I was talking with a friendly acquaintance the other day. I don't know her well enough to call her friend, but if we had the time and inclination, I think we would be great friends. I've always liked her.
We were chatting about our lives and our kids. She told me where her kids were going to school and she asked about mine. She had known that I was planning to homeschool.
At one point, she said that she gives me credit for homeschooling. While I appreciate the compliment, I can't accept it. I'm not doing a good, selfless thing by homeschooling -- I'm actually being very selfish.
I want to enjoy my life and that means not being a slave to the clock and the calendar. I want my kids to be able to follow their interests and learn at their own pace without being labelled in any way. Even a positive label is a negative thing that puts you in a box. Being called 'gifted' is as much of a trap as being called 'learning disabled' or 'special needs.'
I want to rejoice in my children's special gifts, in their uniqueness without being tempted into competition with others. Especially when that competition is the hell of arrogance and fear that comes with kids who 'advanced.' That only leads to looking over your shoulder and the dread that one day, someone will outdo you (because its really about you and not your kids). Of course, I don't want that gripping fear of worrying that my kids are behind, either. When we're 'at home', we are us, fearfully and wonderfully made.
I don't want others who deem themselves experts telling me that I don't know my child and making it so by taking her away from me for a large part of the day. I've heard many stories of parents being tapped for all sorts of slavish duties -- running the fundraisers, planning the parties, providing the food -- but I also hear of how they are cut off from their children's learning, often treated as if they are interfering.
I don't deserve any credit and I don't want any credit. I just want the freedom to homeschool without undue interference.