Saturday, January 27, 2007

Oprah Had a Homeschooling Mother on Her Show

Oprah just aired a show the other day depicting what life in America is like for women in their 30s. It aired on January 25, 2007 and was titled "Thirty-Something In America".

When I heard that I thought, “Well she won’t depict MY life.” (They usually never do.) I was wrong.

All I will blog about right now is that yes, there was a mother who homeschooled her children on the show. Her name was Angela (see info on her here). The teasers advertised her as a stay at home mother of eight children (but leaving out the homeschooling part). The mom was 37 years old and she is married with eight children ranging in age from 19 down to 3.

After a videotaped segment which hit the highlights of their life she was interviewed on stage with Oprah (for a very short while compared to the other guests). In both the video and on the stage she happily explained she homeschools her children with the main reason being to give them a “Christ-centered education”. A statistic of estimating one million children as being homeschooled was shared by Oprah. Oprah really didn’t talk to her much about the homeschooling.

Instead, Oprah talked about if she planned to have any more children and she kept pressing her on the issue of the number of children. The mom said she was open to having more children but that she leaves it in the hands of God to determine. Oprah pressed her on birth control so the mom finally explained that they pretty much ‘take their chances’ and if a baby results then that is fine with her.

One point that was made which I guess they thought was significant was that Angela raises her children with NO Nanny, NO housekeeper and NO babysitter.

And if you are wondering the homeschooling method was not described or shown in detail but they talked and showed on the video, shots of the family doing homeschooling around the (very long) dining room table. They showed Mom teaching a preschooler that what was on the page was a letter ‘R’.

The family appeared very happy. Not much was said about religion other than the two references to having a ‘Christ centered’ education.

Oh and Oprah pressed her on why she homeschooled and she said her oldest did go to public school for Kindergarten and First Grade but then they decided they’d prefer a “Christ-centered education” and began homeschooling.

It was a positive piece if you ask me.

Oprah also said that large families are ‘on the rise’ in America.

In no way did it come across that every homeschooled family does it that way or is Christian. This was very much clearly about this one woman and her family, as were all the other segments on the show. The show was trying to depict a slice of what women in their 30s were living with.

Of the half of the show that I saw (so far) each woman has a very different situation. A quick example is one is a Jewish physician who is going to have medical procedures to get pregnant and raise her own child, another woman was divorced after 11 years of marriage with 4 children, another is single at 35 and looking for a relationship and maybe marriage, maybe not.

I plan to finish watching the show later today.

(I don’t know why I hadn’t heard about this on the blogosphere, the Internet or in an email.)

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FULL OF JOY said...

Thanks for posting this. I saw the last minute of this interview on a rerun last night and was really wanting to know if it was positive or not. I know I will get questions from non homeschoolers in my life who saw it so I like to be prepared.

Amy said...

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