kid activities.

 

Cat

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And it has nothing to do with money either, tho that is often assumed. I actually met one mom that said buying books for her children to own was a waste of money. (It took everything I had not to gasp aloud at her blasphemy.:) )

 

I was at the Dollar Tree and heard a woman ask a girl if she wanted the book she was holding up. The girl replied "I already have a book, what do I need another one for?" except with worse grammar.

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Isn't there a distinction though? I mean, I am one of those that says I've been homeschooling since birth, because I knew I wanted to homeschool since before my kids were born. What that means to me is: the kids have never attended an out-of-house preschool and the kids have never been in public school. Since "school" in my neck of the woods starts at 2 1/2 (which is when the preschools start calling) I don't think it's beefing up my resume to say I've been homeschooling since birth. It's saying that I've taken responsibility for my kids education since they were born.

 

How do you all take it since you find it so offensive?

 

Well, isn't that just called parenting?

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I just don't consider teaching a child to use the potty or manners or how to tie his/her shoe, or even the alphabet, etc. "homeschooling". It's parenting. (Not to bring up that recent thread!) There isn't some line drawn in the sand or anything, but there is a difference in there. No one's going to tell you to stop, so if you need to say it for your own self-confidence just continue ignoring the questioning looks over the fuzzy math or the chuckling! LOL

 

And I *do* think it has something to do with the typical, rabid competition among women, along the lines of those who know down to the minute how long their labor was for every child so that they can compare who suffered longest in giving birth.

 

 

YES! Where's the bowing at your feet smiley??

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Now I just feel sad.

 

I know my SIL doesn't buy books because she hates the clutter, but she does keep some good ones around for her DC and takes them to the library often, I buy them good books which stay in the kids rooms. She's a good mum, but doesn't understand my love of books as wallpaper! I say insulation, she says fire hazard, potato/potato! (hmm, that saying doesn't work as well in print...:D)

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Well, isn't that just called parenting?

 

As someone else pointed out (sorry, I can't remember if it was in this thread or a related one!), it might be better called involved parenting or something else of that nature because it is not what a good many people do as part of parenting. I think the point that some of us are making is that homeschooling is also parenting for us - a super involved manifestation of parenting, but an extension of our parenting nonetheless. So when we are asked to draw a distinction between when we started to homeschool our kids vs. when we were not, we have a hard time doing so. So we take the "easy" way out (causing some to roll their eyes at us) by saying that we've been doing it since birth.

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Ok, I think I understand now. The attitude & volunteering of the information is what is offensive. However, if I understand correctly, if you met a mom at a homeschool event & were making small-talk and asked her "So, how long have you been homeschooling" and she responded "since birth" and had children older than 5, that wouldn't be offensive?

 

 

I think annoy is to strong a word, more like chuckle worthy/eyeroll worthy.

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Same here. Everywhere I've lived, and all of the ps families I know, regardless of income, put an emphasis on education and family and quality time with kids.

 

Although I'm not sure how I'd run into many families who don't take their kids out and about, or who just plop them in front of the tv, much less know the state of their after-dinner activities or their bookshelves because I'm always out and about doing family and kid activities, meeting the folks who are out and about doing family and kid activities.

 

Cat

 

:iagree: and you make a good point. I've met quite a few like-minded, involved school parents at the library, 4-H activities, school activities, and community events, but I don't have much opportunity to meet or go to the homes of the ones who aren't involved and don't care.

Edited by WordGirl
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As someone else pointed out (sorry, I can't remember if it was in this thread or a related one!), it might be better called involved parenting or something else of that nature because it is not what a good many people do as part of parenting. I think the point that some of us are making is that homeschooling is also parenting for us - a super involved manifestation of parenting, but an extension of our parenting nonetheless. So when we are asked to draw a distinction between when we started to homeschool our kids vs. when we were not, we have a hard time doing so. So we take the "easy" way out (causing some to roll their eyes at us) by saying that we've been doing it since birth.

 

 

I know a lot of moms/parents that are like this with their kids that then sent them to PS. So I guess they could say they homeschooled until 5 then they sent them to public school.

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Despite the enthusiasm for home education that many have from before or shortly after their children were born, I still think that phrase carries with it a certain sense of one-upmanship. No matter if I have been reading to my kids since birth or playing learning games or working on handwriting with the toddlers -- if I say I have been "homeschooling since K" and the next mom says "since birth"-- it comes off as mommy wars. Do I know folks who have worked with their kids learning since birth-replacing years of preschool, pre-K, etc? Of course I do and I don't say this to denigrate all the hard work they have done with their kids-what they have done is amazing. I just think that too often the phrase "homeschooled since birth" is just too loaded.

