It’s always great to hear from the new generation of homeschoolers. Specifically, it’s good to hear that they appreciate and agree with the decision we made to homeschool them.
Here’s a lovely article by a young adult homeschooler. It was great news, so far as I was concerned.
Of course, the bad news is that civilians are still incredibly ignorant about homeschooling. And have opinions about it anyway.
I try not to read the comments on homeschooling articles for exactly this reason, but this time I gave in. I also posted a few much-needed replies.
One thing I didn’t bother pointing out, since plenty of other writers were on the job, was how absurd it was to make snide comments about the writer’s incorrect use of the phrase “my brother and I,” when it should have been “my brother and me.” One commenter in particular (whom I replied to, and who didn’t have a big enough pair to answer) said that this writer’s parents apparently didn’t do such a good job with grammar. Implying, of course, that we parents aren’t qualified to homeschool if our kids grow up and make any mistakes about anything, ever.
Which is interesting, because when I took an English class at a local college, students were occasionally required to read their work aloud. More than one of them made that exact same mistake. And all of them had gone to public schools.
So we should get rid of those next, right? Since obviously they don’t work. Since that’s the criterion we’re using.
Another commenter used a variation of a psychological trick my husband read about recently. Basically, it’s along these lines: If you try to argue as to whether or not something exists at all (“There’s human waste in bottled water!”), you’ll have people arguing on both sides. If you use a number instead (“There are 57 parts per thousand of human waste in bottled water”) people will argue with the number itself, but they’ll accept the basic premise. Please excuse my disgusting example and take my point.
So, speaking of human waste: a poster named Jesse jumped on the “she don’t got good grammer” train. (Why, yes — many of the people who picked on the author’s grammar did make errors when it came to grammar, spelling, and punctuation.) Jesse had this to say:
“marsha, do you REALLY believe there is only ONE mistake in the whole story? reread the first paragraph. it’s hard to keep track of how many errors it ALONE has.”
I don’t know for sure if this is the same Jesse who has ten top reasons for homeschooling, but given the attitude, it very well might be. Here’s the first paragraph in question.
“I didn’t go to preschool. And then I didn’t go to kindergarten. And after that I didn’t go to elementary school. Or middle school. Or high school, even. I was homeschooled.”
Riddled with errors? I don’t think so.
I invited Jesse to give an example of even one of these alleged grammatical mistakes. Shockingly, he or she has failed to do so.
Which is pretty much what I’d expect from someone who’s got the pair to capitalize (and not capitalize) in that fashion while criticizing someone else’s writing.
Oh, but that’s different! That kind of casual typing is appropriate to a comment posted on such a site!
Well, Fridkis’ writing voice is appropriate to the kind of writing she was doing. She’s employing a style not everyone likes, but she’s doing what you do in a piece like this: writing as if she were conversing with the reader. In other words, she’s speaking in a voice appropriate and necessary to a personal essay. If she were writing a tech manual, it would be different. But she’s not, and she’s not pretending to be.
If you’re going to be a writing nerd in public, get it right, people. No matter where you went to school.
Anyway. Enjoy the essay.