Monday, July 28, 2008

Mommy said don't talk to strangers... so I never have.

Most of you know I was homeschooled, right? I mean, all my life. I have never set foot in a public school. Well, once my brothers played a basketball game in one and I did go then... but, regardless. But, it isn't something I bring up. It is NOT that I am ashamed of it. Not at all. It's just, I don't know, I don't talk about it.
I've been in clinicals with Jackie all year. Our homework is done together, we are always calling, checking, and sitting together. But, somehow, I had never mentioned homeschooling around her. Until today. Her eyes almost popped out of her head. She couldn't believe. "You're homeschooled! Oh my gosh! But... but... you're... you're...." Megan grinned, "She's cool. She's fine." Jackie just kept sputtering, "But you're so... socialized! Most homeschoolers aren't! What did your parents do to teach you how to interact?"
I wonder how many homeschoolers she knows? Because I know a lot. A lot. And maybe 10 of them are rather awkward around people. I also know a lot of public schoolers. And more than 10 of them are awkward around people.

First off, allow me to say that I have never been offended by these comments. Ever. In fact, they crack me up. I just laugh at their bewilderment. Because I just blew their expectations about what a homeschooled kid looks like to Jupiter. People's assumptions of homeschoolers are crazy. The media doesn't help. If a homeschooled family gets in the news they are all, 1) Dressed like dorks, 2) Have a billion kids, 3) are Freakishly smart, and 4) are Crazy (remember the woman who drowned all of her kids in the tub?). And for the record, six children do not equal a billion children. I have even been doubted. "You're homeschooled?" "Yes." "No, you're not. " "Yes, I am." "You cannot be homeschooled." "Well, I am. So, let's end this pointless argument."

It's the social interaction question that kills. I need to write a paper on this. Just so I can have an answer. Where did I learn to talk to people? I don't know! It's not like Mom and Dad sat us down and said, "Now children, today you are going to learn to talk to people." It just... happened. Is that so hard to believe? Why do people assume that, unless you are in a classroom for 12 years with people JUST your age.... you'll never learn to communicate effectively? How did I learn? Well, when I was 7-8 months old I said da-da and moma.... and I haven't shut up since. Where did I learn? .... Wal-Mart? Slumber parties? Piano lessons? Family reunions? I don't know! Are you saying you learned how to talk in school? Social interaction was around loooong before public education showed its face, buddy.
Crazy. Crazy crazy crazy.


s. wells said...

i totally relate. most people are completely shocked when i tell them i was homeschooled.

and what's weird is it changes (for a small time) their interaction with me. like it's a terminal disease and they have to act different.


alisa said...

actually you were a late talker. because i talked for you. mom likes to refer to your mouth as lazy.

but then somewhere you far surpassed all of my speaking and social skills. then the boys passed us. maybe mom and dad found a new and better "teach your child to socialize" curriculum as they went along.

on to june said...

i'm an expert on the subject of public schools. i attended 5 different high schools in 5 different cities. i have nothing good to say about them. the social "skills" that a kid usually learns in public schools aren't exactly healthy. what do homeschool detractors mean by socialization? all i learned was how to turn down offers from drug dealers and how to turn the other cheek when jocks tried to use me as a social ashtray. and as for education, i can safely say that public school slowed me down. i learned much more in a private grade school and on my own than i did in any public high school.