As a sweet friend of mine once said, “you can always find something on the internet to support how you feel.” This could not be truer! There is always someone out there in this big world that will agree 100% with your view on a situation. The internet will have blogs, studies, and statistics to back up each of your opinions. There’s also an unlimited amount of the same places that argue your point is invalid.
When we first started homeschooling, I would constantly ask others questions about how their days looked, how they felt about our routine, and what kind of activities they participated in. We would obviously need to do those things, too. I was continuously seeking approval of those I love, and even random people in the grocery store who wanted to know why my kids weren’t in school like “normal” children. It’s just the way I’m wired. I have my own opinions, but I also want to know what others think too. It’s a vice I have to give up to God daily.
I was so concerned with being a homeschooling family everyone would approve of. In my mind, we could be the homeschoolers that even those who don’t like the idea of homeschooling would say, “Gee, that family really changed my mind.” HA! All my homeschooling homies are laughing with (or at) me right now! The truth is that there will always be people who don’t agree with your calling to keep your children home. Some will quietly judge from the sidelines, others with talk about how you’re “probably ruining” your kids when you’re not around, and others will flat out share their not so subtle opinions with you…. whether you ask them to or not.
Here’s a list of common misconceptions and why, for my family, they’re not true:
- Homeschooling is easier. Being homeschooled does not mean all of those pesky subjects none of us enjoyed in school magically disappear. If you want your child to have any hope for a successful future in college, they’re going to have to suck it up and do stuff they just don’t want to do. In my house, we frequently say, “suck it up, Buttercup.” I’m aware this may not be everyone’s choice in parenting strategy, but it works in my world and they usually, well, suck it up. It’s definitely easier for me to not have all of the kids dressed and at school by 8:00 a.m., but I also have to teach, feed, and control them all day while constantly reminding them they have to clean up their messes. Yes, that is glitter in my hair and puff paint on my lovely new top. So, let’s call it even?
- Homeschoolers are awkward and shy. Everyone close your eyes, and think back… just kidding. Don’t, ’cause then you can’t keep reading. But, seriously, think back to your years in school. Remember that awkward kid? The one who was painfully shy, super weird, and anti-social? Maybe you remember one particular person. Maybe that person was you- hey, no judgment here. Either way, it just proves homeschooling isn’t the only reason some kids are different. It has more to do with personality and home environment than where they attend (or don’t attend) school.
- Homeschoolers should be quizzed by everyone. No. Just don’t. Not only can it amplify anxieties a child may already have with certain subjects, but it is also a super awkward situation. Homeschooled or not, it’s weird when a family member, friend, or random adult assumes there is ever an appropriate time to test your child’s knowledge. Then, if the child doesn’t know those things, or responds to an awkward situation, well, awkwardly it’s clearly because they’re homeschooled.
- Homeschool moms have a lot of patience. Do you hear that? That sound, my friends, is the sound of my fellow homeschoolin’ mamas giggling with me. Y’all, my patience is paper thin sooo often. Even on days, I wake up feeling like Mrs. Brady, I get put in my place REAL quick. We live on grace. The Lords grace is how we manage the chaos. Our patience is no more structurally sound than yours, I promise.
- But, socialization!! I’m not even going to lie, my family is WAY less active than 99% of our homeschooling friends. All of my kids are still young, and other than the occasional play date or church you can find us at home, the park, or the grocery store. My oldest will sometimes play organized sports, but just that stretches us thin with so many littles. Still, we have no shortage of friends at birthday parties. Plus, I have a secret… you don’t HAVE to meet all of your friends at school! I know, I know!
- Homeschool moms can’t complain. Honestly, complaining from anyone is the worst. No one likes a complainer. But, sometimes homeschooling mamas just need to vent. Yes, we know we “put ourselves in that situation.” Of course, “it’s always an option to send them to school,” but waving down the bus on hard days isn’t the option we’re looking for. Homeschooling moms have a fear of venting their frustrations because of statements like those. We’re no different than the average parent trying to figure out why in the world Stacy bought 400 chocolate bars.
I’m not implying everyone you run into will disagree with your decision to homeschool. In fact, you will be pleasantly surprised with the amount of support that will come from the places you least expect. I’m also not saying that it’s wrong to disagree with homeschooling. Let’s all just agree to abide by the old rule, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
If any of these things hit close to home, I feel you. Hold steady, Mama. We can laugh about these things because at the end of the day only The Lord knows what’s true, and what’s right. We’re under no obligation to look like anyone else. If we were meant to look like the world, God would have sent a sinner.
“Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches.”
1 Corinthians 7:17