Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Should I be on Wife Swap?

I’m going to let you in on a little secret here. You may already know this, but if not, I’m going to tell you anyway. Ready? Here it goes…some people are rude. Wow! There you go, I said it. Some are even ruder than others. I’m not talking about people that sometimes stick their foot in their mouth and regret it later; I’m talking about the people who really, truly have every intention of being rude right from the start. Thankfully, most people are not bold enough to be that blatant. But once and awhile, normally when I’m having a bit of an off day anyway and really don’t need that one little comment that they feel necessary to spit out of their mouths, that’s when I encounter them. Just once, I’d love to unleash on them just what I feel about their rudeness, but unlike them, I don’t want to hurt people’s feelings.

By now you may be wondering what all this is leading up to so allow me to clue you in.

When we first began traveling over four years ago, we wound up in Virginia Beach. One day after we’d finished our school work for the day, we decided to leave the hotel and walk to the beach. We had some post cards to mail so on our way; we stopped by the post office.

Right away the man behind the counter starting asking questions about why the kids weren’t in school. Personally, I don’t always chose to divulge that we homeschool. Not because I worry about opposition, but simply because I don’t really feel that I need to explain myself to anyone. End of story. However, this particular clerk was extremely persistent so finally I let him in on our little secret…we are a homeschool family. Wow! Judging from the barrage of questions that he threw our way, I don’t think this man had ever in his life encountered a real life homeschooling family and though most days I am happy to answer someone’s sincere questions, I got the distinct feeling that this man did not fall into that category.

He wanted to know why we homeschooled, were we religious wacko’s that did not allow our children to speak to others outside our faith? Were my children permitted to talk to people outside of our family? Were we racist? Did I only like my children and think all other children are bad? Did my kids play sports? Did they even know what football was? Do we watch TV? Listen to music? Did I really know what my kids were missing out on? I think you're getting the idea.

Now, I’m normally not speechless, but I have to admit that I was struck dumb. As I stood there waiting for the change that this man was holding hostage with my mouth hanging open with disbelief, he finally made the comment that maybe I should be on wife swap so the new mom could send them to school, apparently they needed to be there.

After four years this statement still infuriates me. So just why do I homeschool? Because after much prayer, soul searching and research, my husband and I decided that homeschooling was the best option for our family.

As a Christian, I do feel that the Lord called us to homeschool, but I don’t necessarily homeschool because of religious reasons- though I would be lying if I said that wasn’t a huge factor in the equation. Clearly, my beliefs do affect how I teach my children. We do study our Bible and I call it 'school'. I do teach them Creation, I do believe that God created everything. I do teach from a Christian Worldview. I do view history as His-story. If that makes us religious wacko’s, so be it.

However, after homeschooling for the past 11 years, I now see a bigger piece of the puzzle. I have two children that have really struggled and have needed the one on one attention. I don’t know how many times I’ve been told from assessors and doctors to be thankful that the Lord led us to homeschool. Clearly, He knew the struggles we would face before I did.

Homeschooling has also allowed us to travel with my husband’s job when that door opened. If the kids had been in a normal school setting, more than likely my husband would have been off working while I held down the fort at home, something that has happened on occasion, but something we never desired for our family.

Homeschooling is not some whim that I embarked on without a thought. And in case you’re wondering, yes, my children are allowed to speak to people outside the family. I’ve even seen them speak to people of other races and though you can’t really tell someone’s religion by looking at them, I’d have to say they’ve spoken to people outside the Christian faith.

I’d have to say that I do have a special place in my heart for my children, but I am their mother! I do like other kids, but if I’m honest, some kids do get on my nerves; as do adults!

We do have a TV that we watch. More often than we should sometimes. We listen to music and even go to concerts. My kids have played sports in the past and yes, we live in a camper, not a cave, my kids do know what football is. As far as being aware of what they’re missing out on? Please….I’ll save that for a future post!

Picture Credits:Image: djcodrin /


  1. Very funny - Some people really have a lot of nerve - it's amazing how they always know just the right time to strike!

  2. What an encounter! UUGGHH! You pegged it RUDE! I often come across families in the middle of the day who to us, appear to be homeschoolers. I think from now on, I will approach them, ask them if they are fellow homeschoolers and give them a high five!☺

  3. Missing out? Its schoolkids who are missing out in my opinion. Huge class sizes, inadequate supervision......I could go on. My school life was a misery and I know I wouldn't have the confidence issues I have if I'd not been taught in a huge class full of kids.

  4. Thankfully, I have not run into someone like that man. I am not sure I'd have anything more to say to him though. It's funny he should mention Wife-Swap. My kids are always worried I am going to apply to be on the show. I don't know where they got that idea. :-)

  5. I had my fair share of encounters like that when I was homeschooling my older kids. So far though I see a better reception with Selena.

  6. Wow. Nut job. Him, not you...


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