Mar 1, 2010

QOTW: Your Decision to Homeschool

On one of my many yahoo group list subscriptions, a homeschooling mom posts a Question of the Week. Sometimes I respond and sometimes I just giggle at the incoming rhetoric that follows. This week however I couldn't keep my fingers from typing and instead of posting a HUGE response to the list, I sent a shortened version and pasted the rest here!

The QOTW was: What did people first think when you told them your decision to home school?

Here is my response -
I was EXTREMELY fortunate to have a super supportive family, right from the get go! Quite a few of them actually said things like, "What took you so long?" and "I had a feeling this was coming."

Now you might think that is because we have other homeschoolers in our family, but we don't. I didn't even know any homeschoolers and had a hard time at first finding local homeschoolers when I pulled my daughter out of PS - mid 5th grade year. I knew it was the right decision though and my family respects and trusts me enough to know that I know best for my daughter. Since then they have seen that my daughter has changed in incredible ways and hear from her all the wonderful things that she gets do because she is homeschooled.

I did have one sister that said "Are you sure this is the best thing to do?" and still continues to ask me things like "So is she going back to school next year?" but truly 1 out of 7 siblings really isn't that bad.

As far as my friends - especially those that I had made through working and volunteering in the school system - had mixed reactions. Most of them were quietly supportive, NO ONE said that I shouldn't do it. Even her teacher at the time said that she thought it would be a great fit for my daughter.

Some of them, you could tell, were hesitant to say much because I was flat out going against what they were doing, but I tried to stand my ground as PS not being a good fit for MY daughter. I tried to not BASH the system in front of her friends and mine. Once in a while something would slip out, generally the parents would agree with what I was saying and then I would get the onslaught of "I could never be with my child that much," " I don't know how you do it," "I don't have the patience," etc, etc, etc...I am sure you have heard the mantras of the masses.

But as with any other change in lifestyle ~ moving, a new job, having kids, getting a new hobby, ~ your friends change and those that stick by are the ones that you know are the true friends, not just passing acquaintances.

I have also come to find, through this crazy journey, that I have found MORE true friends, that have the same principle values as I do. They cherish their families above all else, enjoy their children, love learning, respect their children, think of how things effect others, and appreciate the little things. Not to say that all homeschoolers are saints, by ANY MEANS, but I don't find myself hesitating to express my opinion as much because I know that it will be respected and not crushed if it is different from others.

For those that get the "You're crazy," "That is the wrong thing to do," "How are you going to homeschool?" responses from people, STAND YOUR GROUND! Only you truly know what is best for your child(ren). Hopefully time will prove them wrong and they will get to see how right you were!

Homeschooling is not for everyone, but for those that take this path it is truly an adventure like no other! Here are some great articles that might help you with responses to some of those kooky questions we all get -
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