What happens next, is that people who were, just before my answering the question, "are you kids off from school today?" (directed at my children, who always get "deer in the headlights" faces), with what is clearly up there with screaming,
"WE HAVE AN INCURABLE DISEASE, CAN I LICK YOUR HAND?"
complementing me on how sweet my kids were, how funny, how they love each other - what happens now, is that all of a sudden, they are - WE - are scrutinized.
Their clothing choices are judged. The shy ones are pointed out, loudly, with actual pointing.
"Well, what do you do for them to be socialized?"
Oh, how i love that one.
I want to say, "Well, today is our big field trip to Acme! Look kids, an idiot!".
But i don't.
I politely, and cheerfully say how much we do with town sports, homeschool coops (yes, we diseased folk meet - like the lepers who lived in caves in those old epic movies like Ben Hur or The Robe), Church groups, and that other than being home for school during the days, our afternoons and nights are almost exactly like you "normal people". If we're lucky, we have one night home a week as a family once sports start in March and then until mid-November. I've decreed a law that we shall not be busy for the holidays, so usually we have a pretty blank slate from Thanksgiving through Valentines Day.
This means some "normal person" can now tell me, "oh, hon, hon, you have NO idea".
Ok, thanks. You're right.
I totally realize the level of annoyance and snarkiness today, but holy crap.
ARE YOU PEOPLE SERIOUS??
Sometimes, before we've even checked out, the cashier - who if i had lied to and said they had a day off from school, wouldn't think twice and would continue complementing my kids - is hounding me on state laws and what curriculum i use.
Well, Ms. 5 Packs a Day who is screaming on her cell to her ex about child support check, if you MUST know, this IS school for the day.
Just kidding. Or AM i. *giggle*
I'm trying to think of other areas in life where people feel so free to judge you and your children, as when you decide to do this horrifying thing called homeschool. We should all be forced to wear a red letter H.
Now, the kids and i make our own jokes about homeschooling. The not wanting to "look" like homeschoolers, stuff like that - but honestly, it's kind of like talking smack about your family. You know, how you're allowed, but if someone else does who really doesn't get it, you're ready to whistle for your fellow Jets, and rumble.
Sometimes, kids aren't trendy - you know, JUST homeschooled kids.
Gird your loins.
Some girls might wear long dresses, or just totally not care what they have on as long as it's clothing.Whoa, put a stop to THAT right away, you love reading BOOKS more than trying to look awesome? STOP THIS MADNESS!! LISTEN TO TAYLOR SWIFT, STAT! Let's switch that pesky book out for some leather pants, red lipstick, and a Seventeen magazine, babe. You "need" to learn how to attract boys. Your life is worthless without this. At 12.
Sometimes, the boys get a little creeper-ish if they're around a pretty girl. I've been told, now brace yourselves, "they stare". Hi, THIS IS REALITY CALLING. That's all boys, it's only creepy to you if he doesn't look like the freakin' Twilight movie stars or a kid from One Direction. I mean, seriously, the things that adults and kids would think is fine if the person looked like a movie star - it makes my heart hurt. But throw an introvert with maybe some glasses, shaggy hair, and outdated clothes into the scene, and all of a sudden it's some crazy homeschooler freak. Are you for real??
A lot of flack actually comes from private school kids, which is hilarious to me. I guess we all need someone to poop on. Because, private school kids, i hate to break it to you, but you don't have much street cred with the public school kids. I don't know if you know that.
It's a really crappy, vicious cycle, which is all from people thinking their way, or their child, is somehow better than yours, because of a place you did, or did not, put them.
And it's STUPID.
I will never understand why making decisions for YOUR OWN CHILD, that is living in YOUR HOME, can be so scrutinized by others. I don't sit around talking smack about public or private school. I don't CARE. In fact, some days, i longingly stare at that magical yellow bus as it slowly saunters by my house. But i truly don't care about YOUR decisions for YOUR child's schooling. Why do you care so much about mine?
So much, that i need to make sure my kids don't go outside certain times during the day, or "helpful" people - who have NO IDEA WHERE THEIR OWN CHILDREN ARE, or who clearly lead perfect lives - can call the police or school district and have them check in. Really?? And these same people, who probably wouldn't like you to just drop by because things are messy or they are in pj's, well babe, they get to judge you and deem you irresponsible or unfit because of dirty dishes and normal life. Not the fake life we all get to put on display when we know people are coming.
Also, I can tell you from what I've heard, i don't envy the homework of "normal kids". And that ya'll are pretty much homeschooling already and don't know it, and aren't getting any of the perks.
I guess all I'm saying is, if you hear someone drop the apparent BOMB that they are homeschooling, can you just relax? Can you not all of a sudden believe yourself to be Child Services or some Detective trying to crack the case of the weirdos? Grilling someone you don't know, in something you clearly don't understand is really ridiculous. We don't have actual leprosy. My kids dress like morons sometimes. Sometimes, they're overly friendly to strangers, then sometimes, as trained, they don't want to talk to them or answer really idiotic questions without looking to me first. We may work harder than most schools one day, then less the next. They may drive me crazy sometimes, but i love having them home with me as long as THEY love it.
So can you please calm the heck down? We're nice. We laugh alot. We love each other. We get it done.
And most days, we get it done in pajamas, then go to Target or something. LIKE NERDS.