Thursday, March 09, 2006

Reason To Homeschool Number 321.....Watching strangers squirm.

Sometimes people react a bit odd when I tell them that we homeschool. This generally occurs when we are out in public somewhere during "school hours" after a hyper-interested bystander approaches me and whatever portion of the Flerbian brood I have with me. After many sidelong glances, they eventually get up the nerve to approach us.

"Is it, um, a holiday today?" They are embarassed, as if they have broken some unwritten social rule, but their curiosity can't be contained.

Having been ready for their approach for over ten minutes, I smile to myself, thanking Bob that Gids isn't there to spoil my anthropological glee by sternly looking over his glasses at me when I glean some fun out of the nosiness of strangers.

"Oh, I am sure it is a holiday somewhere. Why we could even make up our own holidays! Just imagine......"
The kids, if they are old enough to care, start to exchange glances and get a bit nervous. Mom the activist/anthropologist is at it again. Can't she leave well enough alone?

(person stammering) "I, I, mean....why AREN'T your kids in school?"
(me smiling, a bit devilishly) "Ohhhhhhh....well, you see, we homeschool. We use a virtual academy for our lessons and state testing, but the most important lessons I believe we can learn are from all the different people we meet when we are out shopping. Don't you agree?"
Gids, as a result of being my soul-mate, is squirming uncomfortably wherever he is, but unable to figure out why.

Eventually I explain it all to them, about the lesson plans, having coffee at my desk in my pajamas as I administer spelling tests, and the glee of sleeping past 6 AM EVERY DAY! They get a bit glassy-eyed with thinking about their own days being spent that way, and they are just about to slip into a dream about their own school days going so well, when the other shoe drops. "But what about socialization?"

"Oh that?" I reply. "Lets just say that I think school is a place for education, and play-time with friends is for socialization. In fact, did you know....."
The kids usually drag me away at this point, lest I do further damage.

I love moments like that. Makes the synapses fire at a faster rate.

At this point, my phone will ring, and it will be my weirded out husband, certain I am bringing shame upon the good name of the House of Flerbian by running my mouth in public. Of course, he is exactly right.


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