Please Don’t Judge our Choice to Homeschool

Please Don't Judge Our Choice to Homeschool

My Heart

Moms, can I just talk to you for a minute about something that has been on my heart since I was a child? I am talking about the subject of “I am homeschooling my child.”  I thought by now the judgment would be less abrasive, but now that I am in that place in my own life, I feel the critics more and more.

Where it all Began

My mother started homeschooling my siblings and I when I started 1st grade. There were some very immoral issues that had began in the public school I was attending which led her to pray. It was then that the Lord started speaking to her about homeschooling us.  The church we attended had a fabulous homeschool group and the mothers there led my mom through what I am sure were hard days but she continued on for 17 years!

I loved my years being schooled at home. I love the opportunities it gave me, the relationships I formed (yes, we socialized!) and the memories I have. I don’t feel cheated ( although I would love to attend a prom someday). I’m very capable of starting up a conversation with anyone no matter where I go and before my children came along,  I excelled in college and was successful in every job I had! Homeschooling did not ruin me, it did not hold me back and it did not make me odd. Especially now, I am eternally grateful to my mom for following God in this decision and for giving her days to my family and I.

Sadly though, as a child I was made to feel less than by others. I remember at church, one of my AWANA leaders took her feelings of homeschool out on us. In AWANA you memorize scripture and recite it to your leader.  She would allow the public and private school kids to write the first letter of every word on a sheet of paper and recite the verse to her, using it as a helping tool. However, those of us that were homeschooled, were told we could not use this help and were to recite it with no mistakes.  When my parents found out, they confronted the leader who replied “the kids that go to school do not have the time that the homeschool kids have to memorize these verses.”

I learned quickly with my public and private school peers that when I did or said something silly or unintelligent the running joke was “oh she is just homeschooled” and I have made the same joke of myself in awkward situations to get a laugh, since.  Inside, it hurts though. It is as if , because my mother chose to follow God with her children and give us the schooling that He planned for our family, I will never measure up in the worlds view. Why does this have to be?

Schooling for My Family

Now, I stand in the same place my mother was 25 years ago. My husband and I have been given the same call this year and we are following in obedience. Many factors led to this decision but God has solidified each one with His hand in every step.  I am completely overjoyed that the Lord has this plan for us and can’t wait to see what the days look like.

However, we will be looking  to God each year to make sure this is still His will for us and for each individual child. I will be the first to say that homeschooling is not for every mom, it is not for every child and it is not for every season of life. Only God can know what is best for my child. He holds their little hearts in his hands and as creator of their minds He is the one I look to as guidance of how to mold them.

My Prayer for all Moms

Starting last week, pictures are going up all over social media as kids go back to school. I tear up when I see moms posting pictures of their kindergartner leaving them for the first time.  I look to you mothers with respect and with prayer. I know that isn’t easy. I know your heart must think of them through the day and miss them; worry for them even stress about them at times. I can say this with complete confidence and honesty , I have NEVER looked at a mother sending her child to public or private school with judgment. Not once. That is their calling, that is the journey their family is on. Who would I be to question them for sending their child to school?

Why is it so Wrong

Why then is that not reciprocated? Why do I have to fear what response I will get when asked what school my child is going to this year? Is it right that when discussing the school year, I have to hear with a chuckle “oh yeah, your doing that homeschool thing”?  If I am not judging you for your calling as a mother to send your child to an institution to learn, it should be just as acceptable that God has called me to teach my children at home.

Maybe it is because we have not educated ourselves in this area. I was once told by a very dear man in my life “I have never seen homeschool work on anyone”.  That killed me. HELLO! I am sitting right here. Tell me how it did not work. Truth is, he was not truly educated on the subject so therefore he was only speaking from an experience he may have encountered or a biased formed from his own children’s education which did not include home teaching. Please don’t form your opinion solely based on a situation in which it was not done right. If that is the case, I know of many instances in public and private schools in which the system failed miserably.  I don’t think we view public schools only by their failed cases therefore we shouldn’t with homeschooling either.

As I finish pouring out my heart, I want to clear up something I’ve heard of homeschool moms.  I am not choosing the easy way out. I don’t do this because it is easier to keep our kids at home or even because our hearts can’t stand to be away from them. In fact, I have been planning for our school year for several months now and many times I have gone to God saying, “I can’t do this. Maybe I heard you wrong.”  It is overwhelming, It is exhausting and all my days as I know them are centered around the learning and training of our children. I  have to find a balance as teacher, wife, mom and woman of God to get through this  successfully but I find so much peace in knowing God is leading me through it.

We’re All in this Together

So, I ask you, as the school year starts and you bump into that friend at the store or on facebook who is homeschooling her kids; please don’t judge her. When a family member tells you the news that they are starting on this road with their family,  please pray for her. Remind her that, as moms, you are in this thing together and that you support her. It probably wouldn’t hurt to give her a hug or even a high five! Don’t lose sight of the fact that God has us all on a different journey. No two are the same. You follow yours , I’ll follow mine and we will praise God together  along the way!

