16 July 2005

I Don't Feel Tardy

School time is drawing near and I actually got the school supplies early this year. Shedding a tear now.

There I was, passing other parents in the isle at Office Supply/Depot store. We stood between glue sticks and colored pencils, almost swallowed up by the towering stacks of wide-ruled 150 count paper. I would catch a parents eye and we would acknowledge each other with sheet white complexions, palpitating hearts, a nod, and an unspoken word.

We dare not say it: How much this cost us? Bank robbery? Banks don't hold that kind of cash.

I have now purchased all that will get their gray matter moving. At a grand price of $101. This is not counting lunches, music, snack fees, snack fee taxes, snack fee taxes on the taxes. Clothes and shoes will come next month to prepare myself for yet other blow to my checkbook. I have three in elementary school. Cripes. I can't imagine what high school will be like.

My children were so excited, eyeing the bags of 'goodies' until they pounced on them in the privacy of our own living room. My children have not yet gotten the 'school is really work' memo. But admit it, school supplies are fun to open, sniff, and pet. They even helped me pick out the supplies in ignorant bliss or maybe it was my constant bombardment that school really is cool. I liked school growing up. I was also homeschooled, so we had to buy a lot of supply goods.

Now, I can tell what you are thinking. You have visions of domesticated girls in floor-length, hand-sewn dresses standing over their Magna Carta needpoint and hand-rolled candles while reciting the Gettysburg Address. We weren't like that all the time.

Snow days as a homeschooler were completely unfair and we couldn't be tardy if we wanted to. I never had a locker or prom. I never had a crush on my "Teach" and believe me, the class reunions are unbearably boring. But being Valedictorian of my class was a plus.

Now for the big disclaimer so I do not get loads of disapproving mail by those who live by the homeschool creed. Which by the way is: If you got kids...Homeschool them.

So, this is for you: If you homeschool? Good for you. Do what is best for your family. It is super that there are parents that are that organized and inspired to teach their kids at home. I am not one of them. I would never again use that recipe for homemade candles nor would I teach my children at home.

And to all you parents who feel it best to 'shelter' your young adult children and homeschool them. I beg you, teach them to think. Use their noggins. Use that gray matter above their shoulders. If you want to prepare your children for the 'real world', teach them how to think for themselves and give them the best tools and information to do that. If this includes homeschooling, more power to you.

PS. For all you homeschooling high schooler. Take the GED regardless of whether or not you are going to college. Government jobs require a GED or diploma regardless as do many medical professions and college programs. You may not use it later on but it's not a lovely hoop to jump through years after high school. Just saying....

~Bee likes beeswax candles

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"One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words."

~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe