One of the things that frustrates me about home education is the way “others” view it, by others I mean those who do not home educate. They never seem to grasp that it is something that families truly believe in, so they have a tendency to always advise the home educator to quit. If the home educator ever thinks to utter the words “It was a rough week” or “This week I have been feeling rather tired” or “I am not sure about …” Then the response it the standard “well, I think that it is time you put them back into school.”
Now lets just take a step back and think about something. If a wife says something along those lines about her husband, do you automatically tell her “well, I think it is time you divorced him”.
If a working person says something along those lines about their job do we tell them it is time to quit their job?
So why is that the default setting when it come to home educators. Why can they not admit that they are having a hard week or even a hard month without someone encouraging them to just give up. And why is the advise to give up instead of some kind words of encouragement?
I have thought a lot about this over the 11 years we have been home educating and I think the reason is because non home educators still feel that school is the right place for ALL kids and they have not really understood that sometimes school is just NOT an opinion. (And yes I promise the home educator knows about the schools in the area – there really is no need to start telling us about some school that you think we have never heard about, we did not chose to home educate because we failed to notice the local schools.)
So next time you see that home educator looking exhausted and looking like they would really love to quit, try and put yourself in their shoes. Think if you had a kid for whom school was not an opinion, would you just give up or you would also keep fighting for your kid to have the kind of education that they need.
And if you can not put yourself in their shoes then please remember that old saying – “If you have nothing nice to say then just say nothing”. Honestly rather just nod your head, keep your “helpful comments” to yourself and walk on.
I commend you for trying so hard to do right by you children….a mom knows best.and has more insight into her family’s situation…