After two days of bad weather, Gabe was asked by his (substitute) gymnastics coach if he was ready to be back in school after the snow days. Gabe just looked at him blankly. After a moment, the coach then asked which school he attended, to which Gabe replied confidently “Oh, we don’t go to school.”
That’s where I had to insert myself in the conversation to explain that we homeschool. I was surprised at how enthusiastic his coach, who is a public school teacher, was about it. He said that like us, he lives in a very large school district. BUT-he teaches in a smaller one, and part of his contract includes his kids being able to attend the district he works in. He said that if he didn’t have that option, he and his wife would hove considered homeschooling, since in larger districts kids very quickly become “just a number” (his words).
I sometimes find it hard to explain that we homeschool, especially when talking to parents of kids in public school. I’m always worried that the underlying message becomes “our children are too good for public school.” It’s so hard to explain in a moment that I often just find myself deflecting the question. Because of that, I was grateful to get to spend a few minutes talking with a public school teacher and parent who ‘gets it.’
It doesn’t come down to our kids being ‘too good’ for public school. At the moment, we have the ability and the means to be able to educate them at home, so we have chosen to do so in order to offer one-on-one and family based learning, as well as personal development opportunities that we don’t feel are available through our local schools. Of course, there’s no such thing as a free lunch; there are pros and cons to any choice, and there are definitely things they will miss out on not being in a classroom. For example, I’m pretty bad at hands-on and enrichment activities like science experiments and art projects. (Although, Grandma does crafts with them on the weekend, so that counts, right?) At this point though, for us the pros outweigh the cons when it comes to homeschooling.
Thank you to the teacher that took a moment this week to affirm that!