Follow up: In my last post, I wrote about the fake fuzz vest that I was tempted to buy. Believe it or not it was worse in person than in the picture.
A friend read my post and offered to sell me her sheepskin rug from New Zealand. New Zealand? We’ve seen the Lord of the Rings movies and we just learned about NZ in our world history class a few weeks ago. I bought it. I have it right here and it’s sitting across my lap keeping me toasty warm. It’s in pristine condition because she had to keep it draped over the back of her chair so that Basil wouldn’t pee on it. Remember Basil, the farting dog that sat on my lap? I’ll never forget Basil. He kept me toasty warm when sitting on my lap, too. (Get it? Get it? All the hot air? Sorry.) Here’s the picture I took of him:
Last week when we learned about the Islamic empire we wore turbans made out of scarves. They were toasty warm, too. This winter is going to be awesome what with my sheepskin rug wrapped around my legs and scarf turbans on my head. Freezing cold misery of winter—I defy you!
So, sometimes people come up to me and say things like, “How can you even think homeschooling is a good idea? Aren’t you afraid you’re ruining your kids? What about socialization?”
Well… Actually, no one has ever said anything of the sort to me. Most people are either supportive or completely disinterested. There was that time that Vince offered me sarcastic good luck (oh, that post was funny–you should read that one when you’re done this one–it was one of my better posts), but he later retracted his negative attitude toward our homeschooling and is actively trying to recruit me into becoming a school teacher. I just smile and nod and think, “Never in a bazillion years, Buddy!” I mean, they don’t let you stop teaching in the middle of school to play “Little Red Riding Hood” by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs do they?
Nope. I’m pretty sure that’s not part of Common Core. But last week, when we learned about the beginnings of the Frankish empire we read fairy tales by Perrault (a French guy). One of the fairy tales he wrote was Little Red Riding Hood. Gotta give the kids a well-rounded education, right? Music is an important part of a well-rounded education, right?
(Side bar: Did you hear that? At the end of the song there is baaa-ing. What an appropriate song to listen to while wearing my new sheepskin rug.)
There was also the guy who worked at Value City in the shoe department who grilled me for my reasons for homeschooling. But he didn’t really care about homeschooling; he was clearly looking for ways to get out of having to do his work. Seriously, how many shoes can you re-shelve before you’re desperate enough to stop strangers in the aisles and grill them about their educational choices for their kids?
But in case y’all were worried that my kids are missing out on the normal school experiences that the other kids get, I do have a bizarre story to share with you. This happened last year, but I remembered it just the other day while listening to the local elementary school’s morning announcements. Here’s what I mean:
We live about two blocks from the school as the crow flies. If the wind is blowing right and our windows are open we can hear the children playing in the morning and at recess. We can also hear the morning announcements, though usually they’re pretty garbled.
One day the wind was blowing right and our windows were open and we were on the side of the house nearest the school. We could hear the pop sounds of the intercom turning on and then clearly:
“Anthony Doe, please report to the principal’s office. Anthony Doe, report to the principal’s office.”
Wha…?? We know Anthony Doe! He is one of Vince’s 42 children! We looked at each other, and without any prompting from me, my children immediately chorused out, “OoooooOOOOO!” It’s like some sort of Jungian collective unconscious knowledge passed through the DNA–you don’t ever have to have set foot in an elementary school to know that being called to the principal’s office over the intercom is Bad News.
As startlingly good luck would have it, Anthony was already set to visit us that evening. As soon as he walked in the door we asked, “So, Anthony, why’dya get called to the principal’s office today?” You should have seen the kid’s face. His eyes got big and he spluttered, “How..? How…?”
We live in a small town, Anthony. You can’t get away with anything in a small town. And now when my homeschooled kids grow up, they can have the joy of looking back on their school days and remembering how they got to hassle their friend for being called to the principal’s office. Oh, sweet memories of childhood.