If my book ever gets published — here’s hoping — and if I can persuade you to read it, I think you’ll understand why I have a visceral negative reaction to the word, homeschooling. It was right after my third grade year, which was the best year of school I could have imagined, leading me to stay after for up to an hour everyday to help the teacher clean up. My parents, both very weird and religious fanatics, thought the school’s recommendation to place me in the talented and gifted program was a conspiracy. My mother decided she was going to school me at home.
Have you read, the Glass Castle? When I read it, I panicked. What if publishers won’t publish my book, because my life was too similar to Jeannette Wall’s life? If you haven’t read it, it is the story of two very eccentric (I’m using weird and eccentric here where a mental health diagnosis surely belongs) parents who lead their family into extreme poverty and dysfunction.
School was my refuge from all that, and she was going to take it away from me. I panicked. I cried. There was no convincing her. Finally, I was saved, because we couldn’t afford it. Both my parents had to work to support the family. There was just no way my dad’s low wage job was going to support us. That ended my brush with homeschooling. I’ve been pretty afraid of it ever since.