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time to get off the fence moms and dads
Moms and Dads, you’re this close to homeschooling your children. You found an affordable curriculum. You’ve read praise report after praise report of parents and children who love learning from home.
But you’re still not convinced that it’s for you.
May I ask a question?
What are you waiting on?
I’ll be super honest, I wasn’t completely sold on the idea at first either. For some reason, I kept playing the scene from Mean Girls over and over in my head. Remember Lindsay Lohan’s character Cady’s voiceover about what others thought of homeschooling?
I can’t get the picture of those spacey kids in the cornfield and what the boy said about Jesus out of my head.
I certainly didn’t want that type of experience for my son. I know the most criticized part of homeschooling is the social aspect. Society is brainwashed to believe kids can’t be productive citizens without a traditional education.
Speaking as the Queen of the Introverts, that simply isn’t true.
It’s been 28 years since I left high school. I remember feeling isolated even around my close friends at Westside High. Trying to be seen as a person and not a noun AKA nerd by the cool kids was tough.
If you read or listen to the daily news for the last 15 years or so, you know what I’m talking about.
Don’t misunderstand, I know these stories have more to do with mental health, gun control, and other issues that aren’t being addressed, but I can’t help but fear the worst for public education.
When I graduated high school in 1989, the school had one uniformed officer. By the time my best friend’s brother graduated the following year, there were three policemen. When I returned 10 years later to get a copy of my transcript for college, my high school had a police station inside.
My son’s former elementary school has a police station too.
My reasons for disenrolling my son had nothing to do with crime, but when I turn on the TV or look at my smartphone, I feel more confident about the decision to homeschool.
Our first duty as parents is to nurture and protect our children. In today’s educational system, you have to worry about two sets of bullies. The ones in the classroom and the ones in the legislature could care less about your child’s well being.
Even with Keith’s ADHD, taking him out of school was emotionally challenging. The first pushback I received was from my husband until he learned his son was being labeled as a bully. The other pushback I received was from my father in law.
My father in law is old school. When we asked if he would pay for online learning, he shied away from it. His explanation: the boy’s gotta learn to take orders.
While I appreciate his concern for his grandson; I know he didn’t understand how complex the situation was. I didn’t get upset; I found a way to teach my son that was affordable. What I understand is how deep certain issues run when it comes to tradition.
What got me off the fence was giving tradition, pardon my French, the middle finger. Just because something has been this way for decades doesn’t mean it’s supposed to stay that way. Show of hands, who wants to go back to using an outhouse?
I didn’t think so.
If the lack of social interaction bothers you most cities and even small towns have homeschooling co-ops. Groups of parents form co-ops to form activities like field trips and sports for homeschool kids. If you attend church, there’s Bible School or you can sign your child up for affordable classes at the YMCA.
Now that I’ve taken that tired old excuse from you, let’s get to the real reason why you won’t homeschool.
You’re scared of other people’s opinions!
There. I’ve said it so you won’t have to.
When I say this, please don’t take this as a criticism, but an act of kindness. I’m not calling you weak. I truly, truly, get how other people’s opinion influence what we say, think, do or even dress. It’s nothing to get angry about.
But it is time to get serious.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the public school system sucks. Even Bill Gates agrees and this man dropped out of Harvard! Some years ago when Oprah ruled daytime talk, he cautioned that the current systems teach values from the Industrial Revolution.
Simply put, the skills our kids learn now were good for the 1950s, but in today’s tech-driven world, they are seriously behind. Thanks to texting, Skyping, and everything else children have lost their imagination.
Imagination put a man on the moon, created computers, and taught us how to fly.
At three years old, my son told his grandmother he couldn’t ride with her until he had his belt. He held up his daddy’s belt and told grandma to put it in the car so he could go to the store with her.
We knew he meant seatbelt, but the fact is he put that together in his head. He knew grandma’s rear seatbelts didn’t work, he knew it had to be fixed, and he came up with a solution.
Imagination at it’s best!
We could’ve sat him down and tried to explain to him why he couldn’t follow grandma. We could’ve issued a stern warning about him asking the same question over and over. We could’ve have redirected his attention to something else, but we didn’t.
Instead of wasting time trying to explain why he couldn’t do it; he figured it out.
Moms and Dads, instead of wasting time trying to please other people, figure it out. Your children need this. You’re the first teacher: do you want to raise leaders or followers?
Still on the fence? Try these tactics when you’re feeling pressured by the naysayers:
Not the mama! Not the mama! Not the mama!
It’s your child. It’s your decision how they’re going to be educated. Do you really think they would care if you were sending your kid to a pricey private school you couldn’t afford?
No. However, you may get talked about behind your back about how you can’t afford private school. Just saying.
Thanks, but no thanks
I’ve said in another one of my blogs. Opinions are like sphincter muscles, everyone has one. Where were they when your kid was up all night with colic?
Miserable Like Me
Some people don’t want to change. The minute you challenge the status quo, you’re the one with the problem. Was their first response, “why you wanna do that?” or was it “Oh, I heard that’s tough, but more power to you. You can do it!”
Things that make you go hmmmm.
Real talk, homeschooling is hard. Sometimes your children don’t feel like learning. Some days you don’t feel like teaching.
But do you want to know where the real blessings are? You’re both learning together. You’re not the shadow person who signs the permission slips and show up at PTA with your foot halfway out the door because you’re ready to leave as soon as you get there. You’re the person shaping your child’s future.
I can’t think of a better excuse to homeschool!
How about you? Are you still on the fence? Were you like me? Did it take a building falling on your head to get the point? Please share your comments below.
Bonnie Harris Price