Now that we live in a neighborhood filled with children, I understand how rare homeschooling is. Previously, I didn't have any neighbors with children, and so most of my children's buddies were those we met at church and were homeschooled.
The landscaper came to mow our lawn this morning. He's an early riser, and was here at seven on the dot. Because he was in the backyard, I had to walk the dog in the front, where I realized how "out of place" we are as a homeschooling family. It was quite strange, really.
Everyone on our street that had children was loading them up in their vehicles. I counted at least ten families preparing for take off on the "education expess". It was absolutely crazy. It reminded me of the Olympic's sychronized swimmers, and then, it occured to me how robotic it all seemed.
The nearly-due pregnant neighbor to the left of me waved. "Are your children in school already?" she queeried.
"Well, sort of," I replied.
She cocked her head and raised a brow.
"I homeschool them," I reminded her. It was only a few days ago that we had a similar conversation when she welcomed me to the neighborhood and asked if my daughter would be in kindergarten at that nice huge school down the street.
She gave me one of those looks as if to say, "Homeschooling? People still do that?"
While Houston is full of alternative learners, there are still plenty... an overload... of children in public schools. When I was in school, the student to teacher ratio was often 30:1, and, in many areas, not much has changed.
My neighbor asked me, "When will they go to school?"
She seemed quite worried that my children weren't being shipped off so I could have "time to myself", but I assured her, "Oh, I don't know. We like to have them at home with us, and we always have a blast. I know it sounds crazy, but we like to control what goes in to their little hearts and brains, because they are so young. I had a bad experience in schools, so I want to make sure they don't have to deal with those issues just yet, if ever.
She nodded, still not quite satisfied with my answer or my ideas. I waved good-bye as the dog tugged me back indoors.
I cannot wait to connect with other homeschoolers in the area. I know quite a few, it's just a matter of arranging get togethers now that we're settled in.
I feel so strongly, for my own family, about homeschooling. I just cannot imagine sending my niave little children (who are so prone to mimic anyone and everyone) away from the safety at my home. They are so little, so unprepared.