Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Free to School

L.C. David has penned one of the best pieces on homeschooling that I’ve yet to come across. It’s concise yet also comprehensive in that it touches on the most of the major misunderstandings that people have about homeschooling. Here are some of the key tidbits I pulled from Seven Things Homeschoolers Won’t Tell You:

1. Homeschool does not mean we school at home

2. We get it done faster than you

3. Many of us aren’t particularly religious

And many of us who are religious are not homeschooling for those reasons nor do we make it the focal point of our lessons. While we can’t underestimate the trailblazing that the early religious homeschoolers made for the growing population of homeschoolers today, current U.S. homeschoolers are an increasingly diverse population that are no longer citing religion as their most prominent reason for homeschooling.

4. Our kids are more creative than yours

Okay. Not really. That was just to get your attention. There are plenty of public school kids who are awesomely creative and interesting. But here’s the problem. Many don’t have the time to devote to their pursuits the way homeschoolers do. Because we can get academics done more quickly and make learning more personalized, our kids have time to pursue other interests and more time to devote to those.

5. We’ve heard the whole socialization thing and it’s dead wrong

If you get an eye roll when you ask a homeschooling family “What about socialization?” then you’ll have to forgive us. We might have heard this a time or two---or a hundred. While it’s the most common concern among non-homeschoolers, it is probably the most laughable of the reasons people cite for not homeschooling.

While we might do some school work at home, most of us spend at least several days a week out of the house with---shock----other people.

6. We have bad days too

7. Yes you can do it, but you’re making excuses

That’s a list that most homeschoolers would recognize and relate to. David’s close is also particularly apt.

And that’s okay. While many of us enjoy and see real benefits to homeschooling, most homeschoolers do not particularly care or feel the need to ask you to change your decision to public school. The reverse isn’t always true as homeschoolers and homeschooling kids are often grilled by strangers who believe the clich├ęs and myths but know little to nothing about the particular family they are feeling the need to question.

We get it.

We get that it still isn’t the norm for most families and that it feels threatening to some people who think we are crusading to end public education as we know it.

The truth is that we have the same goals that every other parent has. We want what is best for our kids and we are working just as hard as every other parent to find and implement that. We really don’t have time or feel the particular need to tell you how to parent.

We only ask the same courtesy.