Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Everybody's got one...(show me yours, I'll show you mine)

Now, go pick your mind out of the gutter. There's a dear. Here, sit down, have a cucumber sandwich and a spot of tea. Fancy a biscuit? That's British for cookie.

Everybody's got one? By that I meant 'Opinion'.  What floors me is how liberal we all are with our opinions on things which often don't even affect us at all. Throw out some words into any gathering of  people and see what happens. Homeschooling and Circumcision just to mention two, are biggies. One thing I'd like to ask those who make such bilious comments about homeschooling is this: "How does my decision to homeschool my children affect you?" Why do you feel entitled to 'bless' us with your unsolicited opinions? Many anti homeschooling opinions are penned by individuals who have little one-on-one experience with homeschoolers. I can see how some teachers may have a dim view of it for a variety of reasons. The thing I am not always sure about is this; are these views truly based solely on their care and concern for the children or a variety of other reasons.

So what is it that invites people, even those not directly impacted by homeschooling, to make comments? Read any homeschooling blog and you are sure to come across personal accounts of homeschooling parents having to fend off often uninformed and negative remarks about their choice. Comments often made by family (in which case I can understand the concern but please educate yourself before opening your mouth) and in many cases strangers. Shouldn't we all make sure we are educated about an issue before we open our mouths.

My son currently has the habit of telling people he meets that he is homeschooled. Out of the blue and for no reason. I wish he wouldn't do that. I don't want people judging my children based on some preconceived negative notion about homeschoolers. Much rather, I'd prefer it to be something they find out later when they know my children and me for who we are. We all have thoughts about a multitude of different topics and issues. But a wise person keeps their thoughts and opinions to themselves unless solicited to share them. Even then it's often wiser to remain silents and noncommittal especially if ones knowledge is third hand and poorly formulated or apt to hurt someones feelings. My feelings about religion, as for example, would ruffle many feathers.  Why would I go and trample over what is important to someone else just to hear myself talk? 

Rather than accosting someone with a bunch of preconceived notions about something, just ask some questions and really listen to the answers. That's another thing I see a lot of. People ask questions merely as a way to draw one into a conversation. The questions are usually meant as a vehicle to allow the person who asked to then follow it up with their opinions and it often becomes clear that they didn't really listen to the answers given.

Free speech. On so many occasions I told my daughter that Free Speech is one of the things that makes this country so great. One other great thing is the liberal use of the 'Delete' button. Or the 'X' button to close a browser window. It definitely saves some nerves. Just because we have the liberty of Free Speech doesn't necessarily mean that it's one we are required to use all the time.  And yet the increasingly narcissistic nature of our society invites more 'opinions' and 'thoughts' than in the decades before.

Silence can be golden. 


Carolyn said...

Do I dare state my opinion? Well, my opinion is simply that you are free to do whatever works for you and yours. I don't think I would be a very good teacher for my kids, but I don't see any reason for others not to homeschool.

Was that an acceptable opinion to share? ;)

Carolyn said...

Oh, and I hope you do make my tortellini and kielbasa soup. It's so good!

Marlis said...

Hi Carolyn:) That was quite acceptable LOL. I'll be making the soup after the excesses of Thanksgiving most likely, it looks so good and has just about everything i love in it! Have a happy Thanksgiving!

A Homeschool Story said...

Um, OK, no comment! I love the opening line, impossible to resist!

I do have a friend who obstinately believes I SHOULD send my children to ps as a means of supporting the movement (public school as an ideal, that is). He does not have children and owns a Porsche. I think he should take public transportation, but I've kept that opinion to myself.