Saturday, November 19, 2005

November 19, 2005: Finding the Right Words

I had one of those conversations yesterday that leaves me feeling unsettled--like I didn't say the "right" words. My friend has been toying with homeschooling. I say "toying" because she decided that she would "practice" homeschooling her preschooler this year. If all went well, she would continue next year. She's joined our support group and has enrolled her daughter in co-op classes. She would be a GREAT asset to our co-op, as she is definitely leader material.

But...now she has heard good things about her local school and is thinking how nice it would be to only have her toddler at home. She had the typical things to say: "she smarts off to me....she wants to go to school and be around other kids....how much damage can be done in elementary school....my friend said the teachers there are great..."

So she looks at me and says, "I KNOW you want to say something! What do you want to say?" (We are very good friends, so this is said very comfortably!)

This is where I get stumped. What do I say? It's kind of like giving your friends marital advice. I have a LOT to say, but I want to be judicious and discerning with my words. I don't there to be any awkwardness between us if she does put her daughter in school next year. My basic answer is "Every family has to make its own educational choice." But, honestly, I do have a lot to say about some of her rationales. I can counter every one of her arguments with another.

I know what the answer is, really. I would never try to talk someone into homeschooling. But it's so much harder with good friends! Mostly because I just think homeschooling is so awesome, but also because there is such a bond among homeschooling parents, and I yearn to have that with her. But her mind isn't made up yet. She is one who listens for God's voice, and her husband is strongly in favor of homeschooling. Like a great husband, though, her recognizes that SHE will be the one doing 99% of the work. Anyway--just unloading!

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