Tuesday, October 21, 2008

pinafores?

I saw a show on TLC recently about this giant family of kids who were all homeschooled. Awesome! I love big families. I love homeschooling! Good for you, I say. But did the girls all have to wear matching pinafores circa 1890? I appreciate modesty as much as the next conservative person, but really, is that necessary? Keeping up a clothings style that is more than a century out of date is just strange. Maybe it's their way of promoting chastity. Also a great cause. But there are already so many goofy stereotypes about homeschoolers; I hate it when they're true...and on TV.

Why is it that nobody talks about all the cool homeschoolers? Did you know Will and Jada Smith homeschooled their kids until very recently when they founded their own charter school? If anyone is cool, it's gotta be the Smith family. Abigail Breslin, Vanessa Hudgens, and Jennifer Love Hewitt were all homeschooled. Lots of Olympic athletes are homeschooled. How else would they have the time to excel at such time-consuming passions?

I have no idea how this homeschooling business will turn my kids out. I hope they'll be happy, clean in body and mind, civic-minded, service oriented, smart, capable, and fun. And yes, I hope they'll be cool. I can't help it.

7 comments:

kendralu said...

they will be. i don't think they'll be able to help it.

Lori said...

Just look at their parents. Not a chance they wont be cool! I totally admire you and wish I was homeschooling too. Off to the bookfair tomorrow to find some books on teaching your kid a foreign language! Wanna come?

We Are A Happy Family said...

Sounds like we all want the same things for tour kids.
How can they ot help being cool? They efinitely have great parents.

Karen said...

Pinafores? Yikes.

Old Man With a radio transmitter in his car said...

I can always tell when I get a homeschooled student in my college class. They are the ones who write their name on the examination paper, and only put: "Jennifer", or "Adam" or "Meghan". So I have to guess... which Jennifer? Jennifer Wilson? Jennifer Carter? Jennifer Horton? Jennifer Cartwright? Jennifer Halliday? And which Adam? Adam Baker? Adam Freeman? Adam Langer? Adam Taylor? I have to wait until all the others are graded and recorded before I can figure out which Jennifer or Adam is missing a score to record their grade. It never fails. At home, there was only one Jennifer and one Adam and one Meghan. They don't ever think about writing their full name. Homeschoolers also are generally the ones who come to me after class the first day of the semester, while all of the other students are busy organizing their student groups (I make extensive use of group work in my courses, just like real audit teams and systems development teams and other business teams), and they plead, "Do I have to join a group? I do so much better by myself, I'd rather just do all the work by myself... please? I'll do everything a whole group does, just please don't make me part of a group... they'll bring down my grade. Please?" Nope, sorry. Of course, I have to admit, I generally cannot tell the difference between homeschoolers and public schoolers when it comes to their individual exam grades... homeschoolers are every bit as smart, on-the-ball, apt, and intelligent as the others. Their communication skills (writing, conversation, presentation, etc.) are every bit as good, although they sometimes have trouble with interpersonal skills in their group. But a lot of public schoolers have trouble there, too. Of course, at JMU, I tend to see the better-than-average students anyway, especially in the accounting curriculum: the lesser students generally have washed out by the time they get to their senior year and grad school courses that I teach. I'd say at leasat 5% of my students are homeschooled. I can't detect any long-term net disadvantage (or advantage) between home schooling and public schooling in my students. I doubt seriously there is any major difference in their work performance in their careers, either. I require all my students to read "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie, so that brings a lot of the homeschoolers up to speed in the interpersonal skills area... at least for my class purposes anyway. Bottom line: no real difference that I can detect. I'm a believer in that the parents and home environment make most of the difference, not the schooling per se. At least in the tiny sample that I get to see in the academic setting.

turtar said...

I think it has a lot to do with the parents. Weird parents will produce weird kids regardless of whether they homeschool. However, a lot of weird parents who homeschool becaase they want to instill their weird ideas in their kids (I'm thinking religious fanatics and anti-immunization people). Because of that, those normal people who homeschool for other reasons (like you guys, the Smiths, Olympic athletes, etc.) get a bad rap.

Know who else was homeschooled? The phenom quarterback for the Florida Gators: Tim Tebow. His parents had to fight the school district so that he could join the football team when he was a teenager. Of course, one of his hobbies is to go to his parents' mission in the Philippines to do circumcisions. So maybe he's not the best example. . .

turtar said...

I came across this article today while I worked on something completely unrelated. It's from a pretty good British newspaper. It made me sad to learn this about Will Smith. Scientology is a very evil cult.

I just want to make very clear that I did not actively seek out this information. It came up when I was reading the LA Times and someone made a comment on a news article about a Karate Kid remake starring Will Smith's kid.