Thursday, February 19, 2009

Horror Stories

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.

2 comments:

Holly said...

I've had that same thought so often! I have a friend in the town from which we recently moved who regularly keeps me updated on all the latest outrages and injustices at Lucia's former public school... and yet her daughter still attends!

Fanny Harville said...

The problem works the other way too: I find it hard to explain (or to write on this blog about) why we are not sending Norris to school without sounding like I judge other parents negatively for not coming to the same conclusions we have.