10 Things Homeschool Moms Wish You Knew
1. Our choice to homeschool is not a judgment on you.
We made a decision. For our family. For our kids. It was the best decision for us. For our kids. Not for you or yours. We don’t think less of you because you don’t homeschool. In fact, there are moments we are jealous of you because you actually have 5 minutes alone during the day. However, we are just trying to do what’s best for our kids. We know you are trying to do the best for your kids, too. Don’t judge us. We won’t judge you. It’s a win-win.
2. Our kids are behind in school.
It’s true. My daughter can’t spell “were” to save her life. She’s 13, for goodness sakes. My son hasn’t opened his math book in…well, let’s just say, it’s been a while. They are behind in some subjects. But, let me let you in on a little secret…your kids are behind too. Now, before you start arguing with me that your child just made principal’s honor roll, let me ask you this: Can your 17 year old change the brakes on a car? No? What have you been teaching him? Can your 13 year old plan a Bible lesson and teach a whole room full of students? No? What has she been studying?? Mine can do that and more. So, I guess it’s all about perspective. Mine may not be learning at the same rate as yours when it comes to “school” subjects, but yours aren’t learning at the same rate as mine either. That does not mean my kids are less intelligent. It just means they are learning different things than yours.
3. Our kids are weird.
You’ve seen them – the homeschoolers with their pants pulled up to their armpits and socks pulled up to their knees. They are Weird…with a capital W. There’s no way around it. That’s okay, because I’ve seen kids coming out of public school holding on to their pants, screaming obscenities at their friends as they try to light up their mini cigars. All schooled kids dress and behave like that, so your kids are like that too, right?
Don’t like the stereotype? Neither do we.
The truth is, there are nerdy homeschoolers. There are also nerdy schooled kids. There are thugs who homeschool, and there are thugs in public school. There are also “normal” kids in both settings. It’s not fair to assume our kids are all the same.
4. We really aren't all that patient.
One of the top things we hear when we tell people we homeschool is, “Oh. I could never be patient enough to do that!” The truth is, neither could we. We aren't any more patient than you are. There are days when we scream. There are days when we cry. There are days when we lock ourselves in the bathroom for hours on end. Our kids drive us crazy too.
5. We're just trying to do what's best for our kids.
We think (hope) we have made the best decision for our kids. We don’t need you to tell us otherwise. If we thought we were harming our kids or were robbing them of something wonderful, we would put them in school. We aren’t homeschooling to be controlling. We are homeschooling because we believe we are the best teachers for our kids.
Each homeschooling family has different beliefs, different methods and different reasons for homeschooling. However, regardless of our differences, we are all just trying to do what is best for our kids. We know you are too.
6. Our kids are not trick ponies.
Please don’t ask our kids to do a math problem for you or to spell a hard word for you or to compose a compound sentence for you. They are kids, just like yours. We don’t ask your kids to name the first 20 presidents of the United States. We don’t ask for proof that your child’s education is working. Please don’t insult us by asking for proof of our children’s education.
If you want to have an intelligent conversation with one of our children, then please, go for it! We are quite confident that our kids can converse with you and possibly on a higher level than some of your adult friends. However, if you are just asking for a performance, please buy tickets when the circus comes to town.
What about you?
Would you ever consider homeschooling?
7. Grades don't reflect character.
We are thrilled that your child made honor roll again. It’s great. Really, it is. However, please don’t think that makes your child any better than ours. Grades are just a way of measuring how much information a child has memorized. Sadly, grades don’t always even mean your kids will remember what they’ve learned five years from now. Don’t believe me? Think about your own education. Can you name the important dates of the civil war? No, probably not, unless history is something you are interested in.
While it’s great that your child is doing well in school, we don’t feel grades are the end-all-be-all of living. We summarize our children and others by their manners, their ethics and their character and not by their GPAs.
8. Our kids are socialized.
Number one on the list of the top ten things non-homeschooling people say to us is, “But what about socialization?” People seem to have great concern about whether or not our kids are well-adjusted socially. We would like to assure you, they are doing just fine. Our kids interact with people all the time. We don’t sit around our kitchen tables all alone all the time. We go out. We go on field trips. We go to the library. We go to stores and movies and restaurants. Our kids interact with people of all ages – from babies to the elderly. Because of that, they are very well adjusted and can confidently interact with anyone at any level.
Since we're being honest here, we'd like to say that we are worried about the socialization your kids are getting. They spend all day, every day sitting in classrooms with people of the same age. They aren’t allowed to talk during class. Many times, they aren’t even allowed to talk at lunch. How is that socialization?
9. We worry.
We really don’t need you to list the "what-ifs" for us. "What if he can’t get into college?" "What if you can’t teach her the proper way to dissect a frog?" "What if a 'regular' school was the better way to go?" We worry about all these things and more. We doubt ourselves and hope we haven’t ruined our children. We have the same Mama-guilt as you. Just like you don’t want us to emphasize all the ways you have possibly failed as a parent, we don’t want to hear it from you either. Instead, we would love it if you could say you think it’s great that we’ve given homeschooling a try. Even if you think we are crazy, a little reassurance would be much appreciated. And, if you can't say anything nice about our choices, then please just don't say anything at all.
10. Our kids do "normal" things.
They aren’t missing out on Valentine’s Day parties or gym class or prom or yearbook. They will have homecoming and graduation too. We, as homeschoolers, have all those things and more! Our kids are still kids, and they still do normal things. They just do it a little differently.
We like being different. We are okay being different, and we hope you can appreciate us for our differences!