If you’ve homeschooled for any length of time, you’ve probably experienced your fair share of rude or strange comments and questions. I’ve often wondered what it would be like if people reacted to public school like homeschool.
Can you imagine learning that someone’s child attends the local public school and responding with any of the following?
What in the world would make you decide to public school?
Aren’t you afraid public schooling will make your child weird? I met a weird person one time and they went to public school!
How do you know if your child is learning at public school? How do you know what they should be learning?
Well, I guess public schooling is fine for you, but most families really shouldn’t public school.
If your kids want to stop attending public school, you’ll let them, right?
I could never public school. I don’t have the patience! Nightly homework, testing, fundraisers, long supply lists, pickup lines, no control over the schedule, no choice in the teacher or curriculum, bullying….
Public schooling might be O.K. while they are young, but surely you won’t public school them for high school too!
How does your child like being stuck at school all day?
How can you stand spending so much time away from your children?
I could never public school. My kids don’t listen to me, so how can I expect them to listen to a teacher?
Aren’t you concerned about the negative socialization in public school?
Oh, little Johnny, you’re public schooled! What’s 5 plus 8? 12 times 7? Who was the 14th president? When was the Declaration of Independence signed? Do you want to be public schooled again next year?
I don’t think the response would be too positive.
I can’t imagine anyone ever saying any of the above things to parents who’ve chosen to send their children to public school. Can you? Of course not! Those comments and questions would be considered rude, or at least annoying, by the vast majority of people. Yet, unfortunately, when people encounter a homeschooler all etiquette seems to go out the window.
No one questions public schooling.
One of my children attended public school for two years. Not once did anyone question why we decided to send him to school, give their opinion on our education choice, or express concern about his education. However, as a homeschooler, I’ve experienced all of this. On a few occasions, people have been completely shocked or horrified to learn that we’d even consider something as “crazy” as homeschooling.
I personally attended public school, like most of my friends and family. I don’t remember ever being quizzed by adults attempting to disprove my education or being asked if I wanted to be in public school. It was never questioned or seen as a choice. But public schooling, like homeschooling, IS a choice and people make different choices for their families. Yes, public schooling is considered the norm in our society and is widely accepted without question, but that does not mean that it is the only valid or best option.
If you don’t homeschool…
If you’re reading this and you don’t homeschool, I understand that you probably have many questions about homeschooling. Most homeschoolers are open to genuine, well-intentioned interest in their families and homeschooling. But, before you ask us why on earth we’d do something so crazy or how we can stand to spend so much time with our children, consider how you’d react to the public school questions at the beginning of this blog. You probably wouldn’t enjoy it very much, would you? So, instead, ask what we learned about today, about our kids’ interests, about our recent field trip, what we enjoy about homeschooling, etc. You’ll likely be pleasantly surprised by what you learn!