So for your reading pleasure, I offer the following list of Not Good Reasons to Quit Home Schooling, along with my personal (usually not spoken) answers:
They won’t learn grammar. This was one of the first objections I ever heard to home schooling. I was taken aback at the time and couldn’t think of anything to say… it is an odd objection, don’t you agree? But I am a grammar FREAK! Not that I write like one. But I am… and there’s no way I will let my children grow up without understanding how our language works.
How will you teach science? We will ask questions, look for answers, check our answers, and write about what we find. Kind of like scientists. And we’ll read books.
What about socialization? (Of course.) And along those lines… they need to have friends their own age. This question has fallen by the wayside in the past few years. No one who knows my children wonders whether they’re being socialized. They’re friendly, sometimes quiet, sometimes loud, sometimes silly or serious. And they can hold their own in a conversation with almost anyone, regardless of age. (Fads aren’t a big concern, though… so sometimes they don’t care about things kids their age are worried about.) They’ll be ok.
What about band/orchestra/sports/drama/art? I grew up in a small town with one K-12 school. There were 30 students in my class. There was a band, and I was in it, but orchestra was for Really Big Schools. Sports were an option, as long as you weren’t into swimming, hockey, soccer, gymnastics, ice skating, or lacrosse. Football, basketball, volleyball for girls and baseball for boys were the options. Drama happened some years and was mediocre at best. There was no such thing as Art Class. And yet, I somehow became a music teacher… who would love to spend time at an orchestra concert. Or a baseball game. Or an outdoor Shakespeare performance. Or a modern art gallery.
How will you teach high school? I will purchase high school level schoolbooks and use them. This was our method in first grade, too… we bought first grade textbooks and used them. It worked.
What if they want to try public school? Will you let them? The short answer is no. The long answer is, if they want to try public school we’ll have conversations with them. We’ll find out what they really feel like they’re missing out on and figure out how to make it happen. That might mean a new backpack, more play dates with friends, joining a club, or riding a bus. I can’t imagine a need that could ONLY be met by “letting them try” public school.
What about when you’re moving? Or on bed rest? We’ve home schooled through both of these situations, as well as through other rough patches. To be honest, the packing part of moving would have seemed easier in a house without kids… but the settling into a new home was helped immeasurably by starting our school routine right away. It gave a sense of continuity to a crazy time. And schooling through bed rest and the newborn baby months taught my girls amazing lessons in how to take care of a home and a growing family. They have no doubt that they’re each a vital part of our family team.
Sometimes these objections are raised by people who don’t know me well. They don’t really care about why I home school, and they won’t be around to see the results. Sometimes people are genuinely concerned because they love me and my children. I think it’s safe to say that the past eight years have allayed their fears… most of the concerned objectors have turned into our biggest cheerleaders! And some folks are just genuinely curious about home schooling. It is a unique lifestyle, and I love to talk about it with people who are interested and respectful.
The wonderful thing about being questioned is that it makes me think. Because I’ve answered the objections, I know why we decided to home school and why we keep doing it. Every question makes me turn back to our goals and our family values… and keeps me certain that I’m doing just what I need to be doing for my kids.
What objections have you heard to your home schooling choice? Or… if you don’t home school… what other questions do you have for me? I probably have an answer ready for you!