“I can’t homeschool because…”

(this post sparked a conversation about “What TO say to homeschoolers” in case you’re interested ❤ )

Heaven help me… Honest to God, I truly do not make any judgment of someone who doesn’t wish to homeschool.  Seriously.  But when parents hear that I homeschool, they seem compelled to give me their “excuse” for why they “can’t” homeschool.

Listen, mama–you don’t need to create an excuse for me.  If you’re happy with your current situation, there’s really no need to change it.  I see the value in “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

The reality is this: if you actually thought homeschooling was the better alternative for your child, you would find the ways to get around whatever excuse you’re about to spew out to me.  But the fact is that you simply don’t want to homeschool your child enough to dig any deeper into it.

And that’s totally fine!  AND…

YOU DON’T NEED TO SAY ANYTHING TO ME ABOUT YOUR DECISION NOT TO HOMESCHOOL!

I mean, when I find out that your kid goes to public or private school, I don’t feel compelled to tell you why my kid doesn’t go there.  I also don’t assume that you are laying judgment on me for not taking your family’s path.  I’m sure you feel that your education choices for your child are optimal (for your family at least–but you might actually think it’s ideal for all kids because there are parents that think like this for all kinds of things).

What’s worse is that for every excuse you can give me that is not REALLY the reason you’re not homeschooling, I have a response that will refute that excuse.

“My kid is too social,”… really?  Meet my 10yo who has been known to spend THIR. TEEN. HOURS with the dozen of kids on our former block only to come in and cry that he “barely” got to be with his friends.  Trust me–I “get” having an uber social kid.

“My kid already knows more than me, I wouldn’t be able to teach him/her.”  Again, meet my 10yo.  Today, someone posted this picture and I reposted it on Facebook:

Cell-fie

 

The subsequent post went like this:

Screen shot

Honestly–I don’t even know if what he wrote is correct.  But really, he’s 10.  He has time to correct it.  And I don’t really question it because he belted out such high marks on his biology exam.  Maybe he’s wrong, but the odds are in his favor.  Needless to say: my kid knows more than me about things.  I don’t have to know things.  I facilitate learning, I don’t disseminate information.  And good teachers usually DON’T spew the information into their students heads.

Then there’s the “I can’t handle my kids for the short time they’re home” or “I can’t spend 6 hours/day at the table with them when I can’t handle an hour of homework”… I refuted both of those yesterday.  I think I most appreciate the friend of mine that honestly believed that she couldn’t homeschool her child because she couldn’t manage that child’s behavior–and she wasn’t telling me this as a means of filling the space.  I asked her if she had problems when her child was home and she said she did.  I pointed out that school really wasn’t FIXING the behavior problems–it was giving her a break from them.  She thought about it and (with some degree of melancholy) agreed that this was the case.  And I appreciated her willingness to be honest about it.

Here’s a word of advice: find a new way to respond when you hear someone homeschools. It’s so popular nowadays, you’re going to run into this again–probably soon.  Think of something OTHER than “I could never do that”.  I mean, how would YOU feel if you told me your kid went to public school and I said “I could never do that” and rattled off reasons like “My kid is too social to be stuck in a classroom” or “I want my kid to go to a good school” or “I love my 5yo too much to be away from her all day”.

Think about what you DON’T mind people saying to you when you tell them where your kid is educated… and use that.

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