Homeschoolers! They're just like us!

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One afternoon while shopping for a winter coat for Liam at Old Navy, a woman approached the boys and me. Normally, when a stranger approaches you, they say "Oh, your kid(s) are cute," or "You dropped something," or "Where did you get that whatever you got?" or they ask your for directions or time or at the very least, simply say hello.

This woman walked up to me with her nose in the air her eyes squinched, as though she followed our scent.

"Why aren't they in school?" she asked tersely. I steeled myself against what I anticipated would be her criticism and said a little prayer, something along the lines of "OHDEARGODSHUTMY MOUTH, KEEP IT CLOSED DON'T LET ME TALK" because if provoked, I will go all Julia Sugarbaker on someone.

I took a deep breath and asked "Who are you?"

The woman blinked and repeated her question: "WHY aren't they in school?"

"They are homeschooled," I said, overenunciating the last word and speaking loudly as though she were hard of hearing.

The woman rolled her eyes and sighed "Ohhh" before trouncing off.

I had visions of running up behind her and jerking her hair hard enough to cause her head to snap back and her jaws to clap and break her giant horseteeth. Which wouldn't be very nice and possibly illegal but I totally thought it and I'm not sorry. Instead, I turned to the boys and loudly said: "Boys, that woman was rude. When we approach people with a question, what do we say?"

"EXCUSE ME," they replied in unison.

As we made our way to the checkout, Liam raised one eyebrow and gave me a sly grin.

"You're funny, Mom," he said.

So remember that, Joy Behar, the next time you decide to expel a bunch of bigoted nonsense into perfectly good air (around 7:08):
 

Homeschoolers put their pants on one leg at a time - just like you do, Joy. Except, when our pants are on, we kick your bass in test scores, community service, and manners in general.

This is what homeschooling looks like.  

24 Comments

good grief. she needs a roll of duct tape. and not only was that lady at Old Navy rude (never acceptable)--hellooooo? why your kids are with you in the middle of the day is NOT HER BIZNESS. period.

Thank you for your "Twilight" review. I am going to see it a midnight tonight (even though I'm 26 and will probably be surrounded by teenage girls...except it IS a school night) and have been looking at reviews on EW and Rotten Tomatoes but none of those critics have actually READ the books. I'm more excited now than I was earlier this morning. :o)

you're gonna go al julia sugarbaker on her! i love it!

such a shame that people can't 1) mind their own beeswax and 2) support someone who is doing what they know is best for their children.

I love that you pointed out her rudeness to your kids and Liam gets humor like that.

Also, how awesome is it that you can go coat shopping while the stores are quiet instead of with the masses smacked between after school and bedtime? And people think homeschoolers are strange?

Hopefully Joy Behar will come save your demented children from you. Can we fling her once and for all?

Awesome. I think you handled the old lady very nicely. As for Behar, she's an ignorant blowhard, to put it nicely. If you notice, Barbara also said anti-homeschool stuff. The difference is that BabaWawa was trying to engage in a calm discussion. What Behar did, as someone on my homeschool support list pointed out, was the equivalent of a bigot yelling out a nasty statement directed toward a particular ethnic group.

I can't believe those comments, it's great that you are calling her out on it.

I am still dreading the day a little old lady tries to challenge me like that. I try to be prepared but if taken by surprise who knows what I would say.
The closest we have come is the man in a store who tried to test my first grader ... on his counting skills. At least he was nice about it.

People like Joy are the reason homeschoolers are misunderstood. My child is no more demented that a public school kid! (Just kidding!). Good Lord, what a mouth on that woman!

Yeah - as a homeschool kid, back in the pioneer days of homeschooling, my mom and us kids got that question A LOT! You didn't owe that woman an answer or explanation. Liam's comment is awesome tho - him and Emma came from the same peapod. lol

As for Behar - yeah. Whatever, she just proved how demented she is. lol

Since Michelle Obama's mother is moving in to the WH with them, maybe they should homeschool - then Obama can ban homeschooling.

