The crazy life of the ClarkClan. Living a life of grace through Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Homeschooling Myths

     Moving is never easy. There are many details that need attention, there are many things that are out of your control. Having to handle the unexpected during a move is normal. And then something comes up that is a little more than the normal moving woes.

     The last thing I expected during this move was to debate on our family’s decision to homeschool. Yet, I found myself in this position earlier this week.

     I have been homeschooling since 2001. It has become a way of life for our family, all the way to my oldest graduating from high school (yes, still at home)  this past spring. Most comments I hear when people find out we homeschool are along the lines of: “Oh, Wow! that is so great for your kids.” or “Oh, I don’t think I could have the patience to teach my own kids.”. These are fairly benign and easy to dispel myths.

   But…every now and then someone comes along who is a little more persistent. I came up against that this week in a very unexpected place, my own home. We are in the process of our last move with the Air Force.  When the packers came to our house, the head guy was not shy about his feelings on homeschooling. He wanted to know why we homeschooled. Pretty easy question I am used to answering. Then he became more persistent. He began to ask things like, “What is wrong with the public schools?” ,” Why don’t you want your kids in them?”  “My kids want to be there, don’t yours?”, Who authorized your son to graduate?” and my very favorite that crops up, “Well, kids need more socialization than at home.”

     While my general policy is to politely answer questions without trying to disparage their decision to use the public school, I quickly became annoyed with this guy’s questions and running commentary.  So I did what I do best and retreated. I let my “obviously” under socialized 18 year old son deal with him. Then I went up to my computer and wrote out a little paragraph of what I would say to him if I were ever brave enough.

To the guy who is packing our furniture. You came in to pack our household goods up, not debate with me on the educational choices of my children. I have not questioned your decision to send your children to public school, please refrain from making disparaging remarks on our decision to keep them at home. And that 8 and 9 year old that sat on the couch conversing with you about the estimated weight of each box and showing you exactly on the globe where they and their family and friends live, are in obvious need of more social skills. Your offense of our family is neither warranted nor called for. You are here to do a job and be a professional, please stick to your job and I will do mine.

     The stress of moving without my husband here to help, I am sure contributed to my perceptions of this man’s comments. I was not emotionally prepared to deal with obvious disdain over how I teach my children on the day my furniture was being packed in boxes. All I can comfort myself about this whole situation is that I did the right thing by not arguing back. I let my children’s actions and words speak for themselves that we have made the right choice for our family.


Here are my “unsocialized” kids socializing for a birthday party for Rebekah this summer.


Padre Knell said...

Dear Jill,
I'm glad you made the retreat and sorry you had to deal with the beligerance. I know you didn't waiver in the conviction of what you are doing or why you are doing it. Non-homeschoolers will never understand the joys or trials of the journey, but then non-homeschoolers will spend an average of 40 hours less with their kids per week...Hope the rest of your move goes smoothly, though IMHO you are moving to the wrong place :) We miss you guys, God bless!

Cathlene said...

Good for you, Jill! It was the moral high ground not to let that rude person get a piece of your mind. I laughed out loud when I read the socializing question. I hear that a lot when people ask about Matt and family. I usually reply " where in the Bible does it say 8 yr olds should socialize other 8 yr olds?Just the opposite: parents are in charge of that!" Safe trip.

Vickie said...

Great way to handle that one. You should have called...maybe we could have ganged up on him LOL j/k I would have retreated as well. HUGS praying the loading goes much better tomorrow. If you need anything call or text. Still want some pizza?

blue eyed girl said...

Hey Mrs Clark,
Do not feel bad. As I am now in college I get a lot of people that say 'You were homeschooled? You don't seem the type.' Although I did graduate from a public school, I am often offended by this and my come back is that I was able to graduate with honors from high school a year early and I am now in an engineering program. I can't understand how it would be to defend your lifestyle to a total stranger.
My sister and I always said that we were more socialized than kids that went to 'school' because we interacted with people that were not only our age group. We had to interact with older kids and adults. We also learned how to have conversations of value with adults, which is something I have noticed some kids have a problem with. You are an amazing person and I'm glad you were in my life!! And I'm sure, one day, all your kids will thank you for all the time, resistance to pressure, and patience that you have had with each of your kids. :)
Praying for your move to go smoothly.
Whit G

Proverbs 22:6
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Lori said...

You will have to excuse the man who packed your furniture. He was obviously sent to public school and therefore lacks the proper social skills etiquette that is usually required on the job!