In a show of solidarity with the striking writers I am going to post a re-run rather than write something new. I posted this a long time ago but I wanted to repost it to help some of my home school mom friends. Also, at the bottom of this post, I have included an email I got called "the bitter home school wish list". It is funny. I wish I had written it. Oh well, at least I wrote this, and it makes me proud to have been bitter enough to post it on March 22, 2007.
My children and I were brutally assaulted in an elevator the other day. Well actually we were Brute-assly insulted by an ass who was too much of a brute to even realize he was doing it.
He said to my daughter, “Where do you go to school?”
Daughter: “I’m home schooled”
Brute: “Wow! Brave Mom” (Subtext: “you kids are scary”)
Mom: “Well, it works for us” (Subtext, “shut the hell up now, it’s time to stare blankly at the doors till your floor mercifully arrives to release us both.”)
Brute: “I had a friend who did that. (Subtext, “that makes me an expert”) They put their kids in school because of the socialization. Aren’t you worried about the socialization?”
Mom: “Oh no, there are lots of opportunities to socialize nowadays.” (“Unlike the days when you learned how to socialize with strangers on an elevator, idiot!”)
Brute: “Where do you live?”
Brute: “Oh there are great schools there. You should put your kids in school,” he says over his shoulder as he exits through the closing door.
Can you imagine that conversation? “Kids, your father and I decided that after 10 years of doing this we feel it would be best to send you to school thanks to a messenger from God who showed us the light on an elevator date with destiny”.
It is amazing how many times this has happened. It’s amusing to me that people think that bringing up the subject of socialization with a complete stranger will undo all the research and experience I have had up to this point to arrive at this perfectly legal and viable educational alternative. It is odd that socialization is the first thing they think of when they see my kids dressed in scuba gear babbling incoherently and throwing their feces around the room.
My next favorite thing is when people discover the kids are home schooled and start quizzing them on geography. I still don’t know where things are. Being ignorant about geography is not a home school privilege. Which brings me to my honor roll student.
People often say to me, “Wow!! I am afraid I would not be qualified to teach my kids!”
My daughter recently had the perfect answer: “So what you are saying is that because you went to Public School you would not be able to teach 4th grade material?”
Miraculously, without the benefit of socialization she knew to say that to me privately after the person had left.
That brings me to the smug temptation I have in response to those who say, “I could never home school! My kids would drive me crazy!”
“Yeah, your kids would drive me crazy too. Thank God I have mine!”
The Bitter Homeschooler's Wish List
From Secular Homeschooling Magazine, Issue #1
1 Please stop asking us if it's legal. If it is - and it is - it's
insulting to imply that we're criminals. And if we were criminals, would we admit it?
2 Learn what the words "socialize" and "socialization" mean, and use
the one you really mean instead of mixing them up the way you do now.
Socializing means hanging out with other people for fun. Socialization
means having acquired the skills necessary to do so successfully and
pleasantly. If you're talking to me and my kids, that means that we do
in fact go outside now and then to visit the other human beings on the
planet, and you can safely assume that we've got a decent grasp of
3 Quit interrupting my kid at her dance lesson, scout meeting, choir
practice, baseball game, art class, field trip, park day, music class,
4H club, or soccer lesson to ask her if as a homeschooler she ever gets to socialize.
4 Don't assume that every homeschooler you meet is homeschooling for
the same reasons and in the same way as that one homeschooler you know.
5 If that homeschooler you know is actually someone you saw on TV, either on the news or on a "reality" show, the above goes double.
6 Please stop telling us horror stories about the homeschoolers you know, know of, or think you might know who ruined their lives by homeschooling. You're probably the same little bluebird of happiness whose hobby is running up to pregnant women and inducing premature labor by telling them every ghastly birth story you've ever heard. We all hate you, so please go away.
7 We don't look horrified and start quizzing your kids when we hear
they're in public school. Please stop drilling our children like potential oil fields to see if we're doing what you consider an adequate job of homeschooling.
8 Stop assuming all homeschoolers are religious.
9 Stop assuming that if we're religious, we must be homeschooling for religious reasons.
10 We didn't go through all the reading, learning, thinking, weighing
of options, experimenting, and worrying that goes into homeschooling
just to annoy you. Really. This was a deeply personal decision,
tailored to the specifics of our family. Stop taking the bare fact of
our being homeschoolers as either an affront or a judgment about your
own educational decisions.
11 Please stop questioning my competency and demanding to see my
credentials. I didn't have to complete a course in catering to
successfully cook dinner for my family; I don't need a degree in
teaching to educate my children. If spending at least twelve years in
the kind of chew-it-up-and-spit-it-out educational facility we call
public school left me with so little information in my memory banks
that I can't teach the basics of an elementary education to my nearest
and dearest, maybe there's a reason I'm so reluctant to send my child to school.
12 If my kid's only six and you ask me with a straight face how I can
possibly teach him what he'd learn in school, please understand that
you're calling me an idiot. Don't act shocked if I decide to respond in kind.
13 Stop assuming that because the word "home" is right there in
"homeschool," we never leave the house. We're the ones who go to the
amusement parks, museums, and zoos in the middle of the week and in
the off-season and laugh at you because you have to go on weekends and
holidays when it's crowded and icky.
14 Stop assuming that because the word "school" is right there in
homeschool, we must sit around at a desk for six or eight hours every
day, just like your kid does. Even if we're into the "school" side of
education - and many of us prefer a more organic approach - we can
burn through a lot of material a lot more efficiently, because we
don't have to gear our lessons to the lowest common denominator.
15 Stop asking, "But what about the Prom?" Even if the idea that my
kid might not be able to indulge in a night of over-hyped, over-priced
revelry was enough to break my heart, plenty of kids who do go to
school don't get to go to the Prom. For all you know, I'm one of them.
I might still be bitter about it. So go be shallow somewhere else.
16 Don't ask my kid if she wouldn't rather go to school unless you
don't mind if I ask your kid if he wouldn't rather stay home and get
some sleep now and then.
17 Stop saying, "Oh, I could never homeschool!" Even if you think it's
some kind of compliment, it sounds more like you're horrified. One of
these days, I won't bother disagreeing with you any more.
18 If you can remember anything from chemistry or calculus class,
you're allowed to ask how we'll teach these subjects to our kids. If
you can't, thank you for the reassurance that we couldn't possibly do
a worse job than your teachers did, and might even do a better one.
19 Stop asking about how hard it must be to be my child's teacher as
well as her parent. I don't see much difference between bossing my kid
around academically and bossing him around the way I do about everything else.
20 Stop saying that my kid is shy, outgoing, aggressive, anxious,
quiet, boisterous, argumentative, pouty, fidgety, chatty, whiny, or
loud because he's homeschooled. It's not fair that all the kids who go
to school can be as annoying as they want to without being branded as
representative of anything but childhood.
21 Quit assuming that my kid must be some kind of prodigy because she's homeschooled.
22 Quit assuming that I must be some kind of prodigy because I homeschool my kids.
23 Quit assuming that I must be some kind of saint because I homeschool my kids.
24 Stop talking about all the great childhood memories my kids won't get because they don't go to school, unless you want me to start asking about all the not-so-great childhood memories you have because
you went to school.
25 Here's a thought: If you can't say something nice about homeschooling, shut up!
"Disquietude is always vanity, because it serves no good. Yes, even if
the whole world were thrown into confusion, and all things in it,
disquietude on that account would still be vanity."
-St. John of the Cross