Last week we were at a lovely party helping our public school friends celebrate their last day of school. We love a party that celebrates summer in any sort of way. I was also excited to see some of the moms that haven’t seen in a while. At one point, a Stanford teacher introduced me to her husband but the introduction went like this. “Skylar used to go to Stanford, but she defected.”
…and there it was.
Except that she said it so nonchalantly that I almost wondered if I hadn’t heard her correctly. But I did.
That word has such a sour connotation to it. In a dorky attempt to spin a positive light on the subject, I haphazardly mumbled something along the lines of “maybe we are just Divergent.” Y’all, I’m old. It was the best pop culture reference I could come up with under such pressure. Lame, I know.
Still. Defected?
intransitive verb
1: to forsake one cause, party, or nation for another often because of a change in ideology
2: to leave one situation often to go over to a rival
I mean, technically she did use the word appropriately. Technically, we did have a change in ideology and technically we did leave a situation. But, is homeschooling really seen as the rival here? Is it really that political?
Apparently it is, and that’s just plain sad to me. Why oh why would someone use the term “defected” to explain another person’s educational choice? The root word implies that there is something wrong, there is an imperfection, and the being with the defect is not complete or whole. The overall word implies that someone is a traitor.
Yes, I have some issues with the current state of affairs for institutionalized education in the early years but I don’t go around telling all of my friends that they’ve made a horrible choice by sending their kids to public school. Good gracious. We have enough “mommy war” hot-button topics going around these days. Let’s not throw education into the mix.
It’s been almost a week and I’m still thinking about it.
She defected.
It’s quite possible that the reason I’m all in a tizzy is because the statement was directed towards my child, which caused the Mama Bear in me to raise her head. Yes, my kiddo did ask to homeschool but she had been asking for over a year before I even considered it. Ultimately, I made the decision after much research and prayer. If anybody defected here, it was me.
Only I don’t find any imperfection in this decision. In fact, it has turned out to be a great choice for us. If anything, I feel more complete and whole. 
But, seriously. Defected?
I’m finding that I fall to this category more often than not. My skeptical personality and “crunchy” lifestyle has resulted in some choices that go against everything mainstream America is trying to sell. Look around and pay attention. They push it pretty hard! Once my eyes are opened to the truth, I generally make a choice that puts me on the other side of the fence. My allegiance does change. Education included.
I defect.
You know what, I’m okay with that. I would rather be known for making a change than being someone who keeps doing the same thing over and over again even when it doesn’t work. 
They have a term for that too. It’s called insanity. Per Albert Einstein.

P.S. Did you know that he was homeschooled?

One Comment

  • Jimmie Lanley

    Defected is quite a strong word. I can see why it bothered you. It's has a tinge of betrayal to it. And that's not why you made the choice to homeschool. It goes back to the us vs. them mentality. Sad that we have to draw lines in the sand.

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