It’s interesting. I share an older post again and through the comments suddenly have so many thoughts in my head that I simply need to write another post about the subject. My last Blast From The Past just did this. It’s a lot about homeschooling today, I know 😉
Anyway. I love to hear everyone’s thoughts about it. What I enjoy the most is when people tell me not to bother as long as things work for us and mainly for our children. I couldn’t agree more. Having said that it’s sometimes not that easy to let remarks just drop off you like water drops off a duck in the water. And the problem is not that I think those people are right in regards to their concerns. Sometimes remarks stick to you because you do question your decision every so often. Of course you do. I think you wouldn’t do a good job if you would never think about it and the rights or potential wrongs. When people ask you about why you decided to home-school and raise their concerns in a moment where you are actually in the process of re-evaluating your decision then those remarks will stick to you.
I don’t think it’s a bad thing. Maybe parents who had to choose a school do the same. Did you really choose the right school for your child? Would the public or private system work better for your child? Would another school in another zone be better for your child’s needs? Are the teachers the right people for your child? And so on. I bet all parents question themselves too, question their decision. I don’t buy that you are always 100% convinced about a decision that influences your child in the moment and your child’s future. You will always get to a point where you, at least for a split of a moment, question your decision. So guess what: It’s not any different when you home-school. At least not for me.
And I guess the questions I ask myself in those moments might as well be the same questions I get asked from people around me. Are we convinced that we can teach them what they need to know? Can we get them to the level they need to be? What about socialization? What about high school? Don’t they want to go to school? What about different influences, different teaching styles?
All those questions do come up. They need to. Like with a business plan you need to monitor if it still works the way it did in the beginning. Adjustments might be necessary. Maybe the entire approach does not work any longer. People change and when they do they need different inputs, different approaches.
I guess that’s why you are always a bit on your toes when you home-school your children. Because there’s nobody else to blame if their education ends up being not good enough. You screwed up. No teacher to blame, no school to blame, no school zone to blame, no financial background to blame for not being able to afford a private school, no systems to blame. That’s something people who critizise you for your decision to home-school forget. You take a risk. You are in charge. Not just for choosing the right school and the drop off and pick up in time. You are in charge of their curriculum and following it through. You are in charge of teaching them what they need to know and even more. You are in charge of getting them to the point where they can get a university degree. The responsibility lies on your shoulders. They weight is carried by you and you only. Nobody else carries it with you.
If you never question your decision, you are either extremely confident or you kind of don’t care. And I doubt that as a parent you can ever be either extremely confident or careless.
So as long as we can walk away from all the thoughts we have as well re homeschooling and we are still confident that it’s the right thing for our children, as long as they are still happy to be home-schooled, we will happily continue. And so far this has been the case.
What those remarks, questions and in some cases criticism do, is keeping us aware of what we do. And they help us appreciate what we actually have by being able to spend so much time with our kids.
I see what they learn, I know where they’re at. I see their happy faces and hear their giggles. I can spend time with my children and in all of that I know that nobody is screwing them up. So far I’ve never doubted our decision. Yes, the remarks and the judgment of some people didn’t always and probable will not always simply drop off me. But that’s not a bad thing either. It keeps me on my toes. It makes me think and re-evaluate. And as long as I can say “yes, it still is the right thing for us and yes, we can do it” we will continue and enjoy every single minute we spend together.