For exactly seven years my mother home-schooled me; from the middle of third grade until the middle of tenth grade. Kindergarten was gleefully passed in public school. First through half of third I was in a Lutheran classroom with one teacher attending to grades K – 6th; there were about five kids in each grade level. My last few years were in a public school mainly for the opportunities of drama and art. It was a blast! I appreciate the varied experiences.
So when I was home-schooled I heard the student opinion of the situation. Most other kids had pajama envy. They were fascinated that I remained in my comfy pjs until lunch time if I wanted to. They were also impressed that I was done with my lessons before noon and that by the time I was old enough to babysit I could work day jobs. (I was raking it in!)
Now that I am on the parent side of home schooling I am hearing a new story. At times I am hesitant to share the current schooling method we have chosen. Some people feel it is their duty to inform me that there is a school for missionary children in the city. Others are worried about the bubble I am raising my kids in. Others assume that my children have learning difficulties and apologize. And surprisingly the greatest argument I have heard from various Bolivian parents is that we are impeding our children from learning the traditional dances of the nation, which is of utmost importance it would seem. Each encounter is different and is handled differently; the conversation seasoned with grace and mercy.
Comparing the two experiences I am very surprised at the contrast. When I was being home schooled I felt special; like I was living the best life possible. Now that I am a home school parent I have to bolster myself of the inside and try very hard not to come across as defensive because the feeling I get from the magority of people is that I am doing my children a great disservice. It is a good thing that we do not make major decisions based on feelings.
What looks different in your life now that you are on the other side of it?