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She meant because they were at the library every week and always had so many books checked out there was no need to go buy a bunch, right? (not that I think owning children's books is a waste, but surely she didn't mean they didn't need books at all, right?)

 

No. She didn't even have a library card.

 

To her, children books are just cute silly books that don't hold a child's attention.

 

When I suggested that every child should have a library card, she said it wasn't worth the drive. I pointed out that there are 3 nice libraries within 6 miles of where we were. She shrugged and said, "We're just not that into reading."

 

But if you asked her if her child's education was important to her, I'm certain she would have said absolutely. But that owning books doesn't matter.

 

I know. I don't comprehend that either. But there are LOTS of people who feel that way. In fact, I don't doubt for a second they are the majority.

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No. She didn't even have a library card.

 

To her, children books are just cute silly books that don't hold a child's attention.

 

When I suggested that every child should have a library card, she said it wasn't worth the drive. I pointed out that there are 3 nice libraries within 6 miles of where we were. She shrugged and said, "We're just not that into reading."

 

But if you asked her if her child's education was important to her, I'm certain she would have said absolutely. But that owning books doesn't matter.

 

I know. I don't comprehend that either. But there are LOTS of people who feel that way. In fact, I don't doubt for a second they are the majority.

 

I'm sure my family (and some of our friends/family...as well as some other board members) are holding up the average for those folks. :D

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Around here if someone said they homeschooled since birth, I would simply assume they meant they were of the unschooling philosophy. And I do hear it periodically, by unschoolers. No big deal to me and I agree with them generally. I wouldn't put it that way, but the phrase does indeed mesh with their schooling philosophy.

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Around here if someone said they homeschooled since birth, I would simply assume they meant they were of the unschooling philosophy. And I do hear it periodically, by unschoolers. No big deal to me and I agree with them generally. I wouldn't put it that way, but the phrase does indeed mesh with their schooling philosophy.

 

That's true and I don't think it's meant in a competitive I've-been-homeschooling-longer way at all. It's more of a way to say that nothing really changed just because their child reached kindergarten age.

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Those who disagree with "since birth" how do you feel about "since 2" or "since 3" or another very young age? Or alternately "since preschool" I guess.

 

Is it just the implied longer-than-thou attitude that's the issue?

 

Since no one seems to be actually talking to people long enough to find out what is behind their description, I don't see how modifying it to "since preschool" would make them any less judgmental.

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No. She didn't even have a library card.

 

To her, children books are just cute silly books that don't hold a child's attention.

 

When I suggested that every child should have a library card, she said it wasn't worth the drive. I pointed out that there are 3 nice libraries within 6 miles of where we were. She shrugged and said, "We're just not that into reading."

 

But if you asked her if her child's education was important to her, I'm certain she would have said absolutely. But that owning books doesn't matter.

 

I know. I don't comprehend that either. But there are LOTS of people who feel that way. In fact, I don't doubt for a second they are the majority.

 

I really hope not! There are so many wonderful picture books out there, how sad to miss out on almost all of them.

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Those who disagree with "since birth" how do you feel about "since 2" or "since 3" or another very young age? Or alternately "since preschool" I guess.

 

Is it just the implied longer-than-thou attitude that's the issue?

 

Since no one seems to be actually talking to people long enough to find out what is behind their description, I don't see how modifying it to "since preschool" would make them any less judgmental.

 

Most of the times I've heard since birth it was either a case of "longer-than-thou" or to mean that the children were raised from birth in a learning environment with parents actively engaged in the process.

 

Yes, I dislike the "longer-than-thou" implication in such a phrase. I don't, however, dislike the idea of raising children from birth in a learning environment. That is a sign of wonderful, committed parenting, no matter whether the child ultimately receives their education at home or at a school.

 

I take the term homeschooling to be a replacement for attending XYZ School. As such I would define my homeschooling as beginning in K or maybe even Pre K.

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I'm not sure why that statement is so offensive. If you really think about it, you are your child's teacher from the get-go (birth). You teach them, by example, how to smile, how to carry on conversation, that walking is possible, etc. No there's no "set curriculum" of this but some things cannot be learned from a textbook, as we all well know.

 

So, if your child has never been to public/private school, or even if they have, if they have been around you for any length of time since exiting the womb, you have been their teacher and have taught them various things, be it good or bad, or intentionally or unintentionally.

 

So, why is it so offensive to some when others just voice it aloud?

