So the hubs shared my “How We School” post on Facebook, which was something that I had not done–intentionally I might add. Turns out, that post now has tons of hits and lots of readers, making it, according to WordPress, my second most popular blog post ever. It also has a decent amount of FB comments, and it elicited a series of private messages and texts, almost all of which were supportive and encouraging and noted that the post really helped a mommy’s heart feel comfortable with her decision NOT to choose homeschooling, like us.
But I am afraid that some people might misread it, cause the web is good for that…….no tone shared, little clarification given, so albeit after the fact, I have a few bits to add:
1. As a caveat: An explanation of how I school is not a condemnation of how you school. Period.
2. My post is not written to change the mind of a homeschooler. In fact, it is really only written to those Christian, white, Middle Class moms (and even dads) like me that feel the pressure to do the “good SAHM/Christan thing” and teach their children at home. The emotions are real, cause I’ve felt them, and I know others that have too. It is a true battle. Just today at church I was asked how Daniel was liking getting back started with homeschool, from a lady that does not have FB or the Internet to know about the post I made. When I told her Daniel went to public school, she looked surprised and said, “Oh! I thought you homeschooled, cause you are a teacher you know and you are such a good Christian!” Point made.
3. I think that some of the “salt and light” mentalities can *absolutely* be met in homeschool, but very few individuals in the world are intentional enough to make it happen. A service day on a Saturday to the lost is not the same as a relationship with the lost M-F.
4. A trend does not have to be something you know about in order for it to be so. A trend is not necessarily what is most popular either. The raw data may fall in a higher percentage towards another way (public school) but that does not mean that another way (homeschooling) is not growing in numbers or becoming the growing force of tendency (especially when broken down into the demographics I mentioned in the post). Sometimes when I catch it on TV, The Today Show will air YouTube videos that are “trending.” 99% of the time I have not seen a single video. However, that fact of me not knowing about them or seeing them personally does not change that millions of people have already watched it.
5. I know that my sons will be exposed to things in public school that will not fit the ideals and values of a Christian faith. But let’s be real here for a minute, for real for real…….my sons are exposed to things in the home that do not fit the ideals and values of the Christian faith. Because Thomas and I are sinners. We’ve fought before. I’ve yelled at my kids when they’ve made me angry. Sometimes, I am selfish, impatient, or lazy—just plain imperfect. Being at home does not make full resolution of that issue, and if you think that it does, then I would like to meet you and your awesomely perfect self.
6. Falling into the demographic of WASP with middle class income makes me more aligned with the standard homeschooler, which added to the inner battle. Every family that I can name right now that has chosen homeschool is Christian. They are also all white. They are also all Middle Class (cause if they were upper, they would have the money to pay for private Christian education). None that I have ever spoken with have claimed pedagogy, rigor, or relevance as their justification for homeschooling. None that I personally know have said that they had a horrific public school experience (in fact, nearly all never even sent their children to public school for any time at all). Their choice is the promote faith. As noted in USA Today, “83.3% of home-schooling parents named ‘a desire to provide religious or moral instruction’ as an important reason to home-school. Susan Beatty, co-founder and general manager of the Christian Home Educators Association of California, who home-schooled three now-grown children, says most of her group’s members are looking to offer ‘a distinctly Christian education.'” I know the people I know and the blogs I read across the country are not the only indicators or only examples of the homeschool family, by far, but I do think it is the average example. There will always be someone on the fringes but the median remains as described. As a Christian, I *feel* like I should follow suit—Cause if I love God and love my kids, it seems logical. I am just saying that I don’t have to follow that trend, and not doing so is not a disservice to my babies or a ding to the validity of my faith.
I can love God, love people, maintain a resounding faith, AND send my boy to public school. My boys can love God, love people, maintain a resounding faith, AND attend public school.