the majority of people i meet are polite and genuinely curious. and i appreciate the interest and the discourse. this is not for those people.
if you happen upon a home schooler in the wild.
1. do not assume they're all christians. they aren't. some of them are even pagans. and do not assume that just because they home school AND are christians that they are conservative. and not all of them dress up for role playing situations/occasions. some of them do. but not all of them. no two home schoolers are alike. you can actually tell us apart if you actually look at us.
2. do not assume all home schooled kids are 'geeks.' because they aren't. and besides, geeks are really cool people. and you shouldn't call someone that unless they've earned the privilege.
3. do not assume all home schooled kids are 'geeks' who can fix your computer. don't ask.
4. do not automatically start quizzing the home schooled child. they actually do not know everything. even the stuff you think they 'should' know. especially stuff you think they 'should' know. they actually forget stuff they've learned or never learned it in the first place.
5. do not act all smug when a home schooled child can't answer your quiz/question. you look like an ass and it proves nothing. except that you have the ability to make yourself look like an ass.
6. please don't ask the home schooling parent about 'socialization.' ever. really. don't. to you it's curiosity or concern, i get that, but to a home schooler it's like nails on a chalk board. like a tired old worn out myth that just won't go away. it's like saying to a parent, "you've obviously made some whacked out choice and now you need to justify that choice to me."
7. do not assume the misbehaving home schooler is just 'under socialized.' does your child misbehave because they are 'adequately socialized?'
8. do not assume that just because a person chooses to home school that they welcome 'your' opinion on home schooling. i don't automatically give you my opinion on your public/private school choice. because that would be rude. if you're not asked then don't tell.
9. do not ask, "huh. how does THAT work?" when someone tells you they home school. because it's rude. ask me how i know.
10. do not assume that because a home schooler is at home that they are available at the drop of a hat to pick up your slack in the busy day. on call child care, drop ins for coffee, long phone chats about NOTHING, after school pick up, etc. etc. etc. i want to help you, and i want to visit, and i will talk to you if you need me, but i am busy too. you know, teaching.
11. do not assume because a home school parent is home all day that his/her house will be sparkling clean and smell like fresh bread. because, you know, she's home all day. because it's not. ask me how i know.
12. do not assume that because a home schooled child goes back to school that the 'experiment' failed. life moves and changes. nothing is written in stone. and just because a person makes a bold, out of the norm commitment does not mean that it's forever. except for sarah palin. unfortunately she seems to be the exception.
13. do not say to a home school parent, " i should just pay you/get you to home school my kid." as a part jest/part serious proposition when your kid is failing academically or socially at school. what makes you think in a million years i'd want to/would? home schooling is a lot of work. it's not a matter of just folding another child in. like putting up the third seat in a minivan. but if you want some help, please ask. i don't like to see any kid fail if there's something i can do to help, or something i can recommend.
14. do not assume that because a parent home schools that they have endless patience and are saint like or perfect in their parenting. this would not be a correct assumption. oh, some of them think they are. but they'd be wrong. i know that i am not. and i do not have endless patience. i'm just a parent who made a choice. just like you. and being a parent is tough work . so if we all cut each other some slack, and ask questions and observe rather than make snap judgments, then we'd all be way better off.