I was browsing the local headlines yesterday and came across an article about a proposed senate bill that would allow teachers a reimbursement of up to a hundred dollars for supplies they purchase for the classroom. I commented on the article, and within the hour I was getting slammed with notifications of people replying to my comment. When I had the time to go back and read the replies, I was shocked by the number of antagonistic, inflammatory and outright insulting things people were flinging at me. What was my comment, you ask?
“I think this [reimbursement] should extend to homeschooling parents as well.”
I was called an idiot, was told that stupid people like me should have to put our kids in school because we are too dumb to teach our kids. Some poor soul wrote that my comment was the funniest thing he’d read all day (he really needs to read more, methinks). There was plenty more, but you get the gist. My knee-jerk reaction was to take these imbeciles to task and point out all of their misspellings and grammatical errors and pock-marked arguments (compliments of the public education system), but I didn’t do that. Then, I thought about slinging mud back; calling them idiots for calling me an idiot, but I didn’t do that. In a very uncharacteristic and unprecedented move – I did absolutely nothing. I just found it extremely…stupid…to argue with anonymous ass holes over a $100 reimbursement.
Obviously, it is still on my mind today. So, I am bringing it up here.
As a homeschooling parent, I am sick to damn death of the negativity slung my way. Why do non-homeschooling parents get so livid about the choices my husband and I have made with regards to OUR children’s education? It’s nobody else’s business. I wasn’t making a political or moral statement or judgment with my comment. My point was that, as a homeowner, a portion of my property taxes go to pay for the public education system – a system that my children don’t even participate in. In addition, I am hit up every year by my nieces and nephews to buy all sorts of things, from cookie dough, to wrapping paper to chocolate as part of fundraising for the public school system. Does that money get invested in my children? No.
Because we homeschool, we must purchase our own supplies as well. Beyond the basics of notebooks, pens and pencils, calculator, rulers, etc. etc. etc., we buy textbooks for each subject. We buy science kits and books for book reports, ink and paper for printers, memberships to math and language art computer programs, tutors for subject levels beyond our understanding. We PAY to give our kids a good education, and we are talking about a hundred dollar reimbursement. Why the hell not for homeschooling parents?
Yes, it is a choice to homeschool our kids, but it is also a choice to send your kid(s) to public school. As a parent, your child’s education is still your responsibility. Whether you choose to outsource that to the public school system is nobody’s business. I am not a public advocate for or against either. I don’t go around telling parents that they should pull their kids from public school, or that they are idiots for letting their kids go to public school. I expect the same treatment in return but very rarely get it, and that is unacceptable.
Homeschooling is the best thing for my kids. My son is far happier away from the un-stimulating and unchallenging environment of school. He is far happier away from the bullies who plagued him and the teachers who ignored him. And, he is three grade levels ahead of his peers because he is in an environment where he can progress at his own pace. I couldn’t drag him back to a school if I wanted. And that’s because HE IS HAPPY.
We are happy with our choice, with or without the damn hundred dollar reimbursement, and I’ll thank those opposed to our choice to keep their ignorant mouths shut.