One team, One fight
We are accidental homeschoolers. We are a military family. The military teaches and preaches, one team, one fight. And yet, we were not. When Preston was in first grade and Alexandra was in kindergarten I was truly excited for the walks to school, field trips, packed lunches and artwork to hang on the walls. But I noticed a dramatic change in my children. Preston was growing more and more withdrawn and using art and books to escape the everyday world and Alexandra was crying more and more. The sheer relief to see me at the end of the day was alarming. It was like I was saving them from some unabridged version of Dante's inferno everyday at 3 p.m. Then the phone calls for my son came in. "Preston is acting out." "We need to talk." Come to find out Preston was being baseball batted in the face with sticks by boys on the playground and Alexandra who was in a car wreck was being teased mercilessly about the damage to her mouth. We tried to stick it out. "There ain't no quit!" as my father would say, but going down with this particiular ship was just mental and emotional suicide. So after four months I couldn't take any more and I yanked the kids home in the middle of another conference and I went to the nearest book store, ordered an online curriculum and bruised, battle weary and a few years later we still home school. Preston's confidence is coming up, Alexandra feels smart AND beautiful and my kids like most home school kids are the sweetest things on two legs. I had a group of kids in the neighborhood here and one of the kids said, "You guys act different." Preston said, "What are you talking about?" The kid replied, "You're nicer than my school friends...you don't beat me up." The kids sat down with their snack and this group of kids and told them about their story and how "MOM" is the teacher and now no one gets beaten up. I had six different sets of parents quizzing me down about the decision making process, the pros, the cons, and would I do it all again. I love those questions. The answer is, "YES!" I will always be the biggest fan, advocate, and defender of Preston and Alexandra. My children are smart, loving, kind, beautiful souls and I truly value them. When push came to shove and they were falling down it was my job to get between them and the things hurting them and shove back. To protect my children. I did it. You've all done it as well, that's why most of us home school. And our kids, our families are stronger, tighter units than ever before. My children are the kinds of people I would like to be when I grow up. They've taught me all I ever needed to know about friendship, loving someone unconditionally, and how beautiful a smile from a loving child is. My only wish for public schools is that the "zero tolerance" policies would get legit....instead of simply being a way to avoid a legal issue. In the military world our husbands/wives are told to stand and fight for those who cannot do it for themselves. When will teachers, other kids, janitors, lunch ladies, stand up and stop it in our school systems so that our children can go to school without fear or terror or the notion that they didn't deserve to live? One of my top ten favorite quotes is, "All it takes for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing." (Paraphrasing of course) But those who stand by, video record, gossip about it later are as guilty of the act as the primary bully themselves and should be held equally accountable for what happens to the victim. And in a day and age where the world has never been smaller and more connected thanks to technology, never have we been more disconnected to the human factor and it saddens me to think that there are/were/and will be kids who will become the statistics in magazines, the news, and lifetime specials that make us cry because no one stood up. We have the luxury at our fingertips to start a movement and prove that as humans we are one team fighting one fight.