Tuesday, October 23, 2007

the home school uniform

This is just an observation and in no way a criticism to all those out there that home school. Over the years I have known many families that home schooled their children and I have noticed a common thread (bad pun intended)... the home school 'uniform'.

Is the 'uniform' of the home school girl just a result of practical economically thrifty parents? Is there a reason that this particular style is preferred by the mothers and daughters of the home school family? Do the majority of them chose to dress similarly so they can identify themselves with other like minded families when out in public? Is the plain attire a statement of some sort? Is there a reason, from my observations, that homeschooling girls/women tend to shun modern* clothing? Please, enlighten me.

I know many will comment that it is a modesty issue, however; I would like to interject that you can be dressed completely modest and still look modern*.

*Note: I chose my words very carefully here. I say 'modern' with no intent to mean 'unattractive' because I know people's taste differ greatly.


Anonymous said...

My friend has 7 kids and homeschools. The 5 girls dress modestly but I wouldn't say they stick out from the crowd except that they are exceptionally well behaved and polite. They do shop at thrift stores but with one income and 7 kids how else could you feed and dress them all?

Harry Potter said...

Just wondering if you still think J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter are still harmless.

Albus D. said...


I swear, sometimes you are such a drama queen.

Pilgrim said...

Well, my 2 daughters and I don't own anything like that dress. Maybe that's the dress code for the Carolinas.
BUT I think that dress is cute, in an old-fashioned counter-cultural way. I agree with you that one does not have to look old-fashioned to be modest but what's wrong with going against the fashion grain?
When a family homeschools, kids (and parents too) don't have to bother with pleasing others in their choice of clothing or their hobbies or a number of other things. While this might look geeky to some, this is very liberating!

ignorant redneck said...

Many of my Nieces and Nephews have been homeschooled--they all habitually wore and wear jeans.

ignorant redneck said...

Drat--didn't mean to post yet!
The Homeschoolers in our parish tend to dress rather like hippies! Except not so loud and they bath.

Ellyn said...

My boys tend to dress like the Nerd Herd. My attempts at matching shirts and khakis, if only for public outings, have not worked well. And my girls, who did not start out as homeschooled, really didn't like the idea of dressing in the stereotypical homeschool manner. When we went to the homeschool family day at Six-Flags there were a lot of families dressed in that particular style, but we weren't the edgiest either. But I was a bit surprised that daughter #4 didn't qualify for some prize for the most piercings. (of course, she didn't have the nose ring at that time)

Anonymous said...

Why is it a concern to you?
We could ask the same think about kids in public school. Is wearing nuts and bolt with accessories (black nail polish, strange hair color, navel showing + underwear, and so on) the standart uniform for school? to me it is a concern, that's why I am homeschooling.
What's wrong with this picture? What could offend in that dress ? Not showing any skin.

I agree you don't HAVE to look ugly, but what does ugly means nowadays.

Ma Beck said...

I'm sorry - am I the only one who LOVES that dress? Granted, it would be cuter in a solid color, perhaps - but the buttons, the collar, the waistline - it ROCKS.

If I was a slender, hipless, delicate flower, I would buy that dress.

Carolina Cannonball said...

anon- you assume of me that since I do not go to one extreme, I must practice the other extreme in fashion.

It is no major concern to me what home schooling kids wear, I was just curious why the all tend to dress the same. I didn't know if there was some solid reason.

If you bothered to read and comprehend what I wrote, I made no passing judgement on the style nor indicated my own personal sense of style. I made to indication I was offended by prairie dresses.

Anonymous said...

Yes, you did made a judgment or there would be no post and no picture. You take an "extreme" which I don't think it is (I saw the same dress, and it looks a look cuter than the display) and I took you to the other.

I am part of a homeschooling group, and I wish some of the girls would dress with more feminine clothing. Out of close to 100 families, I have so far met one family dressing up the way you describe.

