Monday, October 18, 2010

School Choices

Although I don't blog a lot about it, we are a homeschool family.  We started homeschooling our oldest when he was starting kindergarten and started our youngest son this year.  We've been very happy with it, and our kids love it.  Now that I'm working and going to school, my husband does the vast majority of it, but with our crazy lives and upside-down schedules, it works.

Now I'm stepping onto my soapbox...why is it that when people find out we homeschool, they feel it is their God-given responsibility to immediately begin bashing the horrors of homeschooling and questioning my judgment as a parent?  It is not a one-time thing - I have faced this situation over and over again, especially at my job.

I will be the first to say, homeschooling isn't for everyone.  It doesn't work for all kids or all families.  In fact, I would go so far as to say that some families have no business at all homeschooling.  Many families choose not to homeschool - and that is their choice.  I do not begin bashing public schools or private schools as soon as I hear that someone's child in one.  But our plan is that our kids will never attend public school...that is just not what we want for our children.  And as their parents, that's our decision to make.

What bothers me the most is that most of the time, the first people to bash it are the ones who know the least about it.  They have never been around homeschoolers, or they have only been around one or two families who did everything homeschool families shouldn't do.  They don't ask quesions.  They don't ask how we like it or why we chose to go that route.  They don't ask me how my kids feel about it.  They start telling me how my kids will be behind when they start "real" school and that they will have no social skills.  I want to ask, "Really?  Have you seen my kids?"  They are some of the most well-adapted kids socially that I've ever seen, and academically they are doing very well.  I know there are some really bad examples out there, but they are far outweighed by the really good ones.

I want to tell them other sucess stories I've seen first hand - like the parents who pulled their son because of learning disabilities.  He was being teased until his self-esteem was shattered.  When they pulled him out and started homeschooling him, a different child emerged as he gained confidence and started to thrive.  I also want to tell them about my nieces, who have been homeschooled from day one and have had the chance to travel to other countries for missions trips and travel all over the U.S. competing in Fine Arts Festival.  The oldest graduated a year and a half ago and is now a full-time college student majoring in sociology...definately not what you'd call academically behind.

I wish that people would stop and ask me questions, because the choice to homeschool was not an easy one for me.  I agonized over the decision for months.  I questioned my judgment a lot those first few   I just wish that other moms would recognize and respect that it is my choice, and that choice is unique for every family.  It goes back to what I've said adn heard from other moms so many times...I think it's time moms stopped categorizing and criticising each other so much, and started supporting the fact that we are all unique.  Even though we go about things differently, we are all trying to make the best decisions and the best life for our families.


Jennifer said...

One of the things that drives me the craziest is moms who don't respect the choices other moms make, or try to understand those choices but jump straight to judging. I am a public school teacher, but I have a deep respect for people who are able to teach their own children. And while full-time homeschooling wouldn't work well for me or my boys, I do a lot of science supplementing and I intentionally focus on life skills with a homeschooling perspective. I created a blog ( in part to connect to homeschooling parents and share my love of science.

Losing Brownies said...

You've got to do what's best for you and your family.

I love teaching, but I don't know if I could homeschool my own child.

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