Never Get Negative Comments?

I have friends who say they never get negative comments about their homeschooling — I think they find it hard to believe that some of us do.

Here is one sure way to get some negative comments — the Internets!

I visited a political blog I rarely read (linked from a political blog I read several times a day). The blogger, who happens to be a homeschooling parent as well, asked a question about planning unit studies for his 11th grade son. He mentioned a subject I had some enthusiasm and knowledge about, so I responded.

On the topic of homeschooling specifically (and not the history/literature question) I wrote:

I love the variety of comments! (“Stop crippling him for life” is my favorite — I can’t tell if it is totally ironic, given the incredible depth of your son’s education, or totally ignorant. Genius!)

and

ps — how dare you not explain how you education your son in math and science! 😉

(in response to the many people who answered the blogger’s question by telling him how he was failing his son in math and science, which was not part of the post)
and also

That’d be “educate your son” — can’t have anti-homeschoolers telling me my typos make me unfit for facilitating my kids’ education.

True, I was a bit snippy, but the bulk of my comment (unprinted here) was a suggestion for some materials and an offer to send more if the blogger was interested.

I went back, curious whether the blogger had any interest in my sources. (When you have some enthusiasm for Victorian sanitation literature, it is hard not to get excited when someone else might share your interest.)

I found this comment from an anonymous poster (who then went on to make suggestions to the blogger):

ShaunMS, since you are being an obnoxious prick, I will go ahead and start with you. How long do you intend to coddle and shelter your children? How long will you pull their strings? I think you understand the amount of damage you could be doing to them by controlling their lives for a long period of time, so I will not ask that. But seriously, there are just as many bad reasons to homeschool (especially when it comes to social aspects) as there are good. Fine enough that you can supposedly do your job, but for how long will you do it for? As long as this blogger, whose motivations for homeschooling I suspect are different from yours? Will it be as effective, even then?

Anti-homeschooling rant off. Anyway…

I laughed and felt sick at the same time. I guess there is a reason I don’t comment on political blogs much — I am not one for rough and tumble. I may come to regret mentioning the Sotomayor hearings yet!

I responded, and though I think I came across like a wounded 10yo (a tone I know well), I pretty much meant what I said. I mean, WTF? Who are these people? At least I resisted the temptation to justify myself.

Wow! Anon 10:37, I am impressed by how much you have figured out about me, my kids, my reasons for homeschooling, and how I do it from my recommendation of a source on sanitation and my suggestion that telling someone they are crippling their kids is an obnoxious comment. I confess, I tend to hang out on sweet mommy blogs, so this marks the first time I have been called an “obnoxious prick” online. I kind of like it.

But I only kind of like it. Your wounded 10yo-at-heart homeschool mommy friend is crawling back in her shell and steering clear of these types of conversations. I am now actively courting warm fuzzies and positive strokes.

Will I ever learn?

p.s. I am so ready to start controlling my children and pulling their strings. We have only been homeschooling for three years, so maybe you veteran homeschoolers can tell me when this will start. So far it isn’t working.

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9 Comments

Filed under In the News, Why Homeschool?

9 responses to “Never Get Negative Comments?

  1. Mamasteff

    Yeah – can you please let me know when this guy explains how to pull my kids’ strings? I ONLY homeschool because of my control issues, yet crazy enough – they won’t let me control them. What to do? 🙂

  2. inneedofchocolate

    I too would love to know the secret to controlling my children and pulling their strings 🙂
    I stay away from those types of politically-charged discussions/arguments too. I’m much more comfortable in my sheltered world of mommy and cooking blogs. Sending you lots of warm fuzzies.

  3. Andrea

    Grrrrrrr. Shaun you are a lot of things, but obnoxious prick is not one of them. That person obviously has baggage of his or her own. It’s surprising how much we can be pulled into these arguments and be impacted by them, isn’t it?

  4. lapazfarm

    I used to enter the fray a bit, but no more. I haven’t the time or energy to waste on folks whose feeble minds are already made up anyway. May as well argue with my toaster.
    As far as negative comments go, the only time I ever got them was when I innocently posted pics of my kids’ election-night cookie-baking party. Apparently anything even vaguely political is enough to draw out the loonies.
    What I don’t get is why anyone expends their energy going to people’s blogs just to trash them. I can only guess that their lives must be pretty empty for them to want to fill them with so much venom.

  5. I think I agree with Theresa. These are sad people with nothing better to do with their time.

    But that doesn’t stop the hurt. And it isn’t really 10 year old hurt.

    Only people without children would think we could control them. Especially the bright ones. How many times have you secretly wished you had one of the stupid compliant ones? Though I bet those are only a myth anyway.

    Great for sharing the resources. I hope she does use them.

    Maybe you should do a post on Victorian sanitation. After all the level of general knowledge about what really made the difference in controling infectious diseases seems to be woeful.

  6. It’s a different climate then when I grew up. I remember the times when my dad sat with his good liberal friend and debated at the kitchen table for hours, actually it seems his generation seems to do this still, but maybe it is my father. Both left as friends every week.

    At times what passes as discourse or science is labels, epitaphs, and sound bites from both sides. And the anonymous mode of the internet lets some lose discretion, or maybe they never had it to begin with.

  7. Sorry about that anon poster, that’s very rude.

    It is hard for me not to respond to rude people. Last night I saw the first (pilot) episode of 30 Rock. Tina Fey ends up buying all the hot dogs at the hot dog cart just to foil a guy that cheated and cut in line. I could SO relate. I always want to defend principles to clueless people.

    BUT, I have found that the time is not well spent. So I have tried to steer clear, at least on the internets. IRL I still have my moments.

  8. Angela, QueenBee

    It is so scary to see how judgmental folks can be about homeschooling without even knowing the folks involved. I had a tough time with a number of aquaintances, a few friends, and a ton of strangers when my kids were hitting upper elementary years. Everyone thought of it as an over-coddling need I or the kids would outgrow, and many assumed my poor children were too afraid to stand up to me to ask to leave! Ironically, homeschooling had never been my life plan for them, but the lifestyle became so much more. I think some feel threatened by our commitment to provide the best for our kids, because it is very inconvenient and selflessness to the max, and they would never even consider it. You’d be amazed at how many of my children’s friends have begged their folks ot be homeschooled over the years, because school is no longer a thriving, positive place. Sadly, very few are willing to make this level of commitment to their children’s future, and would rather throw stones than look at the dysfunction that has become the norm. Hang in there, lady!

  9. IIRC, you didn’t set out to be a homeschooler. Rather, your hand was forced by the inadequacies of the public school system in your unique set of circumstances, and you’ve done a damned fine job in rising to meet the challenge.

    Poo-poo to the obnoxious prick who called you an obnoxious prick! The only people you have to answer to are Victoria and Violet.

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