Saturday, February 16, 2008

Dealing with Unwanted Parental Advice

Like most homeschoolers, I belong to several co-ops, where our children get together with other children for classes that are not practical to teach in a home. You know, like Irish step dance, latin, etc. Anyway, a mommy at one of our co-ops stood up last Friday and publicly asked that parents use more discretion on what material their children use for book reports. She was appalled by some of the poor literature choices she observed at the last meeting and felt this needed addressed. She also talked specifically to several parents whose chldren she felt were particularly egregious offenders. Again, in public.

I was not there due to a family-wide flu, but here are a few samples of what could have been my response.

A. "Thank you, X, for your input. Why don't you give me a list of acceptable literature so I know what to allow my children to read and what to bring to the next community book-burning."

B. "When I find someone who wants unsolicited parenting advice, I'll give them your number."

C. "What my children read is, frankly, none of your concern."

How would you have responded?

Keep in mind that this is a Christian co-op that said woman helps run, but also that it is nondenominational and nondogmatic--just generally Christian in values. Also, apparently the offensive books were Star Wars novels, Dragon Rider, etc, not the Satanist Bible or the Penthouse Guide to Bartending.


Kat Olivares said...

The beauty of books is that it presents the infinite spectrum of good, evil, beautiful, ugly, classy, crassy.

Book reports teach our children to look at a piece of work, think and form their own opinions.

Book reports won't really work for schools/ parents who want their kids to automatically just follow what the authority thinks. (No thinking allowed, sorry kids...)

Nissa said...

That's ridiculous. Yes, Christianity is about tolerance, not condemnation. It really irks me when people get all 'holier than thou' over silly things, like books! My kids can read whatever they find interesting; I just think it's great that they want to read! (Not that I've seen any satanic bible.. I might have a problem with that one! lol)

Anonymous said...

Have to say that this is one of the reasons we no longer belong to the local Homeschool group in our area. I was tired of hearing what I should be teaching my child.

I have to say we tend to read books from the "banned books" list. I do not see anything wrong with Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, Flowers for Algernon, My Brother Sam is Dead......yep all from that list of evil books, some of the best around!