Homeschool Fail

I’ve had a few good friends over my lifetime who have chosen to homeschool their kids. Honestly, I don’t know how they do it. Having my boys home all summer is perfect – no schedule, no appointments, no planned mealtimes. Just playing and whatever strikes our fancy at the moment. It doesn’t get much better than that. But having them home, actually having to regulate a schedule and being the only one responsible for their whole education? Oh My. That seems like a huge and somewhat scary task!

The reasons my friends have homeschooled have ranged from living in an area where the public schools were failing to just feeling like it was the best choice for their kids at that point. Their kids, their choice, I don’t judge them for that. In fact, I’m a little envious that they have the organization to pull it off. And, shit, if it came down to it, and the school system wasn’t able to educate my kids for whatever reason, I’d figure it out, keep my kids home and do it myself too.

Responsible homeschoolers are something we don’t hear about much. The success stories get overlooked and we all focus so much more on the loonies. In fact, that’s what I’m doing today as well. There are many of them out there that we could point out and say “If that’s what homeschooling’s about, I want no part of it!” I could tell you stories about a few I met personally that made me say that.

I ran across this video the other day. It will take 1 minute to watch it. I’ll wait.

Now, you’ve GOT to be thinking What. The. Fuck. I was. I’ve watched it at least 10 times, and every time, I still have that same response. Are You Fucking Kidding Me?!?

You know what, I don’t care that this lady has 6 kids and doesn’t believe in using birth control, although I have no idea why she’d want to share such a personal choice with the whole world. As long as she’s able to support and provide for her kids, it’s not my concern.

I don’t care that she chooses to homeschool all of her kids, although that alone seems like a massive undertaking, especially with a little one. I’ve had little ones and know it’s like herding cats to get them to do anything. If she has a schedule down and can manage all 6 of her kids and educate them, she’s a better woman than I am, and my hat goes off to her.

She may or may not be capable of doing those things, but the fact is, she’s not doing them. She’s acting like it’s summer vacation and her kids are home with her. La la la. Let’s study the bible today. And tomorrow. And the next day.

Now, she can study the bible as part of the curriculum if she chooses and I wouldn’t bat an eye. I teach my kids about cooking at home, you might teach yours about shooting guns. That’s what we do as parents – we educate our children. But bible study is not simply part of the curriculum for her. It’s the whole damn thing. That’s a problem.

Home School Fail

Did ya catch the part where she said, “We study Genesis through Joshua. Not so hard on math facts. We’re on bible.”? Not so hard with the math facts??? What the hell? We know math isn’t irrelevant. Why would any homeschooling parent Not teach there kids math?!? It boggles my mind.

Wanna know something else that boggles my mind? She’s fucking laughing about it. Ha ha ha! What a funny thought. A kid who doesn’t know 5×5. Ha Fucking Larious. My son is 8 years old, in 3rd grade, in public schools and is working on multiplication. That little girl in the video looked older than that.

So, mom decides since she can’t control everything that happens in school she’s going to keep her babies home, lest they see and hear things I don’t want them to come into contact with. Heaven forbid if they learn that everyone isn’t exactly like us. Good God, surely they can’t find out that people have different beliefs! So, she keeps them in the bubble, surely thinking “I can do better than that!” Fine. Then do better. You don’t want to teach Suzie about evolution, even as a theory that some people believe, okay. But for the love of Pete, make sure she receives an education!

The kids here are the ones suffering. The kids are the ones who aren’t getting educated in basic skills, such as math. She has 6 kids for now. Who knows how many more this anti birth control woman will have. She’s “in charge” of educating all her kids, and she’s failing miserably. If she’s not teaching math, what else isn’t she teaching? She didn’t jump in and say “we’re focusing on reading right now.” or “We’re studying science.” Nope, her focus is on the bible.

I do believe parents should retain the right to homeschool their kids, and I believe most of them do it the right way. But the same government that is mandating kids have fucking flu shots, is allowing this woman to fail her children. It makes me sad that little Suzie, and Judy, and Martha, and Jodie, and Molly, and Jr (and all the ones to come), are growing up without basic skills.

Knowing about Adam, Eve, Moses, and Joshua isn’t going to help them in the grocery store. You know what would help them? Knowing if they have enough money for 5 boxes of cereal if each box is $5.

53 Thoughts on “Homeschool Fail

  1. OMG! That is absolutely insane! As a home schooling mom, I find this extremely frightening. This is truly sad for the children. Great post and thanks for sharing!


