Fighting The Stereotype

I was horrified at the stereotype of homeschooling. I was. I wasn’t someone who was born and knew that I wanted to grow up, have more than an average amount of children, and homeschool them. I wasn’t.

The fact of the matter is, that is exactly who I became and I couldn’t be happier. I spent the first year of homeschooling embarrassed of it. I hated the looks I got. I hated the questions. I hated being viewed with pity, with judgement, or with disapproval. It sucked, quite frankly, but then I got over it. Sometimes, I think the tendency when put on the defensive, is to get all girl powered up over it and defend. I don’t want to take that route either. Education is not a right or wrong situation. Most parents have the same goals for their children. How we get there is often different…

…which makes sense because people are different. Families are different. Education can be different as well. There are faults in each system, there are bad apples in each bunch. The more we grow and understand each other, the better. I never really understood homeschooling prior to doing it. Yet, I made judgements about it. Looking back now, I’m not really sure why. It’s hard and quite shameful to judge something that you don’t even know. I’m guilty.

I love knowing that every single day before he leaves for work, my husband will turn on the light by his bed. I can count on it as sure as the sun will rise. As soon as he leaves, I turn it off. I like to sleep with a fan on. Husband doesn’t. I like to stay up until 1 am. Husband, not so much. My husband has chap stick at all times, I hate the stuff. The list goes on and on. We all have our quirks and routines, as well.  You can be sure that every night, after my things are done, I will cover my husband’s chair with my favorite blue blanket and sit and read, blog, and watch t.v. You can also be sure that if my baby can find a way to cross his legs when sitting or sleeping, he’s gonna. Differences make us unique. Life would be so boring without them. I recognize that these differences are of much less significance than education choices, but the point is still the same.

Differences should be accepted. Differences should be understood and celebrated all the way around. Homeschooling has reminded me  of another brilliant life lesson. We should be super understanding of differences in each other. In addition, when we find ourselves on that road less traveled, we should travel our road with our eyes straight up and not looking around for others approval. When we are looking around, I am convinced that we are missing the glorious view He gives us from above. With my eyes focused on what others think, I am probably going to find myself bitter and unsatisfied. Even more devastating, I will probably end up questioning what it is that I am doing in the first place.

I am going to do everything I can to fight the stereotype that is homeschooling and I am going to do it NOT because I want to fit in, but because it is what God has called me to do for my children. I want to do the best job I can. That is the testimony that I want to live. Lord willing, our children are going to grow up happy, well adjusted, socialized, and intelligent humans beings. They are going to learn to read and write and spell and do it W E L L. They will learn how to become awesome friends who love others with the heart of Jesus. These things are values to my husband and I and with God’s help, they will be accomplished. They are also going to learn that every individual has differences in abilities and choices. We will embrace and accept them for who they are. We will recognize that the differences we all have are expressions of the ultimate plan and creativity of our savior. They are not ours to defend, grow angry over, or resent.

Whew, parenting is a big job.

My kids play in thunderstorms at recess, they practice getting interaction with adults when their mom sends the older ones in for a couple grocery items, and sometimes, they even learn math by the fireplace. In. Their. Pj’s. It’s o.k. It’s more than o.k. I am going to embrace them and the plan that God has for all of our lives and live it to its fullest.

and…if they happen to choose to wanna make their own jam, wear denim jumpers, or carry canvas totes, then so be it. I will celebrate that too.

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5 Responses to Fighting The Stereotype
  1. Rikki
    April 12, 2012 | 5:21 pm

    Great post!! I am in a homeschool mom’s group and the variety of women is seriously amazing–and wonderful! I love what you said about traveling with eyes straight up because I definitely get anxious when I look around!

  2. Amy G
    April 12, 2012 | 5:57 pm

    You are simply wonderful my friend! LOVE this post!! If anything, all the strange looks and rude comments about homeschooling have made me HAVE TO BE more confident in what God has called our family to do. Does that make sense?
    You might want to intervene with denim jumpers . . . just sayin. 🙂

  3. Elizabeth Goulding
    April 12, 2012 | 8:35 pm

    Thank you for this post. I needed to be reminded today, I think I’ll print it out and tape it somewhere really visible 🙂 Great writing girl!

  4. Lindsay
    April 18, 2012 | 11:06 pm

    Soooooooo needed this! It is a reward to homeschool and it is right for our family, but the enemy loves to sow seeds of doubt wherever he can, I’m so thankful for this post. Thanks chickie.

  5. sandra
    April 30, 2012 | 12:23 am

    This is an unusual and I find, very moving post. You are, what I would call, an accidental homeschooler. By this I mean, you picked it as the best alternative for your children, not as some dogmatic plan. A surprising number of homeschoolers take the stance that homeschooling is superior for everyone and get defensive.

    I really like how you talk about it here as an individual choice. thanks.

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