Homeschooling, Opinions & Experiences

Are Children’s Books Meant to Condition the Parents?

Homeschool or not?

This question has been on my mind and search engine daily. Since I began to question the wisdom of sending my children away to be educated, I’ve noticed no matter where I turn we are being told education should happen outside the home.

Something as simple as a children’s book.

Last night my oldest picked a book I have read many times. This time it’s meaning struck me so differently than it did just a few weeks ago.

The book is “This Kissing Hand” by Audrey Penn.  It was a New York Times Bestseller and was an Ed Press Winner.


Chester Raccoon stood at the edge of the forest and cried.

“I don’t want to go to school, ” he told his Mother. “I want to stay at home with you. I want to play with my friends. And play with my toys. And read my books. And sing my songs. Please may I stay home with you?”

Here is the sad little illustration by Ruth E. Harper and Nancy M. Leak that corresponds with the text.


Mrs. Raccoon took Chester by the hand and nuzzled him on the ear

” Sometimes we all have to do things we don’t want to do,” she told him gently “even if they seem strange and scary”.


“Um…no….NO…no we don’t have to!” I thought to myself.

So children are to be ripped from their family and home, everything they have ever known. Their source of security. Put in a strange, large, confusing building, with a bunch of strange children, whose home life and parents we do not know. What imprint they leave on our children will be outside our control. They will spend the majority of the daylight hours with adults we have barely met, if at all, and know nothing about as well. This will be our children’s main source of influence, guidance and education for the next 9 months.

 Let me put it to you another way, in the next 9 months your child will have 2,340 waking hours. You will be with them for 990, they will be in school for 1,350.

Are we being conditioned to believe that this is the best thing for our children?

If you think I’m crazy ask yourself this …

  • How much research did you do before you sent your kid to school?
  • Do you know where the teacher got her/his education?
  • What kind of person is he/she?
  • What are the teaching methods?
  • What is his/her teaching track record?
  • Who are the children in the class who will be his/her friends?
  • What kind of people are their parents?

I would bet a significant amount of money that most people don’t ask these questions.

Now the obvious question, why didn’t you ask these questions?

Because this is what we are supposed to do.

Anyhoo, just a random thought I had while taking the book out of our repertoire and deciding what illustrations I can keep for decoupage.

8 thoughts on “Are Children’s Books Meant to Condition the Parents?”

  1. These are questions that plagued me. I started wondering all sorts of things about what our society has conditioned us to think is alright and normal. Like you, we are getting back to the earth on our little farm, and I am finding that keeping my children with me is all I want to do.

  2. Isn’t it strange how having children changes how we see the world so dramatically? The more I try to educate myself on what I need to know as a parent, the more ignorant I feel. I always thought this was a sweet book, with a good message for when children go away to school. In just a few weeks of researching education options it changed from something benign to something I don’t want to read to my kiddos.

    Gotta love a little farm! There is nothing better than looking down at your children’s breakfast and realizing most of it came from their own backyard.

  3. I did ask those questions and did a ton of research. We chose the Montessori method, which like I’ve mentioned (at least at the Montessori we chose) is very much like what you are doing at home. The school is actually in two homes side by side, on horse property with animals, gardens, and the “classrooms” have working kitchens used by the students. I could go on and on about how great it, and ultimately the Montessori method, is, but my point here is that we’ve faced a ton of scrutiny by fellow parents because of our choices. Even my husband at first asked “what’s wrong with Public school, we were both taught there and it was fine.” Ha. I then went into a long discussion (and still have to revisit it now and then) about what doesn’t work in the public system. Other parents wonder how we know our child is doing well – they seem to have a blind assumption about standardized tests are for and believe that they, along with letter or number grades, can equate success. It’s this assumption that if a school or class has “good” scores, then all must be well. A lot of parents don’t understand the independent work methods of Montessori, and have questioned us about that, which to me, are a huge reason it works. Each child is his/her own being, and naturally we aren’t meant to conform to a specific list of facts meant for regurgitation. Again, that may be a topic for another time. Incidentally, if we can’t have family watch our kids, we have their teachers babysit at home when we need it. I trust these teachers with my children’s and ultimately my own life. If we can’t welcome them into my home and feel comfortable with them as extended members of my family (not to mention their teaching credentials) then I too would rather homeschool. That doesn’t cover the issue of influences of other children and their families/lifestyles. For us, it’s come down to being very involved in school, having open conversations about what happens each day, and being mindful of the other children. This does open their world up to influences we don’t agree with, but we believe it’s going to be like that once they are adults and will need to learn to adapt to being around many different people of differing opinions and lifestyles. Also because of where they go, the class sizes are small (about 15 max) and the school community is less than about 65 total including teachers. It blows me away when I hear of elementary schools having 3000 students or more. I also have friends that have their kids in before and after school care that expands to other schools. Although it’s mixed ages, which I agree with, I’ve known children to be bullied by older students with little to no concern by the “aids” watching them during this time. When I question the parents about this, they simply shrug their shoulders and say they have no choice because they work full-time and “what else are we supposed to do?” I doubt these parents asked themselves the tough questions and/or researched the effects that like you put all these hours away will have on their lives forever. And it’s sad that many don’t get they have a choice in their child’s lives or their future. I too now work full-time, and recently my husband as well, yet we managed to keep our kids out of before and after school care other than ourselves. So there are other options and choices.

    1. I actually did comment on someone stating the issue goes the other way. Having a high IQ can lead to a box as well. If we just start from a place of “what gift does this child have” and “how can I assist in developing it ” instead of “some kids are a waste of my time”, we could see a true change in our education system. That’s my belief anyway. I doubt given the extensive testing these days, teachers have the time. It’s a sad world out there for kiddos.

      1. Agreed. Meanwhile the testing it takes to label the kids takes sometimes a week out of the regular curriculum. Testing starts at kindergarten here. And homework too. It is truly sad.

  4. Sounds so scary. But then, despite the fact that being a mom makes me more worried, a part of me has also learnt to allow the world mould them & trust God to help them.

    1. Then I must admit I do not have that level of faith. I can not help but see the world that mankind has created and feel that I must protect my children from as much as possible. Perhaps I am doing them a disservice, but that seems to be the plight of parents, worrying about making the right choice.

Leave a Reply