Skip to comments.How to Be a Beekeeper (ESPN.com takes swipe at homeschooled Spelling Bee contestants)
Posted on 06/02/2005 12:55:33 AM PDT by baseballfanjm
ESPN.com ran this article, intending for it to be an amusing take on how to predict the winner of the National Spelling Bee. However, the last "formula" irked me.
Here's what it says:
"Stay away from home-schooled kids.
It goes without saying that these kids don't get out of the house much. There are 34 home-schooled competitors in this year's bee, including speller No. 142 Jack Ausick and speller No. 217 Benjamin Zachary Walter. The first home schooler won in 1997 and others followed, including Lala in '99 and Thampy in 2000. But kids that actually interact with other children at school have won three out of the last four bees."
While he has other "stay away from" picks that fit the joking manner of the article, that one struck me as just lame and as a swipe more than a joke.
(Excerpt) Read more at sports.espn.go.com ...
The following is my reply to the writer:
My name is XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX. I am a USAF pilot in the XXX AW which has the worlds only ski-equipped aircraft in the world. We fly the international scientific community around the polar regions of the globe to further the scientific knowledge base of the world in a multitude of areas. Though a Military unit, we are the only ones with the magnificent LC-130H aircraft which is a standard C-130 with the worlds largest set of skis for landing on snow.
I am a father of 5. We home school. And I am sure by this statement alone you might think I am looking for a fight with you, I am not. But I do wish you to think through statements like the one you posted recently. And I quote:
Stay away from home-schooled kids. It goes without saying that these kids don't get out of the house much. There are 34 home-schooled competitors in this year's bee, including speller No. 142 Jack Ausick and speller No. 217 Benjamin Zachary Walter. The first home schooler won in 1997 and others followed, including Lala in '99 and Thampy in 2000. But kids that actually interact with other children at school have won three out of the last four bees.
I simply have to ask what influences are you listening to that you come to this conclusion? I will be the first to admit to you that my children are NOT the universal home school standard. But they are out of the house quite a bit. It would seem that a good part of my income is spent in the taxi business to support it all. Ball Games, Clubs, recitals, music functions, church functions, club functions, Programs on my base for youth, programs with 4 H. And the list goes on and on and on.
We have to apply your line of logic to the world to see if it would stand the test of reality. After all, if these kids dont get out much it stands to reason that they would be social misfits, would it not? Seems that Teddy Roosevelt, FDR and Lincoln turned out alright. I would imagine we need to be concerned with socialization so that people could do their jobs well. You know, like George Patton or Doug MacArthur. We would not want the best of our Generals in WWII to be home schooled in that way, would we? But they were. No, not ALL of their education is home school, just like not all of my childrens education is home school. They may attend High School, they may not, but they will go to university, Just like the others did.
There is definitely a block of people out there who know little of home schooling or of how it is done. You need to be honest and ask what their frame of reference is. Like mine, it was Public School all the way, complete with recess, school busses, Home Ec, Gym, Proms, School Dances and walks across the stage for awards, Band nights or the final one called Graduation. Truthfully is not all bad, but it seems to never bring up the negatives, its just how it was. Thats a frame of reference new to us. Formalized public school is recent history. You and I went through it. Today it is a system with a lot of VESTED interest in it staying the way it is. Unions, Politicians and others demand we know only them in control of it. While I am not trying to debate it with you I simply want you to see that very real reasons exists for why parents like me Home school. Start schooling by 8:30 AM and end by 1:00 PM and achieve more scholastically than their counterparts in the public system. What to do with that time? Use it. Go places, do things, be involved, get the hands on experience that you would not have sitting in a classroom. Be at home with family or out with friends socializing.
I think you have been lead down the path of those who know little to nothing about home schooling. I wish you to learn a little more before making such a blanket statement. I have flown around the world as a USAF pilot, seen many cultures and have experienced many different things, but one thing universal to all of them is that the best children of those societies are the ones with involved parents who do more than just raise kids, they parent them, teach them and motivate them. Yes, there are some parents who have no business home schooling their kids, but they have choices too, like on-line virtual schools so that courseware and syllabus can be done for that parent who does not know how or fears making mistakes. There are other ways as well. They deserve the right and respect to have cared enough to want more than the one-size-fits-all school to a lower-common-denominator government answer. Teachers today have my respect and admiration. They are often great people working against a rising tide of problems that hand cuff them from doing a lot of things they wished they could do. Say something wrong and they are in trouble, discipline wrong and they are in trouble, cant speak to some parents whos little angel could do no wrong all while working within a system that oft-times is broken from the TOP down. They have my respect, but this does not mean I have to send my children there.
I invite you to look at the list of home schooled folks attached at the end of this letter as well as follow the link to an article you may find interesting on the subject.
