Monday, June 1, 2009

Why I'm going to homeschool

My parents received the following letter from my sisters school:

Dear Mr. and Mrs. _____,

We are no preparing our fourth quarter of (insert school publication name here), our parent-teacher newsletter, and we are eager to hear your voice in our Roundtable Discussion.

With final exams upon us, and the temperature outside rising ever higher, vacation time is indeed calling our names. Vacation is a good thing; we all need this respite to recharge, reflect, renew. And there is no question that our teachers and students have well-earned their break. As educators, though, we worry about closing the books for ten weeks- we worry about vacation's effect on students' memory retention and study habits. Moreover, we worry about vacation's effects on students' memory retention and study habits. Moreover, we worry about students' withdrawal from our koslei beis-medrash - we worry about the ever-penetrating outside messages which stealthily creep into our systems.

A question we often consider is which school calender would ultimately be more effective for our students' scholastic achievement and personal growth- the traditional calender, a September through June school year culminating in an eight-week summer break- or the balanced calender, year round school with scattered mini vacations throughout the school year?

What are your thoughts as you approach the ten-week summer break?


Honestly I don't even know where to begin, here goes

1- "we worry about the penetrating outside messages which stealthily creep into our systems."

if one were to look up the definition of parenting, they would open a dictionary and find that it says "the rearing of children";

If one were to look up rearing it would say "to take care of and support up to maturity."

if one were to look up schooling- the process of being taught in school;

Now, here is where I think frum people get a little bit confused... REARING is *not* in the definition of the word "schooling" rather it is in "parenting". Frum people should take a frikkin course in PARENTING before they allow or even consider allowing a school (or unfortunately in today's day, the federal government) to "rear" their children for them.

Any every-penetrating outside messages should be the sole responsibility of- guess who- the PARENTS to take care of! THIS INCLUDES THE TIME *DURING* THE SCHOOL YEAR, *NOT* JUST THE SUMMER BREAK!

2- Last year, I had a series of KGB vs. Yeshiva/frum community posts. I thought it was mostly funny how they had similarities- sad- yet slightly amusing. After this letter, I no longer find it amusing. As a frum people, we not only don't give a damn about our children (sending them to sunday school, allow them to marry strangers because they passed a checklist of appropriate schools) but we don't give a damn about Hashem, and the concept of Torah She'bal pe.
The written torah *does* say to be fruitful and multiple, but Gd never intended for mothers to just be surrogates and fathers to be sperm-donors all for a diverse STUDENT body for a principal to raise.

Holy crap... What is this world coming to??

If schools head onto this path, I'm homeschooling.

Frum people suck.


Child אִישׁ Behavior said...

Not to mention the grammar.

fave commenter said...


Mikeinmidwood said...

What is this, two posts in two days? since when did that happen?

frumskeptic said...

mim- lol. I try. More are hopefully on their way.

Moshe said...

"We worry about vacation's effect on students' memory retention and study habits."

Well duh, I mean after 8 weeks of smoking weed every day.

Anonymous said...

while i agree that the concept of keeping the kids in school for longer to "protect" them from outside influences is silly, i think that the year-round calendar with interspersed mini-vacations is actually a pretty good idea. kids do forget a lot over the summer, which can make september into a giant waste (not to mention that we already lose much of september to the chagim). furthermore, why is it that kids spend 12-16, or even up to 20 years of their lives in a system divided into 2 semesters with a long summer break, when, other than those that become teachers, real life will not afford them that kind of schedule? a year-round school calendar will not cost too much more (especially since the time in interspersed vacations will make up most of the extra costs), and would kill of the need for camp.
while the reasoning touted by this school may raise ire, the idea in and of itself may be worth looking into.

thinking... said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
fave commenter said...

anonymous - i hear what you're saying, but in terms of the kids' sanity, most schools/teachers would say "yay you have 2 free weeks! let's give you something to do!!" i.e. long term projects, finals etc etc.
which basically translates into year-round school with school-study and home-study time. i'd imagine most kids would get sick of it all after a while and end up being much less productive in the long run...

frumskeptic said...


"real life will not afford them that kind of schedule?"

No, it won't. But school hardly prepares students for real life as it is, be it elementry school, HS, or even college. Real-life tends to be full of brown-nosing and networking, and certainly does not have a lot of HW, studying, or grades.

You mention 12-16 years of a students life is spent divided into semesters with long summer breaks... yea so? You think the first 10 of those years the student is capable of fully grasping the outside world?

