Friday, January 18, 2008

Dealing with "The College Issue" and Other Difficult Questions

As a follow-up on the last post, I'd like to address how I deal with difficult questions from family members and nosy neighbors. ~wink~

The most popular questions I get are:

The college question: This comes in the form "What college are you going to attend?", and more indirectly, "What are you doing after you graduate?"

For all questions I follow a simple rule of thumb: if the inquirer is genuinely interested in my convictions, I answer gratefully and sincerely all of the questions they ask. The purpose is then to benefit the inquirer. If, on the other hand, the inquirer is asking for the simple reason of trying to question my sanity, be rude, or they simply think it's their responsibility to make sure I "get started in the right direction", I answer briefly, change the subject, or "smile, nod and back away." I find with most people, when I state that I'm staying home after I graduate, they can't change the subject fast enough.. (My mother wrote a wonderful post on answering questions here.)

I usually answer with, "I'm staying home after I graduate and furthering my education on my own." and leave it at that. I have very rarely had to expound, because most people don't care. (my thoughts on this issue can be found here, here, and here.)

Testing: This is when someone tries to test me and my siblings by asking various academic questions. This is usually only performed by those who are against homeschooling or want to make sure my mother is doing what she should. I never answer these questions, it's simply not their place to test us. I have had to intervene when my siblings were being tested before. I never want to be rude, but I usually say lightheartedly that they get enough testing in school. It aggravates me that people try to mess them up by putting them on the spot. Most often, my parents intervene before this goes too far.

So, what do you do?: People ask me this question now, since I'm not bombarded with extracurricular activities, and I'm sure I'll get this question much more after I graduate. I answer truthfully with all of the things I do to help my family around the house. There is quite a lot when you think about it! Courtney wrote a lovely post about this very question recently.

"When are you going to get a job/your driver's license/etc.?": This comes from people who are quick to assume I'm not content at home. Once again, I answer with discernment, depending on what exactly their intentions are and I let them know that I am perfectly content to be at home with my family. (I am going to get my driver's license soon. But, the reason for having a license is not to be "free" from being tied down to my home, as most assume.)

Sometimes I get a snide comment which I have to answer. For example: "I know you just can't wait to get away from all these kids." (talking about my siblings). Most of the time, I ignore snide comments completely.

Whenever I know I'm going to be around those who are not like-minded, I prepare by reminding myself why I believe what I believe. Though, it's not very often that I get questioned thoroughly, always being prepared is a help to me. There was one evening when I stayed up very late into the night studying and reminding myself how to answer tough questions. I knew I was going to be around my extended family for a long period of time, and I was very glad to feel prepared. I never want to be prideful when asked questions like this, nor do I want to feel disheartened.

I don't answer correctly every time. When I was first asked to defend my convictions I made many fumbles and embarrassed myself continually. I was always too passive. I had to practice and learn to stand firm in my beliefs, without being rude, and now I can answer much more clearly and confidently. I still make mistakes from time to time, but I trust the Lord when I'm feeling inadequate.

Some very wonderful answers to some of these questions (namely the college question) can be found here at Visionary Daughters, the blog by the authors of So Much More and the documentary, "Return of the Daughters".

I hope this has been a help to you! God bless you as you live for the Lord as a Stay-At-Home Daughter.



Maria Pauline said...

I like your answers to some of those tough questions! I agree with you wholeheartedly.


Dutchnic said...

Wow, I am going to read more on your blog. I am a 26-year old Dutch woman, and unfamiliar with homeschooling as it is not allowed in our country. I've read blogs from homeschooling parents, but never from homeschoolees. So thanks for sharing!