I originally blogged about this a couple weeks ago, but when my blog was hacked this is the one post they deleted. I am trying to re-corral my thoughts here.
I have watched a frustrating and disturbing thing happen over the days since Betsy DeVos was confirmed as the Education Secretary. I have seen many people on Facebook declaring that they are “just” going to homeschool now. I have seen others say “that’s why I homeschool.” Both of those do a disservice to those who homeschool or have their children in a traditional educational setting.
“I’m just going to homeschool.”
Well, you could. It is an option, but saying that flippantly does a disservice to those who homeschool. Homeschoolers, just like parents who have chosen any educational option, have done so for a myriad of reasons. I have not met a single homeschooler who has chosen to do so for just one reason. Nothing is ever that simple.
Nor is homeschooling as easy as one day waking up and taking your child out of a traditional education setting. Homeschoolers pour a lot of themselves, their time, and their resources into teaching their children. We work very hard to choose the materials we will use, how we will structure our day, how we will instruct each subject, each child.
Sue is working on a Science worksheet, Patrice is telling me something…
Making the decision to homeschool is not easy. The actual process of homeschooling is not easy. It is not a thought or idea to be thrown around lightly. It is deserving of much thought and consideration before it is undertaken.
“That’s why I homeschool.”
Really? That’s why you homeschool? Just so you don’t have to deal with public policy?
That is extremely short-sighted.
As I stated above, people homeschool for a myriad of reasons. It is never as simple as just one factor. And any homeschoolers that claim there is just one reason is misleading those around them. Let me walk you through why our family has chosen to homeschool: we want to have the flexibility of homeschooling, we have concerns about bullying in the schools in our area, we have experienced deficits in the education of our daughters, and we want their education to have a more Biblical approach. I am sure there are some that I am missing, but you see my point, there are many, many reasons we homeschool.
I believe very strongly that all homeschoolers choose this educational lifestyle for a number of reasons. Saying it is just for one, is not being honest or considering the whole picture.
Being a homeschooler does not free us from all oversight at the local, state and national levels. While states vary widely in their homeschooling requirements and oversight, decisions undertaken at all levels of government have the possibility of changing how we can oversee how we educate our children. The Secretary of Education has influence on all education within our nation and it is very possible decisions she makes will affect our rights and freedoms as homeschoolers. When we choose to homeschool, we are not completely walking away from the educational system in our country; those who think they can do so are ignoring reality and the impact it has on the life we lead.
Education is not an us against them endeavor, no matter what type of schooling your child(ren) is getting. Just as in so much of life, it is something to be done together, promoting respect and cooperation.