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Why Homeschoolers Love Calvin and Hobbes

By Heather Idoni

Added Monday, March 15, 2010
Vol. 11 No. 16, March 15, 2010, ISSN: 1536-2035
© 2010, Heather Idoni - www.FamilyClassroom.net

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Notes & Guest Article
-- Calvin, Hobbes & Us
Helpful Tip
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Additional Notes
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Notes & Guest Article









A few years ago, as a mother of impressionable young boys, I had
mixed feelings about allowing reading materials like the Calvin
and Hobbes comic strip collections
in my home.  But, alas, my
husband had the final say on what the boys would end up with for
"character training" (quite by default since I only found out about
these purchases several months after they'd been in our home).

And yes, they've turned out to be real characters.  I've suffered
more blank stares and quizzical looks, courtesy of Calvin, than one
poor woman should have to suffer in a lifetime!  And then there are
the Tintin comic books all over the place -- but that's another
story.  The only thing they both really have in common is that they
require frequent replacing from being loved literally to pieces.

I was pondering the deeper mystery surrounding *why* homeschoolers
(yes, even those who hide the fact) have this deep attachment to
Calvin and Hobbes.  As I do whenever I have a bothersome question, I
decided to Google the phrase "homeschool Calvin and Hobbes" -- and I
found a great blog post from our own Barbara Frank!  I am sharing it
here so that all of those closet fans of Calvin and Hobbes can see
they are not alone in their appreciation -- no, in fact we are part
of a much greater phenomenon.  Feels good to belong. :-)

-- Heather


Why Homeschoolers Love Calvin and Hobbes
  by Barbara Frank

My family is full of Calvin and Hobbes fans. We have several of
the C&H comic strip books, and can read them again and again and
still laugh every time.

Over the years I've found that many other homeschoolers like
Calvin and Hobbes, but I never thought about why that might be.
Then I read this essay. As he puts it:

As this strip clearly shows, Calvin has nothing but utter contempt
for his school, as did I for mine. Calvin’s fantasies are clearly
more violent than mine. (All I ever wanted to do was stay home
sick.) ....There is not a single Calvin & Hobbes comic strip that
has anything positive to say about this institution. Just use the
search engine in the link at the beginning of this article and
type in "school". You will be taken from one strip to another where
Calvin is bored, anxious, unhappy, disgusted, hopeless, daydreaming,
or scared. The only school-related strips where Calvin is in a
better mood have to do with recess or grossing out Susie at lunch
(an episode that got Calvin & Hobbes cancelled at one local paper).
His teacher is named Miss Wormwood, after the apprentice devil in
C.S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters. Think about it. That’s not a
joke the average reader would get. Just what is Watterson trying
to say?

I remember walking the few blocks to school on a foggy morning and
pretending that the reason I couldn't see the school building
looming up ahead was because it had mysteriously evaporated.  I,
like others who were bored or unhappy in our own school experiences
and later chose to homeschool our children, relate to Calvin. Why
didn't I notice this before? Duh.

© Barbara Frank


Barbara Frank is the author of The Imperfect Homeschooler’s Guide
to Homeschooling
, Life Prep for Homeschooled Teenagers, and the
upcoming Thriving in the 21st Century.  She is a frequent contributor
to our Homeschooler's Notebook.  Visit Barb's blog to sign-up for
her newsletter and find out about some great giveaways!


Do you have comments to share? Please do!
Send your emails to: mailto:heather@familyclassroom.net


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amazing resource that beautifully encapsulates our ongoing fascination
with the future, and science and technology's incredible potential
to improve our lives. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do."


Do you have an idea, experience, or tip to share? Please write!
Send to: mailto:HN-ideas@familyclassroom.net

Winning Website

Lesson Snips -- www.lessonsnips.com
Created by teachers for teachers, this site features lessons for K-12
covering math, language arts, science, and social studies. The lessons
and worksheets are provided in PDF format for easy viewing/printing.

Cindy Prechtel, www.HomeschoolingFromTheHeart.com

Last Issue's Reader Question

"Do any of you knowledgeable homeschoolers have suggestions for
my son?  My 12 year old is becoming interested in architecture.
He takes out library books about big buildings all the time and
loves to look at their designs and structure.  We have a simple
computer program to build houses and he says he always wants to
take it to the next level.  I want to purchase a computer game
or program that will allow him to look further into this field (if this is
the Lord's prompting in his life, I certainly want to foster it!).  We'd
like something that will challenge him, yet isn’t so complicated that
it's for actual architects.

Anything else that has helped your budding enthusiast?  Any
suggestions would be so helpful!" -- Jane in Texas

Our Readers' Responses

"I suggest the 'Building Homes of Our Own' software that is $12
(used to be free) from the National Association of Home Builders.
My son is also 12 and LOVES this.

Be sure to download their free guides for middle & high school
before they close down the site!" -- Julie C. in Illinois


"Check out AutoDesk at www.autodesk.com.  They offer a free
download to homeschoolers and schools.  I sent Thom Tremblay
an email at thom.tremblay@autodesk.com and asked to try the
product as we have a 13 year old very interested in mechanical
enginerring.  I found out about the opportunity from Jim McGinn
at www.homeschool-guide.com.  They offer Auto CAD
Architecture.  Hopefully this will help foster his interest."
-- June


"Jane -- If there are any architects near you, you might see if
they would be willing to consult with you and recommend resources.
Go to the bookstore of a college that offers architecture and
look at the textbooks for those courses.  Those books might not
be as far over your son's head as you think." -- Mary Beth


"Jane -- One tool you could use is Blueprint for Geometry.  Your
son's math level will determine if he can use it right now, but
it helps students design blueprints while teaching geometry.
Good luck!" -- Anne

Answer our NEW Question

"Our 15 year old son has decided that he wants to be homeschooled
along with his 16, 5, and 4 year old brothers.  We are planning on
beginning in the fall, but I am already trying to find out what to
use with him.  He is dyslexic and has problems with processing the
information as he is reading it.  Do any of you know of a curriculum
that is aimed at teens with dyslexia?  Thank you for any tips you
can give me." -- Lacey


Do you have a recommendation for Lacey and her son?

Please send your email to: mailto:HN-answers@familyclassroom.net

Ask YOUR Question

Do you have a question you would like our readers to answer?

Send it to mailto:HN-questions@familyclassroom.net and we'll see
if we can help you out in a future issue!

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Next - Calvin and Hobbes, Book Club Kits, Dyslexia Help
Previous - Feed the I nterest, Invest in the Desire, Train the Ability

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