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Monday, October 29, 2012

Things not to say to impress a homeschooler

Recently I signed my children up for a gymnastics class.  This particular class is aimed at homeschoolers.  Well, at least the hours of when the class is offered is aimed at homeschoolers, and only homeschoolers are in the class.

However, it became clear to me very quickly that it is not truly a homeschool gymnastics class with homeschoolers and their parents' best interests at heart.

When I arrived for our first class, a young woman stood up and introduced herself to us as the new director for the gym.  She proceded to run down her list of credentials in an effort to impress the other homeschooling parents awaiting their child's gymnastics lesson.  As she began to list her credentials, however, I began to chuckle a bit under my breath.

She was, as most parents would admit, aptly trained to be the director.  However, I looked around as other homeschooling moms were seemingly losing interest as this girl ramble off credentials that, unlike most parents, don't impress a homeschooling parent.

She talked about her degree in early childhood education

She talked about her experience working with a respected school district in our area.

She talked about her experience working as a preschool director, or teacher, in our area.

She talked about her curriculum plans for the children with a strong interest in making it fun and instilling confidence.

She continued to spew out credentials all having to do with the typically touted as necessary background to make you capable of teaching.

As we stood there as a group of homeschooling moms, none of whom I knew their personal educational background, I didn't really see any faces that looked overly impressed with this list of formal, traditional education toward teaching our children gymnastics skills.

See, as a homeschooling parent, it doesn't impress us that you went to the best university and attained the highest educational degree.  Some of us have done the same.  Some of us just made it through high school at best.  Still, your college degree doesn't impress us.

See, as a homeschooling parent, it doesn't impress us that you know how to run a classroom filled with same-aged children.  Most of us run a scaled-down version of a classroom everyday only ours are complete with babies crying, toddlers needing a new activity to keep them busy, children learning to read and write and older students focusing as the family interacts.

See, as a homeschooling parent, it doesn't impress us that you want to instill confidence in our children and make their lesson fun simply as part of a new curriculum model.

Were we really supposed to be impressed at all these accolades she was tossing about that were thick with public and traditional education?

Do not expect me to be impressed at your list of traditional educational credentials.  To a homeschooling parent, this will fall on us like a ton of judgmental bricks.  You might as well have said you are qualified - we are not.

I signed my children up for homeschooling gymnastics because I thought it would be a good physical activity to keep their bodies strong and help them stay healthy as they grow.  The time fit my time, and I liked the idea that other children in the class are also homeschooled.

What impressed me as a homeschooling parent who attained a public high school education eventually followed by three college degrees, one of them attained at a private college, is that you know gymnastics, that you teach our children gymnastics with patience, oh and most of all that you respect that they are receiving the best quality education... at home.

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