 

 

24 comments to Please Don’t Judge our Choice to Homeschool

  • Well said! I have been blessed to have supportive family and friends as we homeschool our boys, but I have still encountered several of the situations you mentioned. One comment I recently heard at a Christian Convention was that Christians should keep their kids in public school to be missionaries to the other public school children. I had heard that before, but this was the first time I heard it said in a way of casting judgment on those of us who homeschool. It really frustrated me — I have never once questioned or cast judgment on those who choose public school for their kids . . . it is extremely frustrating when they cast judgment on us. Anyway, thanks for sharing!
    Cheri Gamble recently posted…To: My Boys RE: Your Spiritual GrowthMy Profile

    • Cheri, I have heard that a lot growing up. Many church leaders told my parents. I do agree with the statement but just as we are not all called to Africa and not all missionaries land in China, not every parent is to send their kids to public school or homeschool. Thanks so much for reading!

  • You are so right, Cassandra. It’s such a double standard–we’re analyzed a lot more than other moms are because we homeschool. I think all of us would be a lot better off if we just stopped on the judgment and started supporting each other instead.
    Gabby@MamaGab recently posted…Break the News that You’re Homeschooling and Pin-it Party #62My Profile

    • Agreed! I know there are homeschoolers out there that criticize other moms too but for the most part, homeschool moms are looked down on for making their kids “odd”. I am odd, but it was not from my schooling! You meet my daddy and you’ll understand!! haha

  • Mandy

    I commend you for listening to God and deciding to homeschool. When my big kids were little I was not really aware of other options for schooling, I just sent them to public school like all the other people around us. It has been great for them! Now with my little boys I have become aware of the many different options for educating them and am open to seeing which way will suit them best. I can not imagine homeschooling as the easy route and for anyone who thinks so, has not been at home with 3 little kids for an extended period of time! 🙂 Hope your new school year brings learning and great memories for all of you.

    • Thanks Mandy for the encouragement! There are many choices out there and even more than there used to be. I have never seen it as easy but I have heard some talk about the mom ( or me for instance) not being able to let go and that is why she did it. Sheltering I guess. Some may do it for that reason but who am I to judge that and who am I to say that God didn’t want them sheltered from something. That is what is so beautiful about God’s creation and the uniqueness in us all!

  • love it that you homeschool I was a mother had to work so was unable to homeschool my children however we worked on lessons that they did not teach in school that they attended and we all learned and loved together. I hope you all have a great year

    • Angie, I love that even though you worked, you still made time to teach them after school at home. I am sure you were worn out and tired, but you made their learning a priority. Thanks so much for your comment!

  • Good for you for making the choice that is best for your family, even though it is not popular. We don’t homeschool personally, but I think it’s great for people who do!
    Brittany recently posted…6 Ways to Teach Your Children Good ValuesMy Profile

  • I don’t homeschool, but I do have a lot of friends that I respect that do choose to homeschool their kids. Even the small amount of “school” like things that we do at home, require planning and focus, so it’s just a tiny glimpse into understanding how much work is involved. I respect you for following where God has lead your family. I know it’s not always the easy route, but it is the blessed route. May God bless you.

  • I have a varied circle of friends on this front. Some homeschool and others send their kids to Catholic school and public school. I say, do what works for you and your children. I am in awe of families that homeschool, especially with a handful of children. For me, personally it’s daunting and I’m all about high-fiving the moms that do! It ain’t easy!
    Cristina recently posted…Book Review and Double Giveaway: Don’t You Forget About MeMy Profile

    • Haha, thank you Christina! I completely agree, do what works for your family. If you try to do one way and the Lord is calling you the other way, it won’t be what is best for your family. Thanks so much for your comment and for sharing this over social media!!

  • Wow Cassandra, I am so surprised and saddened to hear that others are so negative about homeschooling. It can truly be tough in the parenting community out there. Many have very strong opinions about what should or shouldn’t be done, when in fact, they have never done it themselves. I do not have any school age children, but I have several friends who plan to home school. I really think you should be encouraged. I’ve heard success story after success story about children who are home schooled. While I don’t think I will home school, I do think it is a great choice for any family, who is interested in putting in the work. Because let’s be honest, I’m pretty sure it’s a lot more work 🙂
    Lauren Tamm recently posted…International Travel with a BabyMy Profile

    • It truly does take work but the little girl in me that loved to play school with my sister is coming out! I have stayed up late and gotten up early excited to get everything ready for our first day! Thank you for your comment and for your support!

  • […] Please don’t judge our choice to Homeschool – as this Cassandra shares her story first as a homeschool student herself and then as a mum about to step into homeschooling with her own family – I’m reminded of some of the challenges (judgements) my kids have had to work through – and often from friends.  I think this is a good thing to talk about with our kids to prepare them to handle those times when others do judge them. […]

  • I think that people are quick to judge us not matter what we do. Imagine how lovely the world would be if others supported the choices of others, regardless of what they are, or just mind their own business if they can’t do that…

    Thank you for stopping by the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop this week. We hope to see you drop by our neck of the woods next week!
    Jill recently posted…Wee Little Ones Bible Study Series Lesson 6 with FREE PrintableMy Profile

  • I really appreciate what was written in this post and completely agree.I pray God gives me the strength in my home schooling journey and all other homeschooling moms.
    Latisha recently posted…My Third Year of Homeschooling Dynamics (Transitions Blog Series- Part Three)My Profile

    • Yes, God bless you through this. Homeschooling is such a blessing and yet, I am exhausted some days. We mom’s need to keep each other up in prayer. Thanks for reading and so nice to meet you!

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