It never fails. I meet someone new. I’m at a dinner party, or maybe the line at Safeway. My new acquaintance finds out we homeschool. 90% of the time their very next statement goes something like this…
“Wow, I could never be that patient!”
~ insert nervous laugh~ “I’d love to do that, but I think we would kill each other.”
Or other variations of “I could never homeschool” that includes some reference to patience, chaotic kids, needing “me-time”, finances, etc…
There is always a hint of defensiveness, or justification in the tone of these comments.
I laugh, nod politely, say something like, “Well, it’s not for everyone.” (Which I do believe) When I really want to scream, “I don't know you. You don't know me. I'm not judging you!”
Why oh why, do you feel the need to justify to me the fact that you do not homeschool your kids?
Do you think I am judging you because you send your kids to school?
I’m not. Our decision to homeschool is based on personal decisions and is not some sort of silent judgment on all those who choose school for their children. It has nothing to do with you!
So please, you may keep these comments to yourself. If you can’t, then at least be honest with your comments.
The truth is, it is a matter of willingness, not ability. Homeschooling is not for everyone. Not all parents are willing to spend that much time with their kids, challenge long held educational paradigms, make financial adjustments, and many other lifestyle modifications that homeschooling entails. And that is fine. I don’t pass judgment on your choices. I don’t think that makes you a worse parent than me. There are things I am not willing to do for my child! For example, I hate driving long distances. If there was some class or club she wanted to do and it is more than a 45 minute drive, I won’t do it.
You may just think homeschooling is some crazy stupid idea. That’s OK with me too!
As parents, we are all charged with making the best decisions we can for our children. All of our choices cannot and should not be the same. We all need the freedom to make the choices we feel are best.
So the next time you meet a new family and find out they homeschool, say you think they are crazy, say you would never want to (not that you can’t) homeschool, say something supportive, ask questions or say nothing at all, because they are not judging you!