Indian people here are unused to the idea of homeschooling, but open to it. I am almost never challenged on it by the locals.
In many countries in Europe, it is illegal, so unheard of! Their school system tends to be more thorough, and they don't have the pioneer background of North Americans, which many people in a way feel that they can return to. Teaching our own kids, back to the multi grade school system, stuff like that.
The woman I met the other day had desire to listen. She would ask me something and then interrupt when I tried to answer. I think she felt that she was being honest, but for a first meeting, it felt incredibly judgemental to me, especially from someone who didn't have kids. She appeared to believe that I haven't thought about my decisions and the pros and cons of them at all.
I don't have a very strong stance on homeschooling. I have a strong stance on creative, interesting, education for kids. I like literature based curriculum. I like a lot of imagination. I like Singapore Math. Weighing all the options (and boy do I weigh them. I weigh them and weigh them and weigh them again. And then I measure them with a teeny tiny measuring stick that I carry in my wallet) I believe (and Chinua believes with me) that homeschooling is best for us right now. For our particular mix, at this particular time, in this particular village.
So there you are. And yes, socialization. Ahhhh, socialization. Well, I can say, that the only way I learned to socialize in school was to stay away from the mean kids and anyone who looked cool and hide in the art room. It's a form of socialization, I guess.
My kids have friends from Italy and Germany and England and India. They have adult friends and kid friends. And they have each other. They may complain to us about their upbringing, when they get older, but I think they will actually enter the adult world with grace and confidence and the ability to be flexible. I know that they have a voracious curiosity about the world around them, and that they can find Turkey and Israel and India and Germany and Russia and Canada and the U.S. and ... well, you get the point... on an unmarked map, because they've learned that the shapes on maps are real places, and it might be possible for them to see them someday. Kid A would like to be an explorer when he grows up. I'm not sure what he will explore, but... he has time to decide.
So there you go, my views on homeschooling. Maybe one day we will live where there is the school of our dreams, and I will say, "Off you go! Off you GO! Get out of my hair and get someone else to teach you stuff!" Or maybe I will teach them until college. Who knows? We take it from year to year. And I think for mothers that the feisty guilt demon is always gnawing away at your shoes, and you just need to put your fork in your pocket and kick that guilt thing in the head, like it deserves.
(I'm home, by the way. I have more to share about the writing vacation! More to share!)