Monday, April 07, 2014

Just a little Monday non-rant*

This post is probably not direct at you. You are probably a very open-minded, courteous person, who understands that we do not, and CAN not, all walk the same path in Life. Can you imagine how crowded that path would be? Can you imagine how BORING the dinner conversations would sound if everyone on Earth always saw the same sights, breathed the same aromas, tasted the same foods, and spoke the same thoughts? I would never assume to know what is best for you or your family. If you are the crunchiest of vegans or the most frequent customer of fast food restaurants, it is not my place to judge or offer opinions. If you choose to pay for your children to go to private schools instead of vacations at Disney World, it is none of my concern. How then does my own family's decision to homeschool become a topic for which vitriolic comments can spiral out of control?
Getting even the reluctant pre-teen involved in art
I want to clarify that I don't mind talking about homeschooling. I really don't. Most of the time. But, as with most things in life, it is impossible for me to adore every aspect of it! So when I am asked by someone I have just met, "You homeschool?!? How does that 'work' for you?" I can get a little...frustrated. I mean, I don't want to discourage anyone who may be secretly hoping to homeschool! I definitely want to paint a clear and honest picture of the benefits and trials that this lifestyle presents, but it's a very complicated question! There's more to homeschooling than just picking a curriculum or reading a few books. It's a lifestyle choice that most people cannot imagine. It's also a lifestyle choice that some people, who have absolutely NO experience with homeschooling WHATSOEVER, have definite opinions about. I have found that to say "I homeschool," can be met with anger or a response that tries to justify their own decision for their child's education; as if I were judging them by making this choice. Needless to say, when you hear that I homeschool and then give me that astounded face as you look me up and down (trying to find the long prairie-style dress), I may feel a little cautious about revealing my heart.
Field trips can be out-of-state when you homeschool...
I mean, it is not a question that can be adequately answered during small-talk getting-to-know-you chat. In fact, it's actually a very personal question. You wouldn't ask the same question about other life choices. Would you? Would you ask someone you have just met, "You're Jewish?!? How does that 'work' for you?" or "You're Republican? How does that 'work' for you?" Would you question someone, about their decision to bottle feed or cloth diaper? Would you incredulously query them about their decisions? (If the answer is 'yes', then may I please introduce you to the idea of meditating about WHY you are so worried about the choices another makes?)

If you are of a different belief/lifestyle/life choice/etc. than I am, I will definitely be interested and hope that we can have several conversations about our differences; once we are closer. But, just as I don't expect you to feel comfortable discussing your reasons for converting to a new religion with a complete stranger, I hope you don't expect me to feel comfortable for discussing all of the personal reasons we have accumulated for homeschooling our children.

At least, not in a 5 minute-doorway-meet-n-greet.
Totally well-adjusted, perfectly "socialized" 8 year old girl. SHOCKING!

We'll need at least 10 minutes for that.

*Because it's not really a rant. I'm not angry and "rants" connote "anger." Just a spilling of my brain waves onto the screen...

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