Skip to main content

The Tale of the Home School Educational Activist... Not Quit What You Think

So… I’ve been home schooling since my #1 child was in Kindergarden. As she hit HS I allowed her to enroll in choir class. At the same time allowed my #2 to be in the JH choir. Then When #2 child and #3 child were HS age I enrolled them in choir and in Math. #4 child enjoyed 7th grade choir. Meanwhile #1 child graduated and started her college career before getting married. # 2 child begins her college career this fall. I still have #3 child in choir and in math at the HS for the next 2 years. #4 child has one more year to try JH choir before moving on to the HS experience and #5 child is a third grader this year and I’ve got a few more years to perfect my methods.

I am the first to admit that home school isn’t for every family. I’m even pondering if it is best for every child (for personality reasons only). In general, I’d say my kids are self motivated (with the exception of #3), creative, and have the ability to get along with people of all ages. In general, they are at or above grade level.

I’ve experienced that most people assume that homeschooled kids miss out on “proper socialization”, assuming that the only proper socialization is the kind found in schools. They assume that homeschooled kids are sheltered, socially awkward weirdos who never see daylight, which is ridiculous, but it is a strong stereotype that all homeschoolers must contend with.

I often volunteer at our local HS. I’ve seen the socialization that goes on in schools. It is the very thing that my husband and I, and most home schoolers, want to avoid. Most kids in high school today don’t want to be there, and many of them won’t even graduate.

I have been blatantly criticized for being overprotective. My critics accuse me of doing a disservice to my kids by not making them deal with real life by going to school all day. Trust me. The few hours a day they may experience is enough. When I remind people of the developing gang problem or the issues revolving around apathy, many reply, “That’s LIFE!” Such attitudes still shock me. I may live in the here and now, but I may never learn how to adapt to violence and destruction and apathy. And I don't want my kids to have to, either… if it’s not too late. (remember, the Adversary can get His claws in from many different avenues, not just in the public schools).

I know too much about what’s really going on high school campuses. I have many friends who teach in high schools. Students are holding their breath as they walk from class to class, avoiding certain groups and places, just so they won’t draw attention to themselves or come across the wrong people at the wrong time. They’re not using the bathrooms all day because they’re afraid to (if they’re even open). The language and lack of respect for property and others on high school campuses is appalling. Every time I visit school for the arts education work that I do, I always leave thinking I did the right thing by pulling my kid out of full time school. F-bombs fly across campuses more often than any other word in the English language, even when I’ve walked by with my little girl. It’s disgusting. If kids are going to show that much disrespect for a mother and her daughter as they walk by, then what do they do and say when no one is around?

Homeschooled kids are not subjected to this all day, every day, so in turn, they have no fear. Home schoolers can be more selective about who they socialize with. What is so wrong or weird about that? In general, homeschooled kids are far more involved with their environment and community, they vote when they come of age, and they do better in college (because they’re already self sufficient). Is that so odd?

Taking all this into account, imagine my surprise when my husband got involved in the campaign to recall the school board president and to the campaign to replace the former school superintendent. Imagine my surprise growing as he became the chief petitioner in the recall. The school board seemed rather surprised that a home school dad was such an activist. Imagine my surprise when my husband was appointed to fill the vacancy on the school board, resulting from the recall campaign he petitioned for, on Monday! Imagine the fits of laughter I had when I learned that the boards first assignment was the selection in the by-laws regarding home school student relations.

My position on schooling has not changed. I believe in finding the best educational experiences for my children. Obviously, I can’t supply choir in my little town without going to the public school. I can’t offer football unless I go to the public school. I will continue to have just my big toe in the door at the public schools. But rest assured… I don’t leave my kids in the schools on their own. I volunteer in the school. The principle knows me… teachers and coaches know me… students know me. And now we will have a finger on the financial responsibility, curriculum and personnel relations within the district.

School is not what it was when we were kids. It never was what we think it was. Our “memory” of education in America is nothing more than an antiquated notion handed to us by Life Magazine and TV, but we keep fooling ourselves by trying to find our way back to those better days. I am hopeful that as the community revisits the concept of education, that they will learn a little more about homeschooling. I hope others will be inspired to try it. I hope that many will feel less apprehensive. If not, I hope people will be a little less judgmental of those of us who do home school.

Now it really is true… we are all in this together.


  1. HAHAHAHAHA!!!! Yes, the "socialization" is pretty much the very reason we don't want to send our kids to public schools, either. If THAT's what my kids are missing, I'll deal with it. :)

    I agree that "what education is" has been changing a lot since our time, and even more since our parents' and grandparents' times. It's a new world, and we need to think things through in different ways. You go, girl!

  2. "I have been blatantly criticized for being overprotective. My critics accuse me of doing a disservice to my kids by not making them deal with real life by going to school all day."
    I've gotten that from people too. Well, I accuse them of being underprotective. Besides, anyone who thinks that high school is "real life" is a "real idiot".
    Great post. Giving it a stumble.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Book of Mormon Study... Title page and testimony of the witnesses

According to the Prophet Joseph Smith, “the title-page of the Book of Mormon is a literal translation, taken from the very last leaf, on the left hand side of the collection or book of plates, which contained the record which has been translated, the language of the whole running the same as all Hebrew writing in general; and that said title page is not by any means a modern composition, either of mine or of any other man who has lived or does live in this generation” (History of the Church, 1:71).

That means it’s scripture too! That is why today I start my Book of Mormon study with the title page.

I am part of the House of Israel. My children and their children are a part of the House of Israel. This Book is written for me and for them.

I love that the Title page declares that this book is a “gift”… now this book I am marking will become a “gift” for my grandson. How cool is that? I feel like Nephi, writing my testimony of Jesus Christ and of the gospel plan as I study God’s word so …

An Open Letter to Those Who Hate The School Dress Code

I have noticed a ton of resistance to dress codes in schools.  I have something to say... get over it.  
A dress code is not about body shaming.  It is not about control.  It's not about taking away individuality. The dress code is not about making social divisions.  It is not about taking away individual rights.
A dress code is about keeping a professional environment where real work happens.  Contrary to popular belief, woman don't get to wear whatever they want when ever they want in "the real world." Every profession has some kind of dress code.  Nurses, doctors, real estate brokers, vets, and even McDonald's workers have a dress code.  Even farmers and day labors wear clothing appropriate to the work they do.  School is a professional environment where the student's "job" is to be the student - to learn - and the teachers' job is to open the possibilities in young minds and to create an environment where people - all people - can learn.  Th…

Once-a-Slightly Over Month Cooking

Today may be the last day of the year, but it was the first day of the month around the Boyack house.  Today was Once-a-Month-Cooking day.  The funny thing is that it usually ends up lasting longer than a month.  Our last big cooking day lasted from September to now.  The thing is, I don't always pull from the freezer.  Weekend we cook from scratch.  However, with my voice lessons in late afternoons and sometimes play practice or performance I am too tired to think about dinner.  Making dinner ahead saved me so much money from September to Christmas that I was able to pay for half of Christmas from the savings from the food budget.  Plus, we had much healthier meals!

After collecting which recipes we wanted to make, and making a shopping list, John headed to the store around noon.  We started the cooking and assembly around 1:00 and ended all the cooking by 7:00.  In that time we made 35 dinners.  We have the fix-in's in the cupboard to make 15 more quick and easy meals.  We …