- The only way a child can get socialization is at school. My children, and other homeschooled children, get plenty of socialization. And unlike publicly schooled children, the socialization my children get is the well-rounded, truly beneficial kind that allows them to interact with a variety of people. Your children in public school are socializing with children their own age all day, every day – and that’s assuming their school allows socializing at all. My children, on the other hand, interact with children their own age, children younger than they are, children older than they are, and adults of all ages. They speak to cashiers, museum employees, car wash attendants, doctors, nurses, neighbors, and more. They do not sit at home all day, every day – they are members of homeschooling groups, they go on field trips, they go to the grocery store, gas station, post office, library, and many other places that your child may not because they’re in school when you go.
- School prepares children for real life. Really? Does it now? Let me ask you this: Do you have to ask your boss for permission to use the bathroom or get a drink of water? Are all of your coworkers exactly the same age as you? If you can’t figure out how to do the project you’re assigned at work, does your boss give you the answers? Are you expected to be quiet during lunch – as well as the rest of the day? My guess is that the answer to those questions is no. School doesn’t really prepare children for “real life.” It prepares them for a grown up version of follow the leader in which they rely on someone else to tell them what to do, how to do it and when to do it.
- Only a college educated, trained teacher can teach a child. Did you teach your child to talk? To eat? To use the potty? To tie his/her shoes? To fold laundry, make their bed, wash a dish? Well, if you did those things, then either you’re a college educated, trained teacher – or you’re wrong. Were you aware that all teacher copies of a textbook contain an answer key? They also often include instructions (or lesson plans) that guide the teacher as to how to teach the skill. Much of what a teacher is taught in college has nothing to do with the material they teach, but is in fact, usually teaching them how to handle teaching and discipline a classroom of 20-30 students.
- You can’t possibly teach your child everything they need to know. Okay, first of all, do you realize that when you say this to me when my child is in kindergarten or first grade, you’re basically calling me an idiot? You’re implying I can’t read, write, or do simple addition or subtraction. That’s really insulting. Moving beyond that, however, you do have a somewhat valid point. I may not be equipped to teach my child high school chemistry or calculus. But, before you jump back up on that high horse and start crowing about being right, had you considered that I might not have had any intention of trying to teach my child those things? And again, before you start jumping up and down and accusing me of shortchanging my child by not teaching him these things, allow me to point out that I didn’t say I had no intention of him not learning them – just that I had no intention of trying to teach him those things myself. You see, the term “homeschool” means that we take control of our child’s education at home. It does not mean that we never leave the house or that we don’t “subcontract” out some of our child’s education. When there are skills or subjects that we, as parents, know we can’t or don’t want to teach but our child needs, we find others who can help us out. This may be in the form of a co-op, a friend or relative who is familiar with the skill or subject, a tutor or, depending on the material, even a college class for our child.
- By homeschooling, you’re keeping your child in a bubble and not preparing them for real life. On what, exactly, do you base this opinion? Are my children kept in a bubble? Well, I suppose if by kept in a bubble you mean do I keep them away from those influences that might be bad for them, teach them that they need not associate with someone just because of proximity, and give them an education I feel they were not receiving in public school, then yes, I guess I do keep them in a bubble. However, the notion that they will be unprepared for real life by this is ridiculous. Instead, I am preparing them for real life by teaching them that they have the right to choose their friends and do not have to be friends with someone simply because they sit next to them in class or they live next door. I am preparing them for real life by teaching them to think for themselves and learn to solve problems their way, rather than the way presented by a teacher. I am preparing them for real life by taking them out into the world when they would otherwise be at school and introducing them to people of all ages, sizes, races, cultures and careers and allowing them the opportunity to speak to and ask questions of these people, thus letting them learn more about these races, cultures and careers than they might from a dry textbook. I am preparing them for real life by tailoring their education to the career they’d like to have someday, focusing on the subjects and skills that they will need in said career, rather than focusing on things they may never need or use in that career.
- You’re not trained to handle children and their needs. So…basically, you think I can’t be a parent. I’ve changed their diapers, fed them, cleaned them up when they’re sick, rocked them after a nightmare, taught them to ride a bike, how to use a fork, use the toilet, tie a shoe, and so much more. What’s more, your statement implies that a teacher, can know my child better on day one of the school year than I do after X years of being my child’s mother. How would you feel if I told you “Your child’s teacher knows her better than you do.”? You wouldn’t like that, would you? Why would you think I would like it any better? I am far better equipped to know what my child needs and how to handle her than any teacher. A teacher knows nothing about my child on day one of school, and only a little more at the end of the 180 day school year. I have had my child’s entire life to get to know her and what works best for her to learn.
- Teachers know how to work with each child’s individual learning style and personality. Is that so? Then why do they teach the same material repeatedly, until the last student to catch on finally catches on? Why do children come home with homework that they don’t know how to do, even though the teacher spent all day (or all week) teaching it, but the second you show them a different way, it clicks and they get it? Teachers teach one way, and expect 20-30 children to adapt and learn from it. I, on the other hand, can assess my children, determine how they best learn, and then tailor each of their lessons to how that particular child learns, thus ensuring that he not only learns, but learns faster because I’m teaching him his way.
- You don’t know enough to give your child a good education. Well, first, thank you so much for calling me stupid. Moving on from that, however, there’s a key thing you’re missing here. I don’t homeschool to teach my child everything I know. I homeschool my child to teach them to find their own answers. When they ask me “Why is the sky blue?”, I don’t tell them why the sky is blue. I teach them how to look that up online, or to find a book that explains it, or take their own guesses at why it’s blue and then see if they’re right. Public school teaches them the answers, homeschooling teaches them how to find the answers.
Please understand one more thing: I am not saying public school is a horrible, awful thing. It’s not. It does provide an education – one that I received, too, by the way. Some public schools are better than others and do provide a quality education that would benefit the children attending. But so many of them have dropped in quality and simply do not provide quality educations anymore.
I also understand that homeschooling is not always an option for every family. Having to work, needing special services that you can’t provide at home (speech therapy, etc), or truly feeling that you (for whatever reason you have) simply cannot homeschool are all valid reasons not to homeschool.
But here’s the thing: I, and most homeschooling parents like me, would never insult your intelligence or abilities because you send your child to public school. And we really don’t appreciate it when you insult our intelligence or abilities because we homeschool. You don’t have to agree with our choice – it’s our choice, not yours. We respect yours, why can’t you do the same?