    As a teacher, I was fucking LIVID watching this. Yes, be critical of the education system, fine … but you damn well better be able to do a better job of it if you’re going to take over that responsibility. Jesus H Christ! They just talk about the Bible. OH MY GAWD!!!!

    Going to scream in a pillow now!

    • I completely agree! This is insanity – and it’s apparently a-okay. Except, it’s NOT okay! This is one of the worst things a parent could do to a child!

    • Congratulations on being a teacher, but with that mouth, I’m glad you are no where near any of my kids….

      Also, not sure why you are “LIVID”. I don’t believe you or anyone else has enough information to make any sort of assessment on how well this mom is educating her kids. No information was given on the age of any of these kids. It is unknown whether any of these children have learning disabilities or developmental delays. You have no idea what curriculum they are using or how much effort they put into homeschooling. All you have are your assumptions based on a 56 second clip.

      If you like to read, here is an easy to understand infographic that explains why these kids will probably end up just fine:

      • Well, HomeSchoolDad, I don’t need “information given” on the age of these kids–nor their developmental delays–to gather enough from the mother’s comments, brushing the fact that her daughter doesn’t know multiplication facts aside by saying–out loud, without any prompting or questioning–”we’re not so much on the math facts, we’re on Bible. That’s alright. (hehehe)” Uh, NO, that’s NOT alright.

        I don’t care what someone’s religious beliefs are. You can believe that doorknobs are the almighty glory and I wouldn’t give two shits about that. But, what does matter is that when you homeschool your children, you bear the responsibility of preparing them for life–which includes math facts. That’s not some public school bullshit promotion machine. That’s real life. Unless, of course you don’t think that anyone will ever need to shop for groceries or clothes. Then we can leave those annoying details alone.

        I DO have enough information about how much effort this particular mom is putting into homeschooling her kids–NOT ENOUGH. Even if she spends 23 hours a day preparing and working with her kids, it’s not enough if she doesn’t spend time on math. Which is what she said. Out loud. I don’t need to make assumptions, she told me and anyone else who watches this that she’s “not so much on the math facts” … and that’s not acceptable. Just as she gets to criticize the job public schools are doing, I get to criticize the job she’s doing.

        Your handy little infographic isn’t that impressive. Graduation rates have been “stagnant” since 1975? The graph shows a 25% increase. That’s not stagnant. And telling me that 73% of parents who homeschool cite dissatisfaction with public school isn’t really a stat arguing for the benefits of homeschooling. That’s no more meaningful than telling me that 73% of students don’t like homework. And????? Your supporting piece didn’t really support the idea that this girl–who receives no math instruction, as admitted by her mother / teacher, is going to turn out fine. Now, if your “info piece” had given me statistics on students who weren’t actually educated by their homeschooling parent and how they still turned out to be successful, then I could maybe grant you something. But not on this one.

        • Homeschool Momma Bear on December 19, 2013 at 10:31 am said:

          I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt here and assume you just don’t understand how it is possible that this child will be ok academically. Let me tell you our story. When we first started homeschooling, we tried to copy what public schools do. Then, as we became more comfortable with deviating from that course and as we learned from other homeschool parents, we relaxed and custom tailored a curriculum for each of our children. Some years or quarters or weeks, we focused on one subject, then switched to another subject when the child’s interest waned. My oldest daughter was not always at grade level in every subject at any given moment, especially in early elementary grades. As a matter of fact, she failed the “pop quiz” attack more than once. However, by late elementary school and early middle school, we began to see the fruits of our labors. She pulled ahead of her peers first in Language arts and History (including Bible history) then in Math and Science. At the end of her 8th grade year we wanted her to take a class at the local university so we had her take the ACT. We hoped she would make the minimum score required by the university. She didn’t. She exceeded it. As a matter of fact, her score was exactly the average score for incoming freshman at this state university (not some branch campus with lower standards, but the actual main campus.) A year and a half later she carries a 4.0 at that university while participating in varsity cheerleading, drama, and show choir at the local high school. (Thanks to homeschool friendly state legislators who recently enacted equal access legislation allowing homeschool children to participate in public school extra-curricular activities,) Anyone can be made to look bad in a 1 minute clip – surely you’re wise enough to know that, aren’t you?

          • Homeschool Momma Bear on December 19, 2013 at 10:45 am said:

            I should have said her score equaled that of ACCEPTED incoming freshmen. It far exceeded the average for applicants.

