You know what I worry about? No, no, no, that list is far too long and complicated to even begin. Let me clarify: you know what I worry about regarding homeschool socialization? School can be a brutal place where one learns quick about conformity. We all are well aware of those who decide to buck the conventional rules – books and movies are filled with them. So I worry that growing and learning within the cushioned boundaries of our home our kids won’t ever have their weird angles ground down. Is this a stupid concern? I think probably yes. Why am I fretting over conformity when homeschool by it’s very nature spits in the face of it? It’s because I’m a people pleaser, that’s why. I’m an approval junky and watching my kids run helter skelter all over normalcy stresses me the stink out.
My stomach drops when I watch them parade into public in their homeschool chic. The knot tightens when they stand firm on their unique and individual tastes. I want to crawl in a hole when they strike up conversations with other adults and use terms like “apparently,” “according to my calculations,” or “actually . . . ” STAHP. And yet . . .
I want to applaud it, too. Oh to be so unaware and unperturbed by others expectations. What I wouldn’t give to be able to turn a blind eye on convention even now, at my age. For every moment I spend wringing my hands over it, I spend equal time on my feet and slow clapping their strength and resiliency.
Then, I hear the following exchange:
Ellie: (completely exasperated and annoyed) No, Gemma! You DON’T say it’s your “two-th” time doing it. You say it’s your “second.” How do you not know that?! Gosh!”
It reminds me that even here, among our homeschool weirdies, survival of the fittest is alive and well. “Sheltered” maybe. Protected? Not a chance. It’s every man for himself around here, according to my calculations.*
*Philip says this AT LEAST once a day. I feel compelled to call him Doc as in Doc from Back to the Future. But that shows my age so I lock that down tight.