Sunday, May 16, 2010

Don't Be Pegged as a Homeschooler

My kids never got the speech from their dad or me that they needed to "measure up" because they were the pastor's kids. I did care, however, how their behavior reflected on homeschoolers. If we were out in the middle of a weekday, were they being polite and not overly rambunctious? They certainly didn't have to be perfect, but I didn't want them to give people reason to bad-mouth homeschoolers.

I screwed that up the other day.

I was in a group of people I didn't know. We were to introduce ourselves and briefly give people an idea who we were. Well, name and city and "stay-at-home mom of six, still homeschooling the two youngest" seemed to be the best 5-second summation of my identity. Even though there was one other stay-at-home mom, everybody else identified herself by her job (or former job).

And then the discussions commenced. My viewpoint was entirely unlike everyone else's. Entirely! I was the one with the conservative, small-govt viewpoints to the extent that the other women couldn't even understand what I was talking about. And one of the overriding thoughts in my mind was, "They think homeschoolers are so off-the-wall that they shouldn't be allowed to influence children. Next time, keep your fat mouth shut, Susan, and don't let anybody know you're a homeschooler."


  1. I'm not sure how you think you screwed up. By introducing yourself honestly? How does that reflect poorly on homeschooling?

    And did they voice to your face that "They think homeschoolers are so off-the-wall that they shouldn't be allowed to influence children"? Because if they did, I think that reflects awfully poorly on THEM.

  2. Okay, I re-read your post and now I think I understand. You think you reflected poorly on homeschooling in their minds because you were the only homeschooler and your political beliefs were so divergent from theirs that that is going to feed their suspicion of homeschooling?

    If that's the case, I wouldn't worry about it. And I wouldn't keep my mouth shut next time. That's the sort of thing people need to see and hear: real flesh and blood people, NICE people like you, who believe in homeschooling and who believe in conservative principles. REAL everyday people are the best weapon there is against the media stereotype of conservatives as hate-mongering bigots.

    You never know, Susan. You may have given a few of them something to think about and a perspective on homeschoolers and/or conservatives that they never had before and that will challenge their preconceptions.

  3. I remember a college friend, a rabid, drooling liberal feminist who thought the Bush 41 administration seeded the country with crack cocaine, saying that she could hardly believe someone as nice, thoughtful, and compassionate as I was could be a Republican.

    I think it perhaps did that group good to see that homeschoolers are nice people who love their kids and can speak intelligently even if they found you completely on the opposite side of the political spectrum.