Last month, when I paid for Jamie's 4-H camp, I was introduced to the new county agent. Most of the ladies that work in the office know we home educate and know what we expect from Jamie's behavior when he is attending an event. This comment, "They are a homeschooling family, BUT they are not like the others", made me giggle. I really laughed at this one, "Jamie's not like other homeschooling kids; he will talk to you and can carry on a conversation with an adult." WOW! I still get a good giggle thinking about those comments.
I do all I can to keep our family from being badly labeled "that family" or "that's a homeschooler". We are a rather quiet family. I hate to admit it, I am an introvert. I could easily become a hermit; I don't have to have someone to talk to or be around. I am perfectly content with being alone during the day. Sadly, Jamie is the same way. Once we warm up to people, we tend to come out of our shell.This is a life long journey that has to be worked on all the time.
When we first went full time in the ministry, Jamie would not have anything to do with people. Let's just say, my husband quickly rectified that problem. Over the years, Jamie has learned to be more responsive to others. He also knows when he behaves rudely; it makes his parents look bad. Jamie has been around other home educated children that would not speak, or leave their mother's side. I remember at a mission's conference there was a family on deputation where the children would not even look at you in the eye when you spoke to them and of course, they would not speak when someone spoke to them. Jamie mentioned about how bad this looked at the end of the conference. Funny, other children can pick up on this type of problem.
CHARACTER! It's all about the character being instilled in our children today. If we are not teaching our children to have self respect and respect for others by speaking up and/or putting out a hand to shake; how can we expect them to do this when they are older and it must be done for a meeting or a job interview? In many schools across our nation, no character and poor character is being taught. It's not up to the schools to teach character,it is up to the parents.
As home educating parents, it's not just about academics for us. Bible, character training, and life experiences are all included in the education that is going on at our home. With today's society, academics is a must. Without academic education, people have to settle for low paying jobs while many depend on the government. We do strive to meet the state's requirements for education and then some, but the foundation of what is being taught is the BIBLE. We do this for the college years. We do this for our son's future.