What I want you to know about homeschooling:
I home-school my children for many reasons, and not one of them is because I think I’m better than you. It simply means that I think this schooling option is better for my children. Just because I home-school does not mean that I think the school you send your child to is inferior. It means that for my children, I’m exercising my responsibility to educate them where I feel is the best place for them to learn.
My children are not “social morons” because they are home-schooled, nor do we hole up in our home with blinds drawn so that we don’t have to face the world. We have play dates with friends, we participate in community sports, we go to church and Sunday school, we do summer art and science programs, we go the library, we spend time interacting with family and with those around us as we live our day-to-day lives.
In our home-school, we do all the same subjects that your child does in public or private school. And if my child struggles with a certain subject, the home-schooling is not to blame. How many children are there in the public school that receive special education or tutoring services? A lot-and that’s because every child is different. If my child were in public school, would you blame the school for my child’s struggles? That’s not exactly logical. Likewise, it doesn’t make any sense for you to blame the home-school if my child is a struggling learner.
Just because I stay at home and teach my children does not mean “I’m lucky to have all the time in the world to keep my house clean and to run errands.” Honestly, being a home-school mom has much of the same challenges as being a mom who works outside the home. Teaching takes time, and lots of it. That’s why teachers get paid. It takes time to plan lessons, to grade papers, to arrange field trips. I used to teach in a public school…my days are not that different, just the number and ages of my students! I’m just as tired and stressed and short on time and sleep as any other mom.
The next time you meet a home-school mom, please don’t go on the defense because you think I’m critical of you for your schooling choices. We’re all different. We all have different experiences that shape who we are and why we do what we do. Please don’t glare at me when you see me in the store with my kids in the middle of the day. Don’t worry…we are getting our work done on our own schedule, just not necessarily the typical school day schedule. And please don’t judge my children more harshly than you judge any other public or private-schooled child. Because when it comes down to it, all children, whether home-schooled or not, will (horror of horrors) do childlike things. It comes in the definition of “child.”
And just because I’m a home-school mom, it does not mean that I’m the perfect speller or that I use perfect grammar every time or that I know everything…I’m a perfectly flawed human being that is learning along with her kids. So please just accept me as willingly as you would accept someone who makes the same schooling choices as you do. And I’ll do the same. And that’s what I want you to know.