Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Dreaded Gaps (and my Quote of the Week)

I have tried to avoid typing this blog entry because it's not very, correct. But you know, I've noticed LIFE is not always politically correct, and this is just way too funny (and sad?) not to share.

Homeschooling. So many times I feel like a failure; like I'm ruining my kids for life, and their future success or failure rests solely on my puny shoulders. I confess, my kids have gaps, huge academic gaps in their education. I'm often shocked at what they don't know, and some days it's downright discouraging. The one thing I have never worried about, but is foremost on homeschooling opponents' minds is the "s" word: socialization. I think our kids are very well adjusted and can hold their own (and sometimes dominate) conversations with peers or adults. But much to my dismay, this past week has revealed several gaps even in their social skills. Man, the one area in which I was formerly worry free!

Patrick has the distinct privilege of speaking to every 7th, 8th and9th grader in the Glynn County School system during their respective health class. He encourages the kids to look to the future and make good choices, specifically in the area of relationships and sexuality. Based on the feedback we get when we are out in public, the kids love him AND his somewhat unorthodox presentations. On Wednesday, he had two 8th grade "shadows" - you know, kids following him around all day to see what his career is like. Funny, his shadows from one middle school had to go to another middle school and sit through a whole days worth of repeat performances...but I guess they didn't mind. Part way through one class, he was interrupted and asked to come and help break up a fight between two girls in another classroom. He found one girl holding the other by her hair, er - uh her hair extensions (also know as weave), and attempting to pulverize her. Patrick did help break up the fairly fierce cat fight and eventually returned to his classroom. Before picking up where he left off, one girl raised her hand and timidly offered this: "Mistah Eeeeades, I don't know if I should tell you this, but you have weeeeave on your elbow." Gee, one of the casualties of breaking up fights, huh?

After a full day of his shadows patiently enduring multiple presentations, he treated them to Chick-fil-a. As they were dining together, one shadow quipped, "You know what the problem in the school is? They got too many black kids in those classes?" Shocked to hear such non-politically correct speech, Patrick questioned the statement. "Yeah, you put that many black kids in a class and you're gonna have trouble," clarified one of the two African-American shadows.

So, let's see if I have this right. My girls have failed to learn how to physically fight (they prefer verbal lashings), and possibly none of the kids have fully developed their prejudices.

So if the previous two gaps were not enough, Kevin brought one more to light. He has joined the Braveheart drama team, and on Friday had his first experience speaking to the kids in the public schools. While enjoying the delicious cafeteria food (hmmm...maybe he won't complain about leftovers any more), he witnessed a boy attempt to sit down at a table with his tray of food. The kids already seated informed him that he could only sit there IF he gave them his bread sticks (which he did). Drats, it had not occurred to me to teach my kids proper and effective bullying techniques.

So, just when I think I am free and clear in one aspect of home schooling, the dreaded gaps identify themselves right before my eyes.


  1. Excellent post, Natalie! Thanks for being politically incorrect for all of us to enjoy...

  2. Natalie, that was wonderful! Of course, now you have given me even more reasons to dread Casiday going to middle school!! (Just have to remind her to keep out of fights with the girls who will pull out her weave. I am adding that to my ever-growing list of "Preparing Casiday for Real Life" LOL) And you should know that when I think about those Eades kids I always think "Man, they have some serious socialization issues!" :)