Sometimes the outside world looks at homeschool families too highly and with excessive expectation. Or the outside world can look at us with undeserved suspicion and alarm. We can be stereotyped negatively or positively. Either way, they need to know that we are normal parents who love their kids. In fact, we’re just like them. Here’s what the outside world needs to understand about homeschool families.
This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. I will receive a commission if you purchase from these links. Thank you.
People need to know…
That we know how to educate our children – it takes dedication, love, and knowing that child better than anyone else
Yes! Any dedicated parent can homeschool. I’m a former classroom teacher, but I will be the first to admit that I’m a much better homeschool parent than I was a public school middle school teacher trying to reach 32 new students each hour of the day. So, if you feel less-than because you don’t have a teaching degree – don’t! I’m convinced that a parent who loves and knows their child better than anyone else is in the perfect position to teach that child.
That homeschooling is a personal choice with a million different reasons why we believe it’s best for our family
Many families start out homeschooling for one reason, then might continue homeschooling through the years for totally different reasons. Know your WHY. This will keep you going through the hard days. Want to know why we started? Here’s our story.
That we have good days and bad days
We’re human. Our kids are normal kids. We have good days and bad days just like families who don’t homeschool.
That we are not more patient than you are with your children
Oh, this is a great one! How many times have you heard the comment, “Well, I could never homeschool because I would end up killing my kids! I just don’t have the patience.” I always respond with, “Well, neither do I.” We are not super-parents. In fact, we might see our impatience with larger eyes than other parents because we ARE home with our kids all day. We’re confronted with our parenting failings each day. But we also have the rare opportunity to do life with our kids, through the good, the bad, and the ugly. There are many days when I need to say “I’m sorry” to my kids for losing my temper or not speaking kindly. I get to model that kind of real-life conflict resolution with them. Am I doing it perfectly? No way! But I do think that I am growing in this area because it is a daily discipline.
That our kids are normal kids
Sometimes people assume we have extra-specially-behaved children because we can homeschool. No, we just have routines and flows and expectations that help everyone navigate daily schooling at home. And we try to be organized, because clutter and chaos adds to inter-personal issues. But our kids are normal. See above.
That we’re not anti-public or anti-private school, just pro-homeschool for this child at this season of life
Many homeschooling families will send one or several children back into the traditional school system for a year or several years. Because we do what’s best for each child each year. Just because we homeschool doesn’t mean we hate public schools or teachers or administrators. No, in fact, many of us poured years into that system as teachers before we began homeschooling. We just know that for this season, homeschooling is the best choice for our kids.
That we don’t look down on your choice not to homeschool
No judgment here, and most homeschool families are not judging their friends who don’t make the same choice. We all need to be confident in our family’s priorities in this season, know our WHY, and stop feeling deflated by FOMO (fear of missing out).
That we don’t think we’re better than you just because we choose to educate our children differently
Sadly, this stereotype has taken deep root in our culture. The goal, whether public or home schooled, is to nurture kids who love to learn. Work your priorities. Love others.
Sometimes we have no idea what we’re doing
Oh yeah, truth right here! We might seem like we have it altogether, but sometimes we’re just barely making it through each day. Once again, it’s like all of life (and parenting) – you learn as you go.
What would you add? What does the outside world need to understand about homeschooling families?