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View Full Version : Why aren't you in school !!!



laundrycrisis
08-31-2010, 07:04 PM
Today was the first time this happened to us. I ran out of dog food and took my boys, ages almost 5 and 7.5, with me to the pet food store to buy a 3-months supply. It was 12:15 so easily explained as a mid-day break...anyway, the boys were petting a dog in the store (the employees bring their dogs to work) and the store owner looked at DS1 and said very sharply "why aren't you in school !" He didn't say it like a question. I was at the register paying and said "because they are homeschooled". He said "oh, homeschooling" and kind of made a snorting noise. I looked at his employee who was ringing me up and said "even homeschoolers run out of dog food sometimes". He replied "I'm sure they'll be happy when you get home". I clarified for him that they had been fed today....but I didn't have enough for tomorrow so we are spending our lunch break buying dog food.

I have been buying expensive food at this store for five years so I've spent a lot of money there. I've never cared much for the people but they are the nearest store with this food and have a good price on it. They also have a big koi my kids like to see. I have always taken our kids there and never had anyone get grouchy with them before. I'm bummed that this happened. I don't like to feel that I cannot ever run any daytime errands because someone will give my son a hard time. I could go to this store after 3 but I would have to deal with a lot more traffic at that time, and my kids would rather play with the neighbors then anyway. DH doesn't get home early enough for me to get to this store without the kids before they close.

Shoe
08-31-2010, 07:13 PM
That's too bad that happened. :(

We got some looks today, but no comments. It was 94 degrees here and sunny and we have no air conditioning, so I thought it would be a nice afternoon to take a bicycle ride to the local convenience store, get a drink and cycle home. But at least two people in the parking lot gave us some questioning glares...I presume because they thought the kids should be in school (though I can't confirm that because they didn't say anything. And yes, the kids and I were wearing helmets, didn't look excessively overheated or overtired or anything like that despite the heat).

Teri
08-31-2010, 07:42 PM
No one here says a word. It wouldn't even cross my mind to call something a "mid day break". If someone asks (and it is has always been casual conversation, kind of like, "how 'bout this weather?"), I simply say that they are homeschooled.

JinxieFox
08-31-2010, 07:50 PM
It will happen from time to time; some people will respond kindly and others... not so much. You can search farther afield for a new store, or keep going there. Maybe your visits with the children will provide a good example to the people there. Or maybe next time you can reply that this is a lesson in economics for the children: How *not* to treat customers, because you never know when they might simply take their business elsewhere. ;)

Or, if you know other homeschoolers in your area, organize a small group shopping trip. That would certainly shock the owner! Invasion of the homeschoolers!

farrarwilliams
08-31-2010, 09:01 PM
I think I might have said something like, "You know, if you value your customers, you shouldn't question their life choices, even if you disagree." I've never left a store over homeschooling, but I stopped patronizing two different places that questioned my parenting when my kids were younger - a local cafe where the owner told me rudely I was going to get my kids killed for letting them walk a few feet away from me and a local bookstore where they called someone down to follow me around the store and make these strange, passive-aggressive comments about my kids for some reason I've still never figured out. I know a lot of people like to go to local places - and I do too - but only when they actually value their customers and are polite. I've never had anyone question my parenting at a chain store. And if they did, I'd call for a manager and there would be an apology - because that's how chain stores are. Not so much with local places where they sometimes feel like they have a right to get into your business.

QueenBee
08-31-2010, 09:07 PM
Or, if you know other homeschoolers in your area, organize a small group shopping trip. That would certainly shock the owner! Invasion of the homeschoolers!

HA HA HA!!!! I love this!!! Too funny.

StartingOver
08-31-2010, 09:17 PM
I think I might have said something like, "You know, if you value your customers, you shouldn't question their life choices, even if you disagree." I've never left a store over homeschooling.

LOL Much nicer than I would have been.

jennykay
08-31-2010, 09:37 PM
Ugh, this happened to me twice yesterday at our gym. I have JUST started homeschooling too and what bugged me most was HOW they asked about it (very accusatory). I thought my biggest hurdle would be telling my family but now I wonder just how many people will question me. Ah well, something to deal with.

StartingOver
08-31-2010, 09:47 PM
You have to understand that most info about homeschooling that is in the news, is the negative. The child abusers that use it as an excuse. The dropouts that claim to be homeschooling to get past truancy laws. The crazy wife swap types. The religious zealots that want to protect their children from the evils of the world, etc.

It is rare that a truly optimistic article or show is put out on homeschooling. I have had tons of people ask me, and most you can converse with. Most people are uneducated about homeschooling. Some are down right snotty though for sure.

