Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Weird, Strange, Unethical Homeschoolers!
So here we are about to start another year of homeschooling. For the most part the annoying persistence of well meaning folks to make us change our mind has stopped. Whether it's from an acknowledgement that we aren't doing a horrible job educating our kiddos (a slim piece of the pie), or they think that after this many years they aren't going to get through to us (a slightly larger piece of the pie) or that they think we are just too down right weird to talk to (ahem, the LARGEST piece of the pie). Which ever way it is, I'm happy that it's one less stress factor I have to deal with, especially right now when I am knee deep (well, let's face it, up to my nostrils) in forms, computer updates, books, lesson plans, and state notifications. What I would LOVE to tell some of these folks is that I am NOT anti-public school ( I know many HSers are, and that's certainly your prerogative), but we aren't. Both Handsome Hubby and myself went to public school right here in the county which we live. :-) I have to say, given our conservative views, I felt like the kids would have a better chance at getting a well rounded education without all of the peer (and teacher!) pressure that I went through. Our goal is an education that will serve our kids well.
Anyway, in the spirit of homeschooling and the oh-so-many negative ideas about it, I have to tell this short (and comically true) story from our homeschooling journey.
When my kiddos were little, I had a hard time finding somewhere (local) to walk that I didn't worry about Sweet Son and Dear Daughter being hit by a car. Anyway, I found this nice little cemetery down the road..it was perfect. Gravel, approx. a mile loop from start to finish, back out of the way, and no one stopping to ask why the kids weren't in school (well, we hope not!). Anyway, a few days a week we would go out and walk, the kids had to do one loop and then they would play ( I know it sounds horrible) by the cemetery while I finished my walk. I wouldn't let them play among the headstones, so they played in a little area just off the cemetery surrounded by fields. I know there was one neighbor at the end of the road to the cemetery that stared as we made our many journeys out each week. I would wave, smile, and go on. So one day, when I finished my laps, the kids came up to me carrying bones. I finally figured they were cattle bones. Anyway, nothing would do but for Sweet Son to carry his jaw bone home for a bleach bath and study. That was the day the mowers came early, and the curious end of the road guy was out walking. This was earlier on in our homeschooling journey and I know the conversation that followed must have made me look like a lunatic. I expected health services, the board of ed., and the county welfare for two weeks afterwards. It was a rather awkward conversation, made worse by me feeling the need to explain. (a need that has LONG since passed, I might add). I laugh now when I think of it, and I'm happy to say we've had many other *awkward* situations in which I just let the folks think what they wanted. I could just imagine the conversation at *their* dinner table that night..."you know those homeschoolers go to the cemetery every couple of days and play, today they were even carrying out bones!" LOL
Our homeschooling journey has made us wealthier and for those of you who homeschool you know I'm not talking cash here! We've met some WONDERFUL folks and made life long friends. I have learned how to avoid sticky topics in conversation with my "not homeschooling friends". As for my students (to whom I am extremely partial) they have developed into fine young people that I am proud of. As for the nay-sayers I am glad that we started this journey and if it ended tomorrow, I don't think I would regret one minute of time I have shared with my children. (OK, so I could have done without some the arguments....) Anyway, I'm thankful to be starting another year...
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