We've decided to home school our children until it no longer works for us. The reactions I've received to this decision have been varying and enlightening. They are very similar to the reactions I got when I decided to go for a natural birth with Max. Some people were encouraging. Others told me to be careful and not plan too heavily on it. After all it might not work out. Others felt like my choice required them to give their reasons for not having a natural birth. Some expressed their desires to do the same followed by some sort of derogatory comment about themselves being wimps.
When people find out I'm home schooling, some of them say it's a great choice. Others warn me about not being able to get anything else done, stressing myself out, and needing a housekeeper. Still more give me reasons why homeschooling isn't good. Sadly, a few make comments equivalent to, "I can't/don't want to do that. Does that make me a bad mom?"
Ladies, STOP IT!
Someone else's choice for their family is in no way a reflection on you and how you are doing as a parent. A lot of thought and prayer went into this decision, including my children's personalities, their talents, my talents, my vision and desires for education, mine and Rob's education and passions, Rob's work schedule, etc.
The opportunities that I feel open up to my family with the decision to home school leaves me feeling energized and animated. I can't wait to get started! I have big ideas and plans! Rob is with me every step of the way and gets in on the teaching and experimenting.
Not everyone feels this way. And that's okay!
We've got to stop judging ourselves by the mom down the street.
I've seen so many people just rip into home schooling blogs. Their comments drip of bitterness. At first I wondered why. Then I read a few blogs from home schoolers, and now I would like to clear the air.
I am not homeschooling to protect my children from the outside world. Actually, I hope to put my children in contact with our community MORE than they would get in the public school system.
I am not homeschooling my children for religious reasons. I don't consider the public school system evil or think it is trying to create a nation of atheists. Occasionally, a few teachers might have that on their radar, but not very many of them.
I am not homeschooling because I had a poor experience in the public school system. I want to be clear on this. I had so many fantastic teachers growing up. This choice is in no way a reflection on any of them. There are so many good teachers in our schools. The problems with our education system have almost nothing to do with the quality of our teachers.
I do not think that anyone who sends their kids to public school is lazy or doing their child a disservice.
I am not homeschooling to create super geniuses. If that happens, awesome. But my goal is more to create a learning environment that allows my children to learn at their own pace (whether slower or faster), linger over subjects they find truly fascinating, and understand that learning is a lifelong, joyful process.
I do think there are problems with our school system. I don't have time to get into all of them in one post. Suffice it to say, a top-down, test-heavy, standardized approach is not the right one for our beautiful, sensitive, diverse, and naturally creative children.
I will probably write here about our home school. Why I do it and love it. The advantages. Whatever. But please don't ever take that as me judging or thinking less of you.
I'm homeschooling. You probably are not.
As long as both of our children are getting an education, I'd say we're both pretty good moms.
**If you're interested in the situations and ideas that led to this decision, and my vision for education, let me know. I'd be more than happy to write about it.**