30 September 2012

Should Homeschoolers Keep a Low Profile?

We're really proud of the local school.  It's part of living in this town:  we root for the Falcons.  If you homeschool, it's like saying you don't want to be part of the social fabric of the town.  Your children are not participating in something that is important to all of us.  

You're also unintentionally hurting the feelings of some very nice, dedicated people who work hard to keep our local school one of the best in the region.  And you're basically saying that my school isn't good enough for your kid.  I know you don't mean it that way, exactly, but that's how it comes across to a lot of people.

There's also the fact that not everyone can homeschool like you.   People feel guilty or obligated when they hear about the good things that you are doing with your child.  You don't have to say one word about them homeschooling for them to feel judged.  I know you don't want to hear that, but that's just human nature.

And plus.  You never know when you need to go get a job or your situation otherwise changes.  Imagine what people would think if you enrolled your child after stating you think "God" wants you to homeschool right now. God would look pretty stupid, and you don't want that to happen.

I know you really enjoy homeschooling, but I think you should just tone it down a little. 

This guest post is one local mom's answer to the question, "Should homeschoolers keep a low profile?"  What do you think?  Are homeschoolers too out-and-about and prideful?




13 comments:

  1. I don't think home-schoolers need to keep a low profile any more than I think regular-schoolers should stuff it down everyone's throat. Either option should be equally acceptable. I don't think it says that you don't think the local school isn't good enough, just that your child needs a different curriculum package.

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  2. It never occurs to anyone out here that your child might be home schooled. No need to keep a low profile. We don't exist. ☺

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  3. In a perfect world, I think we would all feel secure in our decisions about how we parent and educate our children. But, the truth is we all second guess and buy in to other people's oughtisms...

    But, here's the truth, while your local school may meet the needs of 80% of the students in your community, it isn't meeting the needs of the kids who live outside the standard deviation of "normal." I started homeschooling because the school district wanted to put my child in a locked classroom all. day. long. Her behavior was, admittedly, difficult to manage. But, I simply didn't want her locked in a class all day with kids modeling bad behavior. We continue homeschooling because we really, truly enjoy the life we found when we disconnected from the public school calendar.

    And, by most American standards, I NEEDED a job and our family needed extra income years and years ago. I make my own bread, we grow our own food, we do without cable, movies and dinner out. We don't own a vehicle with less than 150000 miles on it. We don't go on vacations. My kids have never been to Disneyland. We aren't saving for college... Our entire "nest egg" purchased a farmsite. The 100+ year old home has not been maintained and we are moving out there. My husband just purchased a mint green (original color) wood stove and is installing it in the basement for a heat source. When we move there, we hope to sell the home we live in and be debt free. Still, our lifestyle depends on the health of a hard working man.

    We are all just looking at our gift, talents and resources and doing what we feel is best for our family. When we find peace, I know people believe it is God's will. But, I suspect peace is found and God's will is felt in public school families too.

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  4. You know, at a small gathering yesterday I realized that once again, homeschooling had become the subject of conversation, and I had to ask myself, why do you always start talking about homeschooling in mixed company.

    Then I realized why. When strangers meet a child, the first thing they ask is "what school do you go to". She says "I'm homeschooled", and the conversation goes from there.

    Not my fault.

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  5. I'll say it again: "Homeschooling is a great option!" I want people to at least consider it. I feel for people who want to homeschool but can't. I realize that some families decide it's not best for them, and they would know best. And as far as God wanting you to do something today... I've found that sometimes He's decided He did want me to do it the day after. But, yes, it's all in how you present that idea, isn't it [smile].

    ~Luke

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  6. Why would I keep a low profile on it?

    It's legal and we are awesome at it! :P

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  7. I think people should be who they are and stop expecting other people to validate their choices. People who have no tolerance for homeschoolers are saying more about themselves and their insecurities or fears than they realize.

    I don't keep a low profile, nor am I an activist. I am just me and if people don't like it... well, I don't really care.

    Hah! Finally a benefit to being 40! Not caring!

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  8. I've been homeschooling for over fifteen years and I have to say, nothing in this public school mom's argument is new. And I have to say, I agree with Deb's comment above. If people don't like that I homeschool, so what? I'm not that invested in pleasing them. I do this for me and my family. I talk about homeschool because it is what I know. If my homeschooling makes someone insecure, they should look to themselves as to why that is so. Because when they talk about the wonderful things their kids do in school, it doesn't bother me in the least. In fact, sometimes I get great ideas that I can adapt for my kids. :o)

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  9. Well, I feel the tension all the time and hate it because I can really care less whether or not someone is homeschooling their child. I've been in both boats and both are fine. The weird thing about moms is that they think their way is always right. There are different ways to parent!

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  10. It use to have more of a stigma than it does now. Even teachers are joining us.

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  11. I wrote a response to this post. It can be found at http://dave-homeschooldad.blogspot.com/2012/11/should-homeschoolers-keep-low-profile.html

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  12. The social fabric of a town is not defined by the school district. The social fabric of a town includes businesses, churches, clubs, and organizations such as the VFW, Knights of Columbus, and political parties. Defining the social fabric of a town as the culture of a school district is narrow, at best. So, homeschoolers are not saying that they don’t want to participate in the social fabric of a town. Are homeschoolers saying that your school isn't good enough for their kid? Yeah, probably. For a variety of different reasons, whether the issue is social or educational or spiritual, homeschoolers believe that they can do it better at home. Standardized tests coupled with the success homeschoolers are experiencing in society at large clearly demonstrate that homeschooling parents are correct. They can do it better. Is this unintentionally hurting the feelings of some very nice, dedicated people who work hard to keep our local school one of the best in the region? Maybe, but since when is it a requirement in our nation to sacrifice the interests of our children in order to avoid unintentionally hurting the feelings of another person? Are you suggesting that homeschoolers have an obligation to enroll their children in public school in order to avoid hurting the feelings of those people who became certified teachers? That’s silly. Lastly, the vast majority of homeschoolers are not actively judging other people because those people choose to educate their children in a public school. If someone is feeling judged, they need to look inside themselves to see why. Most homeschoolers just want to be accepted like everyone else, without being judged. Live and let live.

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Non-troll comments always welcome! :)