I was not homeschooled. I went to good ole’ public school and rode the bus for several years before I started riding with my brother and started driving. How was my education? It was good enough. I learned what I needed to know and succeeded in college without dropping out. Do I think I could have learned more? Yes, I’m learning a lot of stuff now that I feel like I should have learned then. Is it public educations fault that I didn’t learn it? Not really. There were many things — OK subjects — that I despised and could barely sit through without daydreaming and squirming. Those subjects would be science and history. They were boring to me. They didn’t appeal to me. It’s really sad because now I have a huge interest in history and science.
It’s interesting because I’ve noticed that sometimes when you tell people that you’re homeschooling this is what they hear: “We are homeschooling. We are against all other forms of school and look down on those that don’t love their children enough to sacrifice and homeschool them.”
I became a member of a conservative Christian homeschool group on Facebook a few days ago. It said under their “about me” stuff that they were a conservative homeschool group and were against public school, private school, and Common Core. *Sidenote: I’m not 100% against Common Core. I think there are positives and negatives just like anything else. Also despite disagreeing with this group I am a conservative Christian.* Once I started looking at the posts in this group it was very clear that they were not lying about being conservative. Actually, I’d probably put them more close to extreme than just conservative.
From what I could gather, there was never negative discussion about the list of standards passed down from Common Core or even the new methods of teaching (which aside from anti-CC websites I’ve not seen anything that suggests they are handing out a new way of teaching, just new standards). They were basically saying that because this is a federal thing they weren’t going to support it. It was very anti-government. Several of them were frustrated about the forms they had to fill out for the public schools because it contained information like their phone number or email. They were basically saying that the government needed to stay out of their business. There was even a discussion going on against Sunday School and Children’s Church because it was pretty much the same thing as a public school classroom. No one explicitly said that they looked down on parents who send their kids to public schools, but their comments were suggestive. All I could think of while reading all these comments was, “Public school is the devil!” (Waterboy reference if you didn’t catch it.)
I left the group because I could not agree with them. I do not hate public school. If it weren’t for public school I wouldn’t have an education at all. Homeschooling is NOT for everyone. There are many successful people that went to public school and loved it (well except for junior high I’m sure…maybe high school). I don’t think it is right for homeschool parents to be so negative towards public school in the same way that I don’t think it is right for people to be so negative about homeschool. We homeschool because it is what is right for our family. It doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing. It shouldn’t matter what anyone else is doing.
I guess it really bothered me that they seemed to have this attitude that because they homeschool they are better and because they are stay at home moms they are better (in their defense they may not have intended this, but it was the vibe I got and I’m a SAHM). I’ve only been a stay at home mom for seven months. I used to be that mom that worked and didn’t see her kid most of the day. My kids were going to go to public school. I made myself feel guilty enough that I wasn’t staying at home and homeschooling. I didn’t need anyone else making me feel guilty.
The biggest reason I left the group was the anti-government notion. Like I said, it seemed like the number one reason for hating Common Core and public school was because it was something regulated/created/monitored by the federal government. They didn’t like having to send paperwork into the schools showing that they were homeschooling. Now, there are some states that are heavily monitored and that makes homeschooling difficult, but I don’t think it is too much to ask that you send a piece of paper to the school stating that your are homeschooling and that it have your email or phone number on it.
This is going to be a bit off topic (yet still on topic) for me, but people have to be careful about anti-government talk. Here are a few things that the federal government is responsible for:
- Our military — This is essential for protecting our country from attacks such as Pearl Harbor and 9/11. You may not agree with war, but I’d rather it be far away than in my back yard (paraphrasing The Patriot).
- Student grants — College anyone? Most students have to get grants if they want to go to college. Not possible without the federal government.
- Student loans — As much as I hate them federal student loans are the reason I have a degree and didn’t go bankrupt trying to get it.
- Money — Do you realize that the paper in your pocket means absolutely nothing without the gold, silver, etc that the federal government has to back it up. That’s why Confederate money is worth just as much as Monopoly money when it comes to buying groceries.
Those are the big four that I can think of. There are other things (some are more controversial), such as WIC (Women Infants and Children) program, Medicaid, Medicare, SNAP (or food stamps), unemployment, and all the other federally funded programs.
I do agree that there are times when the government tries to help where they are not necessary, but they are not bad. I do not believe that the government has it out for us or that they are all setting out to make us mindless drones and take over our children.
If you are a homeschooling parent or stay at home mom, please be careful not to be the opposite extreme (anti-public school advocate) of what we face everyday with people being negative about homeschooling. If your children go to public school, do not feel bad or feel like anyone is telling you that you’re wrong/less of a parent for not homeschooling. If someone has told you that, ignore them. That’s what we do when someone tells us we should send our kids to “real school”. Don’t let a few ignorant (literal use of the word, not a derogatory statement) people try to convince you what is best for your family. Do what is best for you.