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Monday, October 1, 2012

CNN article on homeschooling

A couple of months ago I was approached by CNN to write an article about homeschooling for their Schools of Thought blog. My first reaction was "Yes!Yes!Yes!", my immediate second reaction was "Why me? Who am I to write for CNN?" Afterall, I am just a homeschooling mom blogger. I am certainly not an expert on homeschooling. Like I've said many times before, I fell into this thing and am finding my way every single day.

I talked to my husband about it and thought long and hard about it. I finally decided to do it. Mostly because I thought it would be a great challenge for me.

The folks at CNN asked me for a few topic ideas. I came up with topics such as why I chose to homeschool, the challenges of homeschooling, myths about homeschooling and a few others. They chose myths about homeschooling.

Since the title of the article would be "My views: ......", I decided that would be exactly what I wrote about. I wrote an article that shared my own views and experiences. I did not write an article full of facts or statistical data. That is not what I set out to do. I set out to give my opinion. I wrote about the issues/myths I faced as a homeschooling parent. Not anyone else's.

I was very happy with the end result. I happily sent it off to CNN and they loved it as well.

This morning I received an email from CNN letting me know that my article was published and it was a front page feature on their blog. I was so excited. I had never seen my own writing on anything other than my own blog. This was a big accomplishment for me. Those feelings of pride and happiness quickly turned into feelings of frustration, anger, and defensiveness.

I've always known that homeschooling is a hot topic. I just never realized how close- minded, bigotted and down right mean people can be. I sat at my computer in tears as I read many horrible comments; attacks on me personally and people completely twisting my words.

I wanted to respond to those people, to let them know that there were no statistics because these were my opinions, my personal experience. I wanted to let them know that I am not trying to control what my child learns, instead I want to open up her world to all the possibilities. I wanted to make them understand that I respect all religions and I am not a religious zealot. I realized that none of that would matter. I cannot change people's minds.

I sat and read through all of the comments and there were over 350 by the time I decided to close the computer. I respect people's opinions and the fact that not every one agrees with homeschooling or any other topic. My problem is not the fact that people expressed differing opinions. I was distraught by the level of rudeness and ignorance.

Amidst all of that, there were positive comments; homeschooling parents that have faced some of the same things. I appreciated those comments. There were also comments from non homeschooling parents who are objective and non judgemental. I welcomed their points of view as well.

Here is my article if you are interested, CNN. I had hoped to dispel some ridiculous myths about homeschoolers. But the truth is, those close-minded people will never accept any ideas other than their own. They will always be close-minded. They will always judge without knowing. They will always be afraid to challenge the status quo.

After all is said and one, I still believe that my decision to homeschool is the right choice for us. I am grateful for all of those who support homeschooling and I welcome healthy dialog on the topic.

As always.....Happy Homeschooling Adventures!

13 comments:

  1. I enjoyed your article. I was also surprised by the hateful comments. I'm sorry for the sorrow they caused you. I only skimmed a few because I know to stay away from people who don't understand homeschooling yet they try to tear it down. I have realized those who are most opposed to homeschooling are the ones who understand it least. We do what we know is best for our children. I know that my children are thriving by spending their days together as a family, participating in the real world, serving in the community, reading reading reading, spending time in nature and in physical activity, attending museums, library events, plays, dance performances, farms and on and on... I can't imagine having my children sit in a classroom for 7 hours a day being told what to do and when to do it and missing out on all that is going on "out there." What blows my mind is this idea that all children need to know the same things at the same time. The real world does not work that way. Thanks for your article and I'm sure there are people out there who benefited from the article and may see us all a bit more accurately. Best wishes.

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    1. Hi! Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I should have done what you did and just simply not read the comments. Oh well. Lesson learned.
      It blows my mind thinking about my kids in school all day just like you said. I think I can provide better learning opportunities at home for the time being. Who knows that may change one day or it may not. But for now I know I'm doing what's best for my child.

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  2. I would love to read your CNN article-- Do you have a link for it? I went to their site but there's no way... I tried. It's too big! I agree with The Mrs., above. Often the most vocal critics of homeschooling are the ones who have never been around any homeschoolers, would never consider doing it, and often have never even helped out in a school environment at all. It hurts to be criticized but remember those people don't know you, don't know your family, and are talking out of the wrong end of their bodies. Ahem. ;) Annnnd if you'd like to see your posts elsewhere, I have lots of spots open for guest posts for the ABC's of Homeschooling! Email me! themommaknows(at)gmail(dot)com.

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    1. Hi Dawn,
      Thanks for the encouraging words, it's much appreciated.

      Here's a link to the article http://schoolsofthought.blogs.cnn.com/2012/10/01/my-view-common-myths-about-home-schooled-kids/

      I will email you about guest posting. I would love that!!

      Alessandra

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  3. I really enjoyed this article! I'm not surprised with some of the rude comments because heck, I encounter the same rudeness in my own life, sometimes with my own family, over the homeschooling topic.

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    1. Hi Chantal,

      It is amazing how judgemental people can be. Homeschooling may not be for everyone, but it is the right thing for some. And that alone should be respected. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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  4. Alessandra,
    I read this post this morning and just now went to your article. It was well written.
    And, I read and responded to the current first comment. People are hateful and biased. That's all that is to it.
    I think this generation of Home schoolers is different than previous generations. You get weirdoes in any bunch.
    So sorry that you read those comments. You aren't alone. We are right here with you. And for a whole lot of the hateful comments there is a nice rebuttal.

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    1. Hi Bernadette!

      Thanks for the support. It really means a lot to me.

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  5. Theresa B. e-mailed me about your article and the comments that were being posted. We all answer to God and God alone. I am so sorry on behalf of the people that chose to vent out on you. I have 5 children and wish I had the GUTS to homeschool. I've been back and forth for four years now. I commend you for taking your child's education into your own hands......I am excited to hear of your blog and can't wait to look around it! Kudos to you, mama! I'll be praying for you. Please don't let these rude remarks take you down.....just remember that you are doing an awesome job!!!!!
    Nicki, Minnesota
    simplynicoleto5.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi Nicki,

      Thanks for stopping by! I cannot tell you how happy your post made me feel. I so appreciate it. And I get where you're coming from. It is such a huge decision to make and when we did it, we didn't have all the answers. It was a big leap of faith. You just have to trust that you're doing the right thing. Hopefully we are.

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  6. I have to say, the rude comments are not surprising. People feel unfortunately uninhibited on the internet.

    You got tons of people batting for you in the comments though. Good article.

    And I disagree with your final assessment. Lots and lots of people have, are, and will change their negative opinions of homeschooling over time. Not everyone. But most people who read your article did not comment. And seriously the negative comments will serve to drive people to your side, not theirs.

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  7. First, congrats on your writing being published - that is so amazing! I'm so sorry for all the rude and mean comments - I would've been in tears too. But you're right - those people are close-minded and are set on being rude/mean. Keep being an awesome mommy and homeschool teacher! :)

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  8. Hi,
    Will you please post a link to your Blog at The Homeschooling Community? Our members will appreciate it.
    Members include: Homeschooling parents, families, experts, advocates and organizations.
    It's easy to do, just cut and paste the link and it automatically links back to your website. You can also add Articles, Photos, Videos and Classifieds if you like.
    Email me if you need any help or would like me to do it for you.
    Please feel free to share as often and as much as you like.
    The Homeschooling Community: http://www.vorts.com/homeschooling/
    I hope you consider sharing with us.
    Thank you,
    James Kaufman, Editor

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