Friday, August 29, 2008

Those kids next door don't go to school...

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.

6 comments:

Nikowa said...

I know exactly what you mean! We have recently experienced social negativity at a birthday party! (We homeschool too). My 5 year old came home singing about shooting Barney with a 44! Just IMAGINE what he'd be learning at PS!

Some people just don't get it!

Leslie said...

it is so hard sometimes to homeschool and have people always question what you are doing and if it is a good idea. I stumbled on your blog today and really enjoyed reading about this. i feel really strongly that the best way to preserve the innocence of my kids is to keep them home with me, teach them here and not to have them socialized by other children that do not value what we do.

Kristin@HomemakerAtHeart said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kristin@HomemakerAtHeart said...

I've been having conversations with Jesse's mom about homeschooling {Jesse was homeschooled} She is really supportive and said that she would lend a hand at a moments notice. It feels really good to have the beginings of a support system.
We don't do much now...a few projects here and there...and not to brag, but she is so much more advanced than my friend's kids who are 2 1/2 and nearly 1 who go to preschool five days a week.
I must be doing something right?

Janne said...

We are dealing with the exact same thing. This is the first time we've ever lived in a neighborhood with other children and it has been *quite* the experience.

I think we have been dubbed "that weird family with all those kids".

Kimmie said...

Hi!

Just offering you some encouragement and a smile.
We are entering our 13th year of hsing...this year my oldest will graduate!

Praying that God hooks you up to some other hsers and that you find friendship, fellowship and support as you walk out your homeschooling path.

It is a wonderful path, full of adventure and joy.

God bless you and may He hold you in the palm of His hand. ;-)

Kimmie
mama to 6
one homemade and 5 adopted