Veteran homeschool families know “the look” all too well. You’re checking out at the grocery store after an educational lesson in fruits and vegetables and budgeting (aka yes, we are buying healthy food, no you can’t have every box on the cereal aisle) and the cashier looks at your school aged children, then to you. She tilts her head ever so slightly and says, “are they off from school today?” “No, they’re homeschooled, ” I reply with a smile. “Oh!” *insert confused, polite smile from the cashier.
This conversation happens almost every time we go in public during school hours. I’ve joked with our kids about getting shirts that explain it and absolutely love it when all three kids exclaim proudly, “We’re homeschooled!” The curious glances and questions we get reminds me of being late in pregnancy when everyone you see asks your due date or exclaims something about the obvious fact you’re pregnant. Most days, it doesn’t bother me. It usually gives an opportunity for education about homeschooling (which is GREAT)!
So, how do you handle this as a new homeschooling family? Act with grace.
In the beginning I felt uncomfortable by weird looks and so many questions. Over time you do develop thicker skin and the best “script” to field questions in a timely manner. People are curious. It is a natural occurrence to ask questions about experiences you don’t know about. Answer with a smile. If you have time for a lengthy conversation, do it. Give reasons why you decided to homeschool. Be honest. If you don’t know the answer, say so! The more we educate our community the better.