We took the reins of education back over 11 years ago. Seeing that in print is still astonishing to me. I can’t believe we’ve homeschooled that long. Time flies when you are having fun… so they say. 😀 I am always amazed at the questions or statements we hear everywhere we go. I don’t consider myself a pioneer in the field. There were many that came before me and the numbers of home educators are so great now. It’s hard to imagine no one choosing to educate at home. I would say that maybe we pioneered this whole thought and concepts in my little corner of the family- as there were many varying opinions and condemnations.
On the last day of February, Son staggers out into the living room and with pain in his abdomen. I quickly quiz the patient to determine fact or fiction. I surmise that this is no act. A mother just knows. While I throw on clothes I had him call his grandpa who was a medic in the army. I needed a quick second opinion before we flew out the door. Sure enough Grandpa, confirmed – he agreed that it was appendicitis. That set in motion two full days of medical education for son.
He made it through the surgery and recovery just fine. We learned that Son has an unusual high pain tolerance and some fierce determination. In that two days we entertained a host of questions from every doctor and nurse that came our way. I suppose when talking to someone you don’t know personally you stick to the general topics like the weather or school. Do you like school? What grade are you in? Cause we are all former students and can identify with school in some manner. Without a second thought your child pipes up, “Oh- I am homeschooled.” I hate to tell you but a person’s face generally tells if they love, support, hate, dislike, or are unfamiliar with the notion. Most usually wanna see if you know their cousins- sisters- nieces -aunts friend– cause they homeschool too. And all homeschoolers know each other right! It’s just the same as you knowing every person with your same last name.
The most interesting conversation we had was when we went for the follow up appointment with the surgeon. The nurse was chatty Cathy with a super southern accent. She took his vitals and began the interrogation. “So, do you need a note for school?” He says, “Nope, I’m homeschooled and this is my teacher,” in his best 16 yr. old deep voice. She says, “really?!” She gives us her life story in a nut shell talking in run-on sentences without missing a breath. She seemed almost in defense that she sent her kids to school, at least it was a small town school, she kept reiterating. She asked him to stand to see the incision- “oh that looks good”– without missing a beat, “so is your mom a hard teacher or too easy on you?”
He replies, calm and cool, “yeah she’s good.” Next Question, “Do you feel like you have suffered to be homeschooled?” I think maybe we have the wrong department. We were supposed to meet with our surgeon- not a psychiatrist. Another question, “so, do you have friends? You know that come over and visit?“ I was thinking to myself? So do you have friends? He’s still cool and says, “Yes ‘ma’am.” Well, you know that’s what everyone says, it’s about socialization?
Let me just stop her right here. Let’s blow this one right outa the water… I had to interrupt…
The socialization issue – really—that is such an unfair stereotype to put on homeschoolers. My son- only attended only pre-k and is the most social child I have. He will talk to anyone! It used to scare me because he was so friendly in a grocery store. I was afraid he’d get nabbed. He’s been homeschooled his whole life. Hold on to your seat… I’m gonna say this one slow. There are public school kids that don’t socialize well. The disturbed kids that did school shootings – do you think they socialized well? How did the system let them down? There are grown adults that don’t socialize well, we have institutions full of them. To put that monkey in a back pack and have homeschoolers carry it around is completely unfounded and unfair.
Furthermore, the public school system would tell you that they are there to educate your child. Not to provide a social venue of entertainment for your child. I am in fact not a social butterfly. I am more reserved and quiet, kept to myself. Guess where I went to school? Hum yes, public school.
Here are a few more myths you can mark off your list.
- We don’t all wear doilies on our heads.
- We aren’t Amish, Mennonite, or Mormon.
- We own a TV and listen to music.
- All homeschoolers are not geniuses.
- We don’t go by grade level.
- All homeschoolers do not like to do school for fun.
- All homeschoolers cannot win a spelling bee.
- Learning doesn’t all happen at a desk.
- Life skills are learned living life.
Is it really all about socialization? If that is the only argument going- for anti-homeschooling then we are in sad shape. Fundamentally, the choice to do school at home is all about parents’ rights. As parents we do and should have the right to decide what’s needed for the welfare of our own child. I am not anti-public school. For some families the best is sending them to public school every day. Other parents, their decisions are based on their convictions to be what is best for the child. Those are not always religious anymore.
Somehow someone took a few introverted homeschoolers and decided that the whole group was like that. Nobody likes a group label unless it’s of their choosing.
We learned a lot those few days. 1) My son is pretty amazing. 2) I can do impossible things through Christ who strengthens me- even with IC. 3) Kids that love to learn are pretty darn awesome.
Still Life schooling the baby,
Disclaimer: I don’t mean to offend any person if any of these beliefs apply to you. -Really, I sincerely don’t.