What Homeschool Moms Wish You Knew

11:56 AM

Home school moms still get a lot of crap from people about their educational choices. Whether it's the weird glance from the cashier who innocently asks you, "Shouldn't your kids be in school today?" or the comment from the mom at the park whose children attend a local private school, there are a lot of things that people don't really understand about home school moms. Whether or not they want to understand, I don't know. I do know that, as a home school mom, there are a few things I wish people knew about my choice and my family.

I researched my decision for years.
No one wakes up one day and goes, "I think I'm going to give up a career and that second income so that I can stay home all day long for 12 years." It just doesn't happen that way. For most moms, the choice to home school came gradually and was something that was researched, thought about, and prayed over. Parents who home school read books, talked to home school families, researched local schools, and poured over curriculum options before finalizing their decision. It wasn't an overnight choice and it wasn't an easy choice.

Home schooling is a sacrifice.
A lot of moms won't admit this, but the choice to home educate is a sacrificial one. Whether it's the mom of the family who home educates or the dad, someone has to stay at home with the kids. For most moms, this means giving up a career, it means giving up extra money, it means living in a smaller house, it might even mean giving up on extra luxuries in order to live off a single income. Home schooling requires your entire day, every day. While most home school parents feel like the choice was worth it, it's not something that's easy. In fact, there are days when it's really, really hard.

I worry every day about my children.
Home school parents worry about their kids just like everyone else. Just because someone home educates doesn't mean that they aren't concerned about their child's future or their well-being.

My kids have friends.
Home school children have friends and social lives, but to us, a distraction-free education is important. That means workbooks come first and playtime comes later.

My kid isn't perfect, but neither is yours.
One of the hardest things about being a home school mom is when my kid makes a mistake. Immediately, the other moms look at me like, "Oh, it's because you home school." No, it's because my child is four. Not all kids are perfect. Whether a child goes to school at home or in a publicly-funded building, kids are going to make mistakes. Kids are going to be shy, scared, brave, dorky, and awkward. No one's child is perfect.

I'm not sitting at home watching television all day.
While I might be on the computer, it's probably because we're watching educational videos or doing research for a project. While home schooling means that I set my own schedule, it doesn't mean that we don't have one. Home school moms don't just sit around watching TV all day, reading magazines, or drinking wine.

I don't think I'm SuperMom and I don't think that I'm better than you.
Home school moms don't think that they're better than other people. In fact, we'll be the first ones to admit how imperfect we really are. We make mistakes. We screw up. But you know what? So does everyone. Home education doesn't mean that I think I'm better than you. It just means that I've chosen a different form of education for my child.

I respect your decisions.
No matter how you choose to educate your child, we can still be friends. Each parent has to choose the style of education that works best for their family. Home schooling is what works for us. If public, private, or charter school education works for your kid, that's great. Don't try to convince me that I'm ruining my child by home schooling him. I'm not, and you're not ruining your child, either.

Want to find out more about how home school moms manage it? Check out How to Home School Your Child Without Going Crazy.

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