The Top 10 Things Homeschool Families Wish You Knew
These days it seems like everything revolves around shaming. From husband shaming to Mommy shaming, it seems everyone is looking for a way to tear others down. I think that a lot of that comes from a lack of true understanding of each other and our individual situations.
Homeschool families often face a lot of doubt, ridicule and yes, shaming, from other families. Like everything else, this stems from a lack of understanding, and a bit of defensiveness. Although we may not be able to say all ten of these things in a normal conversation, it’s time that we got our feelings out.
1. We aren’t judging you.
It doesn’t mean we are bad parents, it doesn’t mean you’re a bad parent, it just means that we are both on the same journey, just taking different paths. When the topic of homeschool comes up, other parents have a tendency to go on the defensive. Please know that we do not look down on you for making different choices with your family.
2. We do not hate teachers.
Teachers are only human. Like any other job, there are people that are good or bad at their jobs. Teaching is one of the most noble professions that there is. It takes a lot of love, patience and understanding to be a teacher. Now a day, with all of the testing and oversight, it truly takes a special person to stay in the teaching profession under so much scrutiny. We do not hate you, we appreciate you. Our choice to homeschool is not a reflection on what we feel your value is.
3. We do not think that our kids are better than yours.
Ok, so we may brag about our kids. Honestly, what parent ISN’T proud of their child’s accomplishments? If we are speaking highly of our children, it is not in an attempt to belittle yours.
4. We don’t think you’re lazy.
In life we are all called to do different things at different times. Maybe in this season of your life, you need to work, or care for an elderly parent. No matter your situation, we do not look down on you. Parenting is exhausting and hard. We honestly do not have the energy to spend it judging other parents.
5. Some days, we envy you.
Yes, it is true. While you may be thinking that we believe you’re an awful Mom for sending your kids to school, there are days when we wish we could do it too. Maybe we are sick, maybe we are just mentally exhausted, either way, there are days when we wish we could just put the kids on a bus and then climb back under the covers. It makes us feel guilty too. There is enough guilt to go around, let’s not pass it on to others.
6. We worry all too often about being judged ourselves-
As a parent, we always worry that we are messing up our kids. I honestly think that you just instantly get gifted a side of guilt whenever you have a baby. “Here is your beautiful baby, and a side of guilt and enough self doubt to last you for a lifetime.”
7. We wish you wouldn’t quiz our kids
It never fails, you tell someone that you homeschool and then suddenly, your kid gets a pop quiz. Please do not judge where our children our in their education. Perhaps part of the reason we homeschool is due to a learning or social disorder. You cannot judge our schooling ability based on putting our children in an awkward spot.
8. Not every homeschooler Mom is a Bible thumping, denim jumper wearing, or emotionally sheltered individual.
While I am a Christian, I have friends with numerous beliefs. From Atheists, to Catholics to Mormons and even Buddhists, we are from all walks of life (and none of us wear denim jumpers). As far as the cliché attire and style, I have tattoos, extra ear piercings, and even my nose is pierced. Heck, if I was brave enough, I would have turquoise in my hair! I definitely do not fit this stereotype, and its actually very rare to see people that do!
The fact of the matter is we’re all totally different, but we are united by this common goal of educating our children. It has led both me and my children to friendships that I probably would not have gained without the common denominator of homeschooling. It is pretty neat, and a way to break down those social barriers.
9. Please do not bring up the “S” word.
Ugh, Socialization. Socialization is what you take your dog to puppy classes for, not what you send your child to school to do. Didn’t we all have the teacher that said, “We don’t come to school to socialize, we come to learn?”
Homeschool children have the world at their fingertips and no brick and mortar school schedule to keep them from experiencing it. Programs like 4-H, homeschool cooperatives, Church groups, Civilian Air Patrol, Clubs, and so much more offer an endless amount of social experience for our children. The other really cool thing about a homeschooler’s socialization is that it forces them to interact with both adults and children of all ages and walks of life (refer back to point number 8).
10. We know you are worrying because you care.
We don’t blame you for the questions, the quizzes, the “S” word. We know that all of it stems from concern, and honestly a lack of understanding. More often than not, we are happy to explain about or choices and why we chose this path. Please remember to be kind and inquisitive about our choices, not judgmental or condescending. We truly have more in common than you may know!
What other things do you wish that non-homeschool families knew about your journey?