Friday, March 28, 2008

Our Support Group in the Local Newspaper

March 28, 2008

We had a nice, informational article in our local newspaper today. We had contacted the school section editor of the paper a couple of weeks ago asking him if he'd do a story before our upcoming Homeschooling 101 tomorrow. He was quite agreeable to it and we arranged to have him come to our enrichment class (co-op) program. (We did ask him NOT to put the name of the facility in the article, but it managed to show up in the photo caption. Ergh.) Interestingly, he'd just come from a 4-hour "educational summit" of sorts. He was intrigued by the differences between "us" talking about nurturing our children and understanding their individual learning styles and "them" referring to the children as "products" and the school as the "market." Anyway, THAT didn't make it into the article (surprise, surprise), but it is a nice, benevolent article that hopefully will get some people intrigued enough to come to our HS 101. There is also a nice link from there to a brief about a local credit union adding a $1000 scholarship for a local homeschooled graduating senior to its annual High School scholarships program. (If I didn't already love my credit union, I'd sure switch to this one!)

All in all, it was a positive experience. The reporter, a recent college graduate, was brand new on the job. Initially he seemed to have trouble forming questions, but about midway through the interview, I could see lights coming on for him: he was starting to get it. As I mentioned above, he'd spent the morning listening to public school educators, and he began making connections between the lifestyle of homeschooling and the business of public education. At one point Marj, who is quoted in the article, commented on the original German purpose of education--to make good citizens. He asked us, "But isn't your goal to make good citizens?" Marj and I kind of looked at him blankly, because it seems so obvious. We said something to the effect of "Our goal is to help our children be well-rounded individuals who can think for themselves and come to their own decisions and opinions, rather than regurgitating what they've been told." We said a bit more than that, but that conversation didn't make it in the paper, either.

One more thing: as I said, he seemed to be having trouble forming interview questions at the beginning. Of course, anyone who had just come from a 4-hour educational summit would have trouble forming coherent sentences, so I have to completely excuse him for this: right off the bat, he commented that my husband and I both have post-graduate degrees. I was trying to figure out where this was going when he said something to the effect of: "So you have a master's degree and were certified to teach public school, but you're not using it?" Yes, he actually said that. I laughed and said, "Not using it? I use it every day!" He sputtered then, but I told him I was glad he voiced that, because this is such a common misconception not only toward homeschoolers but toward stay-at-home moms in general. But that's another whole subject, and I'm pretty sure he'll not make that particular faux pas again. (And one more thing, as I am a grammar fanatic, I have to defend myself and say that I did NOT say “People wish there was alternatives..."!)

Here's the first part of the article but you can click on the link to read the whole thing:

Program to present basics of home schooling Saturday

By Matthew Stewart
of The Daily Times Staff

Patricia Hoffman recently took her two children to Marble Springs, the home of Tennessee’s first governor: John Sevier. The three dressed up in period clothing and provided the “background color” for the day’s guided tours. The kids also made bead necklaces, listened to a lecture on how to cook over a wood fire and learned about weaving in a loom house.

read the rest of it here.

Brief on scholarship from credit union here.

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Friday, March 28, 2008 - nice write up

Posted by Jennifer in OR (

Thanks for sharing that! It was pretty positive, even though the author certainly left out some important details. But really, most liberal papers would have at least mentioned "socialization" so be glad for that! :-) It sounds like a wonderful group.

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Friday, March 28, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by TheMonkeyParade (

I totally knew that you did not say "there was alternatives." I about choked on my soup when I read it. I could just see you reading the paper and seeing the quote... the mental image was quite humorous.

Hopefully I will see you tomorrow.

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