Homeschool Parents, I am Talking to You

A couple of things that I think that everyone knows but I just want to make sure before I get to deep in this. First off, I homeschool and love it! Secondly, I just got back this last week from a wonderful blogging conference. That said, I am one of you and I want to make sure that we are representing ourselves well.

When my kids and I go out to shop I remind them that they are an example. We have heard many people say that they couldn’t shop with their kids or homeschool their kids. My kids have an opportunity to show themselves as well behaved, well mannered children so that people could imagine shopping with a kid much less being around them all day with homeschooling;). Us being adults, I shouldn’t have to remind you that we are a representative example also. So where am I going with this?

When I was at my conference I met a just delightful woman (well, many but this is about one;). We had a conversation about my homeschooling and I was quite blunt. I laid out my basic reasons for homeschooling. That I can most directly influence my children morally and I can tailor their education to them. Then I stated that homeschooling isn’t for everyone. That while I think that there is an inherent issue with the design of public school that homeschooling can counteract, I know many good teachers, good parents and good students in the public school system. I mean heck, I am a product of the public schools and I am not too messed. I stand upright and feed myself;). But I also said that I can never imagine myself sending my kids to public school if for no other reason than I am not organized enough to have to get everyone where they would have to be with all their requisite homework and activities done;).

I was gob-smacked when later she says that I am one of only homeschoolers she likes. I am blunt and abrasive and pretty up in your face. I thought of all the gentle, quiet spirits I know who homeschool (Denise, Kim) and I was puzzled. When I asked her why, my heart broke. It was that I didn’t pass judgement on her. Some homeschoolers seem to have the judgement that she must not be a good mom if she puts her kids into public school. She appreciated that I said that there are good teachers, parents and students in the public schools. This is a great woman! She is fun and caring and just a hoot! I can’t imagine anyone passing that kind of judgement on her.

No, I didn’t write about this to yell at the people who have been mean to my new friend. But as an illustration.  I understand that we are all passionate about homeschooling. If I wasn’t, I would have alone time during the day;). But just as much as we hate everyone judging us, they don’t really appreciate being judged either. Now as passionate as you may be about homeschooling you might want to employ a Christian philosophy that is best termed by “love the sinner, hate the sin”. Now stop, everyone get your panties out of a bunch. I am NOT saying that putting your kids in public school is a sin. It is more an example that as much as YOU may not like public school, YOU can still like, love and respect the person that uses it. To accept the person isn’t saying that you accept the public school as a needed fixture in your life. Just like a person who puts their kid in school isn’t going to just start homeschooling because they respect me as a person.

Of course, we all have snarky comebacks we have (or just wanted) used when someone passes judgement on us and says mean things about our abilities. (That will be another post soon;) But remember, just like we all tell our kids, you are an example of homeschooling. You may be the only homeschooler someone ever meets. Do you want their view of us to be of us being cold, hard, and judgmental? Of course not! The last thing I would want anyone to think after meeting me is they would never want to be a homeschooling parent because they don’t to be that big a jerk. I am not saying to just tell them what you think they want to hear. Be honest! But just let love be your guide and respond to them with the same grace you would like to receive from them.

Rant over. Back to school!

Addendum: I criticize the public school system all the time! Just not the people who put their kids in. I do not join in when parents complain about what homework their kids have to do because that is the deal. Don’t yell about it, if you don’t like it just pull your kids out;). Otherwise that is the contract you entered;).

0 thoughts on “Homeschool Parents, I am Talking to You”

  1. As long as the parents who put their kids in public school place name with the homeschooling moms, I can too. But if it comes to blows, I will fight and win. 😉

  2. I’ve been homeschooling for 14 years. These are my rules. Rule #1: No matter how much neighbors or relatives bash the school system, I cannot engage in it. I find it is OK for them to bash it; it is not OK for me to do it.

    Rule #2: I love homeschooling. I love doing it, I love talking about it, I love reading about it. I must, however, contain my enthusiasm for it around people that are insecure about the education that their children are receiving in the public schools. When I show my enthusiasm for homeschool, people do not say, “Oh, how great. I think I’ll try it.” Instead, they say, “Oh, how great. Will you homeschool my children?”

  3. Okay, VERY WELL SAID!! I wish I could place that up in my memory and recite it just the way you have here. It’s so true and when I’m talking to a mother considering or not, my suggestion to them is ALWAYS . . . “Ask God what He wants you to do!”

    BTW, You do have another friend named Kim, who Homeschools, right? Because if you were talking about me…Denise, Kim R. and gentle quiet spirit just don’t go together!
    Thanks for being honest, Homeschool parents need to hear it. Even if they know it, its good to be reminded.

  4. Great, great, great reminder. I DO think homeschooling is the best for my kids BUT I have friends who are public school teachers and I know they truly love their students!

  5. Great post. I wish we could all stop judging each other, and just accept that every parent is making the best educational choice for their child and family. Sometimes that is public school, sometimes private school and for some of us it is homeschooling.

  6. Thank you for this post.

    I homeschool two of my children but sent the first to public school – where she has blossomed. I hate the looks and snide comments I get when people find out she is in public school.

    Why should someone who (most of the time) doesn’t know my daughter, our family, or our situation pass judgment on me for sending her to school?

  7. Yeah – Nice to know kids who are home schooled have great people skills with a diversity of interactions with their students.. wait. what? Oh I’m sorry must of made a mistake somewhere along there.

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