I read a blog post yesterday by a mom who sends her kids to public school. (Here is the link http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rachel-hillestad/why-i-dont-homeschool_b_3060512.html). It was titled “Why I don’t Homeschool”.
Comments were already closed on this blog or I would have commented on it directly, but it was an eye opener. Rachel has a sister in law who homeschools. This has caused Rachel to feel guilty for not homeschooling. Something I have not considered – that people who choose not to homeschool go through the same self-doubt as those of us who choose to homeschool.
As a relatively new homeschool mom, I have already learned to spin our decision to make it more palatable to people who I can sense aren’t going to agree with it. Right now I say that, since my youngest has another year before she starts kindergarten we are taking the other two out to just enjoy the year, spend more time with grandparents and do a little extra traveling. It sounds reasonable, and who is going to say that spending more time with family is a bad idea?
But the truth is, I’m doing it because I feel its the best place for them right now. If public school was where I felt my kiddos would fare the best I’d send them there. I don’t understand why I should feel judged about my decision or why Rachel should feel that way about hers. I definitely don’t think that people who are sending their kids to public school or private school are doing anything wrong, and there are many days I wish that I was in their shoes! When it comes down to it, I suspect it helps people to feel better about their own decision if they can strongly oppose someone who has made a different one.
I truly believe that as a parent you know what’s best for your kids better than anyone else in the world. Whatever you choose for your children you do not have to justify to me.
I also think that homeschooling has changed so much in recent years that it is barely recognizable. In my book Modern Homeschooling, I try to give an honest account of what homeschooling is like today, and how it is becoming more mainstream everyday. Homeschooling really looks more normal today than it ever has. Maybe, just maybe if we can all see that we have more similarities than differences, we can all stop worrying about what other people think and just get on with being the best parents we can be for our children.