Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Would we let our kids get away with this?

A discussion on a new homeschool board I've been reading hit a pet peeve of mine: poor grammar and spelling in blog and message board posts. One woman wondered if it bothered others as much as it bothers her. Of course there's a lot of misspelling, bad punctuation and bad grammar out there. (She wasn't and I'm not taking about the occasional misspelling, misplaced apostrophe, or wrong their/there/they're, but a posting full of errors.) People don't always take the time to proofread, or don't care to. I know I miss mistakes even when I try to proofread before hitting "send" or "publish." Of course it's worse when trying to be quick about it.

The general consensus seemed to be that it's a bit troublesome but in a casual setting, when people are often in a hurry, it's understandable and we should just let it go. I was surprised by a minority who felt that in the setting of message boards, etc., they don't care, are just relaxing and "being themselves" and so didn't worry about it. I don't see part of "being myself" as writing in a such a way that it's hard for others to read, but OK. I get that sometimes people just don't want to spend the time and effort to edit.

I wondered, but didn't ask, if these same folks would accept that from their kids. Would they want their homeschooled kids posting and blogging using grammar, spelling, sentence construction, etc., that made them look uneducated? Or worse, stupid? I think they'd be embarrassed. I guess I hope they'd be embarrassed.

Do they not get that people considering homeschooling read their message boards too? And people who are skeptical about it, or against it altogether? Do they not see that readers might wonder about these homeschooled kids - or their mothers - who can't spell or punctuate?

It's particularly troubling to see in posts and articles about the superiority of homeschooling. I can just hear the snorts of derision as homeschooling skeptics read those. Like it or not, homeschoolers who engage in discussions in the public sphere are held to a higher standard of scrutiny than parents of children who go to school. It may not seem fair, but it is: we are the ones saying that we don't need the school system; we are taking responsibility; we are competent. More than competent: we are superior, many say.

The more we allow ourselves to be lazy, the lazier we will get. This is especially true of our kids who are still learning and building their skills. If we say that good writing habits don't matter in some venues, eventually they won't matter anywhere at all.


SmallWorld at Home said...

You don't REALLY want to get me started on this one, do you?


Marbel said...

Sarah, I knew I'd hear from you on this one... :-)