 

It's not offensive--just inaccurate. Teaching your child things like how to use eating utensils and tie their shoes is parenting. It's not homeschooling.

 

Kind of like if a friend teaches me a crochet stitch, or how to peel garlic, she is not homeschooling ME.

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THANK YOU!! I am so glad that someone else feels this way! The articles about "How Much SAHM's Are Worth" drive me bonkers because in NO WAY am I a professional driver, chef, etc. I already know what I do is valuable, I don't need inflated statistics to make me feel better about myself. :tongue_smilie:

 

:iagree:

 

I don't need to attach a dollar value to my time.

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See, for me the "homeschooling from birth" carries a different connotation-that they've actually had planned, structured activities for their child since their child was very little, using something like the "Baby can read" type programs-often high-powered mothers who talked loudly about the educational programs and "homeschooling" they were using in between Kindermusik, Books and Babies, Little Gym, and so on. It always made me feel really uncomfortable when my DD was a toddler, was reading the charts in Kindermusik, when my primary reason why I had her at Kindermusik was because I taught at the music school and therefore DD's class was free-and it gave me 45 minutes where her attention was focused on something other than asking me "What's that say? What's it's name??? How do you X...How many is this???", because the moms who were focused on "homeschooling" their 2 year olds always acted like I was lying when I said I wasn't teaching her to read-that we just played, read books, and, as far as I knew, did normal stuff!

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In the book's Afterschooling section:

 

"Every involved parent is a home educator." (Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise, The Well-Trained Mind)

 

Would people object as much if people said they had been home educating or involved in home education since birth rather than homeschooling?

 

I think it's a lot more accurate when applied to anything that enriches the young mind in ways that could benefit them academically (but stuff like nose blowing and toileting is still parenting. ;))

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I'm confused, I have read (ok skimmed) this whole thread and I don't think anyone has said it is offensive. Just eye roll worthy.

 

Oh, ok. You are probably right.

 

It still wouldn't have occured to me to be an eye-roll worthy statement.

 

I guess I just don't see why anyone else would care enough about how someone else perceives their own life.

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Oh, ok. You are probably right.

 

It still wouldn't have occured to me to be an eye-roll worthy statement.

 

I guess I just don't see why anyone else would care enough about how someone else perceives their own life.

 

 

:lol::lol::lol:

 

Do you honestly have NO opinions on what other people do, EVER? No thought, negative or positive goes through your head?

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This reminds me of neighborhood homeschool picnic I helped with once. Fully half of the attendees had kids who weren't in kindergarten yet. LOL.

 

I guess I do not see what is wrong with the above?

 

This thread reminds me of what happens in the field of nursing, the more experienced nurses have been known to "eat their young" (can't remember the exact phrase).

 

While I have never claimed to homeschool since birth, (and wouldn't even fit the criteria) it is a little disheartening to me, as a "rookie" homeschooler, that people can be so easily annoyed by those with less experience or haven't even begun yet.

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I guess I do not see what is wrong with the above?

 

This thread reminds me of what happens in the field of nursing, the more experienced nurses have been known to "eat their young" (can't remember the exact phrase).

 

While I have never claimed to homeschool since birth, (and wouldn't even fit the criteria) it is a little disheartening to me, as a "rookie" homeschooler, that people can be so easily annoyed by those with less experience or haven't even begun yet.

 

:iagree: I've gotten the impression that now that hsing is catching on with more and more people, the greater masses are seen as trendy interlopers, bothering those who are REAL homeschoolers. Sort of like, "When I started homeschooling my kids, I had to walk ten miles through the snow with no shoes to buy curriculum..."

 

People are more aware of the option of homeschooling now, so it stands to reason that more and more people are planning it from the beginning, which means that more of the intrusive hordes have young children. That, I think, is what really annoys some people.

 

Just my opinion, though.

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:iagree: I've gotten the impression that now that hsing is catching on with more and more people, the greater masses are seen as trendy interlopers, bothering those who are REAL homeschoolers. Sort of like, "When I started homeschooling my kids, I had to walk ten miles through the snow with no shoes to buy curriculum..."

 

People are more aware of the option of homeschooling now, so it stands to reason that more and more people are planning it from the beginning, which means that more of the intrusive hordes have young children. That, I think, is what really annoys some people.

 

Just my opinion, though.

 

Those are great points. Maybe that is why I have heard (more than once) "it's not for everyone" in conversation with local homeschoolers when I was contemplating hs'ing.

