. . . and I get a really easy way to sneak another post in!
Thank you Bob for putting these thoughts into words for me:
Here’s the thing: Home schoolers don’t have to act “better than thou” for people to get defensive with us; just our existence makes some people uncomfortable. By “some people” I mean other parents who are painfully aware of just how awful the public schools are, but put their kids in them anyway, because after all, they’re free (“free” in the sense that we’ve already paid for them with our obscenely high property taxes), and if you didn’t send your kids there, you’d either have to spend a ton of money or a ton of time that you would prefer to spend on other things
In my experience, some parents are a lot happier if they can tell themselves that they really don’t have any choice in the matter, because after all kids have to go to school, and this is what’s available, so we’ll just send them there and hope for the best. It makes some of them very uncomfortable when they see home schoolers refusing to go along to get along; it shoots to pieces their theory that they don’t have any choice in the matter.
You’ve hit the nail on the head, Bob. When acquaintances first learn that we homeschool, the response is often defensive. Not in a mean, hostile way. Not judging us. More like, defending themselves against being judged. “I could never do that” is a phrase I’ve mentioned hearing a lot, for a varying number of reasons, some quite valid of course.
Our mere existence is enough to make some feel uncomfortable. And when folks are uncomfortable around me, that makes me uncomfortable. Without realizing it, those experiences have made me more reticent about discussing homeschooling, even on my own blog.
I can be a bit silly about avoiding confrontation.
Happy Friday everyone!