Goodness! I could have made an entire blog revolving around this subject alone (but that could be a very uncomfortable blog to read...)!
However, I'm going to discuss a subject that's very near and dear to my heart: education. Specifically, "Non-regular school." That's right, homeschoolers, online-schoolers, independent studiers, alternative education students, vocational education students, hybrid program students, classical students, and everything in between! You're in the spotlight today! :)
When I think about the prompt for today's post, I remember the cute song from the musical "Wicked." Do you guys know that one? The prequel to The Wizard of Oz? My sister absolutely loves it, and I enjoy seeing some excerpts from it at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. The song that I'm meaning to mention is called "Popular." It's pretty catchy (here's a video if you've never heard it before):
One of my favorite parts is toward the end where she sings:
It's all about popular!
It's not about aptitude
It's the way you're viewed
So it's very shrewd to be
Very very popular
If anything, this sums up what culture is all about: to be famous like all of the other famous people! Of course, thought has a PART to do with it, but it's more important to focus on looks and fame, because that's what's most important! Right?
Then...why do we act like it?
I can't tell you how many conversations that have begun with "Where do you go to school?" and ended with a quiet, painfully awkward "Oh..." with an implied "Sorry I asked."
And I'm not hurt by that at all! I am well aware of the fact that my school is not "normal." I go to two schools at the same time! That's abnormal, and I totally understand how that can be uncomfortable to think about at first.
The thing that us homeschoolers and "non-regular" students are often bothered by is the amount of judgment that comes with the news that their friend is homeschooled, like...
"What does that mean exactly?"
"Do you think you'll be prepared for college with that type of education?"
"How do you do extracurricular activities?"
"Wow, I feel so sorry for you."
"How do you survive?" "I see, so you don't mind the lack of a social aspect?"
"Don't you want to have more friends?"
"What do you do for fun?"
"Don't you want to experience the real world?"
(I kid you not. These questions have been asked to several "non-regular" students everywhere.)
To be clear, the definition of homeschool is not the education for those with no capabilities, no talents, and no clue as to what happens outside of our bedrooms. Guys, we do not live under a rock, we have plenty of friends, and we certainly have the capability to do the fun things that you do. That includes dances, sports, clubs, activities, and knowledge of the world surrounding us just like you do!
However, just because we lead a different life than you do and we have different interests than you does NOT mean that we're a new-found alien from Area 51.
We might be more similar than you think, but not in ways that you might expect.
So, the next time you're about to judge that "non-regular" student that you're with, or pester them with rude questions, instead, say, "Tell me more about that." And maybe after a while, you'll find yourself saying (as Jordan Taylor once said), "PLEASE TAKE ME WITH YOU!!!"
Question for the Reader: What do you value in education?
"Judge not that you be not judged." --Matthew 7:1