Sunday, May 16, 2010

My Crazy Secret

So, I have a little secret. “Hello, my name is Shiny, and I am a Closet Homeschooler.” Wait! Wait! Before you go tipping off Children’s Services —no. I do not homeschool my children in a closet. (Just setting the record straight!) I, however, consider myself to be a new breed of homeschoolers I am branding myself. :) We are, despite popular opinion, somewhat sane. Perhaps a little cool. Crazy? Absolutely! But in our own quirky/artsy sorta Crazy. Good Crazy! :) I call myself a Closet Homeschooler because I learned the hard way what a damper it quickly puts upon meeting people when it inevitably comes up. Here’s how the conversation normally goes upon meeting someone. We’ll be chatting it up nicely-- light, friendly banter; share some laughs over stupid stuff other parents' kids are doing; complement shoes; etc. Then it never fails:
Stranger: “Wow! Your girls are both so creative! Your oldest is such an artist! And the youngest is so sweet! Look how well they play together! They’re being so nice to my Jr. We should really get them together for a play date, ya know? It must be so nice to have your children be so close. And they have such nice manners, too!”
Me: “Yeah…that’s not always how it goes. And you should show up for some of the belching contests at the dinner table—Dad always wins. But they do get along for the most part. I am thankful for that! They’re having a blast with your Jr. How old is he?
Stranger: 5 ½. Yeah, he’s quite the lady’s man! (Insert annoying mom-laugh here) He’s in soccer M,W, F…then we have swimming back-to-back with soccer M and F—games on Sat. We’ve got karate T/Thurs. and of course violin and harpsichord lessons after karate. (Pause—I think the list keeps going on, but I checkout sometime around here.) Oh! And there’s a great summer camp I signed him up for—Astronaut Camp before Kindergarten! You should sign up your youngest! You do have her waitlisted for Smarty Pampers Academy for Pre-k, right?! They have the best test scores.
Me: Er…uh…. (It’s coming…wait for it…and….)
Stranger: (Blam!) By the way, where’s your oldest go to school?
Me: (Muffle,muffle, muffle.)
Stranger: What’s that?
Me: Um…we do homeschool.
Stranger: (wide-eyed, half-sympathetic look) Wow! You’re sure brave. Whelp. NicemeetingyougottagoJR!!!!

And that, my Friends is why I am a Closet Homeschooler. The minute the word “homeschool” flies out of your mouth, you are immediately labeled a Crazy Homeschooler. And while this is true to some extent (as I said—Good Crazy! Good Crazy! :D), we are not the typical stand-ins-from-Deliverance kind of family. Oh, and it’s not just strangers who expect you to head out to the parking lot and fasten your kids into the horse-drawn buggy and ride off to the Lego Engineering Convention. Let’s just say it would’ve been easier to tell my 3rd generation, Teacher of the Year mother (Love you, Mom! ;D) that I had a fatal disease than to explain that we had decided to homeschool our children. Apparently her oldest daughter is crazy (surprise!) and her grandchildren are destined to grow up and become disgruntled carnies.

Some people choose to homeschool because they want a simpler life for their kids; some people choose for religious reasons; some because they just like spending time with their kids and have fun teaching them—for me, it’s a little of all of those reasons, yes; but mostly, simply because it just suits us! My husband and I made a decision a long time ago that we wanted to be a close-knit family, and I LOVED the tremendous cool-factor as a parent that you get to literally help CREATE a childhood for your children…and homeschooling just sort of fell into play with that. It certainly is NOT for everybody—for us, it works!

But whenever people ask me that ever popular question: But what about the SOCIALIZATION?—I need to tell people I’m working on it! :) Because my kids are the most social butterflies I’ve ever met—my oldest can take charge of a room of 6 year-olds in 2 seconds flat and have the game explained/roles divvied/rules laid out, with my youngest close in tow. You see, for kids—there are no social problems! It’s the homeschooling parents who end up with them, because all the other moms run for the hills (I don’t know why they’d run for the hills, because apparently that’s where they think we just crawled from!), the moment the “hs” word comes up.

No more, people! Today Shiny is Homeschooling Mom Extraordinaire! Or as my friend, Trisha says, “I homeschool my kids! What’s your superpower?!?” As I said, part of Livin’ Crazy is Bein’ Real—so this Closet Homeschooler is coming out, Friends! That’s right—loud and proud, Baby! So just thought I’d warn you. :)


  1. Yay for you, Heather! I love that you own your decisions, because after all, it's your family! Although I do not homeschool, I have great respect for those who do it. It's not for everyone, but traditional schools aren't for everyone! Keep on keepin' on...

  2. Great blog Heather. I enjoyed reading it. -brian.

  3. Thanks for the positive feedback guys! Truly appreciate it! :)

  4. Way to step out into the light, Heather! I totally wouldn't have eaten dinner with you at Erma's if I knew you homeschooled. Creepy. Just kiddin', we have a whole pack o' friends who homeschool, and we've thought about it off and on but our kids are pretty happy where they are now. I think the "crazy" thing has blown over, lots of people are homeschooling these days, and with good reason. Our HomieS friends' kids are awesome, high achievers, and getting great test scores and college scholarships, and I have no doubt that your kids are as rockin' as their momma! Love the pic, btw.