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I am a very lucky woman with a husband and son who are smart, witty and entertaining. Our son, B, attended public school for two years, and then we embarked on a new adventure in the Fall of 2010 - homeschooling. We don't have all the answers, but we know B and this has been the best thing for him. I blog to preserve our stories and our memories, share recipes, vent and ramble on about our crazy, yet blessed, life. Would you care to follow along?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Homeschool Ambassador. I didn't sign up for this!

B doing his Math lesson in his favorite spot.
We chose to educate our son at home because it was best for him and for our family.  He has a personality and learning style that his elementary school's curriculum was not geared toward.   He was not being as successful as he could have been, he was not as happy as he should have been and neither were his teachers.  Since he has not been diagnosed with anything under the ADA, the school was unwilling to make accommodations for him.  That's fine; we can make accommodations at home.  I don't think anything about anyone else's decision to not homeschool.  It is not a right or wrong, black or white, judgmental issue.  You do what's best for your family; I do what's best for mine.  Period.

Although we thought we were just homeschooling our child and affecting our family, we've involuntarily been elected as homeschool ambassadors.  Every homeschooling family has and I didn't sign up for this!  When we go out in public during school days, we get stared at.  People constantly ask B, "Why aren't you in school?"  That really irritates me.  Address me, please, not my son.  But they don't have the balls to ask me that, that is why they address a child.  I would be so happy if they could just change that question to, "Are you homeschooled?"  There are so many of us in the area, and you obviously ask all of them why they aren't in school, so you should assume most of these kids are homeschooled.  Yes, there is the odd parent who will take a child shopping with them when they are too sick to be in school, but that is rare, people.

Our homeschool group has weekly "recess" at a park.  A couple of weeks ago, B and I arrived at 1pm and saw a mother with 2 little girls on the backside of the park.  B ran over to them while I was getting our water and snacks out of the car.  B was going to ask them if they were part of our homeschool group, but before he could saw anything, the mother asked B, "Why are you here?"  Seriously?!  She just elevated the level of rudeness up a notch.  B replied that he was here for his homeschool group's  weekly playdate and asked if she was part of the group.  She didn't politely say, "no," she said she'd never heard of his group.

Now, if I was with B when this woman asked her rude question, I could not answer her with, "He's here because it's a public park and we have just as much of a right as you do."  You know why?  Because then my rudeness would give this woman the impression that all homeschoolers are rude.  If I stood up to every person who told me that my child was not being socialized, or quizzed my son to see what he knows, that would put a bad taste in their mouths about all homeschoolers.  Do you think any of these people worry that their rude and intrusive questions tell us that all publicschoolers are this rude?  Nope, because we don't think that.  Just like I don't think every single driver from Ohio is a jackass because one happened to cut me off on the road.

However, each one of us homeschoolers has to bite our tongue, take a deep breath and educate total strangers about the details of our home lives for the good of us all.  Homeschool Ambassador.  *sigh*  I didn't sign up for this.

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