Even if these kids can comprehend "real life" they wouldn't learn about it from a book. That would be like learning to swim by reading.. they'd drown. A good parent would send their kid to work over the summers to learn the value of a dollar, or have their kid study for SAT's, or have their kid read books for book reports so they wouldn't have to pressured to read as many books during a year full of intense studyng and HW.

Aside from that, how would school year round make a kid remember more? Most of the time a curriculum works like this- you start it and you finish it. September comes, all new class, all new teacher. What you learned before probably doesn't apply anyway. You don't need Global history to learn American History the next year. And you don't need 9th grade english to learn 10th grade englih. Its all the same - BS on your essays, spell check, and BAM! A+. Little kids school is a complete waste of time and is mostly stuff they remember anyway because its practical to life, so the summer break won't destroy them anyway.

Plus... I mentioned kids need to spend time with their PARENTS. PARENTS are the people who are supposed to RAISE their children, *not* the school. If the kid is in school 5 possibly even 6 days a week if he's a boy, then when do they manage to spend time with their parents to learn anything about their own families?!

But yeshiva's don't care. Frummies are on a mission to carbon copy everybody and turn away from the nuclear family for this communal nonsense which is proven to not be as effective on an intellectual level as the family is.

frumskeptic said...

anonymous- please get yourself an online ID. Anonymous is a rather vague and annoying one.

Moshe said...

Are you kidding?! Parents have no idea what they're doing! B''H there are dorms so that these kids can be properly educated to be true bnei torah. Don't worry, soon the yeshivas will have labs in the basements where they can grow bochurim so that they won't be influenced by the shtus their parents do.
What we need is a Child Services Brigade who would inspect the parents' houses on a weekly basis and take away those poor kids that are forced by their evil parents to do such heinous things as be in the presence of a computer or a TV, or, hatzva shalom, be forced to eat not heimish food but something with a MO/OTD hashgocha like OU.

frumskeptic said...

moshe- lollol :)

David said...

The letter could be reduced to:
Dear Parents,
We are considering limiting any extended vacation time to a few days or a week or two at a stretch. If students get out from under our thumbs long enough, they might start thinking independently about what we've told them; obviously, this would have a devastating impact on their frumkheit. Whaddya think?

remy said...

Just for the record - this letter was sent out for the "Round Table Discussion" part of parent newsletter. It was just put out there as a means of getting the parents and teachers talking. The school is not going to institute school all year round - what school can afford to do so! As usual, you have totally misinterpreted the situation.

frumskeptic said...

remy- you mean I interpreted the same way everyone else interpreted it?

who woulda thought it?

mlevin said...

Remy -

1. do you really think that schools have nothing better to do than to have banal discussions about policies that they have no intention of ever implementing?

2. Have you noticed in that letter that now school's summer vacation is 10 weeks, but discussion is between all round school year or 8 week vacation? That means that they already took away 2 weeks of summer vacation from the poor girls. Keeping things as is is not even up for discussion.

remy said...

What is so wrong with having a discussion - it promotes intelligence and the sharing of opinions - something that you all complain that there is a severely lacking. Why is it so bad that a BY High School is trying to be instrumental in encourage both the students and parents to share opinions. FS and many of the commentators - you will criticize anything and everything. Furthermore- they are not taking away the students' vacation - it is still 10 weeks.

frumskeptic said...


1- most "BY" schools including this one tend to strongly recommend camp.
what kinda people work in camp? -people who have summers off (ie studets and teachers). which means that the students are already indirectly in school all year, especially since if they aren't in camp they need a very good excuse not to be, or else the school gives them a hard time.

2- like with everything in life in order to implement change people won't want, it has to be introduced softly and indirectly.

let's use a secular example- not to long back, the american people were strongly aginst gay marraige, it wasn't something even up for discussion, even amongst gays. now, its becoming an acceptible norm to be for it, and some states even allow gay marraige. the more people lose sensitivity to things the more likely they will creep in.
this isbt the first time I heard a yeshiva 'discuss' stuff like this. this is the first step.

there is no doubt in my mind about this one. they have every intention at some point in the future to implement year-round school, because in most cases the "expense" that was mentioed would probably be covered just fine if camp tuition were added. same people would be working minus the extra expense of the campgrounds and food.

please don't read this blog if you have issues with it. I'm only having a discussion- exactly wht you claim the school is doing.

remy said...

