"Have you EVER been to school?"

I've had questions about homeschooling since we began this journey nearly a year ago. Yesterday, however, it seems like I had more than usual. Let me recount a conversation I overheard yesterday at the park. It was about 9:30 a.m. - and mostly parents, grandparents, and toddlers were there. The conversation occurred between my nine year old daughter and a woman (probably mid 50s) who was pushing her grandson in the swing. My daughter hopped onto the swings and began chattering (like she normally does) about ducks with the little boy and the grandmother. While my son was playing in another area I was sitting down reading - but managed to overhear my daughter's conversation. It went like this:

Woman: "Aren't you in school today?"
Miss B: "Yes. I'm home schooled."
Woman: "Oh.... Have you EVER been to school?"
Miss B: "Yes. I went until the beginning of third grade, then I stopped."
Woman: "Which do you like better?"
Miss B: "Homeschool."
Woman: "What do you DO in homeschool?"
Miss B: "Reading, math, grammar, science. We take field trips like this. Lots of things."
Woman: "What is your favorite subject?"
Miss B: "Grammar and History"
Woman: "That's an odd subject to really like."

(here comes the good part!)

Miss B: "Well, I like history, too. Do you know what year America gained their independence from Great Britain? Our air conditioning man said Glen Beck said most Americans don't know that simple fact."

**** enter mom - quickly ****

Woman stops talking abruptly to Miss B. and strikes up a conversation with me about homeschooling. I proceed to tell her why we are there (to study ducks) and then my son begins jabbering ALL about ducks. The woman just kind of listened and then she left.

So, what to make of that conversation?

  1. People are curious about homeschooled children.
  2. They will ask your children questions they wouldn't ask you.
  3. Your child can be your BEST ambassador because they can converse well with adults, they know their "stuff", and they are confident little people.
  4. Maybe we changed one person's attitude about homeschooling. Either that or she was a staunch democrat and thinks we are indoctrinating our children a la Fox News.
  5. A conversation like that USED TO bother me, but now I'm confident enough about my choice and love watching our children speak for themselves.

Happy Homeschooling!
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