Thursday, April 26, 2007

Homeschool for survival

Here is an article from the NOR about the unmitigated horrors of public school. It is disturbing, so you might want to skip it, since we have all heard it before. I confess to a strong prejudice against public school, having myself endured its inhumanities. We went to a small school in the Maryland countryside but there were some mean "hillbilly" types, for lack of a better word. In fifth grade I would rise an hour early and read the Sermon on the Mount in order to gain the strength to face my tormentors. No child should be subjected to daily fear and dread while they are trying to open their mind to knowledge. I had a pocket New Testament with psalter and would read psalms on the playground, hoping to avert the bullies. Finally, in sixth grade, I punched a girl twice my size when she was trying to intimidate me. They were all so shocked, they left me alone. Share

13 comments:

sc said...

I personally think the glass is half full, not half empty. 150 years ago, the indigent didn't even receive a public school education; it even was a crime to teach some less privileged Americans how to read. Today, we at least go through the motions for all Americans, and provide them with a sort of day care during the years in which they are most prone to violent behavior.

I am, however, somewhat disappointed with the last, and perhaps only, Texan president, who saw to it that a minimum level of educational achievement was no longer required to vote or be elected, even to the highest offices in the land.

Flambeaux said...

Your public school experiences sound like my Catholic school experiences, although I didn't know or believe enough to take refuge in Scripture.
My anodynes were much more self-destructive.

And people wonder why we're homeschooling.

elena maria vidal said...

Yes, sc, it is good to have a positive outlook.

Yes, flambeaux, I eventually was sent to parochial school. It was not much better but at least the indignities were of a lesser magnitude, I guess.

alaughland said...

As Jesus said, "the poor will always be with us", and I say the bullies will always be with us. Being small for my age I was always picked on until my brother told me to ball up my fist and swing as hard as I could...subsequently they steered clear of me. Because of that I became the protector of other children who were being picked on, without having to lift a finger. The word had spread.

Elisa said...

These days bullies can be either a guy or a girl in school and I won't be surprised if they continued into adulthood. Only the bullying will take a different form.
I was teased while in parochial school too. When I got to junior high, it stopped altogether. While at my public high school, I wasn't teased although there were some guys I couldn't stand in a few classes. I'm fine now but the memory of being teased hurts.

a thorn in the pew said...

I'm dealing with this very issue right now. Unless we get a new priest at our parish or more teachers, we are out of there. My son is so far behind it's criminal. Global warming, Earth Day and evolution should NOT be taught in Catholic school. What's next, gay rights, porn and centering prayer? I'm apparently in a fiery mood today, pardon my direct speech.

elena maria vidal said...

Don't worry, thorn, I am in a bit of a mood myself today.

Iosue Andreas said...

Dear Elena,

Your story has stuck with me all day. The thought of a little girl steeling herself with the Sermon on the Mount is both heatbreaking and profoundly inspiring. Thank you for sharing it.

Yours,
Joshua

elena maria vidal said...

Thank you, dear Joshua. This is one area of life in which the situation has improved. There was no homeschooling movement when I was a child and parents did not have the educational options that they do now.

Georgette said...

Aw, what a sweet little thing you were--and wow, it reads like something from the lives of the Saints. Although, I am sorry you had to endure those hateful brats' torture, I am sure you gained a lot in the way of virtues--fortitude, courage, perseverence, etc. I'm glad youfinally sacked one of them! Physical aggression is the only language these types understand--which is the argument I keep hearing for capital punishment, but I think there is something to it.

I just hate to think how these bullies turn out as adults. Unless they have been faced with some very bad hardships in their lives, they have probably continued in their hateful ways.

Coffee Wife said...

I was a big strong girl so I wasn't often bothered physically in school but I was relentlessly tormented because of my poverty! I have absolutely NO positive memories of school. It was a daily living hell for 12 long years. I just don't understand public school - how can the teachers and parents *not* know what is going on in the halls and classrooms? How can they be so blind? I personally think they are selectivly blind.

I also wonder about these kids who are now adults. Do they ever think about how horrid and evil they were for 12 years of their lives? Do they ever have any regrets? What kind of adults have they become? I'll never know because as soon as I graduated high school I got as far away from my Massachusetts home town as humanly possible. (Sicily!!) I just couldn't bear facing these same people in college or the workforce.

Coffee Wife said...

Dear Thorn in a Pew, if you did not engage in direct speech would you make a good thorn??

I graduated highschool saturated in how to have sex with ten different kinds of birth control, how to save the planet (and whales and wolves etc), and how to live my life trembling in fear because of global warming and the secular "End of the World" looming on the near horizon. "Why have children if you are only going to bring them into this horrible world??.."

And uh... as I held my diploma I had a a 4th grade understanding of math, didn't know that the Romans had invaded Britian, had no idea that Scotland and England were united under one crown and...I could go on and on and on...

And folk complain about homeschools??? Homeschool kids in 6th grade run rings around me!

elena maria vidal said...

Yes, Georgette and Coffee Wife, I often wonder what had become of some of the bullies. One nasty girl I met years later actually apologized to me. She described to me what her home life had been like. After being married to w wonderful man and having her own daughter she experienced a lot of healing.

Yes, Coffee, homeschooling is really a way to give a child a thorough education without the "distractions" so often found at school.