The problems those days, is that you CAN"T find many affordable cute dresses in regular store, if you don't want your girls to look like *cannot say this word here*, you have to make the dresses or go on web site where there are people who devote their time an ressources to saw some, and yes they look like what you put on your web site.

You asked to be enlighten, there you are. If you don't want people's opinion, don't ask for them.

Carolina Cannonball said...

Asking a question is not passing judgement, making note of an obeservation is not offering a critism nor is seeking enlightenment an open invitation for a personal attack.

Your conversational skills are found lacking as well as reasoning. Let's hope you are not in charge of teaching your children rhetoric.

Look at that, I can get catty too.

Anonymous said...

Would you please post on you web page the picture of a teenager's clothing, tank top that obsviously shows bra and breast, with preferably a picture of a skull in the front, a pair of pants that is about to fall, bleached with holes and an underwear showing.

And write:
This is just an observation and in NO WAY a criticism to all those out there who put their children in public school. Over the years I have known many families that put their children in public school and I have noticed a common thread...the public school uniform.

Is the uniform of the public girl just a result of practical economically thrifty parents? Is there a reason that this particular style is preferred by the mothers and daughter of the public school family? Do the majority of them chose to dress similarly so they can identify themselves with other like minded families when out in public? Is the squimpy attire a statement of some sort? is there a reason, from my observations, that public school girls/women tend to shun conservative clothing? ( I chose my words very carefully here, I say conservative with no intent to mean modest because I know people's taste differ greatly)

See how sacarstic your post looks like. Obviously it is a judgement. You say it yourself," you can dressed completely modest and still look modern". That's your judmment. You don't have to admit it in public, but it would be hypocritical to state otherwise.

You don't find this dress attractive, fine. Others would find it modest which it is. Modern, well the question is what do you call modern, would you hem it shorter, no sleeves, showing shoulders and unbuttoned it to the point that we can see the color of the girls' bra?

As for my ability to raise my children, leave this subject alone please. Let's just not go there! that would be just too unfair.

Anonymous said...


Firstly, you overreacted. Secondly, yes, you CAN find affordable dresses at places like Target or Marshall's. Plus, with many schools requiring uniforms now, school uniform stores have good selections of tasteful clothing. Maybe you think every girl looks like a whore that doesn't dress like Laura Ingalls?

Carolina Cannonball said...

You're the only one that found any sarcasm in my words. Interesting.

Are you always this irrational?

Albus D said...


You are clearly not comfortable with certain choices that you've made. Otherwise, you would not react so.

Anonymous said...

Well you casn think what you want that's ok. I do think though that there was definitely an understatement in that post: since modesty has been dismissed right then and there, maybe you wanted people to say: yes I dress my girls that way because I feel righteous, and I snob everbody else. And yes, it's a code so we don't have to mingled with the worldly ones.

What I say is modesty and affordability are part of the choice. I agree Target has some choice, but VERY limited, good luck finding a short that doesn't the cut of an underwear.

I say there is nothing wrong with that dress, and there is nothing wrong with people dressing there children that way, or is there?

Too me, it's a bit to me like a liberal attitude toward wearing the veil or nuns wearing the habits. People who don't,often are aggressive towards those who does, and ask the same kind of question.

I might be irrational and all of the above, I just won't put on the spot people who choose to wear those clothes. That's my opinion for what it is worth.

Harry Potter said...

Did I mention that Harry Potter's venerable instructor was a flaming homosexual? And he's also the perfect role model for children?

Pilgrim said...

I just thought I'd say that (all comments in this box to the contrary) I personally think I'm more like most CATHOLIC homeschoolers. I like period clothing, I love that our kids wear them without fearing ridicule, and I love that dress. But like Ma said, I have too much post-baby spread to carry it off. Most of the homeschoolers I know, including my own family, wear jeans and t-shirts daily and dresses/skirts for Church.

Terry Nelson said...

Kat fight! LOL!

In my area the fashion is long denim jumpers with t-tops.

Tom S. said...