 

I guess my perspective is a little different. We abruptly pulled our oldest from ps in November to homeschool. It was certainly something I was not planning on doing at.all. But it was totally necessary, and as it turns out, it has been wonderful for us (for the most part!). I guess I'm still in the honeymoon period. :001_smile:

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I guess I do not see what is wrong with the above?

 

This thread reminds me of what happens in the field of nursing, the more experienced nurses have been known to "eat their young" (can't remember the exact phrase).

 

While I have never claimed to homeschool since birth, (and wouldn't even fit the criteria) it is a little disheartening to me, as a "rookie" homeschooler, that people can be so easily annoyed by those with less experience or haven't even begun yet.

 

Well the only time I've heard it IRL was after spending 10 minutes talking a 7yo down from a 7ft slide that he got to the top of and realized he was scared of heights. I ended up having to climb up and physically aid his descent because he was FREAKING. My 4yo and this other kid about the same age are going up and down this slide while my guy sits at the top and wails. I finally get him down and am trying to get the 12 and 23month olds to settle in the sling and on hip when the other mom nods her head in my older kids direction and says, "Oh, so you homeschool too?" She pats her baby in her sling and continues, "We've been homeschooling ours since birth, and it is so hard to make sure they get everything they need. We do >insert two or three Gymboree style playgroups here< because we want to make sure we end up with normal, well adjusted children."

 

So, yes, I did do an internal eye roll. I was good though, I fought the urge to bless her sweet little pea pickin heart. :tongue_smilie:

 

If someone said it to me in the middle of a sincere conversation, I might not think twice about it. If someone said it in passing I guarantee I'd never even remember. When it it said with the undertone I got it with......

Edited by BLA5
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:lol::lol::lol:

 

Do you honestly have NO opinions on what other people do, EVER? No thought, negative or positive goes through your head?

 

Of course I have opinions of what other people do. But for something along these lines, I don't have such a reaction that I would resort to cringing, eye rolling or posting about it on an open forum. The only reason why I opened this thread and participated is because at some point in time I have used that phrase as a way of trying to explain a certain type of homeschooling/parenting philosophy - one that is so intertwined that I can't really separate it out into "school years" and "non school years" or for that matter "school hours" and "non school hours". And no, I don't unschool. But my signature "Education is a life" is a philosophy that permeates our home.

 

I offered this explanation as a possible reason why someone else might use this phrase. Others have stated that they've detected a holier-than-thou tone behind the phrase. Perhaps those much holier than I have used it that way. I have no idea. That was not what motivated me to use the phrase but of course I don't have a patent on the phrase!

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Coming late to the thread, but...

 

I think this phrase comes from the fact that people don't want to be "new" at anything anymore. You see it everywhere, not just in homeschooling.

 

When I started homeschooling, we went to homeschool meetings and asked a million questions and listened. Now the moms with first graders (who are 4 yo) say they've been homeschooling for three years and tell us what to do with our high schoolers because they've done a bunch of internet research. :lol: Yeah, that's a bit of hyperbole, but after a while you have to laugh or your head will explode.

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Of course I have opinions of what other people do. But for something along these lines, I don't have such a reaction that I would resort to cringing, eye rolling or posting about it on an open forum. The only reason why I opened this thread and participated is because at some point in time I have used that phrase as a way of trying to explain a certain type of homeschooling/parenting philosophy - one that is so intertwined that I can't really separate it out into "school years" and "non school years" or for that matter "school hours" and "non school hours". And no, I don't unschool. But my signature "Education is a life" is a philosophy that permeates our home.

 

I offered this explanation as a possible reason why someone else might use this phrase. Others have stated that they've detected a holier-than-thou tone behind the phrase. Perhaps those much holier than I have used it that way. I have no idea. That was not what motivated me to use the phrase but of course I don't have a patent on the phrase!

 

:confused: My response wasn't directed at you...?

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Here's my thought -

Don't MOST parents do the basic stuff with their young children? As in, teaching them the basic stuff before they start school? They read aloud to them, sometimes a lot. They teach things - Letters, alphabet, counting, colors, shapes, etc, etc... so to me, it is more of a parenting thing. Not a 'home schooling since birth' thing.

I don't care if people say it, but I'm thinking, like what did you do to homeschool them that young? :D

 

 

Actually, no. I taught PS for ten years before having my kiddos and was shocked at how underprepared the kindergarteners were. Many came knowing no shapes, colors, letters, or even what their own named looked like. I too couldn't figure out how this basic information wasn't learned just by living for 5 years (even if they were just placed in front on the TV, some of it should have soaked in), but sadly it wasn't.

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