Saturday, October 16, 2010

Parenting Wars: Is it Homeschoolers vs. The Rest of Us?

Recently I have been reading some blogs about homeschooling and the choices parents make in that regard. It seems homeschooling is everywhere now; it’s the IN thing to do or something. Like it’s the new pet rock, or beanie baby.

Now don’t get your dander all up; I’m not belittling homeschooling! Obviously it’s a good choice for many families. I’m just pointing out how I keep hearing about it.

Okay, are you all settled down now, or did that make it worse?

All right, I apologize for the beanie baby comment! Can we move on?

I read a blog post from a homeschool mom about things other parents say to her. If you're interested in the post in its entirety, click HERE (But if you just want to keep reading, I'll sum it up.)

This blogger was talking about the questions she gets asked because she chooses to home school her kids. (i.e. “Don’t they need socialization?” “How do you have the PATIENCE for that?” etc.) She seemed rather offended by these questions, as if the people who asked were passing judgment on her for being backward or repressing her children somehow.

Well, I don’t homeschool my kids, and I will tell you that those questions are crowding into my mind every time someone says they do.

How DO you have the patience and organizational skills to pull that off?

How do you even know what to teach? I would be totally lost.

What ABOUT socialization skills? How do the kids learn to get along with other kids in the real world?

(I‘m just being honest here. Don‘t kill me, y‘all.)

And what is the reason behind all these questions, you homeschool moms ask? Is it because I, who send my kids to (gasp) public school think that you, who (gasp again) keep them home, are making the wrong choice for your child?

No. No it’s not. Because how can I know what is the right choice for someone else’s child?

Am I passing judgment on you for choosing to homeschool?

No, of course not! Far be it from me to pass judgment. (Except on my blog, ha, ha.)

Am I simply shrinking in horror at the thought of having kids home ALL DANG DAY?

Well…maybe a little bit….

Then I read another blog about parenting choices that kind of hit the nail on the head for me.
It’s about how we all have our insecurities as parents, and it’s always hard to be sure you’re doing the right thing for your child. (Again, if you want to read the whole thing, click HERE)

Basically, every time I hear a parent who makes a different choice than I do, I am forced to re-examine my own choices. Even when I’m pretty sure I’m doing the what’s best for my child.

It’s annoying; I don’t like to admit it. But there it is.

As soon as you say your child wasn’t learning well in public school and he is doing so much better at home, I think you’re saying that I’m a bad parent if I feel mine is okay in public school.

And, yes, rationally, I know that this is not the case. I do realize that not EVERY conversation is about ME. (Really!  I do!)

But that’s how it FEELS.

So that’s why we non-homeschool parents seem to be judging you homeschool parents with our pointed questions.

Because we think that YOU’RE judging US!

Isn’t that ironic?

Now…can’t we all just get along?

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed this post. I used to second-guess myself about my parenting choices too. Homeschooling is an interesting subject. I used to homeschool my granddaughter because she has a disability. There are many schools online that provide books and lessons. This year my granddaughter, who is now 13, is taking grade 8 online from the government. The best thing about this is that it's free.