Homeschooling Tips From 'Desperate Housewives'

According to the latest figures from the U.S. Department of Education, 36% of homeschooling parents do so to provide "religious or moral instruction"; and 21% name concerns about school environment. How did Gabrielle (Eva Longoria Parker) end up homeschooling her daughter, Juanita (Madison De La Garza), on Desperate Housewives? Not those reasons.

Her metamorphosis into homeschooling mom went like this: After Juanita let a curse word slip during a school play, the principle chided Gaby for her poor parenting skills. Naturally, Gaby told her off -- and then had no choice but to yank Juanita out of school. And voila, Gaby became a homeschooling mom. The least likely homeschooling mom in America.

With plotlines like this one, it's easy to see why Gaby's scenes are some of the show's funniest -- including the ones last night. Metaphorically speaking, Gaby taught from her own, "shock and awe"-style lesson book. Here's the page on fractions:

Gaby [grabbing Juanita's doll]: "Say I take Mrs. Doolittle, your favorite doll, and I chop her into thirds. I bury one third in the yard. I put another third down the garbage disposal. How much of Mrs. Doolittle do you have left?" Juanita [frantic]: "You're not going to hurt her, are you?" Gaby: "That depends on how you answer the question."

Fortunately for Juanita, Gaby's homeschooling career appears to have ended as of last night, after she got caught pawning the operation off on the maid. "Some moms were made to homeschool, and I'm just not one of them," she sobbed. So true -- which begs a question: Should someone like Gaby even be allowed to homeschool? I found an online group of homeschool moms, and put the question to them.

And the answer was: None of them watch the show. (Apparently, people who keep their kids out of school for "moral and religious instruction" generally don't fall into the category of TV viewers who set their DVR's for an hour of evil secrets and bed-hopping.) A few ventured to guess that the homeschooling scenes were probably funny but nothing like what real homeschooling is all about. Uh, yeah.

Here's what one mom said: "I think the show might be tongue in cheek, but not all of us choose to homeschool because we don't get along with the principal of a child's school. I can laugh about it, definitely, but this is the primary choice of most people, or it becomes the education method of choice when we see that the public schools are not working. So, I guess, in that aspect, the portrayal of the homeschooling lifestyle was, once again, misrepresented in the mainstream media."

Of course, the show doesn't appear to be making any judgments about homeschooling -- just about Gaby homeschooling!

Do you think mom's like Gaby should be allowed to homeschool their kids? Chime in below!

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