Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Uneducated

I must ask your forgiveness because apparently, I'm uneducated. Please allow me a moment to explain.

Emu looking at camera

My children are both teenagers. I've had these same children for the past, oh, let's say, seventeen years. I've spent almost every single day of their lives with them. I've shared their tears, their heartaches, their hopes, and their dreams. I've spent nearly twenty-four hours of every single day with them.

If you haven't figured it out, I homeschool. 

And I like it. Wait. I take that back. I don't like it. I love it. Even on the ugly days. But I digress.

My children and I help out/work at the food bank on most Thursdays. And we each have our separate duties to perform that the boss gives us to do. 

One Thursday, there was a new boss because the other one needed a well-earned vacation. I have seen this person on several occasions, but we haven't talked much. On this particular Thursday, we settled down for morning devotions before the crowd came in, and this new boss asked me which school my children go to. (Perhaps she was a little bewildered because they weren't attending that Thursday morning. Understandable.) 

Without hesitation, I replied that I homeschool. And without hesitation on her part, she says...

"Oh. I didn't realize you were uneducated." 

Without a blink. Without a smile. Without me knowing her very well at all. Ahem. 
When will I learn to be better prepared for what people say?!

dictionary definition defines Socialization as a continuing process whereby an individual acquires a personal identity and learns the norms, values, behavior, and social  skills appropriate to his or her social  position.

This is one MAJOR 'fault' people seem to have with homeschooling. So, just for those who are concerned about it, our children regularly attend church. Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night. Not only do they attend, but they also help us run the Wednesday night children's club. They're often asked to help in the younger group's junior church or in various Sunday school classes. They both do this without hesitation or complaining and with a smile. (score one to the parents. Or, maybe five or six, if we want to be technical.)

Now get ready for this one...
We occasionally allow them to leave the house and go to...


Yes. I said Walmart. (ducking the stones you all are throwing.) And Hobby Lobby.

And then, there's karate lessons. Each and every Tuesday. With multiple other...*gasp*... people in attendance. (I'm really showing my heathenism now, aren't I? But don't worry. It's run by a very respectable Christian man who loves the Lord and doesn't promote the Eastern stuff at all. Not that I'm saying our children would get *anything whatsoever* like that at a regular school. Right?!)

And I don't think I should mention that these children go along with me to every single book signing I have and not only help me with my books, but also sell their very own wares they themselves have made. (They're working toward college. Should I mention that?)

So, for all those that would like to know how we run our school days, here's an itinerary. We promptly get up, Monday thru Friday, at six a.m. We eat breakfast as a family and begin our school days at seven. (No, not one of us wear our pajamas to the school room. You'd be surprised how many people ask that very question. And yes. We have an actual room set aside for school. It even has desks. Fancy, I know.) 

We do seven subjects usually in this order: Bible, Math, English, Literature, spelling, Social Studies, and Science. Our daughter has done several foreign languages - Dutch, French, and a little Spanish. Our son will start this year. Her electives are current with today's computer-driven society. She has learned how to build websites, manage and run blogs, reach out and get author interviews (gasp, I know. How's that for being socialized?) and she often relates her thoughts on current events in our country, as well as on religious topics on her blog. Without my prompting her. And no, I haven't forgotten our son. 

Boys, having been created differently, they learn differently. Our son is a fantastic worker outside. Never once does he complain when he does the yard work (without my asking), the tilling, weed whacking, mowing, and plowing of our driveway. Weed pulling, not so much, but he does it. He's built dog houses, cat houses, (without my help), helped build decks, barns, porches, and renovate houses. All at the ripe old age of...thirteen. When we're at book venues, there is nothing I ask him that he won't do willingly. He helps me set up, sets his own wares out, and gets food and drinks because I forget to bring something to eat. Often.

Our children aren't perfect. There are times they burp at the table (and get into trouble for it) and there are times they are stubborn and have attitudes. There are times when they sass (again, they get into trouble for it) and they joke at inappropriate times. But on the flip side? They laugh and smile. They hold open doors for strangers (who quite often don't even bother to say thank you. Bunch of turds) and they help out whenever they're asked. They carry sacks of groceries out to stranger's cars with the hot sun bearing down upon them, or with the rain pouring down on their bare heads. Because the stranger has the umbrella and has to show them where they parked.) They stand up for what they believe in when no one else is - and they've been bullied for it. 

If this is uneducated, then thank you for that loveliest of compliments. And no. Your opinion doesn't offend me in the least. Because I'm the one walking this road. I'm the one with a fantastic family. And I'm the one who is deeply blessed to be this uneducated.

Thank you, dear Lord! 

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