I have helped many families pull their kids out of public school, as we did with our kids eight years ago. The reasons vary, but most often they stem from bullying and over-testing, causing children to have ulcers, multiple doctors’ visits, hospitalizations and even suicide attempts.
What comes next, never fails to happen. The persistent whining and protesting against the parents’ decision to teach their children from the safety and love of their home, comes from the closest relatives of these said parents, even from spouses and ex-spouses, fathers and mothers of these children who are not the full-time caretakers. It never ceases to amaze me. These horrendous protests are trying to push these kids back towards hospitalizations, nightmarish victimization from both peers and at times, abusive teachers (the exceptions-the bad apples who shouldn’t be there), as well as straight into suicide. Is that their intention? No. They think that they are “saving” the children from a life of sheltered, Bible thumping, communes. The picture that they get of homeschooling in their heads, is not a realistic one. They have no idea how very well these students do. Homeschooled kids have graduated from Ivy League schools, as well as from other top colleges and universities. They go on to have great careers, or to simply fulfill needed jobs in the job sector. Are there those kids who do not succeed? Of course! Are there kids in public schools who don’t succeed? Do I need to answer that?
Kids are all very different. All kids learn differently. If they are not homeschooled because of bullying, or as a result of stress-induced medical issues, or due to other more serious medical issues such as cancer, then they are often taught at home for this reason. Not every child fits in a square box and succeeds. Home education can adapt and grow with the child and succeed brilliantly with the one-on-one instruction given. Actors, actresses, high-performing gymnasts, ballerinas, singers, Olympic-bound ice skaters, and those living in rural and abroad places, must homeschool if they are to succeed in their lifestyles, careers, and education. This is just a short list of reasons we take our education into our own hands.
I am preaching to the choir.
When relatives (and other nosey know-it-alls) fight a parent’s decision that they have agonizingly made (with floor pacing, nights of no sleep, discussions with close friends, much research, tears, heavy hearts, endless questioning of this decision), from a place of a parent’s endless love, it is just the end of a very long struggle in their parenting adventures. It is the beast at the end of the movie that we need to put to its demise.
Here’s how it is done.
Know your state laws (by searching on the internet, “my state’s homeschooling laws.gov”, inserting your state’s name, or U.S. Abroad, and also the country’s name that you are staying in). If you are staying abroad, not just for a short vacation, know the laws there as well. Boldly, knowingly, tell your nay-sayer that you are following your state’s laws to the letter.
Arm yourself with factual statistics, and the books and articles that quote them. Make sure that they are current, because our numbers are growing rapidly and the success rates are phenomenal! Children are becoming healthier, more self-sufficient, and much more confident! Colleges and universities are quickly adapting new standards and separate homeschooling requirements for the admissions processes. The University of Wisconsin, Madison, is one such amazing university that is doing just that! We homeschoolers are actually being RECRUITED by some of these brilliant schools! Check them out!
No, I am not going to link these books and articles for you here. They need to be current, and if you do your own research, you will learn more. Duh! It is the golden rule! This is how our own kids learn best! Hop on this progressive train of self-motivated, independent learning! Have FUN doing the research! Yes, it is fun!
DON’T ARGUE with these ignorant fools!.Hand, send, and write to them; the articles, the statistics, the book titles, or better yet, the books themselves. Tell them to EDUCATE themselves.
STAY CALM. LOOK like the educated, sophisticated, mature, outstanding parent that YOU ARE.
BLOG. Present your blog to the Facebook world, the email world…SHOW them YOUR child’s world by giving examples on your blog, of what you do on a weekly basis. Pictures of science experiments, art, music classes, gym classes, sports, library activities, field trips, papers they write, lists of books read, etc. At least POST these things on Facebook. They will get “slapped” in the face with wonderful, wholesome learning experiences and see for themselves, how unsheltered and fantastic your children’s lives REALLY are!
That is all you have to do.
Remember to TELL YOURSELF, daily, what a wonderful gift you are giving to your children. Then, READ those articles and books that you have shared with your naysayers, over and over again. SEE the work that you have done and that your kids have enjoyed on your Facebook posts, or blogs. LOOK at your daily journals, or schedule books to remind yourself how much your kids are learning. Often times, we need to combat the doubts that the unsupportive beasts have put into our heads, with the armor of education.