Monday, April 2, 2018

When Friends & Family Question Homeschooling

      I recently started following a fellow homeschooler and blogger and was lead to her post "When Family and Friends Are Opposed to Homeschooling" I laughed and I cried and I laughed again. Here are a few of my favorite parts {and my added thoughts...}

 

You Might Be A Homeschooler If You’ve Ever Heard Any of This…

 

     Are you crazy? What about socialization? This fourteen year-old homeschooled kid came to our school last year and didn’t know how to read! What about prom? There is no way you can teach every subject for 13 grades! You aren’t a certified teacher. Your kids need time away from you to learn to take care of themselves. When you discover you just can’t do it right, will you put them back in school? They won’t have any friends. Why are you sheltering them from real life? They’ll be weird. What makes you think you can do a better job than the professionals? Aren’t you worried you will regret this decision for years to come? You just can’t do it all. {Yep, I heard them all!! And I'd like to add some others I have also heard: But they won't be able to go to college! You should at least send them to first grade so they get a good start. You should at least send them to middle school so they learn to be around other kids. You should at least send them to high school where they can meet the opposite sex. So basically you're one of those moms who can't let go of her kids. They're going to hate you for homeschooling them. (That one shocked me... like what?)}
 

If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say, Say it to a Homeschooler?

 

     They really shouldn’t have bothered with all their worrying that I would screw my kids up royally. I was doing enough worrying on my own. And honestly I still do today. Did you know it is possible to worry about what history curriculum to use with your 4th grader to ensure that he has a well-rounded grasp of world cultures and events that have led to the present day turmoil he hears about on the news, while simultaneously worrying if he will ever capitalize a sentence or brush his teeth without threat of being sold to the next circus in town?{Daily worry over here.. yes, I worry about my kids education. Shocking I know.}

     The last thing a worried new homeschool mom needs to bear is the added weight of the thinly veiled indignation of others. As if their obvious questions and assertions haven’t already crossed her mind numerous times. {Those things you're so worried about, I already am. They are my kids and I will do what is necessary to address those issues. And yes, I am capable of doing a lot. I am a mom.}

     It seems some people lose all sense of decorum when confronted with the disquieting news that you are planning to homeschool. Seriously, their shock…shocked me. You would have thought they showed up at our house to find me stir-frying Labrador puppies for dinner while my sister wives set the table. {Yes, the shocked faces of people finding out we homeschool is baffling.. I'm not in some crazy hedgehog eating cult or live on some remote island, though some times that does sound appealing. The remote island, not hedgehog eating!!}

Stupid Things People Say When They Find Out You Homeschool

 

     There are many who are not suffering from neurological illness who just forget their filter all together and ask or say really rude and stupid things.
 
  • “Homeschooling, huh? Is that even legal?”
  • “Well eventually you will have to put them in school so they can learn social skills.”
  • “You can’t reproduce school effectively at home.”
  • “This is just temporary, I hope.”
  • “But they’ll go to high school, right?”
  • “Oh, I could never be with my kids all the time.”
  • “I didn’t realize you were that religious.”
  • “How will you know if they have learned anything?”
  • “They need to learn how to dress in style, and what is popular in their age group.”
  • “We have a great school district here. They really shouldn’t have to miss out.”
  • “Don’t you want them to learn to keep a schedule and how to function when they are tired?”
  • “You can’t shelter them forever.”
 
     At first I was very defensive about our decision to homeschool. I wanted to explain my reasoning and get through to these people. I tried to get them to see where I was coming from and to understand what I had learned from researching methods and curriculum. These were people who knew that I was educated and also somewhat naturally intelligent, and were proud of the life decisions I had made thus far. I thought I had their respect and trust after the many intellectual conversations we had in the past. HA! Suddenly I was a bumbling fool who needed to be reasoned away from the cliff of insanity. {I've been homeschooling for 9 years now and I still get defensive once in a while.. I may not have a degree in anything, but I do have a God given brain that is capable of many difficult things. And there is so much information available to us on the internet or better yet, gasp!, a library! So stop telling me to send my kids to your awesome school. They already go to a pretty awesome school.. where the principal and teacher are in cahoots *wink* and everyone approves.}

The Insecurity Behind the Insult

 

     It took me some time and hurt feelings, but I came to the conclusion that these people were not so much concerned with my children’s well-being or my mental health, but rather they were defending the ground on which their own approach to education sat. The ground that I was starting to quake. They needed to quiet my outrageous idea of homeschooling in order to feel all was right in their world. That there could not really be another successful way other than their own. {Hmmm, she may be on to something! Often, when you meet people with different ideas, they feel like their ideas are being attacked simply because you believe in something different.}

     The take away; just know they need to punch holes in your ego and find the potholes you will inevitably fall into in order to steady their own ground. Most of all, they need you to fail. Then they can be sure they are doing the right thing. Sadly these folks may not realize they are ruining a relationship in the process. And sadly, this is not how real friends behave. {To all my friends and family, please stop thinking you or I are doing something wrong. Stop waiting for me to fail. You do you and let me do me.}

     The best defense is a laugh and duck tape. Your mouth or theirs. {Haha, good advice.. I should try it some time!}

     You could also agree to disagree. Walk away. Or try reasoning, if you have the stamina and can sit on your fists. Eventually, you’ll have to forgive them and never discuss what you do all day every day.  {I'm in the 'agree to disagree' category.. I don't have to defend my decisions, but if you keep pressing I will. Just don't get upset with what you will hear. Plus, I don't ask what you do all day without your kids.. but really.. what DO you do all day??}

     You may even have to part ways indefinitely. {Thankfully I have not yet lost a friend because of this educational difference.. but what a sad reason that would be!}

     With friends like these, who needs enemies, right? Homeschooling happened for us. Because when no one else believed in me, I did. Try to remember their hurtful words come from insecurity and try to forgive them. {Yes, the best I can do is remember that it isn't about me, it's about them. I know my decision was and still is solid.}

 

And then be wildly successful. It is the best revenge. {Oh yes!!}

 

{Read the original post here

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