      • I realize this comment is late, but let me give you a little more background on this short clip. This woman and her children were interviewed as part of a documentary that supported Bible teaching and segregating Christian children from the general population. What you see is what you get. She teaches the Bible. She doesn’t base her children’s math lessons or science lessons on the Bible because it’s not in there. I completely agree with Jen that with what the mother states the daughter doesn’t know the facts because she wasn’t taught them not because she can’t learn them.
        FYI Homeschool Dad, you just judged RLP and her ability as a teacher on one comment. That makes you pretty even, doesn’t it?

        • HomeSchoolDad on December 29, 2013 at 12:09 pm said:

          Missy Homemaker,

          All things considered, I am probably much worse than RLP. :) If you have more information about the source of this clip, please post it. I do stand behind my original premise though. Just not enough information to indite this Mom on the way she is teaching her kid.

  3. And it is women, like this, that give responsible homeschoolers a bad name.

  4. So I’ve been trying to form my response here, but it seems that everyone has already beat me to it with every single thought in my head.
    We’re homeschooling because the public school here wasn’t meeting the needs of my high academic student.
    But, I am taking responsibility for their education. No, we don’t do 8 hours ever day. We’re able to do all their scheduled work in 3-4 hours, so it is kind of like summer vacation every day.
    Ok, now onto this woman. WTF lady. I don’t care if you want to base your curriculum off the Bible. There are plenty of opportunities in the Bible for an entire curriculum. Copy work, reading, science (which would obviously match their point of view), and yes…math.
    For Heaven’s sake…the Bible has a book in it called…wait for it…NUMBERS!
    This woman gives all homeschoolers a bad name, and it’s people like this who cause me to have to defend my choice to homeschool my kids over and over again.
    Thanks a lot lady. Your idiot response has made the rest of us look like bumbling fools.

    • I feel ya here. I’m sure there are bible based curriculums she could acquire that would help out if she wasn’t sure how to manage it all, also. It comes down to stepping outside the bubble for a minute and doing what’s best for the kids. How can she possibly think/believe this is okay?

  5. One year facing the public school system with a child with dyslexia and I have considered homeschooling more in this year than I ever thought imaginable. The fact is I don’t know that I can do it, day in, day out.
    I think this particuliar mom is so extreme she doesn’t represent homeschooling moms as much as Bible Beater Extremist. The homeschool moms that I have come to know are so diligent in getting the right type of instruction for their kids. Other moms look for outside tutoring, programs or supplement with time at home so their children are prepared for life. These kids sadly will only be prepared for making babies.

    • The thought of homeschooling has crossed my mind more than once also. Schools are sometimes ill-equipped to teach someone if they don’t fall into the standard box. At that point, homeschooling could be a good option…Although, I think I’d be asking Santa for a good dose of patience for Christmas.

      I agree she doesn’t represent homeschooling moms – or at least I hope she doesn’t. But it did make me wonder how many more are there that are just like her? That alone makes me worry.

  6. I agree with you, homeschooling is a tough job, and I’m not sure I would be cut out for it. However, I see noting wrong with a parent homeschooling their child as long as they are receiving a well-rounded education. This was a SCARY video. That girl was WAY too old to not know her times tables. My son knew his multiplication and division backward and forward before he ever hit 1st grade. Now granted, he was a bit early with everything, which caused boredom problems in school at times. This woman clearly has no business being in charge of her children’s education, and her husband is equally at fault.

    Life With Lorelai

    • Good point, Lorelai! My post here is skewed to point out the deficiencies of the mother, and that’s not fair. The father is equally at fault. There is no reason that he shouldn’t be involved in the education of his children and the “curriculum” that’s being taught.

  7. Patricia DiMercurio on December 16, 2013 at 4:11 pm said:

    Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought that even parents that home school their kids, have to be able to produce some kind of curriculum that they will be following and the kids still have to be tested at some point to make sure they are getting the basics in things like math, reading, writing, science, etc.

    • I’m not sure, but I asked a couple of my friends who homeschool. One of them will answer, I’m sure :)

    • Homeschool laws vary by state. For instance, in Illinois, you don’t have to do anything. There’s no registering your child as homeschooled, no standardized testing-the children just have to be schooled for 180 days a year. For us, that’s great. I don’t want the government’s hands in my children’s education any more than I have to. In Iowa, you either have to have the curriculum approved by a licensed teacher or have your child take state standardized tests every year. Other states require you to keep more detailed records such as transcripts, curriculum, etc.

