Does anyone else ever dread going to Walmart? Maybe it is just me. I cringe when I actually have to go there. Especially in the evenings or weekends. There is usually only one lane open except for the self checkout lanes, the aisles are jammed packed, and I can never find what I am looking for. What makes the matter worse, is when I do go through a check-out lane with a live human employee...sometimes I just want to shake my head after leaving.
I had to run in really quick with the kiddos last week. To my surprise a lane was actually open with a check-out gal!! First time in while...I felt I won the jackpot! Of course I get the usual question...oh are you guys off of school...or all sick! Seriously lady...we are probably getting sick by just being here...can't wait to bathe in hand sanitizer in the car...anyways...I responded the typical way saying..."no we home school, so our schedule is pretty flexible".
Usually when I answer this question, I get a polite response of "oh how nice" or "I could never do that" or something to that effect. To my surprise, that was not the response. Well actually I was at Walmart...I shouldn't have been shocked. She continues to say..."Oh poor kids! Don't you think they are missing out!" Ha, ha...really?! If only there wasn't a line of a million people waiting in this one check out lane and I had 4 wiggly kids that wanted to go home just as much as I wanted to...I wanted to respond like this...instead of the polite..."no, I do not think they are."
Like a friend told me a while back...you have to be a rebel to homeschool your kids and not really care what others think. I am with her on that one...I could care less at this point what others think, but this Walmart employee got under my skin. I may just print out my response and hand it to her next time I see her....hmmm....
So here it goes:
Dear Ignorant Walmart Employee,
I am so sorry I did not have time to adequately respond to your ignorant reply to why my kids were not in school. I would have loved to spend time to chit-chat with you, but because you were the ONLY live person checking out on that fine lovely day, I couldn't ask you to sit down with some hot cocoa and talk about homeschooling.
Yes there are pros and cons to every decision that families make. Homeschooling, public schooling, private schooling etc. Pros and Cons!
But when you said "Don't you think you kids are missing out by homeschooling!" What the heck did you mean by that? I could have responded in the same way if I found out that your kids (if you have any) go to a public school. Don't YOU think your kids are missing out? Missing out on what?
It is a matter of perspective. Sure they are missing out on some things. Any kid that goes anywhere private, public, homeschooling are "missing out" on something.
Some schools don't offer certain sports because their enrollment levels can't justify having a team. Some schools offer different clubs and activities than the next school down the road. Some schools have more dances and special events than others. Some schools have more cliches, bullies, jocks, deadbeats, smart kids etc that the one in the next town over. Some schools have better teachers. Better students. Worse students.
Sure my kids are missing out on somethings, but your child is too...and so is everyone else that is going to whatever type of schooling they are involved with. It is a matter of perspective.
To many peoples' surprise home schoolers do have sports teams that travel around and compete. They can get college scholarships. They can join clubs or even be part of bands and orchestras. We do have proms and formals (at least in Nebraska we do). We can travel any time during the school year to see places around the world and the United States when they aren't crowded during the summer/Christmas months. We can go on field trips any time we want to where ever we want! We can explore special interests of a child instead of what a school feels is best for everyone! We can slow down or speed up the progress of each individual child! We don't have to test or teach a certain way. We can get extra sleep & naps when needed! Oh how they are needed here sometimes! My girls don't have to put up with a few snotty neighborhood girls everyday at school. We honestly can have the same opportunities if not more that going to a traditional school. It is just a matter of perspective and how much time and effort a family and child team want to make.
So in conclusion...lovely Walmart Employee...I am curious what you meant by "missing out". In my opinion everyone is missing out in some way if you really think about it...but I feel that we are doing just fine with where we are at with our homeschooling journey!
A very happy homeschooling mama!