"Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers." (I Timothy 4:16)
It was Wednesday at 4 pm. Three mothers and their teenage boys walked into the orthodontic offices of Doctors Fearing, Payne and De Mise. Well, what actually happened was Mrs. Homemacher, Mrs. Hopewell, and Mrs. Hidebound walked into the office. Their three boys followed ten paces behind as if they had no clue who had driven them there.
Picture the boys with me: Joe Hidebound walked with a classic wounded mule strut and sported an earring in his nose. Jeremy Hopewell slouched along as if it was too much effort to actually stand up, and he had an earring in his eyebrow. James Homemacher had to shuffle because he was holding up his baggy pants. He had gone all out and gotten an earring in his tongue. The trio chose seats in the waiting room as far from their mothers as possible.
“Hey man,” Joe greeted the others. Jeremy and James grunted in reply. They then relapsed into companionable silence as they played video games on their smart phones.
Meanwhile, their mothers were chatting. “Oh, we are having so much trouble with Joe’s teacher,” Mrs. Hidebound reported. “He keeps giving Joe C’s and D’s. I think Joe must have a learning disability and the teacher just won’t admit it! He keeps saying it’s an attitude problem.”
“I’m sorry to hear that,” Mrs. Homemacher replied. “You know, you should consider homeschooling! Homeschoolers always do well on the SATs. He probably just needs less pressure and more time to find his way. Our James just loves being homeschooled.”
“I’ve thought about home-schooling myself,” put in Mrs. Hopewell. “I think we need to do something different with Jeremy.”
“Well, I’m not sure,” Mrs. Hidebound sighed. “I’ve heard that homeschoolers aren’t socialized.”
“Oh, James is very socialized!” exclaimed Mrs. Homemacher. “He goes to co-op 4 days a week, plus he plays guitar with the homeschool band. And he’s in our church youth group, not to mention being on the homeschool swim team. And he hangs out with his friends all the time – just last night they watched a movie till midnight. I couldn’t believe all the popcorn they ate!”
“My, that does sound quite socialized,” said Mrs. Hidebound approvingly. “Maybe we could consider homeschooling. I just want to make sure that Joe would have all the opportunities in homeschooling that he has now. Is there a lunch program at your co-op or do you have to pack him a lunch?”
At this point, three white-clad assistants appeared in the doorway. “Joe Hopewell, Dr. Fearing is ready to see you!” called one. Joe got up and waved his mother away. “I can go by myself,” he growled and strutted away.
“Jeremy Hidebound, Dr. Payne will see you now,” the next assistant reported. Jeremy slouched to the door without a backward glance at his mom.
“James Homemacher, Dr. De Mise is ready for you,” the third assistant smiled. James shuffled to his feet and snapped, “I’m fine!” when his mother asked if he wanted her along.
As the conversation between Mrs. Hidebound and Mrs. Homemacher continued, Mrs. Hopewell began to ponder something. “You know,” she thought, “I was hoping that homeschooling could be the answer for our family. I’ve been watching the Wise family in our church – they homeschool and their children are always respectful and seem to really get along with their parents and siblings. Not only that, but they really enjoy learning. I want that for our family. But,” she continued to herself, “the Homemachers homeschool too and their son is just as immature and obnoxious as our son! He may score a little better on the SATs, but he certainly isn’t any more respectful or kind than our Joe is. Maybe the Wise family at church is just a fluke – or maybe their children’s good behavior has nothing to do with homeschooling…”
“Oh, I’m so excited about this!” Mrs. Hidebound’s voice interrupted her thoughts. “It looks like we could homeschool and we wouldn’t have to change hardly anything from public school! And then Jeremy would do so much better without all that pressure – and he could still keep up his music and sports with the homeschool band and sports teams!”
As she and Mrs. Homemacher delightedly continued to chat, Mrs. Hopewell sadly went back to her magazine. “Why would someone go to the trouble of homeschooling if it’s not any different than an institution?” she though. “Especially if the institution’s poor results was the reason for homeschooling in the first place!
“I’m not sure homeschooling is what our family is looking for after all. But … I’ll talk with Mrs. Wise at church before I make my final decision. I want our family to have what the Wise family has…”
Heather Sheen is a homeschool graduate who also completed her college degree at home. If you would like to read more articles by the Sheen family or contact them, please visit www.HomeschoolFamilyForum.com.