Today, in Walmart, I overheard a lady say, “Yeh, they are those home-birth, home-schooling types…” in a very negative tone. I smirked to myself because I was flattered to be disassociated with the woman making the statement. Her ignorance on the subject was intended to make the homeschooling type looked down upon but her sloppy appearance and ranting attitude accomplished the opposite.
Her rant got me thinking about all the times people stereotype the “do-it-yourself” lifestyle because they are offended we didn’t do it their way. Our choices were not our way of saying “you aren’t doing it right,” or “we can do it better.” We just made a different decision.
If everyone learns the same thing, in the same way, then want we all just become the same….
I am often told, “I don’t know how you do it,” when someone discovers that we home-school. The fact that most people do not home school makes it an uncommon lifestyle. No one thinks to pick a path they don’t feel comfortable with. It’s unknown and scary. The few stories of homeschooling that most have heard are always the negative ones. Leaving people to assume that teaching your kids must be super hard and has poor results.
Well, like with everything, it takes practice.
I will say this though… I have often thought, “I don’t know how they do it,” about people with kids in traditional school.
I get to pick when I start and finish. I get to pick my holidays. I get to pick my lessons. I get to teach in whatever method works for us. I get to skip assignments or homework if it seems unnecessary. I get to be with my kids. I get to teach lessons without having someone approve them. I can continue to work if we struggle. If you ask me, it seems natural to home school my kids. It works for us. So, I know you might not see it as being possible but it is. And it can be fun and easy!
Once people see how light-hearted I am with our schooling, I then see their concerns of my children’s education. I do not have to turn in tests or do the standard testing that public schools do but I assure you that I have prepared them for life as I feel is best. My values of education are different than that of our government. I believe a focus on character development and individuality is almost more important than the ability to know math vocabulary terms that they will never hear again. I fully believe in teaching all of the normal subjects but I teach them with a healthy balance for a well rounded child.
Creativity and discovery cannot be taught in a book. Independence and personality cannot be developed without time to do so…
I guess to sum up the post, home-school or not, it’s your decision. Feel freedom in making it without all of the negative comments influencing you. You are the parent of that particular child and you will know what’s best for them. You are different than me and I am different than you. And that’s not just OK, but great! It’s exactly how God intended it.