I’m so glad in broaching this subject, that it has already served to encourage some of you who have chosen a road less traveled. It is also my hope to provide information and trains of thought to those wishing to understand.
Today, I’m sharing but few of the many things we have been asked over the years. At times, they are stated sincerely and with a desire to understand. At other times? Snark abounds. Either way, I’ve learned that the best thing you can do in the end, is to sincerely thank others, and move ahead.
Question #1: Also, quite possibly, the #1 question! What about socialization?
This is an old, worn out train of thought, but I am always happy to address it. Do I feel my children are properly socialized? The answer is yes. Again, judging by your welcoming responses and support of the oldest two, you feel the same way. But please indulge me my personal
soapbox explanation regarding this inquiry, will you?
I think the definition deserves consideration. For us as parents, socialization involves much more than the ability to relate to one’s peers. In fact, in my personal experience ( remember, public school graduate, baby) the only time in my life that I have been isolated to an age specific grouping, was within the school system. No job, community service activity, etc. has ever asked me to pair off into my age group. It was our desire from the get go, that whether you were 4 or 400, our children could easily engage you in conversation, activities and just general “getting to know you” types of things. So far, so good! In fact, just last week, Son #3 came to Hero Hubby and I, wanting to “know something.” That can definitely be cause for pause! “This kid that is generally a jerk, was finally with me by himself. He was a totally different person, and we actually engaged in a pleasant conversation. What do you suppose is wrong?!” Tongue in cheek response: “He’s socialized son!” Peer dependency: Please leave home without it.
Question #2: Aren’t you worried about holes or gaps in their education?
Ladies and gentleman, graduating from a system, with honors, where scope and sequence rule (or at least did), I HAVE GAPS. YOU HAVE GAPS. There are holes in many areas! The idea in challenging individuals to be life-long learners, is to create a need to seek, search out, and acquire information on a need-to-know, I-would-really-like-to-own-it, basis! Knowing how to thirst after knowledge and obtain it IS the best foundation to education I can inspire in any of my children. Side note: Another 52 weeks went by where I didn’t personally engage the use of Algebra. Just sayin’. And the world continues to rotate on its axis.
Question #3: What do you actually DO all day?
Seriously? As time goes on, I’m not particularly confident that this question needs to be answered. I mean, when people say that their child attends such and such a public elementary, or so and so’s private academy, I never hear, on the heels of these statements, “So, would you like to share with me what you do all day?”
Question #4: Don’t weirdos home educate?
Yes, they do. And they send their kids to public school and private school as well. There are weirdos everywhere, in every walk of life; just as there are stellar, upright families seeking excellence. You’ll always find what you’re looking for.
Question #5: Do you feel any form of social responsibility to public education?
I do. In fact, I am a taxpayer, and a citizen who has gone down at the request of my district in the past and reviewed curriculum. Our local middle school asked my boys to participate in their annual fundraiser two different times by coming and providing music at their event. We gladly accepted and considered it an honor to be invited.
I used the clipboard shot for several reasons. In an ever increasing social media driven society, there is more information that anyone could possibly digest. There is also easy access to snippets of information about the lives of others.
It is my job to love God and love people, while serving my family and fellow man. In that order. If I have time to scrutinize every in and out, up and down; while analyzing the moves and intentions of others, then I have misdirected my time. This is sad.
Instead, I want you to know that as another year of academia beckons on so very many different levels in America, I want to be an encourager of people. Because most of them are honestly doing what they can, the best they can.
Think the best of others. Encourage them in their pursuit of knowledge.
And in the end, lead through being a servant, in the best possible way that you can.