So some of you might know that we recently started homeschooling (as in this is our second year). My dd is officially a high school student and to be honest, home school has been a life saver for us. We live in a very small community (let’s be serious my daughter’s graduating class is the biggest the school has seen in a while and it is at about 115 kids right now), and while my daughter has lived here her whole life (all 14 years of it) I have not. I grew up in a California suburb and I couldn’t name half of the kids in my graduating class let alone my high school. I think sometimes bigger schools are easier to navigate. In a small school you don’t have the opportunities to meet new people (you see the same 100 kids in every class every year) and it gets very cliquish * this is just from personal experience I’m sure some of you out there in internet land have WONDERFUL experiences in small towns. We are not members of the “good ol’ boys club,” I did not graduate from high school with these people, nor did I marry my high school sweetheart right out of school. I encourage my child to be a free thinker, to question something if it feels wrong (yes I encourage her to question authority if it goes against something she knows is right). Basically I do not want my child to be a sheep, a drone, or a carbon copy of someone else. Well my daughter has constantly said she loves homeschooling (ok so in part because we do go at her pace, and don’t start at the crack of dawn), because we can explore not just what is required (you know math, science, history, literature) but we can also explore what she wants to major in in college (hello biomedical engineering and forensic anthropology and did I mention she is 14). But this weekend my family made her feel awful about her choices, they are comparing her to her cousin who goes to a larger school in New York. They are also comparing them in other ways, like the fact that my daughter is not a size zero (ok my kid is an amazon, she is already 5’7 and she is still rail thin a size zero will not reach her ankles) like her cousin is (the cousin is only 5’5 still respectable but those 2″ make a difference) and let’s be honest here, momma bear is coming out. My daughter is in tears saying she has to go back to public school simply to make them leave her alone so they will stop making her feel like she is not good enough. That is wrong, yes I told my child that. I told my child she needs to do her and not worry about what they are saying. But it’s hard. I remember being 14, and I remember being compared negatively to a younger cousin… and I do not talk to that cousin to this day. She was told she was better then everyone and she lives her life that way. I know I am not better then others, I have different skills etc and I am ok with that. But I am not a 14 year old girl anymore. So to all of you out there, take a minute today to say something nice to someone younger then you, it’s hard to be a kid. Encourage their strengths, make sure they know that it is ok to be different, to be themselves. And I say to all of you, I am proud of you.