Tonight was Catherine's Girl Guides enrollment night where all the new girls pledge their eternal souls to the dark sisterhood of Guiding and they all get shiny pins. I shouldn't be like that. It's a really nice troupe with great leaders. One of the leaders has told me that they'd considered homeschooling in the past but choose to continue with schooling for some very good reasons I won't go into.
Tonight I met the mother of that leader and it turns out she had been hoping they would homeschool, was disappointed when they decided not to and was interested as all get out about it. And she's a former teacher.
I know about a half dozen or so teachers and former teachers and talked to many more over the last few years. One of those, just one, wasn't keenly interested and supportive of our homeschooling. By coincidence, or maybe not, she seemed to be the only one I've known who didn't seem to have any passion for her chosen career. All the others seem ready to offer advice, time and resources and want to learn about just what it is I do at home with my kids in terms of education.
I've heard a lot of stories about homeschoolers who've had ugly reactions from teachers and I've expected it to happen for some time. I've been expecting that for 5 years now. I think perhaps I better stop because inevitably when I meet a teacher and he/she finds out I homeschool and we start to ramble on about math and kids and, "isn't it great when you get to watch them learn?"
Occasionally there's a bit of a gulf. I can't use advice on record keeping that's meant for classes with 30 kids and I'm betting my prime tactic for dealing with a disinterested kid, take time off to go watch cartoons and snuggle, isn't going to be something a Grade 6 teacher will find valuable. We're both in education but we're both different kinds of specialists within that field and very often the skills and tools needed for one situation are exactly was isn't needed for the other.
Regardless, we still love kids and watching them learn. And we all relish our place in that learning.
I've invited the grandmother up for tea some day so she could get a bit of a feel for how we go about our homeschooling. I hope she takes me up on it.