Homeschooling sometimes reminds me of Eddie Izzard. This in particular:
Recently I read two books by “accidental homeschoolers” (by which I mean, they never intended to homeschool and in fact they are tremendous supporters of public education, but for one reason or another, they decided to try it) describing their homeschooling experience. Both of them began by going on at great length — chapters! — describing all the weirdest weirdo stereotypes they could, partly I think as a way of bulking up their books by poking fun at easy targets, but also I think as a way to make it extra clear that “we’re not like THEM! Oh no! Make no mistake! We may be homeschooling right now, but we are NORMAL! Not like THEM!”
Drove me nuts. I wanted to ask them: Are you homeschooling? Does your child refrain from sitting in a classroom? Then sister, in this culture, you’re as weird as any of them. The dress-wearing, God-fearing, spank-your-twelve-babies ones, the “radical, no-rules” unschoolers who have shocked you by breastfeeding multiple children before your eyes in public, all of them. I mean us. Your family and your kids may look plain old middle-class normal, but they aren’t in school, and that — to the vast majority — is STRANGE and even THREATENING. In one important way, many people consider your family strange and threatening. Accept that. Embrace your crazy extended non-schooling kinfolk. You don’t have to like or agree with them, and you can keep explaining your special situation and point of view and how unique and not-like-them you are till you’re blue in the face, but you must recognize that you are now standing with them outside the school walls. In the majority’s eyes, you are now on their side. So stop edging away from them. Don’t apologize for standing so close to them. Embrace them. Like it or not, in this one important way, you are now one of them.
That’s what I wanted to tell those authors. (It’s what I often remind myself.)