Home > Everything Else > Homeschooling, Part 1 (Or, The Best Way to Get a Mother and Child to Hate Each Other)

Homeschooling, Part 1 (Or, The Best Way to Get a Mother and Child to Hate Each Other)

I want to start off by revealing my greatest fear to you, my humble audience.  I don’t want to be seen as some pontificating demagogue.  It takes all my courage to say this, and I’m checking all my pride at the door:

Every time I blow my nose, I am afraid a booger will land on my collar.

Am I the only person who goes through this every year during the 4 grueling months of cold season?  I’ve BARELY caught myself before walking out of a restroom displaying a piece of nose candy on my tie.  The only reason this is prefacing the post you’ve all been waiting for is that I had a panic attack while blowing my nose at work.  “What if it lands on my collar, and I fail to notice?” I thought to myself.  “What if it’s red?”  “What if someone walks up and tries and flick the offending crust off my collar, thinking it’s a meandering bacon bit?”  “What if I blow so hard that I pass out, hit my head on the corner of the sink and die with a booger on my collar?”  I could imagine the paramedics’ banter.

Paramedic 1: Say, Henry, it looks like he suffered from a cranial contusion caused by subcutaneous nasal ejection.

Paramedic 2: Looks like you’re right.  And from the looks of this bacon bit . . . that’s not a bacon bit!  Oh god, I touched it!

P1: Nasty!  Don’t put it on me!  Flick it into the toilet!

P2: It’s crunchy and sticky!  Get it off, get it off, GET IT OFF!

Man in stall: You guys wanna keep it down out there?!  My colon needs absolute silence!

Or something to that effect.  You can imagine how embarrassing that would be, right?

Now, here’s the real reason you showed up today: homeschooling!  Let me start off by saying I have the highest respect for homeschoolers and parents who choose to homeschool.  That being said, I would like to add that all homeschool moms are insane.  Except my mom, of course.  Glad I caught that in time.  I love you, Mom!

I was homeschooled from 2nd-12th grade.  I graduated with a 4.0 (bear in mind, my mom decided my grades), and went on to a successful college experience, graduating from a public institution with a 3.62 GPA (I’m still not sure up to this time if my mother influenced any of my teachers to give me better grades).

Okay, that was boring.  Now listen to this!  The upsides of homeschooling:

–Waking up at 10 to start school work

–Completing said school work while wearing pajamas

–Wearing said pajamas in bed while doing said school work

–Being able to finish said school work in said bed wearing said pajamas and getting done at 1 PM

–Being able to fall asleep at said 1 PM after finishing said school work in said bed wearing said pajamas after waking up at said 10

–Being able to count a dream about going to the zoo as a “field trip”

–Getting to watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for school credit as long as I promise to “think about math” the whole time

Homeschooling is a big decision for a family to make.  It puts a strain on the parent-child relationship and doesn’t give the child much opportunity for strong social bonds.  Parents usually homeschool for one of two reasons:

1. They are religious and do not wish to subject their children to the worldly behaviors found in the public school system, such as dating, drugs, and Hannah Montana.

2. The parents refuse to accept that their child is an idiot, as labeled by the public school system, and wish to try their hand at it.  Bewildered, they will soon realize the true level of little Melville’s intelligence, and encourage him to reach the pinnacle of his life as a Wal-Mart greeter.

I think my parents were in category 1, though saying hi to all those people all day sure does seem tempting.  The hardest part of posting about homeschooling is that I have so much to say, and no idea of how to order it for maximum effect.  So I’m just going to let the thoughts leak out of my ears and nose onto the keyboard until I either finish, or die from exhaustion.

Probably the biggest disadvantage to homeschooling is the lack of a “real” high school diploma.  You may not know this, but every year, there are homeschool graduations all across the country.  It’s true!  Every year, a few dozen “homeschool moms” (more on them later) gather in assorted church gymnasiums for 6 months and argue about whether or not the graduation gowns are modest enough, as the hemline is all the way up to the ankle.  No one wants their daughter to show up at graduation showing bare ankles like some harlot.

Every homeschool graduation I have been to (or in) has lasted at least 3 hours.  That’s just for 70 graduates.  It’s painful at best.  Somewhere in the middle, there is a “talent” portion, where assorted homeschool seniors absolutely mangle a Stephen Curtis Chapman song, or worse yet, clog dance.  I’ve seen it all.  Near the end, the class’s “valedictorian” gives a short (20 minute) speech.  I’m not really sure how they decide who the valedictorian is.  It’s probably whoever’s mom is the biggest ogre during the planning meetings.

