Welcome to Snarkfest

Welcome to my snarky corner of the web. Join me as I discuss everything from wine to chocolate. There may be a few other topics mixed in there too. I talk a bunch about my amazing offspring, 22 and 20. I sometimes go on and on about my secret crush on the amazing Mike Rowe. I talk about things that irritate me or things that make me happy. Sometimes I just talk to hear myself talk. Feedback is always appreciated but please make sure it's respectable. No nudity or profanity. I'm the only one allowed to be profane. But any and all snark is welcome and appreciated!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Homeschooling discussion, from a very cool guest poster...

Hey Snarklings. Today I'm featuring a new friend of mine with a very cool and insightful blog called Coffee is Black. Now you all know that I do love me some 16 and 14 but there is NO way on God's green earth that I could ever have the patience to homeschool those little angels. No. Way. At. All. And we all know the debate gets hot when you've got 1980425 opinions on homeschooling and every one of them is the right one, right? Right. But here is a different perspective. One FROM a former homeschooled kid, not a parent either pro or con. And it looks like she turned out pretty okay!

I give you Fiona. Read her post here, then go and check out her blog. Seriously, there's a lot of food for thought over there! But for now, please welcome the lovely Fiona from Coffee is Black...

Homeschooler in a Public Schooling World: You are Not a Special Fairy Anymore

A homeschooler in a public school is a strange and bewildered creature. There are so many things to adjust to! Here are some lessons about surviving public school that would have helped me a lot had I known them:

1. When bells ring, it means that you have to leave whatever class you're in and go to another one. It doesn't matter if you like what is going on in class. It doesn't matter if you're talking with the teacher. You actually get in trouble for staying in class. Crazy, right?

2. I learned very quickly that YOU DO NOT ASK THE TEACHER FOR EXTRA WORK. They honestly don't know what to do with you, and you will forever be marked as strange by the teacher. Seriously, don't do it.

3. It is very, VERY uncool to appear interested in the schoolwork. I made the grave mistake of getting excited about a debate about the benefit of technology in Social Studies. I thought it would be cool to play the devil's advocate and argue that we'd be better off without technology. I was "cavewoman" to the kids in that class until I graduated.

Me at school. Uncool and interested.

4. You can't leave lunch and go somewhere else because you feel like it or you have something more important to do. You will get in trouble if you just randomly wander the hallways doing stuff. Seriously, hall passes are a thing. You have to use them.

5. If you stay up late working really hard on something, you don't get a free pass to sleep in the next morning. You don't get to stay in bed past 10 or even be a few minutes late for the very legitimate reason that you are tired because you were doing work. You have to be in homeroom at 8:10 a.m. unless you're planning to play "hooky." You just have to accept it and show up on time in the morning.

6. That I-was-staying-up-late-doing-work-for-another-teacher excuse doesn't fly for homework either. This is tough when your one-and-only teacher (Mom) becomes 8 or 9 separate teachers. They don't care about the other work if it means you're doing their homework late. You just have to do it all on time. Tough cookies.

7. If you get an assignment that you could make more interesting by changing the prompt, well, don't change the prompt. You won't get a good grade, or any other kind of reward. You have to follow the instructions that the other 30 kids in class are following.

8. You can't skip ahead on the work if you already know it. You have to stay with the class. Be patient. You'll get there.

9. Don't contradict the teacher in class. It won't get you bonus points or a congratulations. You may be a *special fairy* who knows absolutely everything and is quite confident asserting yourself. BUT in public school, you have to keep that special fairy-ness in check and don't undermine the teacher.

10. Finally, bare feet are absolutely against the rules. You have to wear shoes to class. You have to KEEP THEM ON in class. If you get called to the office for something, you have to go with your shoes on. If you are in the library or study hall, you must stay shod, no matter what you actually want to do, even if it hurts your delicate Fairy sensibilities.

Myself as a Special Fairy, Pre-Public School


  1. My kids go to Montessori - a lot of these apply too. I worry for their re-entry into public/private school for high school.

  2. A lot of this was tongue in cheek...it's awesome that your kids go to Montessori! Honestly, I think being homeschool prepared me to graduate from a public shcool (I only went for two years) better than going to public school would have. I was more independent and more likely to seek out opportunities.
    Your kids will be fine! Best of luck.

  3. SmartKidsAreTheCoolestMay 10, 2014 at 1:56 PM

    This is so spot on, and I wasn't even home schooled! Being interested in academics while attending public school is confusing (or annoying) for teachers and alienating for developing relationships with peers. Unfortunately, not having something to keep a bright student stimulated and the boredom of having to wait for the entire class instead of skipping ahead can really burn someone out for schoolwork.

    The best advice I ever received during the particularly difficult times of public elementary and middle school was that I was simply smarter than my teachers. Of course other peers would stray away from that (even at the hint of someone being intelligent, let alone interested), but some teachers also really hated that and took it out on me. I even had one or two professors in college do this, but thankfully by then I had developed enough confidence to engage with them and it worked out alright.

    Regardless, I never really believed my grandmothers advice and just appreciated that she was trying to make me feel better. Now as an adult, I work with public school educators all the time and realize that she was right. I have encountered students who are smarter than me, but I try to fuel their passions and boost their confidence (and show them something cool or interesting if I can!). I hope they can look back on these days with humor and grace as well :)


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