Homeschool · parenting

Things People Assume When I Tell Them I Homeschool


SPRINGTIME (2)

I’m fairly new to the homeschool business. I’ve only been homeschooling for a couple of months now, and although the first couple of days (weeks!!) were the hardest, we’ve all adapted to this new life at home and we’re enjoying it.

I want to say that all days are perfect, but that would be a lie. There are days that go by with small hiccups, and there are days where I want to rethink my decisions. There are nights where I can pat myself on the shoulder and say good job, and there are nights where I feel like bursting out in tears as I think back to the failures of that day.

What really helps is finding motivation through others that homeschool; where I can relate to someone else’s life; the good and the bad that goes with being a home educator. I mean, parents who have been doing the homeschool set up for years now still have days that just don’t work the way they want (I secretly enjoy this because it makes me realise I’m not doing something wrong and it’s part of the journey).

While I haven’t yet disclosed my reasons for choosing to homeschool (I will still get around to doing this), I want to give a little overview of how we got here. The company that I had been working for was going through some financial difficulties and eventually closed down. Due to financial disruptions, the boys started staying home with me until I could find something else. During this time, Monster’s play therapist informed us that the best decision we could make for Monster was to homeschool until he was ready to return to a normal school setting again. Hubby Byren and I had some extensive chats about this, and we both agreed that it would be in Monster’s best interests to be homeschooled. Gremlin also stayed home with me because we didn’t want Monster to feel excluded.

I really get that when people who don’t know what our reasons are will come up with assumptions surrounding our decisions. But I can’t say the same for those that know exactly what the reasons are. Some of the reasons I was given I could easily laugh off but others I found a little offensive.

I wanted to share some of the assumptions, with a small explanation under them, so if I ever hear any of them again, I can send everyone the memo.

I’m like a 50s housewife

Just because I’m now a stay at home mama, doesn’t suddenly create the illusion of being stripped away of all my rights, blah blah… I chose to stay at home for the sake of my kids. Hubby Byren even asked if I wanted to go back to work a couple of months back and I still decided to stay. Calling me a 50s housewife and making jokes about me not having an opinion anymore is a little shallow.

I get to clean my house all day

I wish this was true. I tried at first. Including some household chores in-between our lessons, and it was a disaster. That’s why I worked out a cleaning schedule for every day so I can manage my household without interrupting my school schedule with the boys. So no, and to refer to the above point, I’m not cleaning all day, every day.

I don’t have ambitions of a career

I do have ambitions, I do have my mind set on a career but at the current moment, they are on hold. I’m choosing to do that for the sake of my kids. Yes, I’d love to be working again and writing full-time as I did before, but my kids need me now. A few years down the line, I will return to working again, but don’t assume that I have no ambitions because I stay at home.

I don’t trust teachers

The reason behind us staying at home is because of ONE teacher who I believe shouldn’t work with children in any sense, ever! But that doesn’t mean I don’t trust any teachers. Right before we started homeschooling, the boys were in an amazing school with fantastic teachers, and if it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t have the answers we have today.

Religious reasons.

To be honest, this has never crossed my mind as the boys were in a Christian school. So no, there’s no need to bring religion into your assumptions.

I’ll deprive my kids from the world

I don’t even know how to answer that… Just because we stay at home, doesn’t mean we’re actually cut off from the world and they have less exposure to the world than other kids do. They still socialize with other kids and adults, we still go to different places and experience life just as any other people do.

My boys will be outcasts

I have to disagree. You can’t assume that my kids won’t have friends because they don’t attend school like other kids do. We see other people, we interact with other people. The options of making friends are endless.05625b23be3cf3e65c51cb45d8acc298.jpg

Every day is a success

No, it’s not. I wish it was as such but every day isn’t a walk in the park. There are days where I really wonder why I’m doing this. There are days when one of the boys or both of them just don’t want to cooperate with anything, and there’s screaming and crying. I have had days where I’ve found myself in tears, exhausted, drained out. It’s not as easy as everyone that hasn’t done it thinks.

I love being with my kids 24/7

I’m a human being, with limits and limitations. I also need alone time. That doesn’t mean that I don’t love spending time with my kids. I do… I love being home with our boys. I love teaching them and watching them develop, and playing with them and getting to know them as they grow. But it doesn’t mean that I love it all the time. The days that get crazy, filled with tantrums and screaming, I wish I could step outside and be alone. I wish I could ask someone to watch over them so I can have a moment of quiet. That doesn’t make me a bad mama, just a real one.

I’m built on patience

I’m not even going to elaborate on this one. I don’t run on patience. I don’t have a big supply of patience built into my being. In general, I’m not a patient person. Case closed.

