Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Standing In Line

Photo Credit

This article grabbed my attention this morning. This positive article on homeschooling is interesting, but it was the comments that really got me going. Many of the comments are from homeschooling families. Some comments are not. Of course, it's the "some comments are not" that tend to make my blood boil just a little.

Honestly, the socialization claims in this day and age make me yawn. Move on, people! This just proves that anyone who still thinks like this hasn't spent much time, if any, with anyone who homeschools their children.

One of the comments made me think back to a situation that happened years ago when my children were still fairly young. I took them ice skating at an indoor ice skating rink. Once the kids are on the ice, parents who are not skating can wait in a heated, glassed-in room. Basically, you are sitting on the ice with the ability to see everything that's going on, except you get to stay warm!

Along with several other parents, I was sitting there minding my own business when a woman and her husband walked in. She sees another woman seated by herself, we'll just call her Sue, and says, "Hi Sue! Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. How's homeschooling going?" Sue responds, "Well, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, I put little Susie back in school this year." The other woman starts blabbering about homeschooling and then gives this stunning reason as to why little Susie is better off in public school anyway...

She has to learn how to stand in line and you can't learn to do that at home.

I kid you not.

It was all I could do to sit there and keep my mouth shut. I'm certain there was smoke coming out of my ears!

Hello? Ever been to the grocery store? Ever been to a gas station? Ever been to a restaurant? Ever been, dear me, to the doctor's office? Well, at least you get to sit in a line and not stand in line, right?

This past weekend our family had the privilege of being involved in a regional speech and debate tournament. Families from several states gathered to watch almost 100 children each participate in five debate rounds (each round lasts an hour and 15 minutes) over two days with a final debate round for the top two teams. In addition, many more students participated in individual speech events which included prose, humorous interpretation, impromptu, impromptu apologetics, informative, rhetorical criticism, extemporaneous commentary, persuasive, and sweeps, which is an event where one student participates in three separate speech categories. The tournament lasts 12 hours the first day and 13 hours the second day. It is a whirlwind of organized chaos. Beautiful organized choas!

Shortly after we arrived on Friday morning, I said I had never seen so many young men dressed in suits all in one place. It was an amazing sight! The girls were all so nicely dressed, many in skirts and suit jackets. What an encouragement to see so many young people being equipped to effectively communicate to the world.

Each family is required to recruit guest judges to judge for debate rounds and/or speech events. Like all of the other families involved, we had several people help judge. One young lady we recruited just happens to be our niece. She's a high school science teacher at a local public school. We had a chance to talk during lunch and this is what I found out...

This was her first time at an event like this and her first time around a group of homeschool students. I was told there was no comparison to the students she deals with daily at her high school to the group of kids she was around for the weekend. She said every student was polite and respectful. She told me the one thing that made the biggest impact on her was judging her first debate round and seeing kids that don't even know one another hug and then stand in a circle to pray. She said it was amazing sight to see!

But our niece also made quite an impact. Here's what our club's debate coach had to say about her...

I just wanted to let you know she was so encouraging to the novice debaters. When I heard her praise for the kids, I was so blessed. I'd never before heard a judge so generous and enthusiastic.

As the Bible says, A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. Proverbs 25:11. We were blessed! Kids were blessed! She was blessed!

Caleb joined a homeschool debate club back in October. The meetings are weekly and usually last for three hours. In addition, he has spent at least two hours every school day (Monday through Friday and oftentimes on Saturday), working on his case as well as preparing for his individual speech event. My son has been transformed from sweating at the thought of standing-up to speak in front of people to absolutely loving the idea. He loves debate! At one point over the weekend, I remember saying to myself, "Is that my son?"

I have been around homeschooling families for 14 years. I will admit that even I was amazed at what I witnessed this past weekend. What an encouragement! What a blessing! And we get to do it all again in March, April, and May!

If you've never had the opportunity to see an event involving homeschooled kids, it might very well be worth standing in line.

Thanking God for the freedom to homeschool in America,

P.S. After I posted this I thought I needed to clarify something. As much as I do not like the public school system for a variety of reasons, I am not dissing public school kids nor their families. The article I referenced gave me reason to reflect and pause on our choice to homeschool and I am thankful. By God's amazing grace, we have experienced great success homeschooling our children. Homeschooling, however, is not for every family. I am thankful that when we seek guidance from our Heavenly Father, He gives wisdom and direction for what's best for our children.


  1. I am ssssoooo happy that I am homeschooled - I wouldn't want it any other way!! This was great to read, thanks for posting it! :) :)

  2. So glad you stopped by, Bethany. Please be sure to tell your mama that you're so happy to be homeschooled!

    I'm sure you are the best kind of student a teacher would ever want to have!

  3. This made me smile!! I was blessed to homeschool for nine years. When we moved to a new state, the Lord directed each one of us during our prayer time that it was time to go to public school. Each one of us took a leap of faith and obeyed the Lord. I believe it was hardest for me. My three children are all adults now. This weekend as we celebrated our youngest son's 22nd birthday, we were reminiscing on the joys of our homeshcooling days. Cherish your days! They pass so quickly.
    Beverly In Utah

  4. Felicito a aquellas madres que se dedican a educar a sus hijos desde el hogar.