We've been visiting some extended family. They are wonderful, caring folks. Their children are sweet and fun. We've had some great food. Some good conversation. But the glaring differences in educational philosophy, child rearing, church preference, etc. appear to be glaring.
I'm the only one in my family who homeschools. I'm not militant about it at all. Yet, somehow I feel like my children are more scrutinized, criticized for their behavior. If one of the boys does something naughty, I always wonder if someone is thinking, "If those boys were in school, then they wouldn't do that." Or, "Gee, if THAT'S how homeschooled kids act, then I'm against homeschooling."
I worry that my family is the very imperfect, routinely mortifying poster children for the entire homeschooling movement in the eyes of my extended family. I hear how my nieces and nephews are straight A students, in plays, in sports, busy, busy, busy running to birthday parties and games and appointments.
Here's how our day typically goes:
Get up, do school, do chores, play some, eat, repeat, eat again, play, get ready for bed, do our very elaborate bedtime routine, then go to sleep, read a book, watch something on the internet or a Netflix, finish up chores. Do it all again tomorrow.
This does not make interesting holiday discussion. My life is boring. But would I want it any other way? My extended family rarely finds themselves all home for dinner. One brother in law is gone to another city for a few days each week. They are great people, who love each other and love the Lord.
But I just feel so different, not better, just different. I don't believe that God has the exact same plans for each family. I think I'd just like to be in the company of some likeminded people sometimes. I'm the only one at church, the only one with small kids in my entire remote town who homeschools, and the only one in my family, too.