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Extreme Home Schooling

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It's not nice to stereotype. Just ask the comedian and father of four home-schooled kids who made this video.

It's pretty common. When we hear someone's home schooling their kids, we think they must be a little weird. Pam Heilman, who home schools her three kids, gets it all the time, "I have people ask me how on earth I can spend so much time with my kids, she says, "as if I have a screw loose."

Do you think parents who home school are self-sacrificing or insane?

14 comments so far | Post a comment now
bethe April 5, 2008, 4:09 PM

I always admire moms who homeschool… but I’d never be able to do it myself. It seems like the ones who do a great job of it build a real network around themselves of support and that seems like a really powerful way to raise intelligent kids.

dulce303 April 5, 2008, 5:37 PM

I agree with Bethe. I feel like there’s something natural in “working” for your family’s future in that way. It feels healthy and responsible. The creepy factor comes from our own cynical stereotypes of what a family living in accord to bible teachings is like. But…I like Bethe I don’t think I can do it myself.

Anonymous April 5, 2008, 7:55 PM

i guess i’m one of those with “cynical sterotypes” but home schooling is creepy. the kids are weird and so are the parents. it seems like neither the child or parent fit in with real society. maybe they build a network around themselves but that network usually consists of others who are slightly off. dosen’t seem like they would learn much about tolerence or diversity.
what happens when the kid goes off to college?

Susie April 5, 2008, 8:44 PM

My sister did it with all 3 of hers. They’re not very smart and don’t have the best manners. She finally sent 2 to high school and they are way behind the other kids. They probaly will never go to college. I feel that she messed up their lives. Why is it always the religious finatics that do it?

Summer April 6, 2008, 10:20 AM

I’m weird, I don’t fit in with most of society, and I love it. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Going to public school didn’t make me conform to society’s standards, it just made me hide who I really was for fear of being bullied by people who think that if you don’t dress/act/think just like them then you are too weird to be treated like a human being. I hope my kids are weird, it sure beats the alternative.

Besides, most of the problems people have, like Anonymous up there, are based on their assumptions rather than real life. Tolerance was never anything I was taught in school, and judging by most of society it seems no one else learned it either.

faythe April 6, 2008, 12:25 PM

Hi… I homeschool my two oldest. I am not a religious fanatic. I am not homeschooling in order to “shelter them from the real world.” My children have had both a public school and homeschool experience. They are both gifted children, and this is where I feel the public schools in our area have failed them. They are not being challenged enough for their needs. If the public schools met their needs, I would send them in a heartbeat. But since the area schools don’t, (and we can’t afford private-schooling) we homeschool.

If that makes me creepy and weird, so be it.

Crimson Wife April 6, 2008, 4:20 PM

Are homeschoolers the ones who are truly “weird”? It’s only been in the past 150 years that our society has decided to isolate children away from their families during their formative years.

Research has shown that homeschooled children are *BETTER* socialized (in terms of showing fewer problematic behaviors) than their traditionally schooled peers.

Kate April 7, 2008, 7:26 PM

When 15 year olds who smoke pot and have sex begin to sit next to your 12 year old in his 7th grade Math class, because the 15 year olds couldn’t pass a No Child Left Behind federally mandated test, well that’s when homeschooling begins to make so much more sense.

Henry Cate April 7, 2008, 8:37 PM

Many people who homeschool had doubts and fears. Most parents were raised in public schools and taught that only “professionals” could teach children.

Once parents step into the unknown, most of them realize they can homeschool their children. It is not scary once they get going.

Lori S. April 10, 2008, 12:18 AM


We currently homeschool, but my oldest is going off to high school next year . I have to agree that some homeschoolers seem a little strange at first, but once you get to know them that they are good, caring people with the best intentions.

My children are way above their peers in most subjects, because we have been able to work at their pace, which is often faster.

I commend anyone who chooses to homeschool. I think those who look down on homeschoolers have either had a bad experience and judge all homeschoolers on that experience or feel a bit guilty for not homeschooling their own children, so they attack others who do.

We are going to be in a unique situation next year with one at home and one at high school, but I know we’ll adjust just as we have to every stage along the way.

Sally January 13, 2009, 8:52 PM

For Pete’s sake why is weird a bad thing? Let’s be Authentic and Original! Whoever “anonymous” is, he/she has obviously not matured beyond the middle school mentality that everyone should fit in and be like everyone else. Does he/she still want to be popular?

I do not homeschool but the more I learn about it the more I think, “Right On!”

Alison March 6, 2009, 10:35 AM

I am a first year home schooling mom. I home school all three of our children. (all of our children attended “regular” school until fall of ‘08) We turned to home schooling when my (10 yr) daughter was threatened to be shot just because the other girls were jealous of her, her family, her clothes, her money,etc. (and by the way, the school district did nothing to punish the bullies who were threatening my daughter) Also, when my kindergartener was beaten up on the public school playground by a 4th grader! The 4th grader’s punishment was to simply write an apology. Our school district is horrible. Would you still send your children to a school where their lives are threatened on a daily basis? If that makes me a “wierd” mom then I can live with that! My kids are happy and that is all that matters.

Tracey May 24, 2009, 3:05 PM

I don’t think I’m wierd, just tired. I never wanted to home school my 15 year old, but because of health concerns, he missed a lot of school and the school district basically pushed me into it. Thank goodness for the virtual school. Right now, I’m teaching him the best I can just to meet the requirement that he be “in school.” He’ll get his actual credits from the virtual school this summer. Even so, I am taking it seriously and working hard to give him the best education I can in the short amount of time that I have him. It’s a lot of work, requiring hours of preparation for just a few hours of class time. But, in a way I really love it. And, the more flexible schedule is easier on my son.

Ten Tees January 9, 2011, 8:50 AM

Good article! Enjoyable reading. I have one thing to give about funny shirts.

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