Sunday, September 25, 2011

How Homeschool Friendly is your town?

I have become used to the fact that The Boy and I will wander around Brighton and have not a single person bat an eye at us. He is obviously school age and when people ask him if he is enjoying school and his response of I'm homeschooled, is greeted with them again asking if he is enjoying school. Not a batted eye, no looking to me to see if I've suddenly grown a 2nd head, just acceptance and moving on to other conversations we were already having.

This last week we were confronted with 2 different, but both surprised points of view. Neither of these were here in our town. The first was Friday when we were packing my sister up at the hospital so she could go home (Oh, Hey, my sister came home from the hospital again, hopefully for the last time in a very long time) A volunteer came by the room to give everyone a free cup of coffee if they wanted one. (You know I ALWAYS accept free coffee) She sees The Boy in the room and says to him "Why aren't you in school!" He said, "I'm homeschooled" as he always does. She then looked at me as though I had grown not just 1 extra head but maybe 2, or maybe I had grown horns or was a meth addict too lazy to take my child to school, but strong enough to take him to the hospital where I might be able to steal some drugs from my poor defenseless sister. (I might be exaggerating a bit, just a bit, I don't think she felt I had horns) 

The second was at a friend's birthday party, I was talking to another parent and he asked where The Boy goes to school. When I replied we homeschool his response was "Wow, you must be really patient" Ummm, no I'm really not. I am so far from patient it isn't even funny. I will say I am learning to be patient but I did not have it coming in to this.  I wonder about parents who say things like that. Do they say it to explain to themselves why they could never homeschool? I have to admit I don't feel like a real homeschooler. I love my boy I love teaching him but damn I wish I could have some down time. For some reason I have my own misconceptions about this. I think that all other homeschool parents love being with their children all the time, and never have a moment of wishing for something else. In my rational mind I know that isn't true and I know that I can't be the only homeschool mom who is at times driven crazy by the all encompassingness of it all. 

All that to say, I'm lucky with the town we live in. I don't always appreciate it, I often wish I lived somewhere nearer to my family, closer to the city, just somewhere else. This town, though, is very understanding of homeschooling, it takes leaving the comfort of it to understand better the balm that acceptance is. 

1 comment:

Valerie at Home said...

Trust me, you are not alone in just wanting some *space* from your kids. The rest of the fam is currently watching the Phineas and Ferb movie upstairs while I am holed in my room. Not because I don't want to see the movie, but because I need some time away from the girls. I waxed poetic with another mom today about how I've recently had a couple of experiences that made me remember how much I miss teaching a classroom full of kids and how I daydream sometimes about going back to work. I love my kids, I love spending time with them and seeing them learn, but it can be overwhelming, even in a town like ours where many people homeschool and there are tons of co-ops, events, resources, and support groups. So don't worry. Every other homeschooler loves her kids but sometimes has to talk herself out of running away from home.