It may be that your child is having difficulty with rules and regulations at school. It may be that your public or private school has shut down. It may be that you or your spouse is now working afternoons and will never be able to see the kids. It may be because you found out that your child can go to college early if they homeschool...whatever reason, here you are contemplating Home Education of all things!
You are a normal gal or guy. You never really gave it much thought before now but the more you look into the idea the more you see that there are other normal people, just like yourself, who are having a wonderful time with this kind of lifestyle.
You jump in with both feet and begin your new life. You are enjoying the kids, though freaking out a little that YOU have decided to do this but other than that things are going along smoothly.
One day you are wandering around town, in the middle of the day with your children when "IT" happens. You and your children are minding your own business at the grocery store, park, field trip, zoo, museum, nature hike, play date, Science Center, or some other random social activity when a complete stranger walks up to YOU, taps YOU on the shoulder and says,
You are now staring at a random stranger contemplating your response. For the very first time you are forced to see yourself through their eyes. You now have to say...out loud...
"We are a homeschooling family."
You are about to experience the wonder and awe of the human mind. You are about to witness ignorance at its best. That random stranger, after hearing your answer, will react emotionally to YOUR family...whom they have never met before this conversation....as if you have committed a purposeful attack on their very life. Yes, it will happen to YOU, my good friend.
After you have given your answer, the Random Stranger will say one of the following statements and you...YOU...could very well be standing there, stammering...wishing you had a response....but you won't! Why? Because you did not realize that you are now one of us!
You are now considered....dunn...dunnn....dunnn...."Not Normal!"
To other people you have morphed into whatever that specific person's idea of a homeschooler happens to be. YOU are..."that" homeschooler!!!
Some people understand that homeschooling is a difficult choice made by practical parents. Some may ask questions out of legitimate inquiry, but some people are flat rude, judgmental, nasty and they...need a jolt!
These answers are NOT funny...they are just true.
HOMESCHOOLING ANSWERS TO RANDOM STRANGERS
"Why aren't your children in school today? Did the school have a day off?"
"We are homeschoolers."
1. RS: "I don't have the patience for that. You must be a saint."
You: "If you are doing homework 2 to 3 hours a night, you're already doing it...welcome to Sainthood. We just don't have to do it after a hard day's work and we don't have the stress of having to get it done in some bureaucratic time-frame."
2. RS: "Is that legal?"
3. RS: "Do you have a teaching degree?"
You: "Do you have one? You are teaching your children every night when they bring homework to your home. Does your child's school have courses for parent's to take that will give them a degree to teach their own children...after the kids have been at school all day and are tired...and you are tired from working all day....and you now have to force them to get the work done on time, know it on time and memorize it on time or else? 'Cause....that's the degree I needed when our kids were in Public School."
4. RS: "Do you have a teaching degree?"
You: "Do you have hemorrhoids?"
(rude personal question begets rude personal question)
5. RS: "What gives you the right to do that?"
You: "Their birth certificate."
6. RS: "What about Socialization?"
You: "Between sports, camp, clubs, homeschool organizations and field trips we've decided we're going to have to cut back. We just have to decide where."
7. RS: "What about Socialization?"
You: "They weren't allowed to talk in class for 7 hours a day and only had 3 minutes between classes to chat, so we thought we'd take them out of that situation in the hope to teach them to socialize."
8. RS: "What about College."
You: "I know what you're thinking. You've heard about Harvard and Yale grabbing homeschoolers left and right and that colleges are now recruiting homeschoolers but we're not going to push that in our family. We're just going to send them to the local community college when they turn fourteen like many homeschooling families do. That way they can graduate homeschool with an associate degree when they are seventeen or eighteen instead of just starting their higher education."
9. RS: "You can't possibly teach them Algebra and Chemistry!"
You: "Do you remember your Algebra and Chemistry?"
10. RS: "You can't possibly teach them Algebra and Chemistry!"
You: "That's what the community college is for." or "That's what our Co-Op is for." or "That's what tutors are for." or "Sure I can." or ...you get the drift
11. RS: "You are abandoning our public schools! It's our responsibility to fix the schools."
You: "Are you saying private schools need to fold also? The Public Schools get my taxes...they are not entitled to have my kids."
12. RS: "Why would you want to shelter your children like that?!"
You: "Shelter them as in keeping them in the same class with the same kids for 13 years, day after day, year after year?"
13. RS: "Why would you want to shelter your children like that?!"
You: " Well, the horse and buggy became too cumbersome so I learned how to drive a car. We go on field trips and outings nearly every week...unlike most traditionally educated children who may have a field trip once a year."
and my personal favorite...
14. RS: "My brother-in-law/sister-in-law/fiancee's cousin....Homeschools and their kids are bratty/stupid/too shy/too assertive/too fat/too skinny/lazy/clean house all day/talk too loud/breathe too hard/don't have any friends/talk to their friends way too much......
You: "Yes, I'm sure it's because they are homeschooled.....Public Schooled kids are perfect."