In a family clash over education, the Original Poster (OP) challenges his sister’s decision to homeschool her child due to perceived educational gaps. When OP confronts her with basic academic questions, the results spark a heated debate that reverberates throughout their community, leaving readers to wonder: Can love compensate for a lack of intellectual prowess?
The Homeschooling Concept
OP admits his reservations about homeschooling, doubting its effectiveness for proper social and educational development. He notes that the US is already falling behind first-world countries in literacy, math, and science.
Public School Disappointment
OP’s perspective is rooted in his experience attending an underwhelming public school with his sister as kids. Even at the time, he thought of it as glorified babysitting. In a six-hour day, most of the time was spent with lunch, recess, crafts, and waiting for the bus.
Sister’s Big Decision
At a family dinner at their parents’ house, OP’s sister reveals her intention to homeschool her five-year-old daughter. OP hangs his head at the ridiculous proposal while she explains her plan in detail at the table.
The Homeschool Plan
The sister confidently mentions that she and her husband will handle the teaching duties. He works early morning hours and is typically home in the afternoon, and she works evenings and weekends.
Fears and Worries
The sister and her husband are worried about sending their daughter to a traditional school due to the troubling trend in school shootings nationwide. As careful parents, they think it’s the right decision to avoid the public school system.
The Laborers’ Approach
OP doubts his sister’s ability, noting that she and her husband are more suited to physical work than academic understanding. He works in construction, and she works as a hairdresser. They have limited formal education and skills.
A Simple Question
Out of concern, OP decides to test his sister’s general knowledge. Asking elementary questions, he seeks to determine if she’s truly prepared to teach her child. Knowing his sister struggled in school, he has a good idea that she won’t be able to answer correctly.
When OP asks his sister to define a verb, she mistakenly describes an adjective, revealing a gap in her basic grammar knowledge. When OP asks his sister to name the planets in our solar system, she struggles and can only name a few, further amplifying OP’s concerns.
The final test is a simple single-digit division problem. The sister fails to answer it correctly after doing the math in her head and on her fingers, showcasing her struggles even with basic arithmetic.
Now seriously concerned, OP confronts his sister about her lack of knowledge. He points out that if she can’t answer these basic questions, how can she teach her child essential subjects like reading and math?
Feeling attacked, OP’s sister calls him a jerk. Hurt and upset, she leaves the room in tears, feeling inadequate and overwhelmed. The sister’s husband becomes furious with OP for causing his wife to cry and unleashes a verbal assault before following her.
OP’s mother, however, sees the confrontation as a blessing in disguise. She believes it might lead the sister to reconsider the homeschooling decision. After intense confrontations, OP starts questioning whether he had approached the situation correctly or was too harsh.
A friend and seasoned educator proposes a middle ground: a combination of homeschooling with community-based tutoring for subjects the parents aren’t confident in teaching. Despite his reservations, OP hopes for the best for his sister’s family.
Was The Brother’s Behavior Appropriate?
OP knows that some people would say it’s not his place to intervene, but he has sincere concerns about how his sister’s decision will affect the rest of her child’s life. He posts his story online for outside opinions. The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter.
One reader said, “I’m biased against homeschooling. Too often, it’s used to indoctrinate children by teaching only what the parent wants to teach.”
Another Commenter Thinks
Another responder wrote, “Some people need a reality check occasionally. She cannot properly educate her child if she doesn’t even know basic elementary school level concepts.”
A Third View on The Story
A different person stated, “There is no way the parents will be able to teach higher education like chemistry and physics. Once kids get to middle school, they need specialized teachers.”
A Final Perspective on the Matter
Another reader commented, “You simply demonstrated that she’s not qualified to teach. Yes, it embarrassed her, but I think that’s okay, given that you’re simply trying to ensure her child gets a good education and is successful in the world.”
What Do You Think?
What are your thoughts on their actions?
What would you have done in this situation?
This story is inspired by a thread from an online forum.