Fear-Based Homeschooling

As a second-generation homeschooler, I thought I'd heard every myth and misconception out there when it comes to home education. Usually I take it all in good humor because I am very secure in my decision and because I totally get that homeschooling isn't the norm. Most people really aren't trying to be rude, they're just misinformed and curious. I've had some not-so-nice comments turn into really good conversations!

Fast forward to today at the grocery store. The cashier asked me if I was a full-time homemaker. I told him that I was, indeed, a homemaker as well as a homeschooler to my two boys. He grimaced and said, "Why?! What are you afraid of?"

<insert my shocked expression and 2 seconds of stunned silence here.>

Then I laughed and told him that I wasn't afraid of anything! I said that I had been homeschooled and loved it and that St. Louis is an awesome place to homeschool because of all the support and activities. Sensing a lecture coming on, he immediately assured me that it was "a good thing." Ha, nice recovery, buddy.

So, just in case any of my friends or family have the same misconception, allow me to share my thoughts with you.

Do parents sometimes make educational decisions based on fear? Yes. Sometimes they are afraid of their faith or worldview being minimized, bullying, bad influences, and much more. Sometimes they are afraid of a "lack of socialization," that they'll be behind academically, or that they'll be seen as weird. As you can see, homeschooling parents don't corner the market when it comes to fear-based decision making.

I could be biased, but overall, homeschool parents are brave! They have the audacity to step outside the box and go against the norm to give their a children an education that best suits them or best fits their family. The pressure is immense! The responsibilities are endless! And critics rarely keep quiet!

Oh, homeschoolers know fear, all right. Did we get the right curriculum? Are our kids missing out? Are we being too soft or too hard? Are we balancing their individual needs with the reality that life isn't all about them? I could go on! But we push through the fear and figure it out.

We dig in, ask a lot of questions, read books, and we form groups to share ideas and insight and support. Homeschool parents are often brave and pretty well-informed, to boot!

So now I'll add this little exchange to my growing list of Homeschool Conversations I've Had. I'll think about it every now and then and chuckle. I'll tell my homeschooling friends about it and they'll laugh, too, and share their stories right back. And then we'll get back to doing what we've always done: bravely doing what's right for our families and maybe educating a few others along the way, too!


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