Okay, an acquaintance of ours has repeatedly moaned to me recently because her daughter isn’t learning anything. Truly—they’re supposedly homeschooling the kid, and she is still completely stuck on the same math concepts she couldn’t learn over two years ago in public school. Despite tutors.
(Warning: THEY ARE NOT A TYPICAL HOMESCHOOLING FAMILY IN ANY WAY AND SHOULD NOT BE USED AS AN EXAMPLE OF NORMALITY.)
But Mom can’t help the kid with the math, because she never learned that in school either. This is third-grade fraction stuff, folks.1Mom hasn’t taken any of several people up on offers to help the kid with the math. She knows quite well that her daughter will, at best, be offensively rude to anyone who attempts it.
So why should the daughter worry about learning it if Mom has gotten along for nearly 40 years without knowing it? Mom has no credibility here.
Today Mom posted a message to the mailing list for our homeschooling group. It’s a survey to find out how much TV their kids watch and what kinds. I know why she’s doing this—she repeatedly complains that all her daughter will do is watch TV, but she won’t take the TV out of the child’s room “because her father bought it for her.” She sits in front of a TV much of the day herself, so of course—again, no credibility.
She listed what her daughter watched yesterday, stating that it was a typical day:
5 hours of cartoons
1.5 hours of sitcoms
1 hour of “educational” (but she doesn’t know what that was, and the kid can’t tell her, so it might as well have been another cartoon)
2 hours of “just background noise”—while the kid was supposedly doing written work that never actually got done, so dollars to donuts kid was watching TV instead of doing anything else.
That is 9.5 hours of television. In one day.
I’m 35 years old and cannot EVER remember watching 9.5 hours of TV in one day in my life. Not even once.
She also used her Playstation and played computer games (not the educational kind) for several hours on that same day, but her mother doesn’t consider Playstation time TV time. I lump it all together as “screen time.”
Is it any wonder that I actually encouraged this mother to send her kid back to public school next week? And she decided to do it—then changed her mind because “there’s just too much paperwork.”
I do get really, truly pissed off at this kind of thing, especially since there are too many people out there who try to support their political agendas by using families like theirs as examples as if all homeschoolers are that stupid and irresponsible.