Saturday, February 25, 2012

Homeschooling Misconceptions...

I love them. Said sarcastically. Why, when people hear the word "homeschool," do they immediately get the wrong picture in their heads? Many people automatically think of the Duggars. Many think of the Waco people. Some think "lazy, non-caring parents." The list of what people think could go on.

Funny thing is, non-homeschooling people are usually wrong. Doesn't matter what their first thought was, it was probably incorrect on one level or another.

After coming across some really narrow minded blog comments (not on my own blog, but on some of the other blogs I follow), and some really narrow minded anti-homeschool tweets, I have a couple of things to get off my chest. And I've probably said all of this before, but here goes...

I am most emphatically not like the Duggar matriarch. Yes, I do believe children are a blessing and a gift from my God. I understand the Quiverfull movement. But lemme tell ya, my quiver is full. I may only have two, but it's full. Full, full, full. FULL. 

I don't own a denim jumper, but I do own several pairs of Doc Martens. I don't tease my hair (ok, maybe I do have a burning desire to grab a can of Rave, a teasing comb and don a pair of leg warmers a la Flashdance every once in a while, but that's not the point), but it may have pink streaks in it every now and then. I do believe that my body is my temple, but I like my temple flamboyantly decorated with artwork. I don't make my own bread. In fact, I don't cook at all. It's not for lack of trying, but the ability just isn't there. I am not efficient in running my household (almost 35 years old, and two kids later, and I still have three laundry piles at any given moment: the clean pile, the dirty pile and the smell-it-before-you-wear it pile), but my kids are happy, healthy, fed and clothed. Most of the time. ;)

I'm not raising the next generation of (insert your favorite cult reference here) followers either. At least I hope not. Our reasons for homeschooling weren't necessarily religious ones. We are Christian in faith, and very comfortable with that, but we use a secular homeschool curriculum. Why? We just do. We like it better. We think that being comfortable with one's faith means not closing our minds to other philosophies and beliefs. Introducing our children to many things, and letting them choose what to believe as they get older, can only make their convictions as an adult that much stronger. 

As far as the lazy, non-caring thing...well I like that one the most. My kids don't spend all day away from home. They are with me all day long. All. Day. Long. Every. Day. Is that a choice I made? Absofreakinglutely. But I am constantly with them. Nurturing them, entertaining at them, yelling at them (heh); making sure they are growing and having fun as children, but also making sure that they are becoming decent, loving, compassionate humans with open minds and the ability to think for themselves. 

I don't get to look at some graded papers at the end of the day to see what they learned that day. I have to make sure that they are learning what they need to know, and what they want to know. I don't get to send money to school for a field trip. I have to plan and execute the field trip. I don't get to hear about a science project. I get to cart the kids to six different stores to get the materials for the science project. AND I get to clean up the mess when it's done. I'm there to make sure Bailey knows that while "Animal Husbandry" does have something to do with breeding/reproduction, it is not the marrying off of animals (really, this is funny term). I'm there to make sure Braeden keeps expanding his reading vocabulary...and not doing so *only* by watching the lyrics while he sings along with his most recent YouTube obsession, lol.  

Lazy? Yep. That's homeschoolers for you.

I'm certainly not trying to proclaim that I have it harder than those families that have their children in schools and work outside the home. I do know that I'm blessed to have been able to make the choices I have made for my family. But I am trying to say that maybe people shouldn't assume that we are a part of the crazy Westboro church. Or that we are sitting here anxiously waiting for the next Hale-Bop comet thingy to pick us up and take us to the mother planet. Or that I'm hanging out at home doing nothing, while my dirty/hungry/naked kids are tied to a tree in my yard. Just saying.

8 comments:

Rori said...

I love this. I am a single homeschooling mom-and I make beans for a living because I CHOOSE to homeschool my kids.

Great post!! :D

Karen said...

I love your post. I "surfed" here from the Secular homeschooling post over on Facebook and I'm glad I did!

Jennifer said...

Love this!! Although I believe I heart any post that can work in an "Absofreakinglutely". Woman after my own heart. ;D

Michelle said...

Great post! We are also a Christian family that are most definitely secular homeschoolers.

Elizabeth said...

Love this post!! It's funny you mention Mrs Duggar because although my quiver is pretty full ( we plan on having two more and then adopting the rest...I HATE being pregnant) I have so much respect for her, and her kids seem so well raised. At the same time, I don't like how people make assumptions about us homeschoolers based on that show, or other TV clips that sort of put us all in a category. We game like you guys, and are pretty 'alternative' while at the same time we're a God loving family. Hard to fit into any BS category the masses want to box us in lol!

Kat said...

Thank you everyone, for the great comments! I love hearing from readers and in turn, finding new blogs to read and follow!

Again, thanks so much for visiting... :)

Katie

Amy said...

Loved this post! Maybe that's because I am in the same place in my life (not a denim jumper or gourmet meal to be found, but plenty o'laundry)! Every homeschooling family is unique - but the rest of the world rarely see that. Glad to see I'm not alone. :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this. I recently got Hammered on a fourm for defending my opinion that there is a difference between what the Duggars do and what most homeschoolers do. I stated that homeschoolers tend to be better able to handle college. I was told that most homeschoolers are fundie like the Duggars even though most homeschool parents cite that they homeschool because their school system is bad. I got hammered for saying that too. Thank you for letting me see it's not just me :)