Part two...homeschooling. Whether you just rolled your eyes at me or let out a sympathetic sigh, I know you have an opinion on the subject. I chose this topic not only because homeschooling is a big part of our lives here in the Clothesline household but also because some people think I'm weird and they don't know how to express it. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind being weird, people thinking I'm weird, or even being told that I'm weird. I'm used to not being like everyone else and I'm okay with that. It's when people don't say what they're thinking or don't ask questions so they can form a more well-rounded opinion that bothers me. A recent encounter at a fall festival is fresh in my mind so the pictures in this post are relevant. We did have a nice time together as a family and everyone that was dressed in period clothing was very kind and excited about what they were sharing with us.
As we made our way around the grounds enjoying special moments together learning about a way of life that is hard to even comprehend sometimes we gained a greater appreciation for the modern conveniences that we so often take for granted. Then we happened upon the much anticipated jumpy things. Of course we let the girls get in a jump off some energy. As Tim and i stood there watching them bounce around, a nice lady, a volunteer in the colonial children's games section, came over and began chatting with us. She commented on the girls lovely behavior and how much fun they were having. I looked from her to girls then back to her again as we chatted for a few minutes. She was very kind and talkative as we were the only ones over there at the time. Then came the first question..."What grades are your girls in?" My response...second grade and kindergarten. She said a few other things then asked the second question..."So where do your girls go to school?" My response...I homeschool them. I was looking up at the girls jumping around when I answered her and when there was no response I turned to look at her thinking she didn't hear me (I know, silly me) and she was gone! She had walked away without another word! Huh? Suddenly I was of no interest to her.
I get it if you don't like the idea of homeschooling, don't agree with homeschooling, or think I'm a kook for homeschooling but common courtesy would be nice. Wrap up a conversation instead of sneaking away while I look at my children. Make a comment or ask a question...something. But to walk away without another word? That was a first for me. A very disappointing, shocking first for me. I've had my share of unsupportive people make negative comments and I am as informative and excited about homeschooling as I can be so that they understand what I am doing and why. And you know what? I am tired of feeling like I have to defend myself as a mother, a wife, and a teacher. Tim and I made this decision together in the best interest of our children. We believe that this is what we are supposed to be doing. Now don't get me wrong, for every person that doesn't get it, there are probably 10 that do. I have an amazing group of friends that are supportive and encouraging and are a wealth of knowledge and know-how. Priceless, I tell you , priceless. So whether or not you agree with homeschooling or whether you think I'm weird or not just say so. Don't be afraid to disagree but ask questions and find out more so you at least know what you're disagreeing with.
To end on a more cheerful note, I must share another encounter that we had. A few minutes later, when the girls were done jumping, we made our way over to a beekeeper. We just finished up our studies on honeybees and all of the benefits of honey so we were pretty excited to see some things firsthand. As we looked at a live brood searching for the queen the beekeeper came over and started sharing information and asking questions. He was very impressed that my girls knew so much about bees and were excited to learn more. Miss O told him that we just finished studying bees. With a big smile he asked where they went to school. I told him that I homeschooled and he was so thrilled. That's great! he said. Then he looked at Tim and said "So you're a homeschool dad...so am I!" His genuine enthusiasm was very refreshing. No, I don't expect everyone to be enthusiastic about homeschooling, but common courtesy would be nice, no? So go ahead, leave a comment(good or bad), ask a question, tell me I'm weird if that's what you think. But please say something...don't just walk away.