I took my kids to the grocery store in the middle of the day recently. It’s a trip I avoid in part because we can be no where inconspicuously and in part because I simply don’t have enough hands to hold each of the twins, plus the four year old, all while making sure that what’s in the cart is actually what we intended to purchase and not something one of my children decided would be a good purchase for us.
There was no way around it though, my husband wouldn’t have been home until too late and I just felt like we needed a little break. So off we went to the store to pick up some necessities.
Ironically, one of the very reasons I don’t like going, proved to me to be quite valid as we were walking through the store and a woman asked why the kids aren’t in school. My son pipes up, “We don’t go to school. We’re home schooled.”
Clearly she did not approve. She began to discuss how CPS could be called on us because home schooling, according to her is illegal in New York State. Unfortunately for me, one of my daughters happens to be sporting a nice black eye. Then she proceeded to tell us that children who are home schooled don’t do as well as those who are publicly schooled. And why, if I’m home schooling, would I be at the store? I need to keep my personal life separate and if I sent them to school, I’d have time for things like shopping without burdening the children with them. Hey, she posits, if I call shopping “home schooling” then perhaps all the publicly school children should go to the grocery store on a “field trip.”
I just smiled and nodded. I was not going to say anything to change her mind but I was also with my children and they’re looking to me to see how to deal with people. I could’ve been rude–certainly she was, but I’m not sure that being rude back is what I want my kids to learn.
As she asks me a question, my son picks up some strange-foreign looking fruit and reads the sign which says, ‘star fruit.’ “Mom is this fruit from New York?” “No son, it’s from Asia,” I reply.
“Is that in the Southern hemisphere?” (Hemisphere was a vocabulary word from our science lesson that morning.)
Before I could answer, my daughter says, “No, it’s on the other side of Europe. Sort of. . .because Alex, the world is a big sphere so it doesn’t matter where you stop or start.”
The lady stared. I smiled. She stared some more. Yes, I call going to the grocery store home schooling. There are lessons to be learned everywhere in life.