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Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Mindblowing homeschool debate on About.com

I stumbled upon a homeschool war on About.com, which seems a bit uncharacteristic for the site, to begin with.  The "debate" between Jerry Webster and Kathy Ceceri (who unceremoniously replaced Beverly Hernandez some months ago), pits special education against homeschooling, which is a real shame because many families have found relief and safety for their special-ed children in homeschooling.

But perhaps, that is Mr. Webster's problem.  Maybe he feels disregarded by homeschoolers, a group that doesn't hang onto every word of his expertise.  Perhaps people who could take or leave his advice as it suits them are a bit full of themselves and need to be put in their place.  But it is not my place to try to see into the brain of Mr. Webster.  It is also not his place to try to peer into our brains and motivations either.

You can go ahead and read the blogs if you wish, but he has made it clear, that he has said his peice, and now wants us homeschoolers to "go away" now.  (Notice to Homeschoolers) Good luck with that! The thing I am having the most problem with is that he is whining about being  drawn into a debate by Kathy Ceceri.  Isn't that the adult equivalent of "she started it"?

Likewise, I'm not sure why Kathy entertained him.  Homeschoolers have been largely quiet in the homeschool debate for a while because most of us have realized that there is no point in arguing with a wall.  If someone has already decided that homeschooling is for crazies, not even the most intelligent, relaxed, thoughtful response is likely to change their minds.  In my experience, the only thing that will make a person change their mind about homeschooling is seeing a student be successful.  I.e. most of my biggest detractors when my kids were young, are now our biggest supporters.

So my final thought on this toxic online homeschool debate is to stop arguing, and keep homeschooling.  Prove the success by your actions, not by your words.  Let the detractors show their ignorance, and if you must write about education, or homeschooling, try to keep it positive.



3 comments:

Jerry Webster said...

Yours is one of the kinder responses. Unfortunately, I didn't enter this debate willingly but was dragged in by a misquote. The debate has confirmed all of the myths as true, and has shown that homeschoolers, in the main, are mean spirited, have little regard for credentials (perhaps because of their lack of credentials) and are so set on their own narratives that they disregard everyone else's. They have resorted mostly to the old "if you don't have a valid point, call names."
I met for coffee with a couple important legislators here in Nevada for coffee (they serve on education committees, who pay us) and their experience with people representing the homeschooling community in this cycle was very bad: they used words like "ignorant, mean spirited, right wing, nasty . . . " One, a retired educator, said "I can't believe the things they said in public, let alone in a taped hearing."

Ahermitt said...

Mr. Webster, something I have learned as a blogger, and a YouTuber is that the loudest voices often come from the minority. I have received some of the nastiest, racist, and most ignorant responses from people who claim to represent the masses, but in fact do not.

One has to learn to stop painting an entire population with the same dirty brush.

Sprittibee said...

As a homeschooler who does not start arguments and believes my kids will eventually prove that homeschooling is superior and worked for them, I'm offended by Mr. whats-his-name and the tacky things he said about homeschoolers in general. He must be talking to far left-wing lawmakers if that is the impression he's getting. I've been to many Capitol Day events with politicians in Texas and they have nothing but nice things to say about the homeschoolers who visit their offices, help in their campaigns, and are politically active in this state. There are fringe nuts on all sides of the gallery, Mr. whats-your-name. Time to stop generalizing and start looking at the FACTS and DATA. Homeschooling works, freedom works, free markets work. Quit pushing your agenda down other people's throats and we'll mind our own business and happily educate our children whom we love more than anyone in your failing public school system. #thankyouverymuch

PS Sorry to see Beverly go! I had no idea she wasn't on About.com any more. Been talking to her online for the past 8+ years.