    • Exactly Missy! I ” feel” like we defend our choice, to homeschool, so many times. And it’s women, like this, that make us all look bad!

    • Sorry Mom DiMercurio, wrong place with the wrong response. In MI, we do not have to show the state anything. No curriculum, no checking in on us. Nothing. Sad, for the children of this woman, but I am personally happy for it. We took the kids out for many reasons, one small one was gov’t control.

  8. OMG – so sad. What is the future going to look like when these kids grow up and can’t do simple math or spell? I can imagine it would be difficult to organize curriculum in the home with even one child, but common sense people…

  9. Parents have a responsibility to make sure their children are prepared to do more than sign up for welfare. As a grandmother, I’m proud of my children and how well they are preparing my grandchildren for when they become adults.

  10. Naturally this, like many things is a complicated issue. That being said, to create an environment where your children are denied access to important life skills, such as basic math, and an understanding of science i.e. how things work, and function, is selfish and beyond narrow minded.
    It is a shame that anyone thinks that their belief system, or values are so fragile that they can’t stand up to exposure to other belief systems. There are many reasons to home school children, but fear should not be one of them!
    My daughter’s moral and ideological principles are strengthened, not diminished by being exposed to a broad range of people, places, things and experiences. I would not want her world to be narrowed to only ‘people like us’. I would never want to thwart her experience of the world.

    • I agree Nancy. We always use things we encounter that we don’t agree with as a learning opportunity for our kids. Mine know that different families have different rules and different priorities and that is okay! At least, I’ve told them that 75 times or so, so I hope they are learning that ;)

  11. My kids go to public schools and my best friend’s kids are home schooled. We both agree that the other is not right for our own family and that is okay. We discuss how my children will have more opportunities-sports, band, choir, etc whereas her kids know Latin. Her kids do Bible as PART of the curriculum and that is wonderful. I wish my kids could get that. This lady just seems crazy. For our children to succeed they have to be well rounded. That means learning about things you may not agree with-evolution, other religions etc. I pray this video may put some insight that she needs to focus on basic educational aspects also.

    • Tonya, I completely agree that each family needs to do what’s best for them, to meet the educational needs of their family. Everyone needs an education, and we hear a lot about how public schools are “failing our kids” but it’s something that happens in homeschooling situations as well.

  12. I know people like this.

    “Why would any homeschooling parent Not teach there kids math?!?” Why? Because to them, it IS irrelevant, especially for the girls. They have no intention of allowing their children to attend any institution of higher learning after they “graduate” high school. That is, unless one of their sons is “called” to the ministry. They can go to “bible college.” The daughters, though, are expected to be housewives who submit to the will of their husbands.

    Their entire homeschool curriculum is based on the bible and in some cases is not even accredited. When they “graduate,” if they decide to rebel and go on to a real college/university, or join the military, or get any job that requires you to prove that you’re a high-school graduate…they will have to get a GED first.

    I wish that I was joking, or exaggerating even just a little bit. Unfortunately, I’m not. It really is that sad.

  13. Those poor kids. How are they going to function as adults? I don’t get this at all.

  14. Ugh.

    I don’t understand how this happens. When I was in middle school, a friend if my dad’s decided she wanted to homeschool. She had to jump throug SO many hoops to prove that she understood the basic stuff that gets taught in public schools. Her kids had to pass the same tests as kids in public school. Someone came in to make sure she wasn’t using homeschooling as an excuse to neglect her child’s education. Has that changed or is it a regional thing? And how the hell are these kids supposed to make it in the real world? That’s the whole point of parenting–teaching your kids enough so that they know how to survive in the real world. And her kids are going to be eaten alive if they ever set foot outside their mother’s little bubble.

  15. OK, so I’m a homeschooling mom of 3 kids, just so you know where I’m coming from. That said… everyone take a deep breath and consider something please… kids don’t have to be taught everything they learn. I’m not a radical unschooler, I teach my kids basic math facts, plus a whole range of other skills, but I know they learn more from the life we live and the interactions we have than I’ve ever taught them. My youngest is somehow reading, and has been for a couple years, and I never taught him letter sounds. All my kids know how to calculate sales tax or a tithe without having done a worksheet on it. Their vocabularies are amazing and they are constantly creating. Once again, kids learn from their environment as well or better than they do from formal curriculum. Assuming this family does more than just sit around reading the Bible all day and I wouldn’t worry too much about the kids education, really! I know it sounds pie in the sky, but until you’ve experienced it for yourself, you can’t understand the magic of free-range learning.