At the end of the graduation, each senior walks across the stage to receive his or her “diploma” from the parents.  I think it’s meant to be funny, because everyone knows it’s as much of a diploma as a piece of notebook paper with “DEPLOMUH” written across the top in red crayon.  Why don’t you just print out this post and give it as a diploma to a local homeschool senior?  The state will recognize it every bit as much as a homeschool diploma.  In fact, because my mother realized this, she had me get my GED, just in case a college or employer would not accept my homeschool diploma.  That’s right, folks.  I have a GED.

I was not without my fair share of standardized testing, though.  In high school, I took the ACT at a local public high school.  I scored a 32, thank you very much.  Before that, however, my mother subjected us to something called the CAT (California Aptitude Test) every few years to make sure we were keeping pace with the national averages.  How hard is that, though?  So long as you can spell your own name without any errors and count to at least 7 without pausing, you have most high school graduates beat.  I know, because I went to college with those kind of people.

Well, I’ve opened up the discussion, and have so much more to say.  I don’t have time to say it tonight.  Stay tuned for Part 2, coming sometime in the near future!  I pretty well covered the basics of homeschooling, and next time, I will delve deeper into homeschoolers as a (non) functional part of society.

  1. Jon Terry
    December 8, 2008 at 10:35 pm

    Rosie…wow…what a huge ogre. Nothing makes me want to gouge my eyes out more.


    • kylebaxter
      December 8, 2008 at 10:43 pm

      Well said! I wholeheartedly agree.

  2. December 9, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    You hit all of the points against homeschooling that I would address. I never knew you were one of the few…the proud…“The Dispossessed.”

    I did have one friend in college who, while home-schooled, was fairly socially adept (and ridiculously smart), but there are always exceptions to rules. She always beat me at racquetball too…I could never get over that…

    Most other home-schooled kids I’ve met went to the Derek Zoolander Center for Kids Who Can’t Read Good though but Want to Learn to Do Other Things Good Too (can you forgive me for not Googling that to make sure it was right? I just couldn’t care enough.)

    You don’t happen to play racquetball do you…?

    • kylebaxter
      December 9, 2008 at 5:54 pm

      Though I do not play racquetball, I did take a course in college on badminton. I, however, was a lousy player. I pretty much just tried to ride the “ridiculously smart” wave as far as I could. I’ll have to give “The Dispossessed” a read. I’m sure I can find it at my local library. Perhaps I could also find a book on badminton history beyond “a couple of guys with tennis rackets ran out of tennis balls, so they used a ball of yarn”.

  3. Sara
    December 9, 2008 at 8:22 pm

    your madre influenced mi madre….. yay homeschooling. 6-12th grade…the only difference I had was that I got up at noon…and didn’t start schoolwork til 10 at night. 😀 it was great….and i graded most of my own stuff….. ha…. because I did most of my own “teaching”….and still managed to graduate from college with a 3.48 gpa. 😀 life is full of little miracles it seems. lol

  4. A. Owen
    December 9, 2008 at 8:31 pm

    I have to admit, your greatest fear could be experienced by many out there in our ever so small world. I’ve had many fears growing up ranging from a crazed parakeet pecking my eyes out all the way to being eaten alive by a large swarm of locusts. I know it took some guts throwing that one out there, but who knows, maybe someone Else’s greatest fear could be of meeting a person who blew their boogers onto them thinking that a wild outburst of cholera would strike them and the entire nation. Anyway, about the homeschooling… I can only imagine what it would be like to be home schooled and I must say that it would be AMAZING. Waking up at 10 every day would be great and so would ending the day at 1! One question I do have though is: How did you make friends? My guess would be to find a close neighbor who had an amazing video game collection or had all the coolest things growing up. But enough of my rambling. This is my first time viewing the kylebaxter project, but I’m definitely gonna stay tuned for more.

    • kylebaxter
      December 9, 2008 at 8:38 pm

      Thank you for taking some time to check it out! I hope you’re cozied up next to a fire with a hot chocolate and a snack. I want you to make good memories. How did I make friends? Long story short: I didn’t. I had really great neighbors for a few years, then they moved. It wasn’t until working at a grocery store (you know the one) at 14 that I really started to come out of my homeschool-induced shell. Back in my day, we didn’t have video games. We just watched a blank wall for 8 hours a day.

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