Dear Mommy, Stop Trying to Defend Your Decision to Homeschool

If you're like me, you've found yourself trying to defend your decision to homeschool.

Every little advancement
Every good grade
Every cool field trip

They all get hung up like badges to prove that our decision to homeschool was the right decision.

I know, because I've found myself doing this lately with my friends.

It goes something like this:

"Hi Roz!"
"Hi there! My son got an A on his math test last week!"
"Oh. That's great."
Awkward silence.

And the temptation for me to brag about every little step forward is tremendous, because of my kids' battle to process language.

I've spent years saying "See? They can understand. They can form a sentence. They can retell you what they've learned."

All in an effort to soothe my own anxiety over my kids' slow language development.

But when is it okay to say, "My kid just learns more slowly in that area"?

When is it okay to just let it go and stop trying to prove to people that my kids' problems are not psychological or neurological....that with MERLD they will eventually catch up?

albeit with a few quirks on the side.

Here's the truth we need to know about friends and family and our decision to homeschool.

There are three camps when it comes to homeschooling.

  • Those who advocate homeschooling
  • Those who are against homeschooling
  • Those who are somewhere in the middle or indifferent

And what I've found over the past five months, since our decision to homeschool, is that those in the first two camps are pretty firm in their opinions. 

I have nothing to prove to those who advocate for homeschooling. They already feel like we've made the right decision. 

Any effort to prove my decision to those who are against homeschooling is an effort in futility. They will be happy for my child's advancement, but they will continue to believe that it may not be the best choice for him.

And that's okay. 

As friends, we can agree to disagree.

But this isn't why we should stop trying to defend our decision to homeschool.

The #1 reason why we should stop trying to defend our decision to homeschool is because there is no reason why we should have to defend our decision to anyone or prove to them that we've made the right choice.

As parents, we want what is best for our child.

As parents, we are experts in our child's needs and learning styles.

As parents, we are qualified to make decisions that we know are in our child's best interest.

Based on these facts, if we believe that home education is the right choice for our child, we should rest easy in our decision and simply enjoy each moment...

Whether or not it brings advancement
Whether or not it proves that more learning needs to take place in a certain subject

Because here's the truth you need to know:

There is nothing your child can do this year to adequately prove to anyone that homeschooling was the right choice for him or her.

Education isn't a sprint, it's a marathon.

Education doesn't stop at a high school diploma....or even a doctorate. 

Education is for a lifetime, we're just laying the foundation for a lifetime of learning and education. And for some the pace is quicker, while for others the pace is slower.

And neither pace proves anything other than God's creativity in making us all unique!

So mommy, take a deep breath and let go of the expectations.

Don't let friends and relatives give your children pop quizzes.

Also, don't parade their successes and failures to your friends and neighbors like they're State Fair award ribbons.

That's not what your child's successes mean.

Just enjoy everyday - even those days that seem like 2 steps forward and 1 step back.