Saturday, April 09, 2011

One of those conversations

Yesterday, I did a quick errand to a local office supply store to pick up pencil sharpeners. My oldest daughter is taking the ACT test this morning and they don't allow mechanical pencils (which is what she normally uses at home). I have a membership card with this particular store which gives me a teacher discount. When I handed over my card, it prompted the following conversation:

20 something spiky hair clerk: (friendly tone) Oh, you're a teacher. Where do you teach?

Me: (friendly tone) I homeschool.

20 something spiky hair clerk: (with a puzzled look) How many kids do you have?

Me: (friendly tone) four

20 something spiky hair clerk: (incredulous tone) That many! Oh, too bad. (I'm not sure if he was incredulous that someone really had 4 children or that someone with 4 children would homeschool).

Me: Actually, it is easier with a few.... (He cuts me off at this point to ask another question.)

20 something spiky hair clerk: What qualifies you to teach? (There's is a little accusatory tone at this point).

Me: (deadpan) I filed a form with the state. (I was referring to the private school affidavit, but I said it because I knew that it would sound bad from his point of view.)

20 something spiky hair clerk: (little more intense at this point) You know, there are required subjects. How do you know what to teach?

Me: It is on the internet. It is not that complicated. (At this point, I'm thinking to myself that I haven't bothered to look at the requirements in years and that I've pretty much ignored them when I did look at them.)

20 something spiky hair clerk: (I guess he ran out of academic concerns) What about socialization? Do they have friends and go places?

Me: (rolling my eyes) That's not a problem. There are many extracurricular activities in our area...(I name a few).... My oldest also takes classes at the local community college. (At this point, I wished that I had said that my children were at home hiding under the bed, waiting for me to get back.)

20 something spiky hair clerk: (apparently placated now) Oh, good. You know on the tv (which everyone knows is like real life) homeschoolers are kind of backward and...

Me: (I cut him off) Yeah, I know. It's not like that.

I finished my transaction and left the store.


Idaho Dad said...

If it were me, that would be the last time I was in that store.

The Cast said...

Wish we could say that we have not had that same conversation with family members, friends, parents, neighbors....

Just smile and wave!

Janine Cate said...

I was amused, not offended. I've had some interesting conversations with young store clerks over the years. Though, the conversations make me feel very old and wise.

Misty said...

LOL - My latest response to "What about socialization?" is:

"I know! The social part sure is getting horrible in the schools isn't it? That's one of the main reason we chose to homeschool."

I get strange looks, but a few realize what I mean and give it a second's thought.

I think it's funny that a groups of public school parents will often get together and list complaints about the current state of the schools until a homeschool parent joins the conversation and suddenly the public school system can do no wrong. Can't have it both ways :-)

Firefly Mom said...

Sometimes, when I'm feeling really snarky, I tell people that we keep our son in a closet under the stairs (like Harry Potter.) :D

Linda said...

LOL! I had a conversation like this a few years back. Only it had a slightly different, yet very amusing, conclusion.

Great post!!

Ruralmama said...

Fantastic! I, frankly, despise being the Poster Mama for Homeschooling. Mind your own beeswax, people. I don't ask you if you are qualified to ring up my groceries (you probably aren't). Silly things.

Janine Cate said...

That's a great story. :)