I'm jumping this post because it's about homeschooling and I sort of lose my mind in it a bit, which is what I tend to do when I'm very passionate about a subject. If reading me discussing "issues" evokes a feeling within you similar to walking in on your parents doing the nasty, then seriously, don't follow the jump. I have to get this off my chest, though.
I'm pretty mad about the entire situation, especially as I
know many homeschoolers who purchase Scholastic products and our group
participates in the Book It! program; also because the press release Subway
sent out regarding the contest and the homeschooling exclusion was fraught with
A couple months ago I received an email from a PR firm which
said that they read my website and is there anyway I would mention a contest
for teachers sponsored by
Excuse me? Are you high? I'm a homeschooler and you want me
to pimp a contest that specifically excludes homeschoolers?
The excuses I hear justifying these discriminatory moves stem
from total ignorance and I'm sorry, I can't excuse ignorance anymore, not in
this age of instant information. I'd be more forgiving if the people with the
least amount of knowledge on the subject weren't always the quickest and
loudest to speak.
Myth #1: Homeschoolers are isolationists
It's funny; when I first began homeschooling I wanted to
join a homeschool group. The problem was that there were so many groups to
choose from - large groups of hundreds and hundreds of families, not just three
or four people. The group that I joined is the size of a school, literally.
There are homeschool groups in every city. Nearly every
single group has organized sports teams, bands, drama groups, choir, etc. My
group, one of many, holds Spanish, calculus, etc. classes taught by teachers
who either retired from the profession or who stayed home after becoming a
parent; or experts in the field. Most groups are non-profit organizations. Most
have a facility which serves as a home base. The only difference between
homeschool groups and state schools is that in homeschool groups, the parents
are the teachers and principals. The group leader(s) is(are) the superintendent(s)-of-sorts.
Myth #2: Helping state-educated kids is more effective than
Says who? Subway, Scholastic, and
At the very least, Subway and Scholastic should invited
homeschoolers to participate and select a school which to donate. The equipment
could have gone to an area athletic association, a church, or even a homeschool
group - is that seriously so bad?
I read this on a board discussing the controversy: "I just
don't think we, homeschoolers as a group, are entitled to everything public
schools are entitled to."
So long as I pay taxes to state schools and have school-age children I am entitled.
Subway recently sent an apologetic email to a homeschooling
mom, posted here. The American Family Association, which gets its dander up
over everything from scarves to cars was all, "Oh, they apologized! Yeay! Game
over!" Sorry, I don't buy it. Subway essentially placed its apology on credit -
in this case I believe an apology without action is empty - and said that while
homeschoolers are still excluded from this
contest, they'll remember to keep it open to all in the future. How nice. Um, no
thanks. I'll continue to eat at Quiznos instead and look for resources other than anything by Scholastic.
(I feel bad for some of the franchise owners who were roped
into this, but I personally can't support the company after this debacle.)
All of this - along with
Liam starts second grade this fall. Ewan will inherit his
brother's pre-k curriculum. I feel like my homeschool experience is only
ankle-deep and yet I still see obstacles: discrimination manifest as exclusion,
people who make rude remarks; just the other day someone close to our family
quipped "So you're STILL homeschooling? Do those kids actually learn anything?"
I resisted the urge to knock her horse veneers down her throat and cram the
numerous academic studies up her brown eye.
People wonder why homeschoolers have such big mouths and raise a ruckus when appropriate. They have to! Were the tables turned and the same rude attitude applied to state schools all hell would break loose. There's a double-standard. I don't want adults to discriminate against my children or anyone else's because of their own personal prejudices. ANY CHILDREN. PERIOD.