Someone will find faults in many parenting methods, most just aren't out there as much, as your school age child in public during the day.

garett
08-31-2010, 09:53 PM
I'm not looking forward to the question, and hopefully no one around my neck of the woods will be so nosy or intrusive as to ask ... but I'm very grateful to all of you who have offered loads of suggestions for dealing with it. I feel prepared :)

schwartzkari
08-31-2010, 11:45 PM
This thread is exactly why I wear my "Hardcore Homeschool Mom" tshirt out when the kids and I run errands ;) LOL.
On a serious note though, I completely agree with what Jana said above there...I have learned that most of society, including my own family members have some pretty biased opinions on homeschooling and what it entails. When we are out, I have instructed my daughter to be on her best behavior and if someone asks why she isn't "in school" she usually chimes in before I can even say anything (and that makes me proud.) We haven't had anyone act rude toward us yet, I assume one day we will though because that is the nature of things, lol.

SunshineKris
09-01-2010, 12:56 AM
I don't know if it would be a problem for us here. Lots of parents pick up their kids for lunch and take them out to the Burger King or the BX Food Court. We'll test it today though. I can't wait to bring my kids to the BK for lunch (their treat every couple of weeks), BX for shopping and some park time. I imagine it won't be too big a deal here as people are constantly coming and going around here. The bigger test will be when we get home to the states. I can't wait!! Then I will challenge them to test my son about planets. Their jaws will drop with the knowledge that comes out of his mouth!

laundrycrisis
09-01-2010, 09:24 AM
I have been trying to impress on him how important it is for him to be on his best behavior when we go out. He has a tendency to get loud and wild if I don't keep a very close watch on him. He's a bit hyperactive and that's part of why I don't think school is the best place for him. We had a talk yesterday about what happened. He wasn't doing anything inappropriate yesterday, but I explained that people will be more likely to be irritated by him not being in school if he is attracting attention to himself by doing things that bother people.

I have thought of looking around for pin-buttons that just say "home school" that the three of us could wear on our shirts when we are out during the day.

inmom
09-01-2010, 09:39 AM
[QUOTE=autumndivona;13741}Or, if you know other homeschoolers in your area, organize a small group shopping trip. That would certainly shock the owner! Invasion of the homeschoolers![/QUOTE]

We did something similar to this last week. Wednesday was the first day of school around here. Four hsing families went bowling in the middle of the day. Not sure what the alley owner thought of us, but we were his only income during that time period....

dbmamaz
09-01-2010, 10:05 AM
I dont really go out much until afternoon, anyways - i try to do academics in the mornings. But i've never been anywhere that kids were allowed to leave school for lunch - lunch periods are 20 minutes long here at high school.

BPier12
09-01-2010, 10:13 AM
Wow, I guess what amazes me about this whole thread is that complete strangers think they are entitled to quiz us about why our children are not in school, and that we somehow feel that we owe them an explanation. We are just into our second week of homeschooling and my son and I were at a bookstore the other day. He said to me, completely unprovoked, "I wonder if the clerks are wondering why I'm not in school.". He seemed really concerned. I told him, "If they ask, just say, "I homeschool."" Period, end of story. It is absolutely no one's business but our family's why, where, or how we are educating our son.

laundrycrisis
09-01-2010, 12:17 PM
I made my own buttons at cafepress. For the kids I made 2.25" buttons that say "I am in HOME school". For me I made a mini-button that says "YES it's legal". I would like to minimize the number of people who get in my son's face.

BPier12
09-01-2010, 02:02 PM
I made my own buttons at cafepress. For the kids I made 2.25" buttons that say "I am in HOME school". For me I made a mini-button that says "YES it's legal". I would like to minimize the number of people who get in my son's face.

Excellent!!!

Teri
09-01-2010, 02:23 PM
Man, I guess just being blissfully ignorant is my defense. I have never, in 4 1/2 years of homeschooling have someone be negative. We are out ALL THE TIME.
In the Dallas area, there are so many of us, that it is just commonplace to see us out, I think.

I have also never warned my kids to behave, any more than I would have in a regular situation. I remind them before going into a museum (no matter the day/time), but not for going into a store.

I did have to explain to a piano teacher one time when she made a general comment about homeschoolers behavior that "Some kids are like that because they homeschool, but some kids are homeschooled because they are like that." ;) It did cause her to pause and consider.

laundrycrisis
09-01-2010, 03:02 PM
"Some kids are like that because they homeschool, but some kids are homeschooled because they are like that." ;)

Exactly !! :)

Sarah Camphouse
09-01-2010, 03:50 PM
Ugh, this happened to me twice yesterday at our gym. I have JUST started homeschooling too and what bugged me most was HOW they asked about it (very accusatory). I thought my biggest hurdle would be telling my family but now I wonder just how many people will question me. Ah well, something to deal with.

I thought my family was the biggest hurdle too and although I just started homeschooling today, and haven't had any comments yet, reading that this happens a lot is not something i am looking forward to.

MamaB2C
09-01-2010, 04:06 PM
I figure we'll handle this like we handle stranger's comments on all kinds of things...if it seems a genuine interest, I may take the time educate them and discuss things with them. If they come off as rude or accusatory, I may smartass them.

