Nice title, huh?

 

One of the greatest myths of learning at home is that the kids are social rejects. Simply not true. It is very fair for me to say that I know a lot of kids in my personal life as well as my professional life and there seem to be just as many socially inept home learners as there are socially inept conventional schoolers. Actually, using proportion math, I can safely draw the conclusion that there are far more socially inept conventional schoolers than there are home learners simply because there are more conventional learners. There.

 

So – here’s what I thought of last night while putting the kitchen to bed after celebrating our Nature Girl.

 

We do not choose our friends. Our friends have become our friends because we meet one another here or there. We do not screen them. We do not ask for tax returns. We do not even ask what the parents do for income or where the kids go to school. In fact… We have acquaintance friends that we’ve known for years and I have no idea what the parent(s) do to pay the bills and/or where the kid(s) spend their days. Truly. Seasons are seasons and if I only see the family at the ballfield or tennis court or even the park how do we even get to that conversation? Yet I thoroughly enjoy the conversation and camraderie.

 

But now I am noticing a trend…

 

It isn’t our family that is withdrawing from circles and friendships, it’s the conventional schooled families. Not all of them. Good gracious. I only scare so many people in a given week. I know this is a rural county but it’s not that rural.

 

But it is the conventional schooling families that are not returning the calls. That don’t even have the courtesy to pretend to have returned a call. Now… I know that we have “middle schoolers” and everything gets wonky in these years. And I know that friendships naturally cycle. In fact, I have one I miss terribly but have a very solid reason for not re-heating. I get all that. But there is a pattern. Who is afraid of who? Who is socially engineering who? Who is narrowing the friendship field for whom? (And yes, I am a bit neurotic about my proper/improper use of the who/whom as noun/direct object and I can’t make it make sense this morning. Ugh.)

 

Not us. And a few other families learning at home have also commented on the trend as the “middle school” years near and advance as well. But it’s just now coming together for me.

 

We don’t check pedigrees. We don’t care. A good soul is a good soul. Period. Yes. We have friends who rely on government assistance monthly. We have friends who choose public education.  We have friends who choose private education. We have friends who think we are nut jobs for not “letting the kids experience school.” But they are becoming fewer. And not by our choice.

 

Now… I know I am putting this out there and there is a fantastic opportunity to jump on the whole “scaring them away” and “tie a steak around your necks” type of comments. And that’s fine. Make them. If it makes the author of such thought feel better, go for it!

 

I know this, too … we are loyal. Fiercely. Those folks may have put us to the side because we don’t fit some mold, but they remain in our memories, and those that were close, our hearts. And I can’t guarantee we won’t remember we were forgotten.

 

PS – there may be a reader out there for whom one of the children left a message yesterday. This is NOT about you. This is a message about dozens of unreturned contacts. And yes, we ended it. Gently. But the child still remembers his friend as dear.

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