Monday, September 12, 2005
When my wife and I mention to our well-intentioned friends that we are strongly considering home schooling our children, we are without fail asked, "But what about socialization?" Fortunately, we found a proven method by which our kids can receive the same socialization that government schools provide.
On Mondays and Wednesdays, I will personally corner my son in the bathroom, give him a wedgie, and take his lunch money. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, my wife will make sure to tease our children for not being in the "in" crowd, taking special care to poke fun of any physical abnormalities.
Fridays will be "Fad and Peer Pressure Day," in which we will all compete to see who has the coolest toys, most expensive clothes, and the loudest, fastest, and most dangerous car-all while dyeing our hair the same color and ripping our jeans.
However, every day, my wife and I will adhere to a routine of cursing and swearing in the hallways and mentioning our weekend exploits with alcohol and immorality. If our kids attempt to use the bathroom without permission, we will punish them immediately; and have asked them to hold us to a similar standard by reporting us to the authorities in the event we mention God or try to bring up morals and values.
And just think-all these benefits without a dime of taxpayers' money!
It is letters to the editor like these that scares the hell out of me. These letters make me fear other people in my community. This letter's writer should have considered the proverb of "It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid, than to open it and remove all doubt." Mr. Brymer is now going to have 8 kids (my guess of how many kids home schoolers usually have) who are socially awkward, don't know how to deal with any of the following: conflict, peer pressure, poor choices by friends or even how to choose their own path. Is being subject to cursing in the hall by classmates detrimental? Possible but if kids are never exposed to it how can they protect themselves from it? Can we know what joy is if we never experience sorrow? Can you be vaccinated against polio without having the polio virus injected to create antibodies for immunization?
There are bullies everywhere not just in school but in business, in church, in social activities. Keeping your child from bullies will never teach him how to deal with the problem.
Teasing is a part of life, is it cruel? It can be. Can it be life altering? Yes if not properly dealt with but anything that doesn't kill you will make you stronger. Being Politically Correct has made us a country of crybabies. We no longer know how to deal with it so we go tattling to our lawyers.
Peer pressure is also everywhere. What will happen when little Johnny finally makes it to college and he suddenly cannot take the pressures of competing, or drugs, or alcohol because he was sheltered from peer pressure. Never experiencing the good or bad of peer pressure will not help your child deal with it and make the right choices.
The last paragraph is the scariest. What happens to little Johnny when he hears about the lives of non-LDS? This is why non-LDS people hate Utah Mormons. I am sorry but little Johnny can't come over and play because you aren't members and thus are evil. I hear that you have beer in your fridge and this could prevent little Johnny from feeling the spirit while in your house. What a bunch of elitist bastards? I see the depths of hell filled with elitist Utah Mormons but that is a rant for another day. While it is important to watch what influences your family, not all people are evil. Just because someone isn't LDS does not make them a threat to all that is holy. You can still be a good person, a productive member of society and not be LDS. Remember that little thing called free agency. it wasn't just given to the LDS faithful (with the exception of BYU students who don't play football).
Kids today are way too over protected. Don't get me wrong, protecting children is important but more important is that children learn whether through others experience or through their own. My mom tried to protect me by warning me that something was hot but it didn't clearly sink in until I burned myself on it then it became crystal clear to me. I bet Mr. Brymer's kids don't get to ride a bike (oooh way to dangerous), no trampoline (evil, evil device) or popcorn at the movies due to the excessive fat in the butter but then again they probably aren't allowed to go to movies not produced by the church. It didn't take too many falls to realize that skin does heal or that jumping off the trampoline hurts and shouldn't be done. If children don't experience the lows of life how will they ever enjoy the highs? Children who are never disappointed won't handle disappointment later in life and life certainly has its ups and downs. By not seeing the effects of dishonesty how will little Johnny learn about honesty and integrity. I believe that pain and scars are as important as rewards and happiness. There is opposition in all things. Sheltering a child from the perils of life is not as successful as pointing out lifes pitfalls and explaining why one should avoid it and letting kids experience life. It's part of a lifetime of learning. So in my humble little opinion if you are thinking about home schooling maybe you should do it after public school.