I’ve been doing this thing called homeschool officially since the fall of 2002. Unofficially, since February 1997. I’ve got a few years under my belt and have engaged in all sorts of conversations concerning education. Including yesterday…
Ellen and I have an early morning part-time job. A couple of days a week, we get 3rd grade twins up, fed, snacks and book bags packed, and wave to them as they get on the bus. It’s a blast and the fact that we get paid money for our upcoming return trip to the Dominican Republic is the whipped cream on top of a sweet time!
The twins live closer to our Walmart than we do, so I sometimes stop on the way home. Yesterday, we stopped and shopped and then checked out without ever thinking that she was the only elementary-aged person in the store at 9 a.m. Until the cashier reminded me.
“No school today?” she asked.
“I’m homeschooled.” Ellen smiled.
“Homeschool,” the clerk scoffed. “I just don’t get it!”
This isn’t my first rodeo. I’ve learned a thing or two in the past twelve years. One of which is sometimes it’s better to just not respond. I chose to ignore her comment as I unloaded our shopping cart.
“I just don’t get homeschool,” she, who was not to be ignored, repeated. “Why would you do such a thing?”
“Well,” I began. “My kids are really cool people. I like to spend my time with them.”
While that is true, it was not my answer years ago. I used to spew all the worn-out reasons for educating my children at home. I do think, though, that this is going to be my new standard answer.
“Oh,” she looked at me. “I never thought of that before!”
She then went on to wax eloquent that there should be laws and rules to disuade people from homeschool since the law states that going to school is mandatory. She seemed quite sure of her own reasoning.
Sometimes it’s just better to not respond.
I’ve engaged in far too many persuasive discussions with complete strangers over the education of my children in the past. Somehow the education of my children naturally becomes their business. However, none of the arguments ever convinced anyone to think any different… me or them.
Driving home, Ellen and I discussed the wisdom of Solomon when he said, “A soft answer turns away anger” (Proverbs 15:1).
And, as she worked on her school work, I watched. Marveling that I get the privilege of spending my days with two really cool people!