Lately I’ve seen a lot of homeschoolers, some who I count as my closest friends, sharing memes and blog posts along a common theme: what not to say to a homeschooler. I understand that as a counter culture you likely hear a lot of the same things over and over. It can probably get annoying really quickly. But I’d like to give just one perspective on where some of these comments might be coming from.
As a stay-at-home mom, I get this question a lot too. It’s not that people are insinuating that you aren’t doing any work. I think most people ask this because they haven’t spent that much time with their kids. They are used to going to work and really don’t know what they would do to occupy their kids all day.
There are a lot of judgy people in the world and I’m not going to make excuses for them. But there are also quite a lot of people who are genuinely curious and don’t know about all the amazing programs available for homeschoolers. Now’s your chance to teach us about how different homeschooling is from the common perception.
This isn’t always directed at you. I’m sure you’re qualified. It’s me I’m worried about.
This one seems to really miff homeschoolers and I’m not sure why. It’s a compliment. You might not think you have a lot of patience, but trust me, you do! It takes a great deal of patience to be a stay-at-home parent. It takes a lot of patience to be a teacher. You guys are doing both! I’m sure you lose your cool from time to time, but give yourself a pat on the back and take this one as a compliment. Us mainstreamers recognize and admire your patience…even if you don’t see it yourself.
These loaded statements often come off as judgy. I get that. But we mainstreamers often feel the same way when our homeschooling counterparts say equally judgy sounding things against standardized education. When it comes down to it, they both have pros and cons and we’re all trying to do what’s best for our kids. So, as a mainstreamer, I will try my best to refrain from any judgy sounding comments with regards to homeschooling. Can you do the same and not try to make me feel guilty for choosing a traditional school? And maybe we can both work on not being so sensitive?
I hope that clears up some of your feelings toward mainstreamers. I know it’s hard to see eye to eye with a lot of us. But, most of us just don’t know how homeschooling works. Please be patient with us when we ask annoying questions.