If I worry about anything when it comes to homeschooling, it is this…

 

 

 

I really don’t worry at all that home-schooled children will be “awkward” or “unsocialized.”  I don’t really think a school building is necessary to have lots of social interaction. But, even if the child does wind up a little awkward, heck, I am absolutely raising an awkward kiddo and I adore the tar out that amazing child.

 

I admit I do occasionally worry that their education might suffer if I see horrible grammar or glaring errors from the one doing the educating.  But, in fairness, I’ve seen some positively atrocious mistakes from public and private school teachers too.  So that one’s kind of a wash.

 

I don’t worry about mixing grade levels or the interruptions of life or that testing benchmarks won’t be met.

 

Quite frankly, it’s not really my place to worry about anything when it comes to homeschooling.

 

But.

 

If I worry about anything, it’s not any of the things that homeschoolers seem to think.  At least, it’s not what they’re forever trying to defend.  If I worry about anything, it is this:

 

I worry that, through word and attitude, some people are teaching their children a terrible kind of intolerance.

 

It is scary, and heartbreaking, to me to read clever, pithy status updates on Facebook about how inferior public-schooled children are in every way.  I read lofty quotes from conservative leaders (not quoted Scripture, mind you) published and “liked” that proclaim it sinful (yes, sinful!) for parents to send their children “into the world” to be educated.  While to imply homeschooling is bad would be a travesty, it seems permissible to suggest that parents who choose a different form of education are, at BEST, unenlightened.

 

Tolerance & Kindness

 

Saying, “well, we can’t really BLAME you for being a lost, godless heathen since you didn’t know any better” is not tolerance.  It’s not kindness.  It’s not giving someone the benefit of the doubt.

 

Truth?  There are times when I may think a child would be better off NOT being educated at home.  I can’t help it.  I’m human and I have my opinions.  You do too.  And that’s great!  But there is a HUGE difference in thinking, “Hmm… I think I’d handle that differently” and saying, “You’re inferior and you’re unable to see the clear Truth as we have.”

 

It is MEAN and UNCALLED FOR when people suggest that homeschoolers are raising social misfits.  I believe this and you will never hear me say such a thing.  However, I must ask you… which is worse?  To be called awkward or to be called godless?

 

There’s just no reason for the judgment and intolerance… from either side.

 

I welcome your opinions!  I have some very good friends and readers who I know think, at the very least, that my firstborn (who is “severely gifted”) would benefit from being taught at home.  I respect what they have to say on the matter, even when I don’t agree.  Many of them have graciously put up with me as I’ve told the story of his development and, while they may still think I should homeschool, they’ve been pleasantly surprised by the programming that is happening at our public school.

 

When we get so defensive, we can become like that child on the playground, fingers in ears, yelling, “la la la la la… I can’t hear you!!!”  And, honestly, that helps no one.

 

How we choose to educate our children is a very important one.  It can be a reflection of our family’s priorities and values.  Let’s just make sure that one of those values doesn’t become an intolerance for those who might, in good faith and with a loving heart, make different choices.

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9 comments to If I worry about anything when it comes to homeschooling, it is this…

  • earleyml

    Very respect pastor and his wife led a parenting class at our church that my husband and I attended for 6 months. They have 8 kids from Sophmore in college to a 1 yr old. The kids are a mixture of adopted and biological as well as homeschooled, cyber schooled and public schooled. Each child is homeschooled until middle school and then can make the choice with guidance from the parents on the next route they want to take. The thing that she said during our class that has really stuck with me is that they are raising their kids that where ever they go, it’s their mission field. So these kids go to public school knowing that God is using them there to be a witness to their friends who may not ever have someone else in their life to show them about God. I love this!!! I pray this over my kindergartener and preschooler daily. Yes, God called us not to be OF the world but that doesn’t mean we live as hermits and not IN the world. It’s totally different.

    • My wish for my children, in this regard, is truly that they will be such examples of love and light that others will simply want to know Jesus because of that. I do NOT expect my children to preach, quote scripture, or invite their friends to church– I know there are some who feel that is the responsibility of children, but I have to say that I am not really of that opinion. Of course, one does not need to preach to witness! :)

      • earleyml

        And I agree with you. It’s more, my prayers are that they would show everyone God’s love. It’s true, my co-workers know I’m a Christian even though I don’t preach to them. They know they can expect love from me and not judgement.

  • Heather

    Your school seems to be jumping through hoops to give your kid #1 what he needs. Your set up seems as close to perfect as you could find. I know plenty of obnoxious regular schooled kids that make me think “how on earth will they ever function in the world & have anyone but their mother genuinely like them?” And yet I’m sure they will do just fine as they mature. The awkward dorks will probably come out of their shells anytime now too…unless that was their innate personality unaffected by their school situation. I’m pretty sure the adults that suck don’t suck because of their schooling choices.

  • Heather

    I’m positive it’s all due to the potty training choices their mothers employed.

  • I love this. I have just started (as in, tomorrow is day 3) homeschooling. I was homeschooled until the 7th grade and loved the freedom and versatility it offered while I was younger. I also (mostly) loved high school. I’ve heard both sides of the fence my entire life and there are absolutely prejudices and intolerant ideals being passed from generation to generation.
    It’s like a whole new chapter of the “mommy wars”. When will we see each other as women and mothers (and Dads!) making the best choices instead of condemning and mocking those choices? It makes me sad when people, as Heather put it, suck,lol.

  • Kim N

    I’m 4 years into our homeschool journey, and fortunately I’ve never heard or seen other homeschoolers be so rude as you describe. I’m sorry you’ve experienced that critism/hatred whether directed at you or just the world at large. I believe there are a lot of good ways and reasons to educate children in different manners. It does seem rare that your school system is so helpful and accommodating of your children’s unique needs, but I’m so glad that it is working for you! I will say the only circumstance that I start feeljng judge-y towards others is when they say they feel God has called them to homeschool their child(ren), then a few weeks or months later they’ve magically changed their mind because finances would be tight and they’d have to give up cable tv or they’re scared of having to be with their kids all day or other lame excuses. If someone truly feels called to homeschool, God will provide for them and their family. That scenario bugs me as it is really a faith/trust issue, but people won’t admit that is the real problem.

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