Domestic Bliss Report

Motherhood is hard work. If we don't stick together, we'll all fall apart.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

They really, really seem like Bigfoot.

By that, I mean anti-homeschoolers.

I haven't met any. I might want to add "yet" to that, but it's true. I say "Bigfoot" instead of unicorns because there are really credible, sane people who claim to have seen one, whereas unicorns are pretty much regarded by everyone as mythological. If I were in Scotland, I might use Nessie instead, but I think that's been pretty much debunked.

Why? My own random experiences. When asked about our kids and school and I say, "We're homeschooling," I get a small variety of responses. Curiosity, interest, respect, admiration. Maybe nobody's had the nerve yet to challenge me on it, so I should be prepared, but it hasn't happened yet. What have I dealt with? Here's some of the surprises.

Last year at the optometrist. The owner of the shop is a former client of Dale's. She asks out of the blue, "So are you homeschooling now?" I thought he'd told her we were, or were going to, but he hadn't. "I just figured you for the type of former teacher who would." Seems she was one on a long list who knew before I did.

At the dentist. In talking with another patient while I was trying to get Rachel's coat on her, he said, "She's got more patience than God. She homeschools, too." We had been discussing it earlier and a friend of his son's was homeschooled. His wife (the dentist's) had pointed out all of the time lost in school--attendance, quieting down, waiting for answers, lining up, answering redundant questions, reteaching, waiting for twenty-five (or more) students to get the correct book open to the correct page... Yeah.

Last month with the city water workers. Mr. Conscientious Blue Shirt asking, "So are you going to homeschool them?" out of the blue, the support and lack of surprise of his boss, the admonition for our son to aim for the space shuttle instead of a backhoe driver... Yeah.

At the pediatrician. The older one tried to give me a talk about socialization when I first asked him if we'd miss any screenings (vision, scoliosis, etc.), but I tuned him out. This past month at the girls' annual checkup, the younger guy just looked up brightly at Madeleine and asked, "What are you learning about?" He had what I imagine is the same tone he uses for his own five-year-old daughter.

At swim class this session. It started with having more than the standard two children, then I got called an angel come to Earth for homeschooling them by another mom. Gee. I just think of it as a sneaky way to sleep in during the week, for one. (I'm kidding. Sort of.)

Today at the Detroit Science Center. We walk in to the little kids' area after the planetarium show (Dale wanted to see The Little Star that Could), and I look to my right. That kid is WAY past six years old, I thought. No uniform. Must be a homeschooler. From our group? Turns out he's the oldest child of this interesting lady, with whom I had a really good conversation.

I mean, I've been told they exist. I've heard it from other families they do. I've even had a drive-by troll comment against it, back in the day. But actually dealing with one, in the flesh? Not yet.

Nuts. Now I've cursed myself, haven't I?



At 8:51 PM, Blogger Milehimama said...

Ooh you're lucky. My bosses' wife was anti-homeschooling.
That was fun.

At 6:35 AM, Blogger Kasia said...

I could introduce you to my parents, if you'd really like to meet someone in the flesh. You know, just to get the experience under your belt... :-p

I remember it came up on Easter Sunday for some reason, this year, right after I was received into the Church. My dad and stepmom had met my sponsor just the evening before at dinner. My stepmother, as we were prepping for Easter dinner and the subject came up, started talking enthusiastically about what a bad idea homeschooling was, and how could anyone think they were better-qualified than the schools to teach?

Well, my sponsor and her husband are both doctors, and she homeschools their kids. She's also very sharp on things like literature and philosophy - just a really well-rounded woman - plus she speaks at bare minimum two languages fluently (English is her second language), so I promptly pointed her out to my stepmother as an example of a homeschooler who's eminently qualified. I then said, "Look - I am very sure there are people out there who are homeschooling their kids who really shouldn't be, from an academic standpoint," and referred back to the homeschooling mom on The Amazing Race who told her kids that Lake Pontchartrain was one of the Great Lakes. However, I said, I know quite a lot of homeschoolers, and I've never personally encountered a situation like that. Furthermore, all of the homeschool kids I've personally encountered have been bright, happy and well-socialized. So obviously homeschooling is not the bogeyman she thought it was.

I don't know if she's still anti-homeschooling after hasn't come back up...

At 10:32 AM, Blogger Peanut Butter Kisses said...

Oh Boy! I was just thinking to myself...don't say that out loud because now it's sure to happen. But then I was thinking that if one was to open their mouth and share their thoughts on that subject, I know you will have the words to help them see the light!

Looking forward to hearing all about your experience, my friend!

At 6:42 PM, Blogger The Story Of Us........ said...


I would like to introduce you to my friend and neighbor Heather P., six years ago. She is a teacher and has one child. I think you may have met her before. She has red hair and she is quite against homeschooling, much like I was 9 years ago. I was very careful to introduce myself as the friendly neighborhood homeschooling family so as to ease into the subject. She was polite but didn't say too much one way or another.


At 11:44 AM, Blogger Sarah said...

You are blessed, Heather. But maybe it's because you live in a very supportive-of-homeschooling area (as do I...I have only found a couple of the Bigfoots (or would they be Bigfeet?) in my area, one of whom was a family member from Chicago-land...


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