If you homeschool, you’re no stranger to the overwhelming and sometimes rude opposition you receive when you tell someone you homeschool.
First, the photo for this article shows our son swinging during our season’s first, wild storm and yelling “I AM NOT AFRAID!!” He couldn’t be more correct in his convictions that God will keep him safe. I pray every day I’ll hold the same beliefs in my heart because ever since we decided to keep our son home for school, the thought of opposition squeezes me to the core.
So, I do my best to build up on positive homeschooling facts, studies and even bible verses. But my memory often fades quickly so I’m left with my faith that God is working in our lives in a bigger way than I can ever see. But opposition lives in our world, lurking in the neighborhoods, friendship gatherings and grocery stores like a tiger waiting to pounce on a fresh kill. But the other day I was met with my first opposition conversation. And here’s how it went:
Since we’re only a few months into homeschooling (rather, Christian Unschooling) our Kindergarten son, I’m usually quick to let someone know why he’s tagging along during my errands.
For instance, the other day I had to run into my Chiropractor. Our son came inside and was enchanted with the magic, metal ring puzzle toys, and started trying to complete them. While he’s playing, I ran into my orthopedic massage therapist, Jose, who worked on me after a small car accident.
As I’m sure you can imagine, during our catching up I let him know we’re homeschooling our son. He looked at me with such scorn and disregard while he took a deep breath and said “well, I’m not one to tell you this but…”
Let’s stop right there. If I ever get into a conversation with someone whom is doing something with their life in which I may or may disagree with, I probably wouldn’t start with that opening line, because it just disregards everything he said after that.
We quickly got into an almost heated discussion regarding homeschooling. Like clockwork, he’s only heard of the extreme cases in which we don’t relate to. The first he informed me of a family in a nearby town whose eight children “knew the Bible up and down, front to back, but never got past middle school knowledge.”
I nodded my head and let him continue.
He then, and this is where I probably looked like I was going to burst, he said “You do know that he’s going to need a diploma, right?”
I gave him one of those “really, that’s all you got?” look. And went on to inform him of the laws in Oregon, including testing laws as well as diploma laws (yes, we can assign our own diploma to our child as registered homeschoolers).
He looked baffled. In the end, I informed him that I love my children and have their best interests at heart and tried to end it there – agreeing to disagree.
But then my son then came over to me with a medicine ball and asked me what it was.
Jose, overhearing this inquisition, took it upon himself to kneel over and say: “We know it is not a volleyball because of this” and he pointed out the barely visible “8lbs” on the ball. And we know it is not a basketball, because it’s blue….
I looked at Jose, and then at my son and simply said “it’s a medicine ball buddy, but yes, it looks like a blue basketball. How cool!”
I don’t mind when someone criticizes me for homeschooling my kids. But when you turn around and treat my child like he’s an uneducated little minion who doesn’t deserve a straight answer and who now needs every opportunity in life to be a learning opportunity, please disregard my comments to let my son know that not everyone understands how to speak to other humans.
Would Jose have spoken to an adult who had the same question? No. Do we quiz adults every time they don’t understand something? No.
We simply let them know what the answer is, if we have it.
After this encounter, Jose stepped over to the front desk, flipped through some pages and blurted out “God Dam*@#!!” in earshot of not only my son but another patron.
I probably shouldn’t have been surprised. Jose married into a family, with no children of his own. He was born into a different nationality. And he’s content on living his life begrudgingly, hating those who try to go about life differently than him.
After speaking with a few other homeschooling mamas about this instance, they gave me the all-knowing nod and sympathy letting me know that we have a long journey ahead of us if we let the Jose’s of the world get under our skin or persuade our souls to waver from our beliefs.
Stay awake, stand firm in your faith, be brave, be strong. 1 Corinthians 16:13