Sunday, May 15, 2011

Homeschooling parents do not care about the community...

Oh my! It’s been a while since I last wrote on here – life has just been too busy! :-) Just a very quick recap on what has kept us so busy: We are in the middle of baseball season, and between both boys we are at the fields MANY days each week. Abriella is getting ready for her very first dance recital – she is soooo excited! The boys and I have started the “Couch to 5K” running program – we LOVE it! We can’t wait for our first 5k at the end of July. And then there is the karate tournament coming up next weekend! Whew, no wonder I feel like we are ALWAYS on the go – and that’s just our sports, LOL. 

Earlier today I was joking around with a few people, and made a joke about homeschooling (something along the lines of, “If everyone homeschooled, we’d all have more time to let our kids play sports.”). One guy turned to me and said, “I couldn’t do that because I support our local schools.” Before I could make a (probably equally as rude) comment back to him, someone else quieted down the conversation, preventing it from taking a very bad turn (thankfully, because we were actually in a meeting – not the place to argue about homeschooling, LOL). 

It got me thinking, though – why is it assumed that homeschoolers do not care about the community/local schools/children in those schools? That couldn’t be further from the truth – most homeschoolers I know want to see improvements in their local schools because they know that it could provide better opportunities for the children in their neighborhood – kids who probably play with their own kids, you know? Homeschoolers do care about what happens to those kids, but they also know that they can’t sacrifice their own children “for the greater good.” They have to make the right decisions for their own children.

I think it is rather presumptuous to assume that you know best for someone else’s kids or the community as a whole – I fully support a parents’ right to choose the best education for their child. This could be public, private, charter, or homeschool. Homeschooling is not right for everyone (though, I do FIRMLY believe that EVERY parent who WANTS to homeschool CAN homeschool successfully), but neither is public school. The reasons for choosing homeschooling are greatly varied – off the top of my head I can think of local friends who homeschool for religious reasons, some who homeschool because the school couldn’t meet the academic needs of their child, others who want more time with their children, some whose children who were bullied in public school, and so on… there are as many different reasons for homeschooling as there are families who homeschool.
Homeschooling parents still pay taxes to the public school, they buy the fundraisers that kids go door to door selling (to raise money for class trips or anything else), they tutor kids in the public school, they invite them to church, they try to set a positive example for these kids whenever they get a chance – in short, they act like every other member of the community. They simply chose a different educational route for their own children. 

What has been your experience with this type of situation? Do you find that most public school parents/teachers/etc feel hostile towards homeschoolers, believing that they are taking away from the kids in public school? Or do most understand that it is nothing personal against the kids and teachers in the school – that the school just wasn’t the right fit for their child?

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