Jan 302012

“Why aren’t the children in school?”

I’ve been a homeschool mom forever. I’m totally over that whole why aren’t the children in school thing. If I had a dime for every time a person at the bank or post office asked about why the children aren’t in school, I’d be RICH!

I used to feel evangelical about my choice to homeschool. I’d smile a goofy smile, and (even if I was just mailing a letter) I’d explain that we were on our way to this or that educational activity, explaining all the wonderful benefits of being a homeschool family. As the years went by my approach relaxed a bit, and I’d simply smile and state that we homeschool. Sometimes the smile was probably phony, and the matter-of-fact-ness probably sounded a little snippy: we homeschool. duh! (But only when I was tired.)

Why did it ruffle my feathers today? I just wanted to mail a letter. She asked why the children weren’t in school, and I thought, my young ones are RIGHT HERE! I’ll translate the postal clerk’s questions into what my young ones heard: “They don’t belong here. Why are they here? Why are they not in school?” Let’s see if we can make them feel awkward, why don’t we?

I felt like snapping back with something like, “Actually, they have a terribly infectious disease, so I thought it best to keep them out of school for the day.”

Just the other night, we were signing some insurance papers and I was asked what I do all day? You know, since I don’t “work.”

Totally over that too. (I’d be SO rich. Just a dime for every time.) I recline on the couch and have my children bring me champagne and caviar. all. day. long.

Really wanted to say that.

I’m obviously tired. It’s exhausting to nibble on caviar all day. duh! Whatever.

  6 Responses to “Banalities”

  1. Great post–as entertaining and thought provoking as I’ve come to expect from DRD.

    As a parent who sends my kids off to school each day, I can say that one element of the passive-aggressive response of many to home-schooling parents is that you home schoolers make us feel guilty. At some level, we know that we are supposed to be the primary educators of our children, yet we also know that home-schooling is hard work and not as fun (or so we imagine) and prestigious as outside-the-home “work.”

    It’s a similar phenomenon, perhaps, to the way people often belittle those who unapologetically and consistently live their faith. Reminded of how they know they should be living, the “compromising faithful” don’t appreciate the resulting internal dissonance, so they try to bring the other down.

    Don’t let the ba**ards get you down, Kian. Enjoy that hard-earned caviar.

    • You are too kind! And I raise my proverbial champagne glass . . . THANKS!
      Also – you are most definitely of the ilk of the unapologetic and consistently faithful; the kind the world needs more of.

    • Kian –
      I don’t share Pete’s guilt about sending my kids to school. In fact, as much as I respect and appreciate the educational opportunities that home schooling provides, I am not sure what I think about the phenomenem in general. I think as a society, we are losing a lot of the civic institutions that serve to bind Americans. That being said, it is obvious that your kids have thrived.

      I also want to say that I LOVE your posts. I really enjoy reading them and am glad that you are thriving. (You and Pete both make my life look pedestrian). Keep writing and take care.

      • Kevin,
        I LOVE that you love my posts! That made my day!

        It’s fine to be unsure of what to do with us (homeschoolers) – we can be a peculiar and varied bunch. I love us, of course, but like I said, it’s completely fine to be unsure of the phenomenon – I appreciate your honesty.

        I am obviously pro-homeschool so articulating all the wonderful benefits and the statistics regarding above average test scores and such seems redundant. (Even though I just kind of did.) I am kind of curious, though, about what you mean by the statement: “I think as a society, we are losing a lot of the civic institutions that serve to bind Americans.” What civic institutions? Schools? And what do you mean by “bind Americans”? I guess I just don’t understand what you’re getting at.

  2. As usual, your comments are right on. You have done and are doing a terrific job with educating your children. The proof is in the pudding, i.e. Ken and Caroline.

    xoxo Aunt Pat

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