Beating Myself Up

October 9th, 2009

It’s school spirit week for two of my boys.






Even though this photo might indicate otherwise, the ‘spirit’ in ‘school spirit’ does not at all refer to evil spirits.






Just wanted to clarify that.  






In the meantime – I’ve been reading through all the comments and emails since the.. ahem...somewhat unusual and heated diatribe about homeschoolingthat occurred earlier in the week…







I would like to apologize for not being a bit more generous towards homeschoolers in situations where homeschooling is clearly a very sound option.  






When the dust had settled, I was terrified of reading the comments and the emails, but when I finally sat down and started working through them – I was completely shocked.  


What a bunch of thoughtful people read this blog.  

I really was amazed.  

I thought I was going to be torn limb from limb – but instead all I got was two black eyes, a fat lip, a bloody nose, and some deep lacerations on my cheeks and forehead…

And I gave those to myself!

In more ways than one!  

Still – it was the best, most insightful, most balanced, most interesting comments I have ever read on my blog… or any blog.  

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me.

I was properly chastised for not allowing a few big, giant, generous cracks where the homeschool option is a very good choice, I was uplifted by parents who are not giving up on schools that are struggling, but are working to make those schools better, And I was blessed to hear from teachers in tough schools who are dedicated to their students. I truly appreciated every-one’s contributions to this discussion.

Even the woman who said that God was telling me to homeschool.  



I may have to put that line up on my header sometime – but right now I am still thinking about John Muir and his deep chest cough microbe that disappeared when he slept on a glacier.  I heard about it on Ken Burn’s National Park documentary on PBS.  There’s something about a deep chest cough, a microbe and a glacier that just won’t let me go. 

Hey!  I can’t obsess about homeschooling ALL the time!


  • John Muir’s experience reminds me of the tour we took of Poland Springs, up in Maine, where they called the waters the healing waters. Evidently they built some homes up there so people could come and experience the waters and be healed of all that ailed them. Vely Vely Intelessssting.

  • You are looking GOOD woman! Looking Good!

    PS You’re sure about the spirits? ;)

  • I wouldn’t beat myself up too badly, Rechelle. Debate is good and you furnished the fodder. I give you KUDO’s for doing that! We are all diversive individuals, and that is a good thing, girl!! You totally rock for having the courage to speak your mind. ((hugs))

  • Margaret:

    never mind that other stuff, how do you get that mess off your face?

  • JJ:

    You were a brave , brave woman to bring up that debate. And I just loved the National Park series on PBS. It just stirred an itch for a road trip in me – Maybe we will plan a trip for the next summer – I would love to do the “loop”. It was so interesting to see the political side of the whole National Park idea – we just take it for granted that we have them; like we take for granted our PUBLIC school system, our roads, our public libraries. People around here complain about taxes ( well I guess they do everywhere ) but they don’t realize that these things we take for granted have to be paid for. They are talking about closing some of our LIBRARIES and now these same people who have complained about what they pay are saying why? They think that they are just provided for us, but WE provide them for ourselves. You must stand up for what you believe is important whether it be
    National parks, libraries or PUBLIC SCHOOLS! The history of how our public schools came into being is interesting too. Schooling used to be just for the wealthy just like land for recreation used to be. Our country again pioneered in a lot of ways the idea that EVERYONE had the right to an education. Even countries that now have some sort of public education system in place do “sort out” their students. The highest and the best move on. We take every ability, every economic level, EVERYONE. No it is not perfect, no system is, but we have a lot more opportunity available than other countries – and unfortunately it is taken for granted. What is taken for granted , what is not fought for, can be taken away!
    OOOPs – I’ll stop talking now!

  • My thoughts slowly bubble to the surface, so I’m just now chiming in on the whole battle royale that took place over schooling. However, I wasn’t allowed to leave comments on that particular post, so I’m leaving them here. I’m sure this breaks some rules in blogging protocol, so feel free to blacklist me.

    Many homeschooling advocates argued that they didn’t want their students exposed to specific political beliefs. I teach, and I observe very few instances where teachers indoctrinate students with a specific political agenda or ideology, so this seems to be a bogus argument.

    However, I have observed the following:

    Teachers providing shoes, so a financially strapped student could participate in a sport.

    Teachers purchasing books for students.

    Teachers donating money, so that students could afford to attend prom.

    Teachers coming in early, so a student who didn’t own a computer could type a paper.

    These are just a few examples, but these acts of kindness take place in public schools daily.

    If public schools didn’t exist, there would be some students who would never have contact with someone who actually cared about them. If public schools didn’t exist, some students wouldn’t have access to an education.

    Thank God for public schools!

  • Carol:

    Is your make-up what “blog spirit” looks like?

  • Anoria:

    I am going to have to track down this series and go sleep on that glacier myself. *coughs*

    Good to know you got a lot out of those posts :) Discussions like that once in a while make life interesting and give people lots of good stuff to think about. I’m glad you didn’t mind sacrificing the peace and quiet of your blog for a little while in order to bring that out.

