Public School as Baby-Sitter

by S.C. Torrington on January 14, 2010

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Surprisingly enough, this is not a rant about children being bused off to public schools every day. This is a rant about a homeschooling mom who’s using her local public elementary school as a baby-sitter for her six-year-old, twice a week.

The woman posted that announcement, without apology or embarrassment, merely ISO info about “the laws reagarding education in the state of MAryland.” (Is it just me or is there something about a home educator who doesn’t use Spell Check…)

And apparently, on whatever planet she had been living, this part-time public school option had been her modus operandi, as she explains: “If there is an activity going on like before when I homeschooled her she just went without a problem.” [Turns out there is a “dual enrollment” option in Virginia. But I thought that was for high schoolers to attend college, not for six-year-olds to stay home.]

Now, I’ve got to cling to the belief that out there among the almost-400 other members of this homeschool group reading her post, most of them were screaming at their computer screens, too. I admit I can be impatient and intolerant with any parenting more irresponsible than my own. But I have NEVER in my ten-plus years of home educating heard of any homeschooler who in her wildest fucking dreams thought that she could send her kid to public school whenever she needed a babysitter.

A few people did respond, rather graciously, including the Moderator of the group who explained that sorry, no-can-do-dual in Maryland. But did suggest searching for a babysitter instead, especially after the mother had asked if, in terms of public school attendance: “IS there a minimum numbers of days? OR does she have to go regardless every day the school is open. I am so confused.”

Darling, you’re confused?

Soon after that thread ended, the woman posted again. This time, she was ISO a babysitter for the aforementioned six-year-old AND a two-year-old. So now I’m confused. What’s she doing with her toddler while her older child is in public school?

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