Dear Anonymous One,

If you don't have the bal.... I mean DIGNITY to sign your name to your comments, then please keep your comments to yourself.

CC was making an interesting point, hoping for an interesting discussion. It's cool that you don't agree, but to combatively disagree with someone from behind the cloak of "anonymous" is not cool at all.

Anonymous said...

If there is an option on "Leave your comment" to choose an identity, then it is ok to do so.
It's up to cc to change that option, no?


signed: Ann Nonymous

Carolina Cannonball said...

I just asked that anon comments be signed, a pseudonym would be fine. It just helps keep the threads clear when you have multiple anon comments, it obviously does nothing for civility.

I am rethinking the anon option. I used the 'F' word today in commenting to the HP post.

Its pretty bad when the CC uses the F word.

mother of 5 said...

The dress is beautiful! We homeschool and teach our girls to be lovely, feminine and strong. They play baseball, climb trees and do anything else their brothers do, but when they want to look nice and clean, they always put on a pretty, flowing skirt or dress. There is a certain freedom felt when you can put on any pretty skirt or dress you see, even though it was in style years ago. You like it, it's pretty, the men in your family like it (Dad and brothers!), so who cares what the teenager across the street thinks!
When I was dating a man, who liked me to be dressed in the latest fashion, I once saw a mother and her girls who were wearing dresses like the one you showed. Of course, they looked way out of place, but there was a certain peacefulness and beauty about them that I looked at longingly. I said to myself, one day I'll be free to dress like that; to be content in simplicity. The more I learned about Mary and the beautiful women of the Church, the more I was able to let go of the need for my outside to be beautiful and hip. As my soul grew in grace, beauty and peace, my clothing reflected it. I can tell you, no one can understand the peace of simplicity unless they too have calmed their souls and turned inwards towards Truth. And I think, that is why so many homeschooling girls and moms are able to enjoy wearing dresses such as the one shown.

Carolina Cannonball said...

so are you implying that those who don't dress like that haven't reached a certain point in thier spirituality, or are less pious?

Anonymous said...

Are you saying that they aren't, CC?

Carolina Cannonball said...

you don't have to wear a prairie dress to reflect piety. That is what I am saying. It seems mom of 5 might be implying if you chose not to dress that way you aren't.

At least that is what I perceived and why I asked her.

mother of 5 said...

I'm almost sorry I left a comment here. I certainly didn't mean to offend anyone. I'm sorry cc you took it that way. Good gracious, no, I didn't mean to imply that only those who dress a certain way are more peaceful!! That implication is so funny you made me laugh! You asked why so many homeschoolers wear dresses like that, I was offering an explanation. It's like explaining why the Amish wear simple clothes. By doing so, you certainly don't exclude all the rest of mankind from not being peaceful and content, etc..
Anyway, it's true what the other comments said. One hardly sees anyone dressed like this. Down here in Florida at our traditional homeschool group the young ladies wear dresses and skirts, but certainly alot more colorful, more relaxed, and a little more classy. Maybe that's just how they dress in your part of North Carolina! LOL!
I guess if I saw alot of homeschoolers dressed that way, I would wonder the same question.
Enjoy your day!

Pilgrim said...

You CC love to Nun Gaze at... Nuns in polyester pantsuits, right? Would you post photos of nuns in the latest fashions? Why not? Is it because you can't quite take seriously a nun not dressed like one?

Carolina Cannonball said...

Mom of 5, no offense taken. I was unclear of your meaning so I just asked. I see your point. Please feel free to continue to comment, your contribution was very thoughtful.

The Amish and nuns dress they way they do, for piety yes, but also because their are in a community. Its almost cultural for lack of me coming up with a better word. If you want to use them as examples you might be suggesting that home schoolers are a sub-cultural and seperate from regular Catholics. I know it's a stretch. I am just encouraging the conversation.

But it can be perceived as deliberate seperation, exclusion from the regular folks who aren't what you consider good enough & holy enough. Naturally I am not as holy as a nun ;-P