You Are Welcome World

We homeschool.

When we started this journey over 20 years ago, it was foreign and speculative to many.
It still may be. I don’t know.
We were judged, talked about, and under observation and gossip from very close family and friends for years.

As our children grew and showed “promise and progress,” and ‘passed the test ” of our critics, well.. those same people began to talk about how proud they were of our kids. After we passed their “litmus test” and they saw our children were “normal”, they pretended that the shunning, gossip and critical spirit never happened. All of a sudden, it was okay to homeschool. We had to prove ourselves. At least, that was their expectations.

Some of our kids attended a private school for their highschool years. They transitioned fine, graduated with a regents diploma, were Class Presidents, Worship Leaders, Honor Society, took ACE college courses, earned scholarships, and now lead “successful” adult lives. They are not on drugs, suicidal, or higschool dropouts. The school they attended did not have to pick up my pieces from a lack of education at home, and they thrived in their social and academic lives.

It has been 21 years and we still homeschool. This is a choice. Just like every other choice people march for, fight for and champion for.

Humor me and read further?
1. Homeschooling is not for everyone. But, right now, it is for us.
2. (Most) Homeschooling families spend HOURS a day teaching, learning and studying. Not an hour, here or there.
3. Homeschooling is a commitment. It is not an attempt to give our children a break from their studies or to not have accountability.
4. Homeschooling families have more accountability than the public classrooms and do not have the tax paying privileges they pay for.
5. Homeschooling is not for everyone. (just to re-iterate)
6. Homeschooling is not a cop-out, an experiment or less of an education.
7. Homeschooling is not cheaper than a private education and is funded from our pockets.
8. Homeschooling is a choice and a privilege and we take it seriously.

Today, I AGAIN, heard that homeschooling is viewed as “half-hearted,” with an hour here and an hour there, slapped on paper, hoping for the best.

I heard that the world needs to pick up our pieces.
Society, schools, churches and higher-institutions should recognize the segregation of this topic. It is overlooked and a highly abused topic. When my children are striving for excellence and are treated with disdain or fewer privileges, perhaps we, as a society, have acknowledged this as an acceptable form of segregation and judgement. Seems extreme? 21 years of this journey, and I will be the first to tell you, there are walls and they were built with words and judgement.

Today, I chose to write here, because an education is more than sitting at a desk.

An education begins with an open mind on topics like homeschooling.

I will not apologize for the 21 years of full-time commitment, hard work investment, to raise moral, intelligent, strong, faithful, humble, non-judegemental and hard working adults.
You are welcome world. But, I am sorry, my contribution was not for you.
It was for my children and the God who desires excellence from all of us. Even in our judgements.

Homeschooling may not be “for you,” but I ask that you keep your judgments to yourself.

(disclaimer, before this comes up: Our family represents ‘our homeschool investment.” I am not speaking to “the few” anomalies” you may know that have approached homeschooling differently.”)

Knowledge before utterance is imperative.

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  • Reply
    Peggy Cuomo
    February 27, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    Thank you September!! It needs to be said!!

  • Reply
    February 27, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    Yes, segregation still does exist in our education system here in New York, and perhaps broader. We need to open up the conversation about what the basic of American freedom and equality TRULY look like in the area of education, and this means the topic of homeschooling, and the practices, policies and prejudices that exist around it. Thanks September for saying it!

  • Reply
    February 27, 2017 at 10:11 pm

    Hi September. I don’t know you, but I am a homeschooling mama, and I was JUST talking with a friend in church about this specific issue, yesterday! She’s not a homeschooler herself, but she empathized with the issue of being or feeling judged. And she sent a link to this blog post to me, today! It’s hard to be judged in this way, no matter what. Often I feel shut out of women’s groups at church, and just groups of women in general. Sometimes actual passive-aggressive statements against homeschooling have been made publicly, aimed at me, the only homeschooler in the room. I just stand there and don’t even know what to say or do in that situation. It’s awkward and I feel isolated and alone in those instances. It’s hard to be the different one, but it’s especially hard when you KNOW there is a lot of judgment going on, based on entirely false presuppositions and prejudices. Thankfully we are not defined by what others think of us, but that doesn’t change that it is hard when so much of this type of judgment goes on. And if someone were to come out specifically against my homeschooled kids, mama bear is not going to be happy, and might have something to say. 😉 Beyond the prejudices and unjust judgments based on false assumptions against homeschooling, I think that sometimes certain non-homeschoolers feel judged by homeschoolers, so it’s like they counter-judge. Women can be so judgmental of each other. It’s us (women) at our worst, tearing each other down. We are at our best when we know we are all in this together, and are there for each other, listening, empathizing, and NOT assuming things. Whenever I see women building each other up, listening, encouraging and exhorting each other, I think, “Man, this is one of the most beautiful parts of the feminine heart!” And when I see the opposite, or experience it, I tend to want to build a wall around my heart. Anyway- thanks for posting this. It is always good to know that one is not alone! I am in a place of re-opening my heart to fellowship with women in a larger context, and these types of things have been challenges that I have faced, causing conflict in my heart, because it sometimes feels like I just want to shut down again, and build up walls!

  • Reply
    Jessica White
    February 28, 2017 at 10:59 am

    Hear! Hear!
    Reminds me of RC Sproul’s When You Rise Up….What is the ultimate thing that we desire for our children? Glory to the world? Or Glory to God?

  • Reply
    Michelle Bernier
    February 28, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    Amen. Parents that homeschool their children make a HUGE commitment of time and money for their children to receive a quality education. I home schooled for 20 years. Then I put them in public school for 2 years. All their teachers loved having them in their classes because they were respectful and intelligent. After I tried that route for 2 years, I brought them back home. They simply were not rising to their potential, nor were they encouraged to do so. School was “easy”. I now have them in a virtual online school which is very challenging, and they are excelling there. Home schooling takes time and dedication. It is no shame to homeschool or not to homeschool. We all need to love, encourage, and build up each other. May we all set our eyes on ‘the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 3:14) It is for Him we live, and all do what we do.

  • Reply
    March 1, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    Preach! It’s hard work and not for the faint of heart.

  • Reply
    Denise Renae
    April 21, 2017 at 10:22 pm

    Thanks for sharing this. I have 5 children, 6 and under and planning to homeschool. I have started with my 5 and 6 yr old. The reason we want to homeschool is because we admire the families around us who have done so. We notice something different from homeschooling families. There is something in the children and the family that is extremely admirable!

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