When I revealed our family’s decision to homeschool Lil’ Lizard rather than return to public school for 1st grade, we encountered so many reactions varying from absolute disgust to offers to help coordinate field trips. Unfortunately, we ran into more of the former than the latter and at times it was very discouraging. That’s why this week as I link up with Marsha for Thankful Thursdays, I want to give a shout out those who have helped us along the way.
Working in the service industry you meet all sorts of characters, and as a part time barista, I run into people BEFORE their morning coffee. Needless to say, I’ve seen and experienced many at their worst….but I’m also blessed to have witnessed many at their best. By now most of my regulars are aware that I switched to weekends not only due to Eager Explorers birth, but because I have started homeschooling Lil’ Lizard. Watching most of them awkwardly smile and say “Oh, that’s um…nice” was par for the course and though I appreciate their kind effort to be supportive, it was clear they thought I was bonkers. Some went so far as to berate me and passionately declare all the reasons I was ruining my sons chances at a “normal” life, ….until of course other patrons stepped in to say “Hey, let the girl make our coffee”. So when a handful of customers not only expressed support but offered to contribute to my son’s learning in one way or another, I was especially appreciative and thankful.
What’s interesting to note is that, most of the people who appeared thrilled to learn we home educate, are not related to or a part of the homeschooling community at all….but rather true proponents of LEARNING. Some cafes are located near amusement parks or shopping centers…whereas mine is in route to college campuses, engineering firms, and a hospital. So I am blessed to rub elbows with some incredibly intelligent people, some of whom have graciously offered to help us find some amazing resources.
One lovely customer recently surprised me with a gift for my son after she and I discussed the difficulty of the English language. I mentioned how I noticed his reading improve once I offered him science books with lots of pictures and little informational blurbs. It really seemed to boost his confidence and spark an interest in both science and history. She decided to buy herself a children’s book to help her English, and then gifted it to us once she was done. It was a book on Benjamin Franklin! What perfect timing because we just started watching Liberty Kids set during the revolution, so he was super excited to learn more about him.
Another amazing customer actually works with schools as part of a scientific enrichment program. He has been a wonderful support by sending me links to local events and other online resources. He typically works with older grades, but this week he offered to meet up and discuss electricity and how circuits work with my son. Not only was it a wonderful opportunity for my son to learn from someone actually in the field (this man has patents with NASA!!!) but it was an amazing example of where learning can take you. As if the discussion wasn’t wonderful enough, he blessed us with an entire Snap Circuits set! He even made notes of some of his favorites and gave us more educational goodies 🙂
Even though homeschooling is gaining in popularity with all the public school testing and common core concerns, it is still outside of the norm, and most tend to look at us like we are secret cult weirdos. I do my best to teach my son to be true to himself and the only approval that matters is God’s, so we don’t have to worry about fitting in. That said, it is always a good feeling to know you are accepted for who you are and supported in your life goals. So this week, I am incredibly thankful for the breath of fresh air these two customers offered our family.
I’ve also really enjoyed linking up with Marsha at Thankful Thursdays because it forces me to be still a moment and really reflect on all the ways God is working in my life. Some other things that I appreciate from this week include: Eager Explorer mastering the hand clap as well as discovering how to make the rolling “RRRR” sound, finding our missing camera SD card, Lil’ Lizard’s achievements in basketball, launching my first giveaway, all my handsome hubby’s hard work on the yard and in the garage, my replacement laptop after my old one went on strike, and my sister’s theatre company receiving rave reviews after their debut show.
A thankful heart is indeed a happy heart. Feel free to link up with us, or share your gratitude in the comments below! What are you thankful for this week?