I am thinking maybe "He graduated early", even if he's only 6 lol

Sarbare0704
09-01-2010, 04:08 PM
LOL! I like the idea of saying they graduated early! Honestly it is no ones business! I get that some people are just trying to make small talk but if they are acting rude they deserve a rude answer!

wild_destiny
09-01-2010, 07:19 PM
We have experienced our share of comments, both negative and positive, over the years, as I prefer to shop during school hours. (We do our schooling, but I use the hours when stores are not as busy to shop.) There have been times when the negative comments really hurt my boys (or me), and then there have been times when we just shrugged those comments off and went on our merry (as possible) way. It has taken a long time for us to worry about this less. I wish the rest of you better and quicker success. :)

Berta
09-02-2010, 08:21 AM
I bought this t shirt for my daughter. It says:
Yes I am homeschooled
Yes I am socialized
Yes I had class today

http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f139/linktolia/liajennacastleinbackground.jpg

wild_destiny
09-02-2010, 10:06 AM
What a great shirt, Berta!

mommykicksbutt
09-05-2010, 03:14 PM
I'm going to make myself a shirt with the following: (I found the saying on a website that I can't remember)

Homeschool Mom
what's your super power?

SherryZoned
09-05-2010, 05:00 PM
Great Shirt!

Love your idea for a shiirt too mommykicksbutt.

I was going to Walmart with my oldest last week during a P.S. Day so I asked him on our way..

What do you say if someone asks you why you are not in school? He replied: I am homeschooled

Then I thought I would ask what he would do if someone asked him what he learned today.

He replied "Reading, Writing, Math, Science"

HEHEHEHE Good kid.. Now in my mind.. if some kid said that to me.. all smiley like my son I would start laughing because to me it is a bit of a snarky response. My son is pure innocence and has no clue exactly how the response will be when he says that IF it comes up.. haha..

schwartzkari
09-05-2010, 11:19 PM
Great Shirt!

Love your idea for a shiirt too mommykicksbutt.

I was going to Walmart with my oldest last week during a P.S. Day so I asked him on our way..

What do you say if someone asks you why you are not in school? He replied: I am homeschooled

Then I thought I would ask what he would do if someone asked him what he learned today.

He replied "Reading, Writing, Math, Science"

HEHEHEHE Good kid.. Now in my mind.. if some kid said that to me.. all smiley like my son I would start laughing because to me it is a bit of a snarky response. My son is pure innocence and has no clue exactly how the response will be when he says that IF it comes up.. haha..

I laughed out loud at your post because last week when I went grocery shopping at Walmart I asked my daughter the same thing..."what do you say if someone asks why you are not in school?" "I am homeschooled." and then she said "Do you think they want to know about my dinosaur project too?"
LOL.

SherryZoned
09-05-2010, 11:22 PM
LOL they definitely need to know about her dinosaur project!! Every minute little detail..;)

Rhaelunae
09-05-2010, 11:35 PM
Our answer, "We ARE in school! The WHOLE WORLD is OUR school! What have YOU learned today?" :D

InstinctiveMom
09-06-2010, 09:51 PM
You know, I'm prepared with snark if we get questioned and we NEVER get questioned. Friday, our homeschool group ended up meeting at Barnes & Noble because it was supposed to rain - 7 moms and easily twice that many kids - and I don't think we got so much as an eyebrow raised. We did our whole planning meeting and were there for more than an hour, then went to the park since it wasn't raining and there was another group of homeschoolers there.
It's just so common here that people don't question it.
To be fair though, 98% of homeschoolers are faith-based though, so we get lumped in with them, too.
~h

JEJordan9
09-08-2010, 08:23 AM
Do any of you carry cards or a piece of paper that has "Homeschooling FACTS" So when people stop and ask "Why aren't you in school" or (eyeroll) "Oh, you're homeschoolers" Instead of saying anything, you hand the card/paper to them. ;)

schwartzkari
09-08-2010, 11:51 AM
Do any of you carry cards or a piece of paper that has "Homeschooling FACTS" So when people stop and ask "Why aren't you in school" or (eyeroll) "Oh, you're homeschoolers" Instead of saying anything, you hand the card/paper to them. ;)

I have thought about it actually. LOL.

Pefa
09-19-2010, 11:46 AM
You'll get that from time to time. Then as your kids get older folks will assume they have the right to quiz them on things they think children of x age should know.

It is a reasonable question (although only if asked in a reasonable tone). I always ask the kids I have to poke (I'm a phlebotomist) what grade they're in, who's their best friend, if they've read any good books recently etc. not because I'm the learning police but so they have an easier time with the blood draw.

One thing I've done is prime my kids just so they don't feel like deer in the headlight. When he was 5yo, Boy Other One (BOO) sweetly explained to a nosy old biddy that he didn't know if he would be in kindergarten or first grade but it really didn't matter because he was learning what he needed to know. He's still using that strategy five years later. Both boys have learned to have a soundbite about what interests them to ward off the trivia questions that they don't have a clue about.

Good luck.
Brook

sis92y
09-21-2010, 03:53 PM
I just ordered shirts for my girls that say "I AM in school and you are talking during class".

Janette

mommykicksbutt
09-21-2010, 04:08 PM
That's a great idea Janette!!!