The school has no intention of staying open - I love how you are so confident in stating the school's intentions when you have never sat through a meeting there. You do not have discussion on this site- you have your own opinion and come out harshly on anyone who disagrees with you, even in a respectful manner. I just think this makes you more closed-minded than the people you criticize.

frumskeptic said...


I criticed those with view points against mine 'so harshly'? really? are you talking about yourself?

I wrote this post and attacked one *main* point, the part about the summer allowing outside influences to creep in. so now, I'm going to defend my criticism:

1- I am working on the premise that this letter was written by the school administration.

2- assuming #1 is true- then we know, just by reading this letter, that the school is concerned about outside influences of the general student body. correct? or did I mininterpret that?

I assumed 1 and then 2 were true, I disagreed with the concept of the school being concerned about 'outside influences'. I completely and wholeheartedly disagree with the school acting as a parent. and a school concerning itself w/ outside influences, in my viewpoint, is considered parenting on the schools part. It's the parents job to regulate 'outside influences' *ESPECIALLY* over the summer when the school should be nowhere to be found.

now, we both know the school has an approved and disapporved camp list. orrather a "suggested" camp list. which means the school is involved in the summers of the camp, even if semi-indirectly.

now, considering it is. why is it so off for me to interpret, now with this letter, that theschool doesn't even consider watching over the students after I had just concluded that

Yes the school is acting as a concerned parent. and 2 the school already regulates the students summer behavior?

please, do point the flaw to my logic.

frumskeptic said...

Remy- also, please do point out where I criticed anyone harshly for disagreeing with me.

one person came on her "anonymous" and s/he stated an opinion of being ok with the idea of homeschooling. I do believe I responded cordially by pointing out the flaws in the two arguments he used
1- the students will forget to learn.
2- real life dosnt have that schedule.

both of which were very flawed arguments.

let's talk about *you* fora minute.

1- you came on here automatically critical of me. you harshly attached *me* to my readers stating at the end of your first comment:
"as usual, you have totally misinterpreted the situation".

now, even if you are a regular reader, who are you to say "as usual" do you really truly know whtehr or not I usually misinterpret every situation I speak about on this blog? I'm concluding you do not, because outside of stuff relating to this school, you acnnot possibly know about everything I discuss, which therefore means that you are actually inaccuratly accussing me of misinterpreting situations which you cannot possibly know whether or not I am or am not doing so.

therefore, you owe me an apology for taking away the credibility I have with my readers for making such a statment.

it is you that critics harshly.

frumskeptic said...

sorry I couldn't edit, I'm on my phone and am limited in time with my responses

remy said...

FS - if you can't take the criticism, don't dish it out. No apology coming from me.

frumskeptic said...


oh sweety, i can soo take the criticism. it's you here who is avoiding addressing the concepts of the points I've made.

So nu, where did I criticize harshly?
Where was my logic flawed?

You can't answer me because you know I'm arguing on perfectly solid ground, especially since my main focus of this post was the fascist take over of parenting by the frum schools!

You however made no points other than -this is not what the school means IN REFERENCE TO YEAR ROUND SCHOOLING! NOT EVEN ON PARENTING!

Maybe that isn't what the school means. Maybe you are an administrator and you know better. But guess what? My sister, her friends, their parents *all* thought the same thing as I did. So really, the school must have a flawed way to communicate their messages, because apparently they don't come out interpreted properly.

and guess what? the school and many many of the frum schools are still fascist in regards to summer plans, vacation life etc, why is that? maybe because they want to control every aspect of their students' life? Which could easily transition into a school year round curriculum to be eventually implemented.

Moshe said...

Looks like the school's administration need to take some English classes if they can't get their idea across and tend to confuse the meanings of words.
Yeshiva math and yeshiva English. What's next, yeshiva history?

I actually encountered some yeshiva math when I took NY for checkup. I stopped by Avi's and this guy comes over selling this crappy Jewish credit card, $10 coupon now and 1 point on purchases. I tell him I get 3 points with mine. His reply, with his credit card, when you shop at participating stores you get double points. 1 point * 2 > 3

frumskeptic said...

remy- this is for you.

I truly thank you for inspiring a new post.

Anonymous said...

I know I'm late responding to this, but for a moment I thought I might have written it! :-)

Especially this part:

"The written torah *does* say to be fruitful and multiple, but Gd never intended for mothers to just be surrogates and fathers to be sperm-donors all for a diverse STUDENT body for a principal to raise."

When I told our children's principal that we were taking them out to homeschool, she literally LAUGHED OUT LOUD and said, "How could you *possibly* know what to teach them?"

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