Friday, March 25, 2011

Different Strokes for Different Folks

A few weeks ago I read a blog post that got me thinking (really, it happens alot or I wouldn't read so many). One of the points in the post was how the author's decision to homeschool her kids was not a commentary on other people making other educational decisions for their kids or a commentary on anything, quite frankly. I am thinking about how any or all of the decisions we make for our families on a daily basis are not, in fact, commentaries on other people's decisions. I suspect that very feeling gets in the way of what could be otherwise rewarding relationships and good friendships.

I know families that choose no guns, no Disney, no sugar, no media, no meat, or no Spongebob? Are those people implying that my decisions to the contrary are wrong? Should it make me feel inferior that I do not make the same choices? There was a time when I may have questioned that, but now I respect those choices, possibly learn something new and move on. I had an experience one afternoon when I showed up at a playdate with other moms and their kids with our lunches. I sat next to mom who had lovely, little boxes full of homemade, organic food. My kids came in toting Wendy's drive through. "I was just in such a rush today", I said to the other mom. She looked me directly in the eyes and kindly said, "I was never judging you, don't feel like you have to explain." That experience gave me a chance to sort through why I felt the need to do that and how to handle those feelings in the future. I now take the time to think about why I feel like I needed to defend my choice and I occassionally find that it is irrational, but sometimes find that there is something I would like to change or a new idea I would like to adopt.

Most of the time, when I meet someone or am exposed to an idea that is so different from me and mine, I ask questions, and spend time sorting through what I believe and why. Sometimes I even change the way I look at something. Sometimes I am more committed to my beliefs. Sometimes it is an earth-shattering epiphany. I love to know how other people live. There are people who nurse their children until age 5, who live with only 100 items, have lots of kids, travel the country in RVs, and make thousands of other choices that I may never make. But that is ok with me and you can count on me to read their blogs! I homeschool my kids - my sister works in educational reform and her kids attend public school. We are mutual supports to one another in our current choices. Many of my friends and I have very different ideas about food, education, cleaniness requirements for our homes, money, schedules, chores and discipline. It makes the exchange of ideas that much more enlightening.

Would you like to come over to our food dye-free, weapon-laden, meat-eating, homeschooling house for a visit?


  1. I would love to come and visit :)

  2. I visit all the time..and i love the differences as much as the things that are the same.

  3. We're food-dye free, no weapons (unless Mom's not looking), meat devouring, public schoolers...

    We were supposed to be over like 2 months ago... where has the time gone? And I still have the book for you...