You know those times when you wonder if something you’re considering saying is going to come across as rude, offensive, or just upsetting? I’m here to give you a glimpse into the mind of a homeschool mom.
There are (at least) 7 things you should never say to a homeschool mom (or dad) – unless you’re trying to see if you can make her head explode, which could be amusing, I suppose.
1. What about socialization?
Really. We all probably heard this one enough in our first year (or month) of homeschooling to last us a lifetime. We have talked about homeschool socialization ad nauseam. The truth is, we have to work hard to make sure our kids maintain the stereotypical status quo of being weird, unsocialized homeschoolers.
Not one single homeschooling mom is going to look at a person asking this question and, as the sudden dawning of understanding crosses her face, say, “Oh, my goodness. What about socialization? Why did I never think of that? Quick! Let me rush my little darlings right to the nearest school and get them enrolled.”
Seriously. It’s not going to happen. Our kids have friends. Really. Would you like some bean dip?
2. What do you do all day?
The only person who could probably get away with asking this question is a fellow homeschooling mom or a mom considering homeschooling who is genuinely trying to figure out how to schedule a homeschool day.
If anyone else asks, with even a hint of “you must sit on the couch watching reality TV and eating bonbons all day,” it’s probably not going to go over well. Just warning you.
3. Just think, if you didn’t homeschool, you’d have more time to clean house.
Um, yes, because everyone wants more time to clean house. And, really, that comment implies that my house is messy, which it probably is, but, you know what? A pristine home is a little low on my list of priorities right now. They’ll be plenty of time for cleaning once my kids are grown and gone.
The fact is, right now, I don’t try to do it all because I can’t, so I focus on what’s important. Besides, art lessons would be so much more complicated if we were using a medium other than dusty furniture and our fingers.
4. You must have so much patience.
The hysterical laughter that ensues after such a comment could cause a homeschool mom to wet herself and, honestly, after a certain age, that’s really just embarrassing.
We don’t. Really. Not most of us anyway. Self-control? Clearly. Patience? Not so much. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve assured friends who don’t homeschool that getting through homework (and trying to figure out how kids do math these days or hearing 137,875 times “That’s not how Mrs. So-and-So does it.”) requires much more patience than homeschooling.
5. Do you own anything besides yoga pants?
That’s not nice. Of course, we own clothes besides yoga pants, but the other stuff isn’t as conducive to wrestling kids, getting spit upon, being the cafeteria lady/maid/laundry lady, and pouring knowledge into the minds of kids all day.
Do we make fun of your work uniform? Not unless maybe you’re a professional clown or something. Be nice. Yoga pants are awesome.
6. Since you’re home, would you mind babysitting for me?
Now, just in case my sister is reading, I have to point out that I offered to babysit for her and she knows she can call me if she needs me. This question has never really been a problem from me, but I’ve heard horror stories from friends, so just for the general public, um, hello? We’re doing school over here. Would you call up the local elementary school and ask if one of the teachers could babysit for you? During the school day? While she’s teaching her class?
7. We’re out of tea.
Okay, that one might just be me, but you know what I’m talking about. Insert your vice here. Coffee. Chocolate. Whatever it takes to fuel your school day, let’s make sure we don’t run out of it, okay?
So, homeschool moms, what would you add as things someone shouldn’t say to you if they don’t want to poke the bear?