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Monday, May 11, 2015

Regret and possible loathing

So, something happened this past weekend that deeply saddened me.  You may remember that my son finished homeschooling with a homeschool portfolio, but we had our daughter finish school with an Alternative School Program to accredit her portfolio.  The reason was that she was an exceptional student, and with one child already in college, I felt the need to increase her scholarship chances, and I believed that having her report card and grades endorsed by a school, would help.  So, I sent her coursework for review to a local homeschool program, and that person reviewed the work, endorsed the grades I had given and in some cases raised those grades.  She also suggested classes and curriculum for us to use in the last year that she required for a state diploma which she is licensed to give.  (This is all up-and-up and a legal and normal thing to do.) When it came time to apply for college, we applied through the program, as she was one of this person's students per our arrangement.  My daughter got into every school she applied to, and received scholarships.  I believe this person's program was very helpful in giving me piece of mind, and whether or not it leant to earning my daughter the awards she earned, I really didn't care.  I felt I was doing what was best for us at the time.

I was so happy with her help in fact, that I referred other homeschoolers to this person. She had also helped other relatives of mine with great results.  Everyone was happy.  I referred her to even more
people.  There are a lot of people, who have used her program thanks to me.

But.  Last year, there was a little problem. She was accused of not being stringent enough, and bending the rules to help public school students pass their classes at the last minute.  I defended her with all my strength.  Then... just a few days ago, at her yearly graduation ceremony, there was a display of outward racism that can't be denied.  (and I tried with all my strength to deny it) I don't have to link to the videos... it is viral.  And I would just rather not get hits/reads from such an ugly occurrence.

Frankly, I am heart broken.

My friends have questioned me.  Was there any conversation ever when you felt discriminated against? Was there anytime she made you feel less than?  I cannot say yes.  I mean, sure, in retrospect, I have to say when we just had a phone conversations, before she met my nephew and new my race (I am really truly race neutral on the phone), she did become less chatty.  I read it as more busy. There was that thing she promised to help me with... to start my own homeschool assistance program on my side of the county... when I tried to follow up, I felt a little blown off... I also read that as busy, or maybe she didn't mean that she was going to help me in the way I thought she had promised.  But where those tiny little things... those inconsistencies that happened... could they have been about race?  There is no way to know.

But meanwhile, I am left with this. I failed to believe in my own power as a homeschooling parent, and when I felt pressure, I went looking for someone to relieve it.  She served that purpose.  And now I have regrets.  My daughter may not have gotten into as many colleges without this persons' help.  There is really no way to know.  My kid would have gotten into the school she is in though, as she had already started cultivating a relationship with the admissions staff and Deans of her department.  Also,  as her scholarship was talent based, not academic, she would have still gotten a full tuition scholarship.  Also, she would have still received HOPE scholarships though one of them is redundant since it is also for tuition only.  She would have just had to wait for the first year's award. So, I freaked out, did not have faith in myself, and sought help... and I got it.  So, maybe I should get over it.

But now, Every time I look at my daughter's diploma, I see the name of someone who said a very vile thing, whether she meant it to be vile or not... and that makes me sad.  Perhaps I should go ahead and order a diploma like my son has and sign it.... like most other homeschoolers do!

I do have to admit to also being very torn. I feel like this person has not outwardly shown me that she is racist, and this could be one instance of... oh heck, I don't know.  But something in my mind is like...  She just pulled a "Paula Dean"... bless her heart... she didn't mean it.  But I think I know better.

So, I rehash this whole ugly incident to say this...  You do not need help homeschooling your kids.  It is really not all that hard. Go online, get the books, have them do the work, check the work, assign the grades, keep track of the grades.  It is that simple.  If you need help, get help with that little thing, be it math, record keeping or science experiments, but don't hand over the whole kit and caboodle to someone else. (I actually did not do that, just the record keeping part, but most of the families at her graduation did.)  Be aware of whose authority you are handing your kids over to.  Be careful who is feeding, or not feeding into them.  Damage has been done to some kids hearts this past weekend.  This is difficult to undo.

1 comment:

Happy Elf Mom (Christine) said...

You know... reading this blog post I think it went way beyond the initial hurt and anger. I can imagine even MORE mixed feelings from the first people to integrate schools, where they were clearly not wanted. Were they proud of their diploma? Or ashamed to be associated with their classmates? What does that mean, to graduate from X Academy, what was that like, what did their family say at the get-togethers, how did their school eventually deal with the hate and integrate people in spirit as well as just sharing a classroom? Do these pioneers feel differently now than 40 or 50 years ago?

I have no clue what I would do, except to say that history cannot change. She WAS there. She knew this woman. Maybe this person was even MORE racist than sort of racist and while she didn't want to be your friend (of course!), she figured you-all were not like those "other" black people and helped you out... which would add an even worse layer to that but there you go.

Bah. If I go somewhere and someone hates me, at least I know it's usually because they're a jerk. Makes life less complicated I suppose.