Posted by: scintillatingspeck | July 10, 2012

Second guest post at Nature Bats Last.

Guy McPherson has kindly published a second essay of mine on his blog.  I was glad to write it and put it out to a wider audience, but some of the comments were hard to take.  I’m not sure if any of my friends have actually read the essay, but if you’re a friend reading this, would you be willing to read the essay and comments?  It would mean a lot to me to receive some words of encouragement.  Let me emphasize again that in writing about our decision to homeschool, I’m not trying to put down parents who send their kids to school, or trying to put down well-meaning, hard-working teachers– please understand that what I am criticizing is a system, a set of institutional arrangements, rather than individuals.  What I’m trying to describe is a very personal process about developing an educational philosophy in line with our values; I don’t expect others to adopt the same philosophy.  I don’t expect others to agree with me.  I guess I do expect people to be respectful and thoughtful when they comment; this is probably a foolish expectation on the wild and wooly interwebs.  Anyway, you will probably get my gist if/when you read the essay and comments.



  1. Jen, dear–It’s pretty hard to read some of that, I agree. But perhaps equally easy to see that it’s people doing what they do on the ‘Tubes, with a few unpleasant personalities in evidence. So maybe–react a little less, where they can see you.
    I have always loved your whole-heartedness most of all, and your willingness to find your way and help others to find theirs. This is all just part of that.

  2. wow, what a wonderful essay and what lively comments (209 responses when I read it). Speaking up makes all the difference.

  3. Carolyn, thanks for your love and reminder to react in a less public fashion. You probably noticed that after a while, I stopped replying to comments; this was me realizing that it would be better to hold back than to react defensively. I might write a whole new essay, coming from a place of calm and reflection, to try to address some of the things that came up. (Guy closes comments once he puts up a new post.)

    Laura, thanks! I’m glad I wrote what I did. Yes, there usually tends to be a lively discussion in NBL’s comment threads. I need to go back and reread those comments, now that I have some emotional distance; I’m sure it will help spur some ideas for future essays.

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