Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Blood in the Water

It's tough to feel like you can't be honest.  Like you can't reach out for help when you need it.  But that's how I feel to a certain extent about homeschooling.  While I do have people I can go to for support, there is also a large group of people who I feel like I need to put on the "happy face" for.  People who pooh-pooh homeschooling and think it's ridiculous.  People who are convinced we could never pull it off.  When they ask me how it's going it's frustrating that I can't be honest.  Whenever I AM honest and say how tough it is, it's like dumping a gallon of blood into shark infested waters.  They attack.  Mostly in a very passive aggressive way, but still.  When I'm feeling bad about how homeschooling is going, the last thing I need is someone rubbing my face in the fact that they "told me so" and asking me if I'm going to send Mitch to public school now. 

And our personal experience aside, the last thing I want to do is give these people more ammunition for their "Homeschooling is Bunk" mindset.  Even if homeschooling doesn't work out for us in the long run, it doesn't mean that it's a bad idea in general.  Regardless of how my kids end up being taught next year or the year after or the year after that, I will always think that homeschooling is a very valuable educational option for families.  So I sometimes feel like, besides preserving my own dignity, I also have a responsibility to preserve the "face of homeschooling".  And so I hide how I'm really feeling and how things are going.

I am usually a very up front, honest, and open individual.  So this is a new thing for me, this hiding, and I don't really like it at all.  But the alternative, getting torn down for our choices, is something I like even less.  So for now, I'll smile and nod and say "Everything's great!" and give examples of what our best days look like.

Homeschooling families - have you dealt with this scenario in the past?  How have you approached it or come to terms with it?


  1. Woman, do I hear ya. We share a house with our parents who were not too excited about our decision to homeschool, so for a long time we always felt like we were in a glass bowl. Maybe we still are, I just have learned that I have to do what I feel is right for my family, regardless of what people think of it. Every holiday meal that my uncle attends is decorated with a discussion about how he's sure we are totally messin' our kids up and he's waiting for ammo to shoot back at us...

    If homeschooling is right for you, that is YOUR decision. If its not, its also YOUR decision. You need to find a support group of homeschooling parents or other open minded, not-gonna-attack-you-for-your-beliefs parents to vent to. (I know one!! :)) Hang in there, mama. Ultimately, the right thing for your family is whatever works for you and its no one's business to mock you for that or put you down or wait in the wings waiting to pounce on you when they *think* you've messed up. :)

  2. All power to you. I'm not home schooling and it's not for us...but I think it's GREAT that you are. I've been accused of 'experimenting' with our children's lives because we chose to send them to the local Waldolf school (integrated here in New Zealand, so not so expensive). I just try and think any comments made say more about the person speaking than the person being spoken to. But it IS hard when people are ready to pounce. Kia Kaha, be strong.
    Karyn kloppenmum.wordpress.com


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