Anyone who regularly reads my blog will know that my son is homeschooled. They will also know why. Unfortunately, the rest of the population of our immediate area do not know this. The resulting consequence is that when we go out to walk our dog (which we do every morning), anyone and everyone that my son meets along the way asks him the same question.
“No school today?”, “Not at school today mate?”, “Are you sick today? No school?” and many other variations of the same questions. My son gets a little annoyed at this, and because of his tendency to lash out verbally at people, I have trained him to reply politely.
“I’m homeschooled, so yes, I have school today.” He takes artistic liberty with that answer and varies it almost as much as the question is varied. Despite this, he still gets annoyed when people ask him. Today, as we walked through the park (he rides his bike, the dog and I walk), he passed a lady on the path and she called out to him,
“No school today?”
He ignored her completely and just pretended he didn’t hear.
A little further down the road, he came across two grandparents walking their grandchild in a pram.
“Hi there! Not at school today?”
He “Rarrrgghhhed” at them.
Just around the corner from home he came across a lady walking a white fluffy yap yap dog.
He exclaimed at the ‘fluffiness’ of the dog and they instantly entered into a conversation. Then….
Lady: “You aren’t at school today?”
Son: “Grrr! Why does everyone ask me that question?!”
Lady: “Oh. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to offend you.”
Me: “He does homeschooling. He just gets asked that a lot. We need to try and remember that every person he has never met before is allowed to ask once.”
Lady: “Oh! I see. Well, you are very privileged to have your own tutor come to your home!”
Me: “Oh, no, I do it myself. He gets one on one tutoring by me.”
Lady: “Oh! You are a teacher?”
Me: “Not a trained one, but you don’t actually need to be a trained teacher to teach.”
Lady: “Oh! OK….”
My son had started pedalling away, her dog was clearly scared of mine (mine is about 5 times bigger than hers so fair enough), and so we parted ways.
It does make going out and about tricky. It’s interesting to get people’s impressions about homeschooling though. It’s still very much looked down upon. However, I’d be willing to bet that despite my sons ADHD, ODD, Severe Anxiety and (alleged :)) Autism Spectrum, he has better manners, life skills and learns more than most kids each day in a classroom! He just doesn’t learn what society thinks he should be learning, and I’m not sure society has it right to be honest. 🙂
So, just remember if you see a school age kid and their mum out and about during a school day, there might be a very good reason why they aren’t at school today!