Just a few years ago, homeschool was a term that struck fear in the hearts of most sensible people. Just ten years ago, if a parent were to even discuss the possibility of homeschooling their own kids, they were considered to be borderline insane. Most people, including some close friends and family, thought we were nuts when we decided to take our 2nd and 4th grade kids out of school and educate them at home. Those well-intentioned folks who knew the least about homeschooling were the most fearful and concerned. Well, eight years later and both our kids are still in homeschool, now doing college-level work and testing at or above college levels.
Finally, people are beginning to understand the value of homeschool. Lot’s of parents are deciding to homeschool and take responsibility for their children’s education. According to Janice Lloyd in a report for USAToday.com, the number of children who are homeschooled have steadily increased over the past five years. In 2007, the number of homeschooled children in the U.S. had increased 74% since 1999, when the the U.S. Department of Education began to keep track. Even though homeschooling has become more “acceptable” as a legitimate form of education in recent years, there are still those “well-intentioned” family and friends concerned for the education of your kids. Here’s how we handled the situation and how you can handle, too.
Everyone Knows Public Schools Aren’t What They Used to Be
Just look at the news and you’re likely to see the shortcomings of the public education system in the U.S. Today’s public and private schools are faced with problems of violence, bullying, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, and all types of sexual promiscuity. Students who are trying to get an education do not need to be dealing with these sort of things at school. While there are many teachers and administrators in the school system who care deeply for their students, these same students are being exposed to many negative aspects which have a direct effect on their quality of education. It was an easy decision to remove our kids from a private school and bring them into our homeschool.
Some Will Say You’re Not Qualified to Homeschool Your Own Kids
You know what? Yes, you are qualified to be your kids teacher. And who cares more about your kids education than you? That qualifies you to be the best teacher for your own kids. Besides, the homeschool curriculum that is available today makes it so simple to teach the any subject to your kids. Even seemingly difficult concepts are made more easily understandable with the many types of study courses available today. When someone questions your qualifications as a teacher for your own kids, you just ask them who taught their kids to walk, talk, use the bathroom, eat, use manners, dress themselves, and their ABC’s. They did. They are the best teacher for their kids, and you’re the best teacher for yours. Your kids will never have a better teacher than you.
Some Will Say Homeschooled Kids Are Not Properly Socialized
OK, other than school, when is any child ever going to be in the same place six hours a day, with people of the same age, doing the same thing? Is that proper socialization? That’s not what occurs in the real world, so how can that be considered “normal” socialization. Perhaps they mean the ability to socialize with others who drink, use drugs, or consider sex a recreational pursuit used to move up the social ladder at school? Kids that attend a public school are going to be socialized at the same level as all the other surly teenagers around them. In my experience with teaching in schools, conservatories, and church groups, I have found that the more mature kids are the homeschooled kids. Websters defines the term socialization as a process whereby one behaves in a way that is acceptable to their society. Homeschooled kids are better socialized to the larger society as a whole. Public school kids who are socialized to their fellow society of students.
Look, it really doesn’t matter what others think or say about your decision to homeschool. You have chosen to take responsibility of your children’s education from a system that is obviously not doing it’s best and place them in a system where they can be educated properly. Fortunately, people’s overall perception of homeschool is changing for the better. But, on the off chance that your in-laws tell you they are concerned, just help them to be better informed about homeschool. Teach them about the benefits, advantages, and positive aspects of homeschool. After all, you’re a teacher, right?
“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” – Mark Twain
USAToday.com; “Homeschooling Grows”
ParentingFreedom.com; “Homeschooling: Objections Answered and Subjects Examined”
Homeschooling.Gomilpitas.com; “Pros and Cons of Homeschooling”
HomeSchoolCurriculumAdvisor.com; “Find the Best Homeschool Curriculum for Your Family”