And this is my daughter Emma.
Some of Emma's local friends have been homeschooled since birth, as she has. (Emma actually spent three weeks at school when she turned 5, but we prefer not to count that.)
Some of those girls have succumbed to the "I wish I could go to school" bug. I think it's easy for this to happen because the media is full of how wonderful school is. From the very start, the good, popular children's programmes such as "Sesame Street" begin to show the little clips we've all seen many times. You know, the nervous but excited 5-year-old, clutching his/her mummy's hand tightly, turns up for his first day of school to be met by the teacher, and has a fabulous day. Then there are the variety of school series books for children about 8 years old and over. Authors such as Enid Blyton have made them increasingly popular. I used to enjoy them myself. Teachers are always kind, bullies are eventually dealt with, lessons are interesting, social life is fantastic, and sports' victories against opposing schools are absolutely sensational! And there is always such a friendly community spirit in these fictional schools.
Some of the young daughters of other homeschoolers around the district have bought into all this and asking their parents if they can please go to school. The parents, with strong convictions of what's it's really like, don't want to send them. Well, we don't have the same problem with Emma. The reason is that her older brother who attended school for 3 years and a half, has told her a number of true "horror" stories about many of his negative experiences. (That's him up there doing one of his favourite occupations, playing Play Station).
I thought we'd made a huge mistake when we left Logan in school for so long, and it's taken this long to see that there have been silver linings to that cloud. They both have an understanding of what a privilege they have, to be able to be homeschooled. This sometimes works to my advantage of course, because at times when I say, "You could always go to school," they plead, "No way," and begin co-operating with whatever I've asked them to do.
Logan thinks that this benefit has been at his expense. Sometimes he says, "It's not fair that Emma only had to go to school for three weeks and Blake will never have to go at all." He reminds me of an episode of one of my favourite sit coms, "Everybody Loves Raymond" when Robert, Ray's older brother, accused their parents of using him as a "practise kid!" That's the sort of thing Logan would say. And I do feel sorry for him. But whenever I'm tempted to be too sorry, I just remind us all that his Dad and I were stuck spending 12 plus years in that institution!