Monday, October 13, 2008

Vacation Day #2

Sorry this one is late. The weekend got away from me. :-)

Well, this one will be relatively simple, because Day #2 was filled with Doctors appointments.

"Little Mark" had one at Children's Medical Center to see if he might have a mild form of Tourret's. The 3 student doctors were very nice and patient with him. They said he did very well, and consulted with the head doctor. He came in and tested "Little Mark" as well. He said he did not think he had Tourettes, but could benefit from a speech therapist.

We then went to a different "Half Price Bookstore", and to an eye doctor appointment.

The day was not as "exciting" as the other days, but it was productive.

There was one thing about the day that did bother me for awhile, and I pretty much kept it to myself, because I needed to sort how I felt about it. For those of you who have homeschooled for awhile you may relate.

When the doctor at CMC found out we homeschool he began to ask "Little Mark" questions. It kind of took us both by surprise. He asked "Little Mark" two fairly simple problems, and "Little Mark" could not answer them. Now, I KNOW he knew the answers, but he was flustered and could not think on his feet. He felt he was being put on the defensive. The doctor then asked him several questions like "Who is the President? Vice-President? What's the Capitol of Texas? Capitol of the US? "Little Mark knew all of those answers and said them confidently. Then the doctor asked him what is the capitol of Argentina? At this point I got my bearings and spoke up, "We have not studied that yet, but overall he does very well." I'm glad he didn't ask me the capitol of Argentina, because I don't know!

It was after we left that I realized I was angry with myself, because I know that "Little Mark" knew the math answers, but he works problems out writing them down. If I had simply said, "Please give him a pen and paper. Now, "Little Mark", draw a rectangle, give it the measurements of 12" X 7" and find the area. He could have solved it in seconds, shutting the doctor up. (His question had been what is 12x7, that "Little Mark did not answer.)

So, why did it bother me so much? Was it a pride issue of "now he thinks I am not doing a good enough job teaching? Was it a "how does this reflect on homeschooling as a whole" situation? Why was I not more assertive? I realized I was angry with myself for not taking a stand.

In the end I realized it just didn't matter. I know what curriculums we use, and I know that based on those curriculums "Little Mark" is right on target, and ahead in some areas. So, I am not worried. I am no longer angry with myself, because I can't change the past. However, you can bet that I will be more on guard, and if the situation ever arose again I know I will handle it better. After all, don't we teach the kids that "life" is and education, and we are always learning and growing? We learn from our mistakes, and the mistakes of others, and we strive to do better.

For those of you who homeschool, has this ever happened to you? How did you handle it? Do you feel that people base their opinion of homeschooling on what they see YOU do, and does that make you put more pressure on yourself, and your children?

I think that while we do need to be mindful of how we represent homeschooling, we can't put the undo pressure on ourselves thinking "the world is watching us", because we would go crazy! I know I have been guilty of it in the past, which is why I have chosen to "let this one go" and just learn from it and move on. However, I really did need to vent. :-) So, thank you for listening.

Tomorrow, I will be back with Day #3, the King Tut Exhibit. :-)

Wendy Darling


Julie said...

Can't wait to hear about King Tut.

I have been fortunate enough not to run into anyone who actually challenges our homeschooling. I worry about it though. My kids do very well sitting with me at the kitchen table. They don't always do well thinking on their feet. We live in a community very supportive of homeschooling, but I'm always looking for ways to challenge them beyond our 4 walls.

Terry said...

Here was your opportunity to ask the doctor how he felt the current climate in the middle east would effect America's policy regarding nuclear proliferation and if he finds the correlation between Christian and non-Christian countries to be a contributing factor. Oh, Buenes Aries is the capitol of Argentina. I aced geography and state rallied in history too. =)

LaVon Baker said...

I've never homeschooled, but I applaud those who do. The important thing is "how is Little Mark doing?" If being judgmental is the reason the doctor was asking questions like that, then he was way out of line. If it was part of his examination, then don't worry about it. I definitely understand how you could be angry, but don't be angry at yourself. I'm sure you are a wonderful teacher and a fantastic mommy. I believe that a trip to the store can be educational, because children learn so many things as they watch their parents.

WendyDarling said...

Terry, where were you when I need those lines!! ;-) LOL... I love that response! OK, next time, you get to go too. ;-) LOL...

WendyDarling said...

Thank you, Lavon. :-) "Little Mark" is actually my nephew. His loving mom, my sister, graciously allows me to homeschool him. ;-)

I appreciate your encouragement. I started to not say anything, but I'm glad I got it off my chest. :-) And you're right, we find teachable moments in EVERYTHING. "Little Mark" doesn't know it, but I even count his blog as writing. ;-)

RAD Mom said...

I've had my homeschooling "questioned" a few times. In Russia, my bio son was asked "What is 5 x 8?" when she heard we homeschooled. Luckily, he knew the answer, even though we had barely started times tables at the time. We (hubby) fired a social worker because he insisted we send our adopted son to public school once we got him home. A psychiatrist recently told my adopted son, "It's my intention to get you into public school." Scared son to death! It's out there. Oh, yeah. It's out there.