I’m brave

I’m brave?? What does that even mean? If you don’t homeschool your kids, does that mean you’re a coward because someone else is teaching your kids? I don’t call it brave or courageous or being a hero (yet, someone said that to me once!). I call it evaluating my priorities, and deciding what is most important for my kids. That doesn’t make me brave, it just makes me a parent.4a85e9bced576bab89728ddbf0941a52

Do you homeschool? What are some of the crazy things people have said to you?

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15 thoughts on “Things People Assume When I Tell Them I Homeschool

  1. The thought of homeschooling crossed my mind MANY times!

    What matters most is that you are happy and confident in your parenting decisions irrespective of how you came to make those decisions. It is a sad state when people feel they have a right to expect from you to justify your parenting choices.

    Hopefully your post will enlighten 😊

  2. This was such a great candid piece. Good for you for doing what is right for you and your family. I look forward to reading more about your adventures in homeschooling – good luck 🍀

  3. I confess, I’m one of those who say “you’re brave” and “you have lots of patience”. So sorry. Love this post. I’ve been thinking about homeschooling because my husband is taking care of our daughter for the past two months now. Would love to hear more on this.

    1. I understand it from some people, with which intentions they approach those two phrases. But when it’s accompanied with sarcasm or condensing outlooks, then my blood boils.
      Homeschooling isn’t for everyone, that’s also something people seem to miss when making assumptions. And you will never know if you don’t try it. At some point I also didn’t think I could do this (before I started staying home) and today I can’t believe I didn’t start doing this a few years back already 😊😊

  4. I think when someone says “You’re brave” It’s really a compliment you’re taking on a new role on top of all the other roles you have (wife, mother, home owner, blogger etc) to shape the brains of two curious boys something other people train years to do.

    1. Of course it depends on the nature it is said in. So far I haven’t heard it as a compliment but more of a sarcastic outlook, as unfortunately the person believes most of the points I mentioned on top apply to me.
      But yes, your outlook on the “brave” part is much more sweeter 😊

  5. Your doing whats best at the moment for u and ur family and thats all that matters, people can ask and presume the stupidest questions 😄

  6. Teaching is the hardest job you’ll ever love. Teaching your own is a hard job that you may or may not love. In our case, I am a stay-at-home Dad, and Mom works downtown, but she is the primary teacher as we are using a curriculum from a European country and I don;t speak the language. If we succeed, the kids will be able to attend University in Europe at far lower cost and, we believe, a better quality of education.

    What we provide that a conventional school cannot is the immediate feedback, undivided attention, and direct parenting as required. I survived a fancy New England boarding school, then college, then my life took many twists and turns that would have been far easier to navigate had I had full-time parents during the teen years. No matter how prestigious and Ivy-League-infused your St. Grottlesex campus, if you expect an institution to act rationally in loco parentis during the teenage crisis years, guess again. There is just as much bullying, jock worship, drug & alcohol and vandalism as at any school, the difference being that the kids are wearing LL Bean and Brooks Bros. rather than Target and Kohls. So many classmates from broken homes or industrial superstar families that seemed to just want them out of the way. Many heartbreaks down the road as the family structure provided little framework for building lasting relationships. So, the opposite of homeschooling ,that is the child-rearing hallmark of so many influential families, gives me a strong drive to avoid that for my own children.

    Some parents need the break from kid management that a brick & mortar school provides, something I get. Not every grown-up can handle setting up a curriculum, manage the rate of content delivery, understand the magic feedback loops, etc. that a trained/experienced educator can. Nevertheless, you may find you have an untapped teaching capability, and copious real-world experience that you can weave into your child’s learning. One day, you find your child has navigated the Internet in ways you never thought, they have friends all over the world, they play and chat as well as any “socialized” kid can, if not better, and you turn to them for tech support on any electronic device that doesn’t behave.

    Some people I know have gone as far as completing a Master’s in education for the sole purpose of homeschooling, and even relocated their families to homeschool-friendly states. The homeschooling universe is vast and resource-rich for those who choose that course. I’m not sure if it was courage that we needed to take this path, more like we feel that we can do a better job, that we can deliver a body of knowledge to our kids that far surpasses what an institutional system is capable of, and do it in a safe and loving environment.

    Funny how some traits and talents convey to the kids from the parents, isn’t it?

  7. I’ve gotten: “You’re brave” “Your kids need to be able to listen to someone besides you and your husband” “They need to be around other children” … I have also gotten “Good for you” “Those boys are so blessed to have you” “Just start a school” 🙂 I actually have a part-time job as an administrator of a non profit organization; I like how I can focus on school at home and work from home as needed.
    My boys are young and I don’t know if homeschooling will be forever, but I am starting them off! Thumbs up to you and your homeschooling adventures! 🙂

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