Friday, September 28, 2007

Beware of the "group"

The kids and I stopped by our local museum yesterday. We LOVE that place. However, even though we've been in a handful of times already (and seeing how my youngest is black, we are pretty easy to remember around here), the poor little volunteers always have a small heart attack when they see children walk through the door.

I stood for a minute and visited with the volunteers about planning a homeschool field trip to the museum. It was a little comical (for me) to realize that they had absolutely NO clue what homeschooling is ... what it looks like ...

"What would the ages be?"

Well, these are families, so there might be babies all the way up to 18 year olds. They actually looked at one another when I said this!! ha!

"There would have to be an adequate number of adult sponsors."

Ummmm ... again, it would be families. Every child would be attending with one of their parents. Sometimes both parents are able to attend.

They continued to look at me as though I had grown a third eye. I got the lecture on how valuable everything is and how things absolutely cannot be touched ... at all ... because of oils on fingers ... (did I mention they went through it three different times??). They weren't doing this for the sake of myself and my kids, but kept referencing this "group" that would be coming (insert creepy, slasher movie music here).

Finally, as we had spent our usual half hour enjoying the doll room, I was able to visit at length with one of the women. True, they still had no idea what I was talking about when I said "homeschoolers," but I began to learn what these sweet people experience. They deal with theft and vandalism and complete lack of respect (it's a free museum, so anyone can just come in to get out of the weather ... or pass the afternoon staring at the pic of the two-headed calf). She told me of a fifth grade class visit from the public schools where the entire group of boys weren't interested in anything and just sat around in the floor the whole time. The adult sponsors were not helpful. I felt so sad, because they have some AMAZING things, and the volunteers who lead the tours fill your head with trivia and history tid bits. Every single time we go we see something new and learn something new - like how the eight-hour hair curling thinga-ma-jig took the lives of two different women who just wanted a perm!

Told you - amazing stuff!

As I was leaving, I gave them a smile with an "I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by our group." Yet, I realize that I could say that until I'm blue in the face, but they'll have to see it to believe it.


mary said...

Hi Christine!
I often visit you page and have let a couple of comments(I am the 52 year old who said "older people" a couple of weeks ago!) :)
Anyway, I JUST realised you must be in Blackwell!!
We were there this summer, returning from a trip to south texas.Stopped for lunch and visited a couple shops.Plus a friend of mine has family in your area!Also your recent trip was fun to read about because my husband is from Chadron Nebraska.....close to several of your stops the first couple of days.
Small world.
God Bless !

we are in Hutchinson KS :)

Cammie said...

Can't wait for your 'group' to visit and we can read the update!

Sara said...

that is so beyond me that someone wouldn't know what homeschooling is. It makes me scratch my head.... I hope they have a wonderful experience when your group comes in!

Christine said...


I better get a head's up the next time you're coming through. We could do "old lady" stuff together! LOLOLOL

Anonymous said...

Well, last time through, I had my seventy-ish parents with me, so you will have to figure out old lady stuff for me and the stuff that takes youthful energy for my mom. :) If they could bottle that woman's energy and sell it, somebody would be rich!!!
It is fun to find out that's where you are at though.I home schooled my kiddos(who are probably about your age or close to it now) and we were welcomed with open arms at our local museum. Hope that turns out to be the case with your group too!:)

Kate said...

Those poor people! They're like teachers without the training, the love of kids, job security, benefits or a kick ass union.

A Human said...

lol Isn't the word "homeschool" kind of self-explanatory? Bizarre.

Summer said...

Another place I don't dar take my boys, without tranquillizer darts first. ;)

I actually ant to take them to the Firefighter's Museum, but I'm not sure if Michael can gt off work that day. :(

Heather B. said...

Hey Christine. I had a somewhat similar experience a while back while trying to set up a field trip for a "mock city" experience with our local Junior Women's Achievment. I finally just gave up. She just couldn't understand that the group would consist of various ages and kept insisting that it was going to be too above most of their heads. I would however say that most of the people I encounter here in Iowa are very welcome to homeschool groups and have a great understanding of them. (although you do run into a few doosies)
We went on a trip to Galena, Il., last year to visit Grant's home and during the tour my boys were able to answer most of the questions asked of the group and the cute little old lady giving the tour looked at them and said, "You must be home taught!" It was a proud Homeschool Mama moment for me!! =)She told me later that she can always pick out the "home taught" kids because they can answer the questions, and are very repectful and use good manners, and what a welcome change they are from some of the public school kids. Update us on the pleasant surprise you'll be providing for the museum employees!