This is what I heard this afternoon.
"Mo-o-om! There are soldiers at the neighbor’s house!"
You see my kids were outside playing during school hours. After all, even homeschoolers deserve recess (and I needed to get the refrigerator cleaned out.) My kids have already discovered that sometimes people notice them during school hours and make comments to the point that my kids have become a bit shy about being seen during school hours. Our house is fairly private, but you can see it from that neighbor’s house and now there were soldiers over there.
Next, all three of the kids came running in and they were talking at once, so I hope I got it deciphered right.
"Mom, they drove by real slow and looked straight at us!" (Let me translate that comment. That means, "Mom, they noticed that we’re not in school. Now what?") "Mom, they WERE soldiers." "Then they turned in at the neighbor’s house." "I bet they have guns." Can you hear the fear?
I didn’t see the soldiers, so I have no idea who they were. (Maybe they thought it was Halloween a day early.) I was slightly amused though, but especially when I heard the solution to the problem from JD Boy. Only a six-year-old would come up with this.
"Mom, I know what to do. If I see them out there again, I’m going to quick put on my long jeans." (He’s wearing shorts. Don’t ask me why, maybe I should send a note to his mom to dress him better for this weather…) "I’ll grab my fireman rain boots and my fireman raincoat and paint my jeans really fast to look like fireman pants. Then I’ll run out and grab a hose and start spraying and they won’t want to mess with us, because those fire hoses are really powerful, you know." (Yeah, but we don’t have a fire hose connected to our house, we have a garden hose. Oh, well, maybe they wouldn’t notice the difference.)
"If that doesn’t work…" (What do you mean? It sounded like there was no doubt that that would work.) "I’ll grab a stick and start pretending like I’m shooting at the bear." (We think that a bear got into our trash again this week, so the kids are a bit nervous when they’re playing outside right now. I am too.) "Then when they see me shooting at the bear, they’ll know that I know how to shoot and they’ll be afraid to start shooting at me." (What ever made you think that those soldiers were there to shoot YOU?)
I think everybody is calmed down now. We’ve already talked about the fact that we are legal homeschoolers. Someday maybe laws will change, who knows. But for now, it’s legal. Police and soldiers aren’t on their track. (Maybe they just came to get that bear. Now, they would be my heroes if that’s what they’re driving around for.) Why are my kids afraid that they’re going to be snatched away if they’re not busily doing their schoolwork during school hours?
For some reason, this reminds of my little brother (meaning younger, not smaller). So I just have to tell you one more funny story. (I hope you’re reading this Bro, if not, you’re supposed to be. You’re supposed to be one of my blog fans.)
He was homeschooled too. One day, he was working in Grandpa’s garden during school hours. He was probably right around six or seven and spent as much time as possible with Grandpa in the garden. Anyway, according to my brother, the UPS man came driving up and looked right at him. (Scary!) So my brother knew what to do immediately. He started jabbering about driving his tractor. (Yes, he did have pedal tractor.) After the UPS man drove away, he came running in to tell Grandma all about it. Then he said, "Don’t worry though, Grandma. He thought I was a farmer. He just thought I was a midget." (Well, I’m sure he wouldn’t think that now, if you’d try the same method again! Oh, but you’re old enough that you don’t have to worry about truancy laws anymore.)
Even before I had children, I knew that I wanted to homeschool. I spent some time thinking about that I would not be shy about our homeschooling. We would be proud of it. That way my kids would never feel afraid that somebody was seeking them out for not being in school. I was sure it would be easier for me, because time has passed since my little brother was being homeschooled. Nearly every state (definitely mine) has laws for homeschoolers. There are a bazillion homeschoolers. I would make sure that my kids would never be afraid of people wanting to just reach out and snatch them away for being homeschoolers, but I guess I didn’t pull it off. My kids have the same fears that my brother had, just have different solutions….well, not really, but anyway.
Am I the only one with this problem? Are your kids afraid that someday they’ll get snatched away just for being homeschoolers? Or have you successfully suppressed all of their fears? If so, how?