Wow, Dana. You exercised more restraint than I would have. If I saw you at Old Navy with that lady I would have PAID you money to flick that dumb crone in her forehead. Ohhh, If only I had twenty smackers... I am also sick of Joy Behar and people of similar ilk pouring honey into people's ears and setting their brains all a buzz like some Pinko-Commie beehive about the "virtues" of Public Schools. I wish I would have been homeschooled. I'm still trying to wash the stench of the indoctrination juice they waterboarded me with everyday! I used to think that homeschooled people were an odd lot until I became friends with people who had been. I found them more engaging and better equipped for what awaits them, than myself. Now, I would encourage people to homeschool their kids because public schools are slowly turning into Public Indoctrination Centers. No government entity has the right to teach YOUR kids. PERIOD.

Gosh, those people are just lovely.
I know how you feel when you have to really work at keeping your mouth closed.

ugh LOVE IT!

Seriously? She couldn't have thought maybe they had a doctor appointment, a family emergency, a day off school?

Joy Behar - gah. Do some research before you open your piehole. Trebuchet - fling! Allgonebyebye!

It's sad that the general public isn't educated on homeschooling. Though, the generaly public really isn't educated on many things of importance, like any kind of education, political facts and, well, manners and morals!

What business is it of hers? I would have made up some weird sickness and had the boys cough on her! My kids attend public school and have random days off. Some people...

Also, thank you for the Twilight review; can't wait to see it!

Should we assume you're resorting to some comedic hyperbole when you write that "we kick your bass in test scores, community service and manners in general"? You're not really playing the "we're better than you" card, are you?

Because that would be snippy and shortsighted. Making such broad comparisons isn't helpful or even fair.

In the past, you've defended homeschooling by pointing out its strengths. You've avoided building up yourself by tearing down others, which is clearly the better path.

Next time that happens, you should have Liam say a couple of random sentences in Spanish. That ought to pop the air out of their preconceptions! :)

@aj - Not at all, I'm referring to actual standardized test scores and national averages and I'd appreciate it if you'd stop trying to straw man me simply because you're looking for a fight. I'm just assuming about the manners, considering the context of this post; the two antagonists I mentioned, plus the condescending tone of your comment do nothing to help that image. You can choose to take my post however you want and if you choose to overreact and dig for offense I won't stop you - other than to say you have accurately defined "snippy and shortsighted" and that your input on this topic is finished.

Wow...you were nicer than I would've been. I either would've asked her why it's her business or been really sarcastic and said that you don't believe in education and your kids don't even know how to talk and learned to walk just a day before. DUH...what an idiot lady! i can't wait until I officially homeschool and I hope that same lady asks me...

Yes, my bark is typically bigger than my bite...

oh, and Joy...wow, is she not a Joy to be around. She is SO ANNOYING...and what is with those bangs!

I was with you all the way (particularly re Joy!) -- until the last paragraph. I'd put my public school-schooled daughter up against any homeschooler around in academic scores, community service, and manners any day of the week. Broad statements such as these, from either the homeschoolers, or the anti-homeschoolers, do nothing more than irritate the other side and serve no positive purpose (in my oh-so-humble opinion).

Ah, unsolicited criticism. You are far kinder than I. My teenage son had a Mohawk. A short one, but a Mohawk just the same. A woman walked up and blurted something stupid to me, don’t remember exactly what, but it was RUDE. So I gave her my infamous look (like actual shat came from her mouth rather than just the verbal kind) and said, “EXCUSE me, but I really cannot believe you just said something so rude and hurtful about my son, and in front of him at that”. Then we just walked on. We too have tried hard to raise a respectful and honorable young man. And we have. When I get the phone call from the teacher about whatever goofball thing he’s done in class, each starts the conversation by telling how polite and respectful he is. He knows when to use Sir and Mam. He has even on several occasions waited for an elderly person to finish loading their groceries in their car and offer to take the cart to the cart-coral for them.
BTW - Trebuchet – why is the cart-coral so far from the handicap parking???????

