Tuesday, January 18, 2011

One Won Over

I was thrilled to hear from a mother I know that I scored one for the homeschool team. That mother of schooled kids, a stereotypical soccer mom who is actively parenting her kids held the belief that homeschoolers were freaks. Until she got to know me and my kids.

Over the last three years we've intersected through our sons who are in the same Boy Scout Troop. Over time I have never preached or brought up the topic of homeschooling in any conversation. When she'd ask questions I'd calmly, patiently, and briefly answer them. I was my normal self which is not arrogant in attitude, not elitist or snobbish.

I had told her she was free to ask me anything. Sometimes she'd fire off question after question after question going on for up to a half hour.

I also never once condemned the schools.

Then she told me a story about how she grilled another homeschool mom last year and it didn't go well at all. She said there was eye-rolling after questions about if homeschoolers had to take the same standardized tests that the school kids do. There were sighs. Things were said that gave the impression that the homeschool family was learning elitist topics while the schooled kids are getting pablum.

I also don't condemn parents who choose school. I never portray it is something right for every family. This mom said that it would never work for her. She feels the dynamic between her kids and she would not work doing teaching. One child has received significant services through the schools and she feels that has had a good outcome.

Well it is good to know that in going about our regular business we are representing the homeschool community well. I can't control what impressions others give. I can only focus on my family being sincere and honest about our lives.

If you homeschool how do you think you are received?

How well are you 'representing' the community?

Please consider that whether you want to or not, you ARE representing us. I ask that you behave and play nice. Please?

7 comments:

christinethecurious said...

Well, I don't go on the attack for other people's educational choices, but I do sometimes get overly anxious and say too much - "There are many ways to homeschool...I can't speak for the whole community...Studies show...Well, wherever there are numbers, people with regulatory responsibility are likely to over rely on them..." I think I need to let folks have their say a bit more, even if I know it's just going to be the socialization stuff all over again!

-Christine in Massachusetts

Lynda Ackert said...

I just found your blog today and love it! I want to invite you to share and publicize your blog entries in the community journal on my homeschool website: http://christianhomeschoolhub.spruz.com/

Most homeschooling social networks will not allow you to share unless you share your entire blog entry but CHSH is not one of them.
CHSH is a ministry of mine and it is my quest to provide a wide range of resources to fellow homeschoolers. Thus, the main goal isn't to keep members on my site as long as possible - but to give them ample resources both on my site and others (like yours) that are just a click away.

To promote your blog entries, you can simply cut and paste part of an entry and create a link (to your post on your site)
for readers to finish reading it. Of course, if you want to write the complete thing on CHSH, that's fine too, but it's perfectly
fine to use our community journal to promote your writing about life, homeschool and family.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.

Blessings,
Lynda Ackert
Founder of the Christian Home School Hub

KC said...

hmmm... a woman who grills you for half an hour about homeschooling and insists she wouldn't be able to homeschool her own kids would probably solicit an eye roll and some sighing from me too. I know homeschooling is looked upon as a strange choice by people, but I'm not convinced that that should make me concerned about what they think of me. I'm sure she wasn't worried about 'representing' the soccer mom community in how she approached her questioning. It sounds like she lived up to the soccer mom stereotype.

christinemm said...

I don't think a half hour conversation is long at all for someone completely new to homeschooling to ask questions. I have taken newbie phone calls that lasted 3 hours. Also at homeschool conferences some think one hour for one topic is often not long enough. When the conversation is not just simple questions but "myth busting", it could be shorter. Myth busting takes a longer amount of time.

The people had a long time of doing nothing all day at a weekend trip. Basically they hang out and talk all weekend. So a half hour talk on the topic to me is a blink of an eye.

Maybe I have more patience for such things. Maybe being a past homeschool support group leader and hearing the same old same old questions over and over helped me become more patient and I'm not giving myself enough credit for my endurance with what sometimes seems repetitive or "stupid" questions.

va_grown said...

I came across your blog and as a mom with a secret heart for homeschooling (maybe soon?!), I really appreciate your good attitude! I can't tell you how nervous I am to ask some questions because I feel judged by the homeschooling family I'd like to ask. I've often found myself gritting my teeth and just tensing myself to take whatever attitude I get to get to the information I'm looking for.

To offer another perspective, the more research and consideration I've done, the more I've just floated some questions I already know a basic answer to, so I can gather more experienced responses. How a homeschooling mother for 7 years replies to "But your kids won't be socialized" might give me some helpful ideas on responding to my MIL's protests any time the topic comes up.

Just some thoughts.

christinemm said...

va_grown thanks for your comment.

Check this blog post of mine.

http://thethinkingmother.blogspot.com/2006/01/6-year-old-homeschooler-wants-to-go-to.html

and

http://thethinkingmother.blogspot.com/2006/10/i-agree-homeschooling-does-not-equal.html

and

http://thethinkingmother.blogspot.com/2008/08/but-what-about-socialization-book.html

christinemm said...

Also, here is one of my favorite blog posts about dealing with naysayer relatives.

http://thethinkingmother.blogspot.com/2007/12/dealing-with-naysayers-about-your.html