I was in the New York Times, recently, talking about homeschooling and sports. Which is not a topic I know much about.
I didn’t play sports as a kid. I didn’t want to play them. I didn’t care about them.
My brothers both played baseball, though, and they were very serious about it for a while. So when the Times editor contacted me and asked if I could have a little statement about whether or not homeschoolers should be permitted to participate in public school sports (after all, we do pay taxes), I called my brothers.
“It’s stupid,” said the older one, Jake, now 22. “If you’re good, and you want to go farther, you can’t, because rec ends at fourteen or fifteen.” He added, “It’s a good thing Tim Tebow got to play at his high school even though he was homeschooled, right? But they had to go to court for that. We shouldn’t have to go to court. That’s ridiculous.”
The younger one, Gabe, who went to high school before he went to college, didn’t care as much. “Whatever. It’s not like I was gonna go pro…” He had been the star pitcher on his team at some point– I still remember his scowl of concentration, and how the moms went crazy when he threw the ball.
I dashed off the piece– the New York Times needed it in two hours. They needed a pic and a bio. Shit, I thought. I don’t have ANY good headshots! . . . → Read More: breaking into the public school to play sports
Sometimes I really can’t tell what makes me different and what makes me similar. I can’t tell what part is the homeschooling and what part isn’t.
I was talking to Peter Gray, over at Psychology Today, about being unschooled. He was asking me some questions, and I was trying to answer. For a while, when people asked me about my education, I would try to point out the ways in which I am special. In case they thought that I might be a dud.
I am pretty special. I’m smart. I’m confident. Once my face was on AOL’s front page and all of Bear’s relatives saw it when they opened their browsers and then we were like, “You guys still use AOL? Seriously?” But that’s neither here nor there. What I’m saying is– I could brag.
Everyone can brag. There’s always something to brag about.
But the more I think about it, the really interesting thing about me is how little there is to brag about. How normal I am. How much my skills, at the end of the day, are skills that people have whether or not they spent their childhood in the woods or at a desk.
“I’m kinda normal,” I told Peter. “It’s pretty lame.” I changed my mind. “It’s pretty cool.”
I write essays about homeschooling and people always say, “Whatever! That’s not because of homeschooling! That totally happened to me!”
I’m sure it did. And in my case, it’s probably also because of homeschooling. But . . . → Read More: what part of me is the homeschooling?