Journal Categories
Journal Tags
« Birding for Mother's Day | Main | Acting, and great loves »

Science Olympiad

There are a lot of people who think that homeschooling is a lonely undertaking. These are the very same people who throw around words like "socialization" and "cult" and "brain washing". I won't say that there aren't homeschoolers who have earned those badges that the rest of the homeschooling community has to wear along with them—I'm sure they exist—but that's not the majority of us, and no matter how often it happens, I will continue to be surprised every time I meet with suspicion.

Calvin participated in our county's Elementary Science Olympiad this weekend. This was a completely new event for him—for both of us—in many ways. Aside from never having taken part in a Science Olympiad before, this was our first experience in a public school event of any kind, and Calvin's first ever actual, written test. He spent the month before the Olympiad preparing with his four other team members. He and his partner built towers that could support tennis balls for the "Mystery Architecture" event, and practiced estimating various things for "Estimania". And the two of us went on many a hike, binoculars in tow, to prepare for the "Feathered Friends" bird identification test. He built with straws, he estimated grams of salt, he drilled bird songs and photos.

The Olympiad was great fun. Calvin loved it. He actually went skipping down the hallway to meet each event. He interacted with the public school kids, and his homeschool teammates, with great cheer and obvious social ability.

But there was one interaction that still has me chuckling. When we first arrived, being new to the event and all, we walked down a long hallway (the same hallway where I had a locker my senior year, walking right past my senior year physics classroom, by the way) to a table with the sign "academic check-in" to find out about, of all things, checking in. Just before we reached the table we were halted by a militant hall guard who demanded that we first check in with our school. I asked her politely if there was a table to check in as a school, but we were each confused by the other, and just as I was beginning to understand that the problem was that we didn't fit into their usual paradigm (I couldn't very well check in with non-existent school's non-existent head coach), a nice lady at the check-in table popped up with the clear answer to all our problems—

"Don't you see? They're homeschoolers! They don't have a school, and they're not used to all this!" (indicating the school with a flourish of her arms).

After that everyone was interested in holding our hands through the hallway, as though they were afraid that, being homeschoolers, we were bound to get lost. Or, being "not used to all this", we were in danger of getting spooked and running away. I was torn between being offended and touched. I decided on something between the two—amusement.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.