Friday, March 26, 2010

Socialization

I rarely post anything about homeschooling because it's not just an educational choice but a way of life. Our life seems normal for us so I don't really think about it much.

A couple of weeks ago Lorna was out riding with a woman that pays her to ride one of her horses. Her employer had a guest riding along with them. This guest is someone we are slightly acquainted with through our gymkhana club, she has told us numerous times how wonderful our kids are. I guess this guest didn't know that we homeschool and when she found out decided to grill Lorna about our choices. This woman really doesn't like homeschooling, not because she has any experience with it or knows anyone personally who does it, but because of some stuff she's heard second or third hand. She said it was okay that I homeschooled because I was "qualified" but that most parents are not. I guess I'm qualified because I have a degree and spent 2 years in a classroom even though I've had no formal teacher's training. The arrogance of this woman to think she can say who is and isn't qualified to teach their own children was amazing.

Of course the discussion morphed into the socialization issue. Our kids are not around a lot of kids their own age. Those they are around are not really interested in making friends so the kids have filled their social circle with adults. I personally think that this is just fine since in the real world they will have to interact with people of all ages. Lorna, especially, has made friends based on common interests instead of age. This woman thought this was okay but insisted that Lorna needed to have friends her own age. Lorna tried to explain that she has tried but that since she isn't concerned with boys, clothes, and make-up this hasn't worked out. She also told the woman that she is happy with the friends she has, regardless of their age. Of course, all of Lorna's opinions fell of deaf ears.

Since this occurred while Lorna was out riding we didn't hear about it until later. I was proud of Lorna for attempting to engage this woman in discussion and not just agreeing with her to get out of the discussion. Lorna told me how she tried to steer the conversation away from these topics and how she tried to politely disagree with the woman. I'm so proud of her for sticking up for herself. A few years ago she wouldn't have done this but with all of her activities she has gained enough confidence to realize that her opinions matter. I can't say we were pleased to hear that she was attacked for her parents' choices, and there really is no other way to describe it. I couldn't believe the audacity of this woman! It's probably a good thing I haven't seen her since I found out about what she said. I'm still extremely angry and do not want to be put into a position where I will have to interact with this individual.

I watched Lorna talking with her fellow chorus members last night at rehearsal. I watched as the adults around her not only listened to what she had to say but asked her opinion on a few things. They don't treat her like an inferior child but as a fellow member with valuable ideas. She has made a couple of good friends within the chorus and they don't seem to value her any less because of her age.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

I am so with you on this one! I can't tell you the number of times "well meaning" friends and relatives have grilled our kids and tried to undermine us in the decision to home school. Like you, it is a way of life for us so I rarely think about it. I have also had many comments on how great my kids are even though they are home schooled--I just want to scream that's WHY they are great kids. Plenty of love and attention from us and the chance to nip bad behaviors in the bud.

I applaud you for taking your children's education and upbringing into your own hands and I commend you for raising such great kids. Lorna is obviously a very bright young woman who will go far!