On defending why I homeschool
Lately my son has been asked the question, almost everywhere we go whether at Target or a restaurant or the doctor’s office, “oh are you in school now?”
For some reason I cringe. I don’t know why I cringe. I very proudly homeschool my children. I believe this is what is best for them. I am “qualified” too, as I have a Masters in Elementary Education and I am certified to teach K-8 in my state.
But I still feel as if I have to defend my choice to homeschool.
Once my son says in a proud, matter-of-fact way, “no, I’m homeschooled!” I always (always though I wish I could stop) feel myself saying, “well I used to teach kindergarten.”
No, no, no.
Any mom (mum) can homeschool. Of course you don’t have a teaching degree from an esteemed university because that misses the point. We as parents can educate our children. In the social situations, the morality, the context, the inquiry based learning, the content…. that we deem fit for our children.
I don’t need to defend my choice. So I pledge here and now that I will just smile. I will run into these situations constantly, because my kids will be free to be out and about in their days — not in a school for 8+ hours, 5 days a week. We will be on outings to museums and the grocery store. We will be learning every step of the way. And it kills me that this “defense” jumps into my head.
I want to discuss why I feel these defenses — well — because we still have a stigma.
- But how will they become socialized?
- But how do you know what they should learn?
- How will they adapt in the real world?
- They need to learn how to stand in line.
- He needs some discipline.
- But when will you “do school” if you’re out and about all the time?
- He needs to be with his peers.
- He needs to get away from you. (that one stings).
- Don’t you want him to just be normal?
I have about ten million reasons why I homeschool. I think, since this space has been absented by me (sorry about that), I think I will share my ramblings on these topics, as they are on my heart and mind always.
I homeschool. And I’m proud. And I have the right to homeschool.
We are currently deciding on whether to send our 4 year old to school in September or whether we should Home Educate. I must be honest and say that the thought of having to defend our choice if we Home Educate is one of the reasons I am hesitating. It shouldn’t be, as I know I shouldn’t care. But there we go, i’m not perfect.
I’m hoping that if we do HE, I will see that it works and that I am capable of teaching my daughter (after all I’ve facilitated her learning everything she knows up until this point!) and that it will be the best choice for us and therefore I will be more confident in defending our choice. But at the moment I don’t have any of that knowledge, so it involves us leaping into the unknown whilst simultaneously having to defend our choice.
I am not qualified as a teacher, so whilst I know you don’t like making that response to people, at least it shuts them up:-)
Mine is in high school…I feel so judged when people ask where he goes to school and we say home school! But I know it is the best thing for him to home school…and he is happy! A happy teenager….and he is social, smart and well educated too…people can be so judge though…and I am not a teacher, his dad isn’t either. He is interested in learning what he wants to know. And is curious.