Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Are you smarter than a fifth grader?

School. It's what we do. I've developed the mentality that school, for us, is not an 8am-to-3 pm-sit-down-and-do-book-work event. It's an all-day, learn-from-everything event. Yes, we do book work, but we also talk and cook and clean and play. I answer question after question. If they're interested in something, we explore and investigate it. My kids are learning and bright and excited for school every day and I love that!

I had a situation recently that blew me away. I was teaching a water aerobics class. As I jump and jog and reach for my toes and yell, "harder! faster!" ever so often, one lady strikes up a conversation. We'll call her, Judy (we have to change the names, to protect the guilty in this case). Conversation is great. We love conversation in water aerobics. Class flies by when people are talking. However, this conversation in particular could not be over soon enough for me. Picture Edith from Archie Bunker, "So Alyson, are you still trying to homeschool your kids?" Are you kidding me?!

"Yes, Judy, I sure am." I smile.

"Well, how is that going for you?"

I make an effort to change the subject by saying, "Just great," and then tell a story about Adelle on the table during school (this occurs about 400 times a day). Judy was not deterred.
(Check out this video to see how that usually goes down: Adelle's new groove).

"Well, you know [our small town] public school has very capable teachers and ..." blah blah blah. I do know that. Thank you for that information. She goes on, "Do you have a degree in teaching?" Nope, sure don't. "Well maybe you should work on that and then think about teaching your kids." Really?! "What grades are your kids in this year?"

I explain with the intention of shutting this down, "Hudson is 6, but he's doing 2nd and 3rd grade work. Pierce is 5 and doing Kindergarten work. Alayna is 3 - she's doing pre-K stuff."

Judy smiles, "Well you're probably learning right along with them." Was that slam?

I smile in return, "Actually, I am smarter than a 5th grader, much less a 2nd grader, Kindergartener and pre-schooler." I laugh and smile and try to lighten the moment. I want to explain what my kids are learning right now. I want to put them on display so she can really see how awesome they are. Yes, I'm biased. I am the mom and the teacher. But, good grief, at this point I am feeling so belittled and wrongly judged, like I'm doing my children a disservice. While everyone else in class is looking a little nervous, Judy is absolutely clueless and keeps going. "What school would your kids go to? ... Oh! they team-teach there. That's a great school." blah, blah, blah.

Finally, I can take it no longer and try to shut her down, "Judy, you're not going to change my mind. I homeschool. It's achoice my husband and I made intentionally. My kids are smart and doing just fine. We're all fine." I say firmly, but with a smile. She smiles back at me and says, "Well, I just have a vested interest in the public school system." I respond, "Well, I just have a vested interest in my children."

I'm not a confrontational person. I hate being put in situations like this. I don't preach that homeschooling is the only way. Everybody do what's best for your family. I'm all for it! But don't shove it down people's throats like it's really your way or the highway. Man, that wears me out.

Okay, in other news...I turned 31. I'm IN my 30's now. Fun, huh? In better news, Pierce turned 5 and had the best weekend of his life including a campout party and a day at the fair to see Toby Mac (who is like a black/white guy, gangster/Christian, vest/skull cap - whatever, he's got a couple of good songs and Pierce LOVES him). Anyway, that was crazy fun (exhausting).

The birthday boy in the tent with his big brother.
Owl cupcakes
"At dawn we ride!" The chocolate-covered tornado.
Camp scene - roasting marshmallows for s'mores.
The girlies in their tent.

Here's Alayna explaining her drawing to me

Someday I'll video the boys too :) Thanks for letting me vent.


About Me

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I am the wife of an awesome man known to his friends as Fred :) The mom of four incredible kids, Hudson, Pierce, Alayna and Adelle. We homeschool and I teach a few classes at our local YMCA. Above all we love and worship Jesus Christ as Lord and this blog is a peek at our journey to raise children who delight in the Lord.