Everybody's a critic

I must live in a bubble.  Either that or I am really oblivious to the world around me.  We live in an area with a rather large homeschool community and our church, in particular, boasts an extraordinary number of homeschoolers.  I would venture to estimate that in our middle school youth group, we have equal numbers of homeschool, private school and public school kids.  I have many friends who do not homeschool and, as far as I know, they have the same respect for my choices that I have for theirs.

So I was taken aback when a friend, who is new on her homeschool journey, mentioned that when she pulled her kids out of school, several people asked if she was crazy.  They told her they were expecting her to become ultra-conservative and only wear long skirts and keep her hair covered.  And one even mentioned that she'd be glad to point out "if your kids start getting weird."

Really?  In 2013, with the homeschooling movement exploding like it is, people still carry those stereotypes?  Honestly, I was stunned.  And then, since we move in some of the same social circles, I started wondering if some of those people were mutual friends and what they thought of me.  LOL

Yes, there are those families that homeschool that are ultra-conservative and may dress in that fashion.  But it's not because they homeschool.  That's like saying that all public schools look like one in the inner city of Chicago.  Or all private school kids wear plaid uniforms.  It's ridiculous.  

And yes, perhaps sometimes my kids can be weird.  My son is 12; I think weird is in the definition of preteen boy.  My youngest only wears her socks inside out.  And the middle one eats gravy by itself.  That said, I can promise you that they are no more weird than their schooled counterparts.   Truthfully, if a kid is going to be labeled "weird" by society, they'll be that way regardless of where they go to school.  And as a mom, I'd much prefer to nurture and train my "weird" kid and help him use that to grow into whatever God is calling him to be than to put him in school and have his circle personality shoved into a square box.  

And who decided what was "weird" anyway?  Why do we have some box that we feel we need to stick our kids in?   I think it's pretty weird that Michelangelo slept next to the marble he carved in to the statue of David.  But that kind of dedication is what gave him the ability to create such amazing and lasting works of art.  And have you read Tolkien?  Tell me that he didn't have a weird imagination.   Einstein - weird.  Franklin - weird.  

If you're reading this, can we make a deal?  How about I won't judge you, or assume things about you, based on the way you choose to educate your children.  And you don't judge or assume things based on the way I choose to educate mine.  Parenting is hard enough.  I question my own decisions enough, thanks.  I don't need your condemnation.

~ Tina

*disclaimer: this homeschool mom never wear skirts, always has a messy house, and has never baked a loaf of bread from scratch. I do have weird kids, though.  :-)