Friday, December 19, 2008

The Inquisition

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We had a marvelous time at the party.

We ended up taking the baby after worrying that we would drive the 45 minutes to get there only to be summoned right back home because Only Mommy Will Do.

I dressed her in her maroon velvet birthday dress and she looked adorable. True to form, though, she wouldn't let anyone hold her but Mommy. She's doing a lot of that lately, but I know one day it will be tricky to get her to slow down for a hug, so I don't mind so much.

I went with the trouser jeans and the shimmery shirt. According to my interviewer one lady I LOOKED! GREAT! For having seven children...

I think that was meant as a compliment. I'm not sure what ladies who have seven children are supposed to look like, but apparently the standards are quite low. Since I have all my teeth and no hairy moles on my face, I think I scored BIG! (crossing fingers)

As we sat down at a table for ten, this certain lady, who I had never met before that very night, made it her mission to investigate not only my appearance, but, my teaching credentials, and my motives.

She locked onto me like a heat seeking missile, and no attempt at changing the conversation would deter her!

"SEVEN! CHILDREN!" She fairly shrieked! "Honey! Are you simply exhausted 24 hours a day, every day?"

"No... I feel fine. Do I look exhausted to you?" I replied.

That's when she told me that I passed inspection looked great for having so many children.

Next, she wondered aloud, "WHY do you homeschool them? Is it something you WANT to do?"

This time my answer was a single, cool, "Yes." I admit I was beginning to get very irritated with her nerve. She seemed to be bent on freeing either me or my children from the nightmare she felt we were living.

"Do you have a teaching certificate?" She wanted to know.

I hate that question! It's not the first time it has been asked of me, either.

"Yes, In fact I do, but anyone can homeschool in this state. There are no requirements for teaching one's own children."

My husband was beside me the whole time, and later, as we discussed it, he said he didn't see her as being as rude, maybe just trying to keep conversation flowing.

I know we are quite different from the average family, and I honestly don't mind people who are intrigued by the life we have chosen and are genuinely *curious about what a day is like for us.

There was something about this lady's tone, though, and her single minded focus, that made me feel like she was intent on making sure we passed her inspection and were suitable to be doing this... wacky... homeschooling... thing with SO MANY CHILDREN!

But other than the inquisition, we had a ball!

*If you would like to know how we do it, or why we do it, stick around. I'm working on a post to answer those questions. If you have any specific questions you'd like to ask, go ahead and leave it in the comments, and I'll try to work those in, too.


Jennifer said...

I just have to comment. I was homeschooled, and I will probably homeschool my own children one day. In Pennsylvania homeschooling is common practice, but when we lived in GA I knew very few people who homeschooled.
When people would ask where I went to school and I told them my mom taught me, the most common first response was something along the lines of "What's 7 times 7?" or "How do you spell atmosphere?"
Everyone has strong opinions on education and I feel like, in today's world, no parent is trusted to oversee the education of THEIR OWN CHILDREN!
I just wanted to let you know that I think you are doing a great job raising your children. And I agree with you, that lady's questions made me bristle.

Pat's Place said...

I can only applaud what you do--and I think you look wonderful! It must really agree with you because you have that special glow!

Homeschoolin' hot-rodders said...

We had a customer come to pick up their boat during the middle of the day. Since my husband has another job on top of his business, he was not there. I answered the door and apologized for our house being a mess as we were in the middle of a history lesson and our kitchen/schoolroom and living room are the 1st thing you see when you walk through the door. I was given a very cool "oh...well...homeschooling is ok but YOUR children really NEED to be around other children during the day." I laughed and said "Well its not like I keep them in their cage anymore!" Apparently she didn't find that quite as funny as I did.......

Donna(mom24boyz) said...

I have had this same sort of event so many times that I almost hate to let anyone know that I homeschool, simply because I don't like the questioning. It can be so aggravating!

karen b said...

it seems that no matter what choices we make for our children, there's always someone out there that feels the need to tell us we need to do something differently. my husband got stuck in a conversation one night with another dad who insisted that we should be sending our children to private school instead of public school. i'm sure there were women back in the day who told Mary that she really should not have given birth to Jesus in a stable...

Lene said...

And where's the picture of you in your party attire???? I'm very glad that you are planning to do a post on how and why. I am very curious but sometimes too afraid to ask because it makes people feel defensive. I asked a new friend the other day why they have chosen to be a quiverfull family. Her answer was fabulous and a real testimony of faith to me even though God may have different plans for our family. I hope that I didn't make her feel attacked, I was truly interested. I look forward to your post.

Jen said...

I think you are one of the most qualified people to homeschool, and I have "threatened" (prosmised) my kids that if they didn't behave that they would go to Aunt "SmockityFrocks" to be home-schooled. But on the other hand, I do have to say that there are many people out there in this wonderful state that need more schooling of their own and shouldn't be home-schooling their children. This frightens me that there is NO qualificaations of anykind and these kids are not getting an education. I have seen where the kids (older, highschool age) are using the "homeschooling" to drop out of school. I don't know what can be done about such, but I believe something should be done.
Didn't mean to start any kind of rant or anything. I do think you are the most qualified person that I know to do this! Love ya!

Smockity Frocks said...

Lene, Just click on the trouser jean link and pretend the top is silver. I looked JUST like that!!!

My next post is already bubbling around in my brain. Now, if I could just find the time to post it!

Smockity Frocks said...

Karen, I think you are right! That's why I think each parent should decide what is best for their own children.

Jen, (I'm saying this in a friendly, sisterly way.) It bothers me when people decide that I am qualified to teach my own children. What makes one person QUALIFIED to make that judgment about another?

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