Yesterday the kids and I went out on a nature hike after picking up my daughter who volunteers at a state park. It is a popular place to hike and enjoy nature and we often end up chatting with fellow hikers along the way. We came upon a newly retired couple who had just moved here after traveling around the United States for many months.
I mentioned that we spent a lot of time hiking there and that we were homeschoolers. I swear their ears visibly perked up and their eyes widened. The man stated "Oh, you must be conservatives then!" This left me momentarily speechless, yes I know what conservatives are, but I do not automatically think of that when I think of homeschoolers. I let them know that yes I was a conservative but that many of my homeschoool friends are not.
The man then asked me what my husband did for a living. Honestly, that is not something anyone has ever asked me while out hiking! HAHA. Later when talking with my husband he thought that maybe the man thought that homeschoolers were independently wealthy. (we are not) I'm not exactly sure why that question was asked but I do know many homeschool families that have their own business and include their children in it.
My very well spoken son then asked what they did for jobs. The man was a builder and the wife said that she was a teacher...followed by saying she was a psychologist. I'm not sure if she meant she was a school psychologist and didn't ask. Every time I meet up with someone that was or is a teacher and they find out we homeschool I detect a tone to their voice.
The other interesting tidbit they left me with was that they knew a homeschool family with 8 children evenly spaced between. Stereotype. Now I do know a lot of large homeschool families, with up to a dozen children, but I know even more families that only have two children just like our family.
One of the things that I have seen common with most every homeschool family I have met is a strong and powerful sense of family relationship that sometimes I do not see with other families. (or maybe I am making a stereotype with that statement?) Homeschool families do a lot of activities together; family businesses, children learning trade skills from their parents right along with what the learn from books, and often children being friends as well as siblings to one another.
I really did enjoy chatting with this couple despite their misconceptions about homeschool families. Maybe we debunked some of their false assumptions about homeschool trends. It seems like homeschooling is becoming more and more common and maybe the stereotypes will become to lessen as homeschooling increases?