This has been on my mind lately...a lot. It could be due to recent comments people have made to me or to others or recent discussions I have been a part of.
Whether you feel it is a calling or a choice, either way, a decision is made...to homeschool or not to homeschool.
So, why exactly is this particular decision SO controversial?
I actually had an educator not too long ago tell me that the reason the public schools are in such disarray was because of all of the Christians leaving the public schools. So basically, this person point blank told me that I (and others like me) were the reason schools were failing.
My head was spinning! I wanted to get into a discussion with this person and "enlighten" them to the facts. No, no, it couldn't possibly be the schools were already failing their children and because of that, they chose to pull them out and seek alternative means. It could not possibly be because lofty bureaucrats who have never set foot in a classroom or even taught children were handing down new regulations and laughable curriculum. Nope, it couldn't be that terrible educators were teaching their children and they wanted something better. Not all, but some. There are a lot of excellent teachers out there, but sometimes, 1 rotten one is all it takes. (I can say that because I was an educator myself and I saw firsthand. There are just some people who should NEVER be teachers.) Nor could it be that, for some people, like myself, felt called by God to homeschool their kids or people who simply wanted to homeschool to give their children a biblical worldview. However, this was not the time or the place for that discussion, after all, I have to see this person at church week after week and I don't think it mattered what the facts actually were, this person had their mind made up.
What I find really ironic is it is mainly the homeschooling families that are targeted as being controversial. You can pull your child out of one public school to put him in another (even if it is a totally different town) and it is accepted. You can pull your child out of public school and enroll him in a charter school and people don't bat an eye. You can even take your child out of public school and put him in a Christian school and usually no one says a thing. But HOMESCHOOL?!? You might as well have committed some unpardonable sin!
I think, what really gets to me the most though, is that some people...people I had considered friends, would think this way about me. And that hurts. How do I know this? Little comments here and there, snide remarks, or just plain ol' ignorant statements. I have always been respectful of others education choices for their children. I have never been one to push my views and my reasonings onto anyone else. I try not to 'jump on the bandwagon of negativity' even when they come to me upset and talking about whatever recent thing is going on in their children's schools. I try to listen and be a supportive friend. Having been a public school teacher, I try to offer advice that is relevant for their child in their situation. I only offer advice on homeschooling if it is asked of me always pointing out my personal reasons for homeschooling. I always make sure to tell them to pray and seek what God has for them and their families. I cannot make that decision for them. They must make it for themselves.
It's honestly hard to know who to trust when it comes to talking about homeschooling. I mean, I know I can trust my fellow homeschooling friends, but I worry about people who come to me for advice or information who do not homeschool. I know most are sincere, but there are those who take what I say and twist it or think that I think they are horrible for having their kids in public school or something.
Aren't we all just trying to educate our children the way we feel is best for them? Whether it's homeschool, public school, charter school, or private school?
Then why the controversy or competition?
I don't look at my friends down the street at a different Baptist church and think any less of them because they don't go to MY church. We are all believers doing our best to give God the glory and point others to Him.
I don't criticize others for eating at The Olive Garden instead of Jason's Deli. We all just want some good food.
I don't question anyones choice to enroll their child into one sport versus another. They all just want to play.
Then why would I think any less of someone because of their schooling choices? We are all just trying to educate our children...Aren't we?
I like what Matt Walsh said in one of his recent blog posts. I may not always agree with what he writes or how he puts things, but I loved the punch line in this particular one..."we are going to homeschool our kids, but that's only because we hate education."
Hmm, maybe that's why homeschooling is so controversial...we must all hate education...LOL!!!