"Numerous studies have found that homeschooled students on average outperform their peers on standardized tests.[58][59] Home Schooling Achievement, a study conducted by National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI), supported the academic integrity of homeschooling. Among the homeschooled students who took the tests, the average homeschooled student outperformed his public school peers by 30 to 37 percentile points across all subjects. The study also indicates that public school performance gaps between minorities and genders were virtually non-existent among the homeschooled students who took the tests.[60]"

Link, though there are many others.

Sorry, but when people make negative and incorrect assumptions about homeschoolers I have to bring up the facts. I'm not going to deny it simply for the sake of political correctness and people shouldn't get their feelings hurt over it and assume it's a jab against their lifestyle or children - no more than I would find offense in their choosing to state-educate their kids or make positive remarks about public school. I wish that each side could be happy in their choices and not feel the need to belittle or condemn the other, yanno?

(P.S. Speaking generally, my comment in question was directed at Behar not at the population of Mother Earth and please to be advised not to take it as a personal attack upon you and yours, k thx bai. Sigh.)

I think it's very sad that you are criticized for acknowledging the success of homeschooling and for speaking about it in a positive manner. If these people feel offended by your choices and enthusiasm for it then perhaps they need to ask themselves why they feel so threatened by it.

Assie - I'm 27, and going to a midnight Twilight showing tonight. The friends going with me are all in their mid/late 20's as well, except for one girl's teenage sister. I think the Twilight fanbase is old enough for you to not have to worry about being the only adult non-chaperone there. :)

You definitely used more restraint than I would have had in that situation - good for you, and good for your boys in behaving in such a mature way!

On another note, I found myself getting defensive as well with your last comment about the test scores, manners, and community service. Yes, I know - there are statistics that show the test scores are higher for homeschooling. I won't argue that point. But, just as you get defensive as a teacher when someone ridicules your choice of schooling for your children, I get defensive as well when I read a comment like yours about the public school system. I don't get defensive as a parent, because I am not yet a parent. I get defensive as a woman who chose to become a teacher in the public school system. You are very blessed that you are able to homeschool your children, and you obviously do a fantastic job with them. I, on the other hand, am a teacher in an urban public high school, trying my best to improve test scores, teach proper behavior, and instill a love for community service - all in the 90 minutes a day I get. These students of mine do not have the home life that most students who are homeschooled have. They might have loving parents, but most of their parents are not home when they get home. They might have good morals, but they are surrounded by drugs, gang violence, and promiscuity. I assume that those that homeschool are doing their best and are making a difference - a good difference - for their children and students. I am, as well, trying my best to make a difference for the HUNDRED students I see everyday. My test scores might not be as high, but if they learn and improve at all, I did my job. They might not open the door for people in public, but if I can get them to respect another student's opinion in class, I did my job. I know you get judged a lot, but it's hard for me to read a comment like the one you made without also getting defensive and feeling judged. Most teachers, homeschooled/public/private/whatever, are doing it to make a difference. I, personally, don't belittle you or others that made the choice you did to homeschool. Throw the test scores at those of us that teach in the public school, that's fine, but don't try to put things such as manners and community service on a scale. It's not a fair comparison.

This is what I said:
"Homeschoolers put their pants on one leg at a time - just like you do, Joy. Except, when our pants are on, we kick your bass in test scores, community service, and manners in general."

I said nothing of public schools, in fact, I was addressing Behar, and it blows my mind that anyone would try to spin it in a way that ignores what was actually written. Sorry, but I'm tired of having to preface EVERY SINGLE COMMENT I make on homeschooling with some sort of butt-kissing remark about public schools so people won't freak out and be all offended. Seriously.

It's not belittling to point out a fact or to comment on someone's rude manners; however, it is belittling to any discussion to dictate conversation according to political correctness. And that's just no fun! (Or very fair.)

(I'm also kinda bummed that nobody caught the SNL Bruce Dickinson homage. Sad face!)

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