I’ve written before about the many myths of homeschooling, but many times the reasons why people say no to homeschooling are more complex than just falling for one or two of the silly myths.
I remember specifically having long discussions with my mom about why I thought homeschooling was crazy. I knew one or two people that were planning on homeschooling they’re kids and I talked about how their reasons for doing it were ridiculous and I’d never do that. At the time, my mom agreed with me.
Here’s why I said no to homeschooling:
- Homeschool kids just turn out weird. They aren’t around other kids so they grow up not knowing how to be around their peers.
- Parents who homeschool just don’t want to let go of their kids — serious helicopter parenting.
- Homeschooling means missing milestones like that first day of school, last day of school, dances, football games, prom, graduation, etc…
- Many Christian parents homeschool because they want to shield their kids from the “terrible” things in public school. These parents are just being too overprotective and we need Christian kids in public school to witness to other kids.
Let’s be honest, these points are weak at best and they can be twisted around to fit whatever agenda you want. Before I had kids I these were the reasons I didn’t want to homeschool. After I had kids, these were a lot of the reasons I wanted to homeschool. For me, the above reasons I used in conversation, but the truth is initially I just didn’t want to. I was going to college to have a career and I wanted to work. It was honestly that simple. Once I had Josiah and started working with him as a baby and as a toddler I slowly started to feel that inner pull that I didn’t want to go to work. I wanted to stay at home with him. For how long I wasn’t sure, but I wanted to be with him.
Those reasons slowly turned from being the reason I didn’t want to into the reasons I shouldn’t. It was like I was talking myself out of it because I’d started falling for all the inner lies of why I couldn’t.
I couldn’t homeschool because:
- we couldn’t financially survive with just one income and we’d never get to buy a house
- I didn’t have the patience to do it
- I was in the middle of getting a college degree so I have to use it in a career
- I was meant to do more than just stay home with my kids
All of the “couldn’ts” I just listed were just obstacles to be overcome, not permanent barriers. Finances is the hardest thing to overcome, but with a little adjusting it can be done. The biggest lie of all is the idea that I was meant to do more than just stay at home. The truth is, I was mean to do more than just go to work. I was meant to educate and prepare children to become Godly and productive members of society. That’s a big job.
The funny thing is, once I worked through the “couldn’ts” the reasons why I shouldn’t homeschool became the reasons why I should homeschool.
- Homeschool students do often grow up to be different. They spend a lot of time with peers, but they also spend a lot of time interacting with adults and therefore learning how to be an adult. I’m trying to raise adults, not overgrown kids.
- I love spending time with my kids. I want to see their every accomplishment and show them my loving support in everything they do. I’ve never seen an adult who complained about their parents loving them too much and their parents spending too much time with them as a kid.
- My kids won’t have to experience the crying and anxiety of the first day of school, but we still experience the excitement that comes with starting a new grade level. The dances I went to when I was younger were not the kinds of dances I’d want my Christian children to attend so they’re not really missing anything. Homeschool groups still put together a prom and a graduation so they won’t be missing out on that at all.
- As a Christian parent, you better bet I want to shield my kids from the things going on in public school. Drugs, sex, and hateful attitudes are things that students today are facing on a daily basis in public school. These things were prevalent when I was in junior high 13 years ago (ugh…yes…13 years ago) and I can’t even imagine with everything going on now how bad it is today.
I’m so thankful for my life now and that despite my initial disagreement with homeschooling that I heard God’s higher calling for my life. Now that we’re into Josiah’s second full year of homeschooling I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.