Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Homeschool Group Blues

It's an election year. Sigh. This should have absolutely nothing to do with homeschool groups and homeschool e-lists (e.g., Yahoo groups) but it does. If ever the old axiom warning not to discuss religion and politics should be followed, I believe it should be followed on "open" homeschool lists.  There is nothing more polarizing than posts which promote one point of view without providing the opportunity for discussion.  And therein lies the rub - discussion is not allowed. If you do not agree with the majority, you are attacked and belittled.  To me, this is bogus. It's not the way I operate and it is not the way I want my children to operate.  

Most groups I'm on claim to be "inclusive" and the moderators express a desire to have discussions focus on homeschooling only. While some moderators do a great job of quelling sparks before they flame, others seem to content to allow arguments to flare into a widespread conflagration.  Additionally, many of the posters are downright rude, derogatory, and mean. For example, one writer on a list to which I subscribe wrote (and I'll summarize here because the original spelling and grammar are hard to follow) that we are not fulfilling our god-given parental duty if we listen to the lies of mainstream media because the current administration is out to get rid of homeschooling and if we don't take movies like this one, which according to her is (and here I'll quote) "teaching fact over opinion and these facts are about, say, 1000% more accurate" we are idiots and not good parents.

Nice. Way to keep it neutral and inclusive.

It's sad because it ostracizes members of the group and leads to hard feelings all around.  When one member on the list involved in the above "discussion" asked if we could keep the list about homeschooling she was slammed.  It was ridiculous. 

I did contact the moderators and I publicly supported the "vote" to take politics and religion off the boards, but nothing has changed. So I'm left wondering if I should just leave the group? Or is that the wrong thing to do?  If the group advertised itself as a conservative, close-minded message board in which you should agree the majority philosophy before signing on this would not be an issue because everyone joining would know what he or she is in for.  I think it's the proclamation of "inclusive and open to all homeschoolers, regardless of beliefs" that really ticks me off.  There are many "real-life" groups which require a signed statement of faith, creed, etc., and you either agree you are that thing or you agree to agree that the group promotes it (i.e., you go along).  And I say great! Fine! I don't want to sign such a thing, so I don't join. I know where I stand. But to say "all are welcome" and then go after anyone who doesn't fit a certain mold... it's just wrong.

Even more depressing - most of the groups I am on or have been on in the past have the same overall problem.  Sigh. 

I just don't understand the need to attack each other.  So many times I hear things in the homeschool community that blow my mind. Things I cannot believe people actually say out loud.  And I don't attack the person for her belief. What's the point? Not only is it not going anywhere, it's rude! It's the same with these ridiculous posts - one side or the other isn't going to change the mind of the other poster.  Why attack? It's bad form, and it's a bad example for your children.

Okay, off my soapbox. Back to school.


  1. On the list I run, no one is welcome to discuss politics beyond, "Keep in mind this is your last opportunity to order an absentee ballot". The end.

    If people on a list do want political discussion and mods permit it, then maybe subject lines should have a disclaimer if they aren't specific... Like "Subject Name (Political Content)", so non-interested parties can skip those messages.

    Though if enough folks are bothered by political conversation and complain to the mods, the mods might consider making a change.

  2. That would be hard to deal with. I am on two lists, and have not seen any of that going on. But if it was, I think I would have a hard time staying with that group.

  3. Hi,
    Will you please post a link to your Blog at The Homeschooling Community? Our members will appreciate it.
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