“Oh, you homeschool? How does it work? Does your teenager have to go to high school? What do you do? What do you teach?”

If I had a nickel for every time I had to endure this questioning, I would be a rich woman. Initially, I felt the need to explain. I felt compelled to have to explain myself. Sometimes I felt I was soothing their fears for my children. A quick resumé of my education, my degrees, my teaching experience, and my philosophy seem to quell the fear in some while sounding like bragging to others. Any hesitation in explaining my plans for my children’s future seems to appear I don’t have a clue of what I’m doing while in reality I have a half of dozen ideas rambling around my mind at any given time because what people don’t understand is that homeschooling is a fluid way of life.

I don’t school at home. I homeschool. There is a difference. The difference in the two make traditionalists clutch their pearls with anxiety. If some governmental agency isn’t dictating what I do on any given day, then I must be leading my children to ruin. If some religious institution isn’t sanctioning my curriculum, then I must be doing something wrong. If someone who is perceived as an authority figure is not issuing my books or checking my children’s work, then I must not be giving my children a quality education.

Ridiculous.

Homeschooling is as old as civilization. The brick and mortar method of schooling where children are divided by age and expected to think, learn, and succeed at the same time and pace as everyone else while responding to a set of bells is fairly new in human history. My children have a 2 to 1 relationship with their teacher. They have a teacher who would go to any length to make sure they succeed. She doesn’t waste time on busy work and worksheets. She teaches lessons and shows how these lessons apply to real life. She also teaches lessons that she explains are important to know to succeed in higher education.

Sometimes I believe people are afraid to live outside the box. I’m not talking about living in mayhem and hoping for the best. I’m talking about walking down another road to get to the same destination.

So I bear the questions while quietly swallowing my annoyance.

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These are the 5 places I will patronize if there were no other choices available.

  1. Subway
  2. Carl’s Jr.
  3. Macdonald’s
  4. Burger King
  5. Weinerschnitzel

Bespeckled Shade

Holds in hand

An instrument

That severs

Years of strife

A shadowy life

Joined under a bleeding

Shepherd of tormented souls.

Joined by a man

Of cloth and bone

Bestowing blessings

Divinely raised

Later dashed

In a hotel room.

No reason or rhyme

Brought to a moment

Where, “sign here”

Sounds like an angel’s harp.

The three songs that resonated with me today on my radio.

Faith by George Michael

No Woman, No Cry by Bob Marley

Young Turks by Rod Stewart

 

People are funny.  Not funny in the knee-slapping, bust-a-gut kind of way.  People are funny in how ass-backwards they treat their loved ones versus how they treat strangers.  A person may never say a negative word to a despised boss or co-worker to “keep the peace” at work, but when they get home “keeping the peace” is not on the radar.  A person can apologize to a stranger in a crowded mall for stepping on their feet, but wouldn’t dare think to apologize to their spouse, parent, sibling, or child for stepping on their emotions.

As a society, we made it okay to “hurt the ones you love” because it’s expected.  Self-help books are written for individuals to suck up the emotional abuse and transfer a more acceptable caption to the ugly picture that is the lack of respect and love in your life.  Some self help books encourage shell-shocked people to spend hard earned money to “talk” to someone who is certified to fix you in the name of getting along with your loved ones. Well meaning people will say it’s best to forgive and move on with your life, but with the best intentions, those emotional wounds run deep and will never heal.  Our children and grandchildren will carry the emotional scars to their graves in the name of “getting along”.  This distasteful future for our offspring is born out of the young looking at the elders and learning how to cannibalize themselves in the name of “getting along”.

We can walk away from toxic loved ones and paint our world rosy in the name of healing, but as soon as a casual conversation turns an unexpected corner, you’re in tears or you’re raging like a lunatic wondering why.  I had a conversation with a good friend about the simple things in life, then our conversation turned a corner.  Someone close caused damage.  There was bravado and strong words, but the mood changed.  The world was less rosy.  Then the conversation made another turn, and wounds that should’ve healed 15 years ago gaped open and oozed tears on both sides.  As the tears flowed, I tried to find a roadmap to take us somewhere happier, but the emotional abuse sat like a grim reaper as we pretended the world was rosy once more.

If you can’t get comfort, acceptance, respect, and love from the ones you are tied to by blood and law, then where do you go?

Go within.  The wounds may never heal and the pain may continue to throb until you shed this mortal coil, but in the end as you take that final breath, know that the loved one who never hurted you was you.