Thursday, February 19, 2009
I hesitate when I tell people we are going to be homeschooling next year, especially when talking to people I don’t know very well. Yet so far, rather than look at me like I am a freak, most often people have responded by telling me their horror stories about school: a daughter who cried about having to go to kindergarten every single morning from September to May; a math teacher fired for propositioning sixth-grade girls, who was then replaced by a roster of incompetent subs such that the story-teller cannot as an adult do anything in math; etc. They tell me these stories, I think, as a way of politely connecting with or even validating our choice, and I appreciate this gesture. I know such nice people! But even as they tell me these stories, they send their kids to school. I am genuinely gratified to hear these stories; I take them as confirmation of what we are doing. It seems strange to me that these horror stories about school don’t have the same effect on the tellers themselves.