I cannot even begin to imagine their pain. The mere thought of that much pain is unbearable to me. It’s just absolutely unfathomable to me. I remember the day that each of my children was born, the joy that I felt, the things that I hoped and imagined for them. The idea of that being cut short by someone so heartlessly is just…I can’t even let myself consider it happening in my life.
It’s been suggested by some who don’t know me all that well that I choose to homeschool out of fear of something like this happening. Let me clarify a few things.
First of all, this can happen anywhere. It happens in malls, movie theaters, grocery stores, parks. And schools. It has happened in all of these places, and others. I do not homeschool out of fear of this kind of tragic event. If that were the case, we would live in a bunker underground and never see the light of day. That is the only way to be truly, utterly safe – and even that is not guaranteed.
Do I believe my children are safer at home? Well, sure, to a degree. Everyone is safer at home. But we’re still not entirely safe. Someone could just as easily break into my home as they could storm a child’s school.
I’ve also had one person, basically a total stranger who’s only spoken to me online, assert that I and other homeschoolers, would use this as an opportunity to rant about how great homeschooling is and claim that this wouldn’t have happened if these parents homeschooled.
That one makes me angry. Those parents did NOTHING wrong! And I would not ever use a tragedy like this to tout the advantages of homeschooling. These parents chose to educate their children in the public school – the same as millions of other parents. That was their right, and their choice, and it is what worked for their families. And making a different decision would not have prevented this tragedy. It might have kept their child out of this particular tragedy, but maybe there would have been another one.
As far as going on about how great homeschooling is – it is great. For us. It might not have been great for those families, or for yours. The decision to homeschool, like the decision to have children or not, or to practice a particular religion, is a personal decision that each family needs to make on their own.
I did not create this website to convert anyone to homeschooling. I created it to make the information I have found available to other parents who might be searching for the same information. It is up to you what you do with it. If it leads you to decide to homeschool, wonderful and I wish you luck! And if it leads you to decide public or private school is best for your family, wonderful and I wish you luck!
I realize there are those rabid homeschoolers out there, like the rabid gun control advocates, who are going to get up on their soapboxes after this and try to convert you. But I’d ask you to remember that, like the rabid gun control advocates, we are not all like that. Most of us believe that homeschooling is a personal decision, and that while it works for us, it might not work for you and we don’t have the right to try to force you, change you, or convince you.
I won’t deny that when I heard about what happened on Friday, yes, I was very grateful that my children were home with me. I did think about the fact that this could have happened at the public school they would be attending if they were in public school, and I was thankful that they were here rather than there. But this fervent gratitude was no different than the thoughts I would have had if they were in public school. then I would have thought how grateful I was that it didn’t happen in their school, and how glad I was that I could pick them up after school and love them. It has nothing to do with homeschooling.
The last thing I want to say tonight is that if you are suddenly considering homeschooling because of what happened on Friday, please don’t make a decision now. A reactionary decision like that is not the best way to begin homeschooling. Take your time, do the research. Read what I have on this site, and find others with different and/or more information. Consider the pros and cons, and really think about what you’ll be committing to and what you’ll be sacrificing. Make a decision based on what you think is best for your children and your family, rather than one based on the fear that this could happen at your child’s school and you don’t want your child to be there if it does.
My biggest wish tonight, and the one thing I’d love as a gift from Santa this year, is for the families of these children to find some kind of peace.