Monday, November 15, 2010

Well, you're probably ok...

I like to stay home and get school done in the mornings and use the afternoons for cleaning, errands, and other things, but sometimes, we have things that come up which require us to get out during the day...during school hours *gasp*

Today was one of those days. We had to drop our cat off at the vet for surgery and the drop off time for surgery is between 8:30 and 9am.. So, while we were waiting, an older couple came in, looked the kids over and proceeded to ask the age old question, "Do you go to school?"  My daughter politely replied, "yes, we do homeschool." I'll save you all the breath-taking details, but I'm sure you get the gist of where the line of questioning went from there...and wait for it...wait for it...yes, the weird, unsocialized sterotypical comment did make an appearance.

You know, I really don't mind answering all their questions and debunking all of their homeshool myths, but the fact some of them are so rude and speak with such ignorance right in front of my children really gets me angry.  

As the conversation rolled on, I enlightened the lady to the fact that I was once a public school teacher. I have been on both sides and it is possible for people (yes, even those without a teaching degree) to successfully teach their children at home and produce normal, intelligent, socialized human beings. At one point after having told her I had a teaching degree and had been a teacher, she told me, "well, you're probably ok." Really? Probably? Inside my head I'm screaming, "Oh no you didn't!!!"

Up until that point, I had been very calm and polite. The ladies behind the vet counter had been listening intently and at that point, I thought their eyes were going to pop out of their heads. The conversation went on just a little more (and yes, although irritated, I refrained from saying what I really wanted to say). Then, thankfully, another lady came out and called me back to the room quickly disrupting all the thoughts swarming around in my head of the things that were about to come spewing out of my mouth). So, I just smiled (or maybe it was a smirk), headed back to the room, and pictured the both of them stepping in a massive mound of dog poop on their way out the door :) (Well, I'm not perfect you know)

While waiting in the room, I thanked God that my kids were on their best behavior EVER and acting "normal" that morning.


  1. Oh my gosh - I had almost the same thing happen today! A man came over to fix my sewing machine, and he asked, "So your kids aren't old enough for school?" I told him we homeschool, and he got this wide-eyed look and said, "Oh." He asked if I've always been a "housewife" (love that term), and I told him that I used to teach. So he said, "Well, I guess you know how to do it then." Yeah, because ALL public school teachers know what they're doing. Ah-hem.

    Then he went on to tell me that his daughter recently had a baby, and he asked her when she was going back to work. She said, "I'm retired now, Dad. I'm not going back." He said, "It's the darndest thing I've ever heard of, having a baby and not going back to work. Works out well for her, I guess. I'm not sure it's a good deal for her husband, though." It was all I could do not to get on my soapbox and tell this idiot all of the things my husband loves about having a wife who stays home. Anyway, people really are ignorant.

  2. I read this with a smile, Pauline! :)

  3. Good for you! As I am reading this, I am thinking that the Lord must know that I am not yet ready to defend our decision to random strangers (this is our first year). It has been so crazy that the reactions that I get from strangers are, "you know I have been thinking about it myself", or "that is probably a good idea". We have even come across at least three people that homeschool themselves- even the nice man in the Publix deli :)

    You and your kids were a shining example to homeschooling!!

  4. I was thinking that this was a strange name for a post... until I read it. Ughhhhhh! The nerve of some people. And I read Jennifer's comment and you just see the total breakdown of society... ugghhh!

    Of course, we get some really mixed comments with Cody being a public school teacher... and one with his Master's degree. Of course, we "should" have our kids in school, especially since it is like career suicide if he ever wants to be a Principal one day. The irony is that when people say things like, "Well, your probably okay, then {being that I have a husband that can "guide" me through teaching}" is that Cody has a harder time with being comfortable with us homeschooling than I do. And he clearly says there is no way he could teach multi-level schooling. I mean, seriously for the 7th grade he is used to teaching the same thing year after year six times a day. Sure, he can tell you all you need to know about grammar and writing on the 7th grade level, but ask him about the full program and he will tell you that he clearly would not have the confidence to teach all subjects even to only one grade. See what that Master's degree will get you?!... just as far as not having one. LOL!

  5. @ Gator Mommy - That is wonderful! God brings people along in our lives to encourage us just when we need it. I pray you guys are having a GREAT first year homeschooling.

    I really do think home school is "catching on" and I wonder if there is so much backlash against it because it is becoming more popular and people are more apt to dislike what they don't fully understand.

  6. Pauline, I've been enjoying your blog since you started it during class, because it reminds me of all the fun I had homeschooling my three sons, now all grown, for six years, and my three daughters over the past year. I homeschooled my sons out of desparation, because the public school system was failing them so badly at the time. My boys were special needs. Two of them struggled with severe ADHD and the other was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder. These were all considered behavioral disorders by the public school system, and were not covered by the special education department at the time, because according to the school system, it did not affect their learning. The school system could not explain to me then why my extremely bright 5th grader was incapable of muliplying if the ADHD did not affect his learning. They assumed he was just lazy. So after fighting for special ed services we did not get, we pulled them out and taught them at home. It took me about three weeks to teach this "lazy" child how to multiply, and another couple of weeks to bring him up to grade level in math. So much for the abilities of public school teachers.

    I really appreciate this blog. There were many times I experienced positive comments on homeschooling, as is the case with Gator Mommy. But more often than not, even with my own family, I dealt with negative comments about their lack of socialization, their lack of a proper teacher, etc. I have since been tested and pass as "Highly Qualified" according to No Child Left Behind guidelines - I have completed all the requirements for certification in Texas. I am sure all those nay-sayers would be glad to know that the person who taught my children was indeed as capable as any teacher in the school system. And considering that in any given year we participated in about six field trips with the other homeschool families in our group, held a science fair, did a Christmas play, participated in a group co-op class, met at the park for picnics and BBQs, and had a Christmas party, I don't think my children lacked for socialization, either. What they didn't get from the homeschool group, they surely got from the Royal Rangers at church or the Civil Air Patrol.

    The year I started homeschooling, I remember going to the annual homeschool conference and hearing the keynote address. I can't remember who the speaker was. I just remember him saying that if we were concerned about the kind of education our children would get at home, that about the time we stopped for our break on the first morning of the first day of homeschooling, to take a good look at the clock, and realize that we had already spent more one-on-one time with our child than the average child gets in his entire K-12 education. That statement made an amazing impact on me. I see it now when I work in classrooms in the public school. Children are attention starved. They crave our attention more than anything else. And homeschool parents are in a position to give attention better than anyone. You may not have a college degree, but I bet you can (and do) read the lesson before your child sees it. You may not have teaching experience, but I bet you pour your heart into planning a lesson that will interest your child. You may not be a certified teacher, but if your child gets all that attention, they are going to learn. They have no choice. There is no place to hide.

    This is why homeschooling works. It is why we choose to give up very presitigious careers, stay at home, and be with children that sometimes drive us crazy all day long. It is why colleges prefer homeschool graduates over public school graduates in vast numbers.

    So don't despair! The public may still have a negative image of what you do, but many of us know the truth, and more are learning it! Your children know it, too!

  7. @ Julie - What a wonderfully positive outlook on things :) Thank you so much for sharing!


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