Thanksgiving and Family

Posted by Annie on Nov 19, 2006 in Seasonal |

Thanksgiving is closing in fast and the anxiety over the prospect of spending hours on end, with family members we may not have seen in months, hangs heavy in the air for many a homeschooling mom or dad.

Though I did graduate from Charm School (at 14), I’m afraid I didn’t retain many of the social graces. People, who can smile through clenched teeth and look sincere at the same time, really amaze me, because I’ve never mastered the art. I normally just come out with whatever is on my mind and let the pieces fall where they may.

It’s during the holidays, when I really appreciate my local and statewide homeschool support group. My fellow homeschoolers are always good for a laugh (or a good cry) and some sage advice when things really get hairy.

I have to tell you that some of the posts had me laughing out loud, so I simply had to share them with you.

One homeschooler wrote in that she had a relative who liked to quiz her children to make certain they were getting a proper education at home. You know the type.

When the relative finally asked the 10-year-old child, “just what you are learning right now?” The child proceeded to provide details of what he had independently studied during the previous week. Then he gently added, “Do you know what else we are learning?”

The interviewer pressed in closer, feigning excitement and said, “What?” He responded, “That it is not good manners to ask people things that you think they won’t know. Making people feel badly isn’t kind.” She drew back, looking appalled and the child added, “My mom says she knows a lot of smart people and not as many nice ones and she would rather know 100 nice people than 10,000 smart ones.”

Oh, how I wish my child had said that to one of his condescending relatives. That would have certainly floored them and with any luck rendered them speechless.

Our California list has been having so much fun sharing holiday horror stories that one writer suggested that we all take notes, so that we can report back and have a good laugh.

She made a very good point by adding, “If you plan on this, you’ll be looking forward to their comments, rather than stressing about what is being said. Now, I’d probably be a stealth note taker and try to remember to write it down later. But, if you felt really bold, you could pull out a notebook, and ask them to repeat what they just said, and even tell them why! Oh, wouldn’t that leave some people with their jaws hanging open!”

I am relieved to report that our family will be visiting my mother-in-law who has always been supportive of our homeschooling efforts. In fact, I can generally count on her sitting down and coloring with my son or playing a game with him.

Possibly the most stressful part of our trip will be the drive there. Driving up and down several mountains is not my idea of fun these days, but it beats the heck out of watching helplessly as my son gets the third degree from well-meaning family members.

I hope you have a terrific Thanksgiving holiday! How will you be spending your Thanksgiving?

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