No, Dave, I agree that no one here is arguing in the sense that I was intending it. That also has absolutely nothing to do with the point I was making at the time. But I think we've probably beaten that dead horse enough...

I also never said that homeschoolers have a corner on the market for defensiveness. That was the start of this whole thread: acs's comment. In fact, probably the most defensive person I spoke to regarding HSing was a former public school teacher. She took our decision to homeschool very personally, though to say that it had nothing whatsoever to do with her is not stressing enough how little it had to do with her! I was new to HSing, and I felt defensive of our new, hard-won choice and I felt attacked by her comments. So I argued. With passion. And heart racing.

Ultimately I still think more HSers are a bit defensive than not. I can't prove that to you. I know of no survey of HSers asking "How defensive are you, on a scale from 1-10?" My claim is based purely on anecdotal evidence of my year with HSers, on posts on HSing forums and on common sense. Would there be a "Bitter Homeschooler's Wishlist" if there were no bitter and defensive homeschoolers? It seems self-evident to me, but maybe not. It seems to me that we're in the minority, and it's hard to be in the minority even when it's the best thing for you.

If nothing else, the number of times I hear "Oh, I could NEVER HS!" tells me that the mainstream neither understands nor fully accepts HSing. The quiet that came in the conversation after my neighbors heard we were going to HS and the lack of phone calls for playdates from many of them. The different sort of questions you start getting at the doctor's office when you HS. The press coverage of people who commit crimes and happened to have been HSd--the press highlights HSing as if that's the reason kids are abused or people kill people. All these things point to society seeing HSers as odd, strange, different in a bad way.

I am not a person who bows to peer pressure, but I do like to be accepted. I know from experience that society does not fully understand or accept HSing. They want our kids "socialized," and since they're not, we're viewed as suspect.

If you don't think that tends to make people defensive, then so be it. You are entitled to your opinion, of course. For my part, I can't see how it could do anything but make most people feel at least a tiny bit defensive.

However, I do think I am more sensitive to the problems I'm describing than you are, Dave, because you completely buy the whole HSing philosophy. I believe that you really don't care what others think about this matter. You've very comfortable. You think Hsing is the very best thing ever. You are an evangelist because you are a true believer.

OTOH, I am a reluctant HSer. I expected my kids to go to a traditional school, and I'm still a little disappointed that DS6 is not there. I see the benefits of HSing--and there are lots of them!--but it's not the life I thought we were going to be leading. I'm still adapting.

I think people who buy the HSing philosophy from the start have less angst about the choice than those of us whose kids start on the societally approved path and then veer off it.

At least, that's what I've seen. I have no hard evidence for that either.
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Kriston