I would be glad to make myself available to you for any questions. In the meantime, go Red Sox and do it again New England Patriots!
Documented in the book, Home Schooling: The Right Choice, by Chris Klicka
John Quincy Adams
William Henry Harrison
Theodore F. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Patrick Henry (VA)
Charles Pickney III (SC)
Richard D. Spaight (NC)
William Livingston (NJ)
Richard Bassett (DE)
George Bernard Shaw
Robert E. Lee
US Senators of Congressmen
William S. Johnson (CT)
George Clymer (PA)
John Francis Mercer (MD)
William Blount (TN)
William Few (GA)
Preachers and Missionaries
John and Charles Wesley
Dwight L. Moody
Scientists, Economists, and Businessmen
Booker T. Washington
John Stuart Mill
John Witherspoon Princeton
Timothy Dwight Yale
William S. Johnson Columbia
Chief Justices of the US Supreme Court
John Singleton Copley
Pearl S. Buck
Oh dear, you think you can say that as if you know more than I do on the subject, and yet I'm a homeschooler. It was out of the lack of the quality of the local school system that my parents did it. However, they've gone out of their way to make sure I've had more interaction and social experience than I had when I was at a school here.
Where'd this idea that public school is an absolutely necessary social experience, without which kids become reclusive misfits, and the only necessary one for kids it seems, come from?
They learn how to lie, cheat, steal, fake, and abuse themselves and each other: sexually, morally, and physically.
What an odd opinion. Do you actually know any public school kids?
The writer, who thinks in stereotypes, won't know what to do with that, a completely reasonable and letter. He'll hit the fourth sentence and explode. ;)
Either that, or he'll take the "I'm kidding!" defense.
Guess the kids in Georgia are different, or you're living in the wrong place. Pretty much everyone I know went to public school and the vast majority are productive members of society.
I will always give the benefit of the doubt because if you don't, even if you are dead right, you will be branded a reactionary. However, you and I held the same suspicions.
Here is the total of his reply to my e-mail:
"Thankfully I believe the kids who read my article, even perhaps the home schoolers in this very competition, realize that my article is a complete joke. Part of humor is coming to conclusions that dont often make sense. I hope you can appreciate that.
LOL!!! The "I'm just kidding" defense
Schools have gotten amazingly politicized in the last couple of decades. Parents (some anyway) are fed up with the focus on sexual deviancy, political correctness, etc under the guise of education and throwing more and more money at a problem that does not get solved. Teachers unions and attorneys add to the decline of standards over the past 20-30 years.
The pressure from some states and corners of the media to make homeschooling a pariah-like function only add to the willingness of some to want to get their kids into an environment where parents have a say once again, and not the state.
They are supposed to work for us, the taxpayers. They forget it often.
LOL. I too will give the benefit of the doubt, as I usually do, even if our suspicions are true.
I knew he meant the article in general as a joke when I read it, and I have no trouble with jokes that poke harmless fun. I just felt his homeschooler remark smacked of stereotypes and spoke some volumes on his real thoughts about homeschoolers. Sometimes people use humor as a way to mask hurtful things under the guise that they're just kidding.
Hey guys, I didn't mean for this to be a "public school vs. homeschooled" thing.
I was just annoyed at the stereotypes and insults tossed so nonchalantly at homeschoolers (demonstrated by the writer and by MikeyA5150).
I personally have nothing against homeschooling (so long as there are minimal controls in place to make sure the homeschooled kids are in fact getting an education).
I doubt I'd personally ever homeschool my kids, but I'm fortunate to live in a region with good public schools (well, maybe not DC, but Montgomery County and the close-in Virginia suburbs have good schools) and, failing that, have the financial means to send my kids to private schools, if need be. So, homeschooling would never be necessary for my family. That being said, I'm sure there are plenty of places in this country where homeschooling is necessary.
And I don't blame you one little bit.
But with that said, those of us who choose to send our children to public school also get annoyed with the gatuitous insults and stereotypes that get shoved at us by some homeschoolers.
I'm not saying either reaction is correct - but the charge is equally valid against both sides.
I've personally known hundreds, probably more than a thousand, hoeschooled kids during the past 15 years or so, and your characterizations are nearly 100% out of touch with reality.
So seriously, how many are you talking about? Two, five, a dozen?
My best quess in answer to that particular question to that particular poster wuold be a big fat ZERO.
I'd rather have decency than productivity. Lawyers like John Edwards are "productive" members of society, don'tcha know.
The vast majority are decent, too.
Well thanks for telling me I was abused and am a social misfit. Apparently my friends didn't get that memo though.
You're only assuming or guessing. You really have no way of knowing what the 'vast majority' of them are, or aren't.
Homeschool ping list ping.