  • One of the best parts about your blog is your willingness to take a stand, crack a joke that can approach the line, whine, fear little about being cloyingly sweet and folksy, crack a joke that crosses the line, and still actually reflect deeply on your own foibles and flaws. Please don’t censor yourself – ever. If you do, you’ll just be running with the pack instead of ahead of it. BTW, I sent my kids to a pricey private school and I haven’t looked back…

  • As usual, Rechelle, you make valid points that everyone has opinions about. That is the premise that our nation was founded on. Freedom of speech. Keep up the good work girl! Blogs are a good sounding board for all types of discussions.

  • Well, I had such a hideously bad taste in my mouth from the lack of tolerance and appreciation for educational liberty over here that I was planning to stay away until my halitosis improved. I’ll gladly return to read an apology. Thanks for that.

    I was worried about how you seemed to have fallen off your rocker and smacked your noggin (maybe the ceiling fan made you dizzy?) but I see you are coming back to your senses. Thank goodness!

    Come on, now, Rechelle. Give me a caption for this photo. I know you have a good one!

  • joann in tx:

    hey! how was the Ken Burn’s National Park documentary on PBS????
    i think i missed it but hoping i could catch part 2 or the whole segment on its repeat!

    i bet the pictures of all those national parks were just gorgeous!

    Go Bobcats!!! er….Tigers….ooops! GO RAIDERS??????

    joann in tx

  • Ken Burns is a documentary master. Great make-up, Rechelle. :-)

  • The pagan homeschool cheer must go something like this:

    We’ve got spirits,
    Yes we do!
    We’ve got spirits,
    How about… BOO!

    How do you never manage to cut off your head when taking the self portraits? (Not literally, you know — with the camera) Then again, maybe you just don’t post the ones where you have no head ;)

    P.S. Educational liberty includes public school too, no?

  • Freth:

    Can you get PBS on the computer???

  • Jennifer:

    OK, this has nothing to do with homeschooling, but wasn’t that entire National Park documentary the best? It makes me get teary eyed just watching. Now I admit I am a giant dork with a love of national parks and good scenery, but I really enjoyed those shows. OK, I am done now.

  • Carol:

    Ooohhhh, I love National Parks and will hopefully catch that series on rerun or hopefully on disk at the library. Busy week and I’m just catching up on blogs, and I can relate to being passionate about my son’s education. I sat in my son’s 5th graders teachers room yesterday morning before school (Catholic school) discussing ideas for bringing up his Social Studies grade (dang, this is tricky stuff, 20 different explorers with complicated names to remember, all traveling in different directions for various reasons, and I’m a past honor student!) The talk turned to his focus issues, impulsive talking and how he can work on those. It was a great discussion, we’ll see where it goes (we’re adding more structure and responsibility to his day, and I suggested strict consequences for inappropriate actions). The teacher had a really good handle on my son and hit the nail on the head with his strengths and weaknesses, and stressed what a great kid he is to have in class. I’ve got two sisters with kids who lightly debate the situation (one pulled kids from private school to public which worked for them, another sis’ kids do charter school and one son is on meds for ADD which made a huge difference for him), but all of us are united in our passion for my son and his overall awesomeness (which isn’t always highlighted while sitting quietly taking notes at a desk; his coaches LOVE him and we get comments how coachable he is and a joy to have on the team). Why run through all of this here (other than I don’t have a blog and it is top of mind for me)? Most of us are passionate about our kids educations, and sometimes need to justify the decisions we make. Love the blog Rechelle, keep writing, get the junk out of your system, and today is a new day (you’re an amazing mom to use that spirit paint!)

  • I couldn’t bear to read all those comments. How brave and wise of you to have distilled some lessons from them…

  • Shay W.:

    I strongly appreciate your honesty and your willingness to put your opinion out there. Too much sugar-coating and apology out there today, in the name of avoiding any possibility that we might come close to thinking about offending someone. Your bravery and passion are among the many reasons I keep reading.

  • DirtyKSmama - Nikki:

    Now you need some Hello Kitty bandaids to make it all feel better. They work wonders.

  • THANK YOU and AMEN Sister Friend!

    Thank goodness my mom didn’t home school me. I wouldn’t have learned a darn thing that I needed to know…like the mysteries of life at the lunch table from a boy who seemed to know everything about a lot of body functions.

    Or how to get along with others.
    Or that grown ups get to make the decisions…oh wait…that might not be true any longer…Just sayin’.

  • Angela:

    I loved the documentary as well- Made me want to go out and visit each and every one of the parks.
    Thank you for your comment on the 6th as well.

  • Great site, Rechelle, and for those who missed Ken’s series, no worries, it’ll be running often in the near future.

    down trail,


  • KB:

    I had been away and took a look at what I had missed this month-WOW! Wouldn’t it have been easier to talk to the parents of the boy who made those comments about public school kids? Didn’t your sister home school? And didn’t you visit PW who home schools?
    I live in a medical community and have come across more wives of physicians that think they should be treated better because of their husband’s profession. Fortunately I have met some who don’t think like that and now I don’t lump them into a generalized category.

    You must have been having a bad day.