    • I am just curious how college and university fits into the ‘free range’ style of education? Do kids who have never had any type of curriculum flail in college? I would imagine an actual test (let alone an end of semester final) or due date for a 20 page paper would be a hard adjustment. Do university entrance exams or requirements pose a problem? or are you not concerned with college education?

    • Kayla, I have no doubts that you and most other homeschooling parents do a fantastic job, just like many public schools do a great job too. Many kids do learn from their environment, but not all kids do. I have a 9 old who needs very deliberate teaching. My 6 year old, on the other hand, soaks up everything around him and most things he’s learned “by accident” – He’s ahead of where he needs to be in school. I can only speak for myself, but without a curriculum (the schools in our case), I never would have realized my older son was behind where he should be. I would have assumed he was on target since he really is a bright kid – but not in all the ways that schools measure. I feel sometimes it’s the effort that needs to be rewarded, not the results.

      I do believe almost all parents do the best we can do.

  16. Notice all the children are girls? how much you want to bet that they aren’t doing real subjects because, after all they are just going to grow up, get married and have babies. Why do you need science, history and math when you are being groomed to be a content baby making homemaker? I wouldn’t be surprised if when they have a boy, they pull out actual academics.

  17. I think this clip is just that – a clip – a window into this family’s life. If we sat with the family for 1/2 hour, I think we’d find that just because the daughter didn’t know a few multiplication facts (all public school kids do?) doesn’t mean she isn’t being taught.

    Homeschooling is a huge undertaking and most parents take it very seriously.

    • Kathy, I agree she probably is being taught some stuff and agree that a 1 minute clip certainly doesn’t give us the whole picture. My thoughts were mostly that the mom only pointed out “We’re working on bible.” Had it not been for that, I wouldn’t have thought anything of a kid on the spot not being able to spout off multiplication problems, homeschool or not. I do agree that most homeschooling families take it seriously.

  18. Sara S. on December 18, 2013 at 6:13 pm said:

    Himmm looks like a replay of my parents grilling my niece on math facts. She knew them but she froze when they were tossed at her by my mom. I watched her just freeze and answer all wrong, She was not expecting to be drilled spur of the moment. Now later in the day, while she was crying at Grandmas treatment of her. She proved to me that she knew them all, quiet well ( I can never remember 7×8 but she did!)
    Now lets turn this around If this it to be our litmus test of preparing to be homemakers and baby makers… I saw a 5th grader in a a A+++ rated school unable to answer any math facts. She was a girl as well, so her teachers must must also be preparing her for just getting married and being a baby make homemaker too. I’d love to see this same guy randomly pick families and start tossing math questions at public schooled kids as well.

    • Sara, I agree that a one minute clip doesn’t show anywhere near the whole picture. My thoughts were mostly that the mom only pointed out “We’re working on bible.” Had it not been for that, I wouldn’t have thought anything of a kid on the spot not being able to spout off multiplication problems, homeschool or not.

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  21. As a homeschooling junior in high school, I seriously question your knowledge in the homeschooling world—True, some parents who homeschool their children might be in over their head—but the majority of Christian homeschooling families I have interacted with (and trust me I have met a LOT) have very successful children. My parents are currently homeschooling all of their kids (9 in all) and my two older brothers and sister graduated with honors and scored very high scores on their ACT tests. Oh, and my parents also center their curriculum around Christianity and the Bible, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t get taught math and science and everything else we need to know to live in this world.
    My parents chose to homeschool their children because they did not want us to have to deal with the corrupt school system which basically outlaws anything having to do with God or the Bible. They also didn’t want us to have to deal with the cruelty and bullying many kids have to endure in the school system.
    I’m not saying this to stir up anything, I’m just giving my opinion which is: This situation you described is NOT the way things work in most Christian-based homeschooling families, and it certainly hasn’t been in any Christian homeschooling family I’ve ever met.

    • I appreciate your comment Emily. Actually, I agree with you too. As I said, I do believe most homeschooling families do it the right way. I have no problems with Christian based curriculum, as long as the bible is not the only thing that’s being taught. It sounds like your parents have a good grasp of what you and your siblings will need to know after you move out on your own and are prepping you well. :)

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