All about choices…

I am grumbling today about some comments that have been made recently.  Not comments made here, I mean, come on, no one is reading this and as a result no one is commenting.  Honestly, I am ok with that,  I started writing this, and continue writing in an attempt to aid my fiction writing.  My fiction writing reads like a TV script, all dialogue and little to no introspection by the main character.  I want to work on that here but I digress…

These recent comments have been made by people who are neither friends nor family.  So right there I should just brush my hands off and be done with it but I can’t.  One of the people is someone I have to deal with weekly as she is involved in one of Boo’s activities.  It’s the second time she’s made a comment and I’ve been nice both times.  At this point if it comes up again, I will have to tell her to mind her own business and then decide at that point whether to cease our activities at that location.

Ok, so I guess I should get to the comments themselves.  The two that have me grumbling today have been swirling for years and only bug me on occasion.  The first one is about me being a stay at home mom and the second is about the fact that we homeschool Boo.

When Sully and I got married we discussed having a family and immediately agreed that if we had children that we wanted a parent to stay at home with them.  It was assumed it was me, mostly because Sully’s job made twice the money mine did and I wanted to work on a career in writing, being at home would facilitate both.  In the early years it was a struggle financially but we thought and still think, that it was worth it to actually raise our own child.  Even now, life would be easier with another paycheck coming in but we are confident our choice is the right one for us.

It’s surprising in this day and age to get hassled about staying home but I hear it all of the time.  Here are some of the comments I’ve heard, 

“If you had a job Boo wouldn’t have to go without (insert unneeded toy here).”

“I never saw you as the subservient type.”

“You’re too smart to give up on a career.”  (backhanded compliment?)

“I would be so bored just sitting at home all day.”  

Sitting at home all day?  Seriously?  Completely ridiculous.  I am busy most of the day and there’s always a never ending list of things to do left over at the end of the day.  I take care of the house, the yard, the garage and everything in between.  Bored and sitting aren’t issues I suffer from during a normal day.

And homeschooling…

The big question I get asked about is Boo’s socialization.  

“What about friends?”

“What about learning to interact in a school setting?”

I also get people asking how long we are going to homeschool, like we have a big countdown clock in our kitchen.

Sully and I talked about homeschooling about two months after we started dating.  I had already helped my sister homeschool her kids when he made a comment about wanting to homeschool his kids, when he had them.  It was one of those moments when you think, ‘yep, he’s a keeper.”  

We’ve homeschooled Boo since Kindergarten.  I spend hours and hours researching curriculum, reading programs and supplementary resources.  Then I spend hours and hours on lesson plans, teaching aides, activities and schedules.  Once the school year starts I spend hours teaching, correcting classwork and homework, and prepping for the next day or week.  It’s not the easy choice, it’s a lot of work.  To me it’s worth it to know that Boo is learning what is being taught.  I know whether she is grasping the content or not.  If she needs more work on that subject then we slow down and spend more time there until she gets it.

We also don’t have to worry about her being bullied or offered drugs by other students.  We don’t have to worry that a teacher will do something inappropriate, whether it be criminal or ignorance.  (See these links… criminal and ignorant)  We don’t have to worry about school violence, whether it be one on one physical confrontations or a school shooting.  

I’ve been told we are overprotective.  Maybe, sure, but we don’t want to play the odds on this.  Boo is ten, eleven in mid October, we understand that over time she is going to want and need to be more independent.  When it’s all said and done I don’t think I am going to look back and think, ‘oh we should’ve sent her to school.”  I think I am going to be happy that she is safe, sound, smart and sassy.

Boo has friends, from dance class, from swim and my friends’ kids.  People that talk to her don’t ask about her socialization.  Adults that talk to her are amazed at her vocabulary and speech.  We will homeschool as long as it is working for us and for Boo.  So far it is working and Boo is enjoying it.  As for high school, we’ve talked about the possibility of taking her up to the high school around the corner for classes like yearbook or choir, or something else that we can’t really teach at home.    

Honestly, I have to say that more recently I get more comments like, “I wish I had the patience to homeschool my kids.”  or “If I didn’t have to work full time I would homeschool mine.”  I’ve really only heard a few bad comments in the past couple of years, of course, half of them have been from the same person that I can’t just exclude from our life.  

I don’t claim to be right all of the time.  I do the best I can with what is presented to me.  I am not shoving my beliefs and decisions down your throat and asking you to make the same choices.  All I ask is that you at least respect my right to make my own choices.