Wednesday, August 23, 2006

AND we homeschool...

It was eery this morning, driving through a couple subdivisions around 10:30a, to find them completely devoid of children. I've never really noticed it any other year [perhaps because Matthew would be starting K this year?] but it was kind of a shock to the system.

Speaking of shocks, we've had a stressful week and a half. I didn't post about any of it so I'll briefly sum it all up now that things are fine. As you remember, I had the positive home pregnancy test a week before this past Saturday. It was a shock to us, though we definitely wanted one more child in our family. A couple days later they did an ultrasound to find out how far along I was and couldn't find a fetal pole or heartbeat and we thought that I was far enough along that we should see them. We feared the worst. We were given a glimmer of hope on Friday, when my HCG numbers almost doubled in 48 hours but we knew it still could have been bad. So we held our breath and prayed. Lots and lots of praying. Today I had another ultrasound and voila - there IS a heartbeat and fetal pole. YEAH!! So we're thanking God for His ongoing faithfulness and watchfulness over us. I'm 6 weeks, 6 days along and due on April 14th (tax

I was reading a post by a friend today where she was appalled by watching that show, Wife Swap. The show she saw had paired up a city family with a homeschooling country one. The homeschoolers were shown as eccentric and having out-of-control kids and messy homes, etc. The city family made comments like, "Each of our kids have a playstation so they don't BOTHER us," and yet were portrayed as 'normal'. I.E. If you think you fall into that 'normal' category, I'd be mad too! LOL

That post got me thinking about what people picture when I tell them we're homeschoolers. [As a side note, why does it seem that either 'the kids go to school' or 'we're a homeschooling family'? Well in our family, it's definitely a cooperative effort. So I feel I must include myself in the education statement and say "we" are homeschoolers. But if I sent the kids to school, that's "their" thing. Just a passing thought, forgive me.]

So whenever strangers comment, after seeing my three little ones, that "you MUST have your hands FULL" or "bet you can't wait til they start school!" and then I smile and say, "We're homeschoolers", I always get THE LOOK. You know what I mean. They look at me and see THAT SHOW going on in my house. Their thoughts go like this:
I'm a freak and my kids are so far out of control and ohmygosh, I probably have a GARDEN out back too! (You should see the looks I get when I mention the compost pile! ROFL) For fun, we must grow our hair out to our knees, hang out at the library and learn how to weave baskets. We must go from door to door selling the fruits of the garden and schedule every other weekend as canning time. We stay in our four little walls with no tv or modern niceites and ~ oh, the horror~ hang our laundry outside to dry (which my subdivision actually doesn't allow us to do)! I don't allow my kids to play with the freakish public school kids across the street, for fear that my kids will learn a little too much about life before I'm ready. We have converted our dining room into a one-room schoolroom, complete with desks and a chalkboard. We are strictly scheduled and have ourselves wound so tight that you'd better not talk to me or I might break down on the spot and weep in front of you.

If you've been reading my blog for any time, you know that there's not a whole lot of truth up there in that so-called snapshot of our family. Ok, so we do have a large garden and compost pile (Hubby's passions, not mine...but I do cook the food), we DO actually hang out at the library quite a bit and if my kids want to learn how to basket weave, we'll venture down that road too. But I see the above story in the strangers LOOK when I admit that we're homeschoolers. It's actually pretty fun to see the horror flutter across their faces as they say, "Wow, then you really ARE busy...and a little crazy! [nervous laugh]". But it usually shuts them up...kind of a show stopper. lol

But Matthew is getting to that age where people are expecting him to be in school during the day so we will get the question a lot more now that school has started. I need to find some other great comebacks to add to their suspicions...perhaps I should mutter something to the kids about the "science experiment" in the basement on the way past them (in truth, we do have some garden onions drying on racks down there so they'll last all winter - not too much of a real experiment but it could work). So if you have any great suggestions for me to use, I'm all ears. ;)

Oh, and what do/did you think of homeschoolers before you met one (or read their blog - lol)? Admit it, you had the same image in your mind. Well, close to it. ;) Guess what? SO DID I...and that's why I did NOT want to be one.

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