Back to school time can feel a bit awkward for homeschoolers. Personally, I love seeing all the pictures my friends are posting online of their sweet children on the first day of school and the excited posts from my school teacher friends about the anticipation of a new year. The start of a new school year is a big milestone for many.
Though we homeschool year round, I usually make a point of recognizing a new beginning this time of year. We’ve gone to “not back to school” picnics. We’ve taken special field trips. We always take a picture on the first day of public school. It’s always good to mark milestones as they come.
But to be honest, sometimes it feels wrong to share our excitement. It feels like I am saying “What we’re doing is better than what you’re doing.” But that’s not it. What I want to express is this: What we’re doing works for us. We enjoy it. We want to celebrate it.
I am blessed to know several school teachers. My kids would be lucky to learn from any of them. I am so glad that there are people like them in schools across the world teaching our youth. I know that sometimes, people feel like homeschoolers are anti-teacher. I am not. I don’t actually know any homeschoolers who are. There are good and bad teachers, just like any other profession, but I feel like most teachers are in it for all the right reasons. What they do is admirable.
And I know so many moms who would love to homeschool, but can’t for whatever reason. Or parents who just do not want to homeschool, ever. It does not matter to me. All I care about is that kids are getting the best education they can in whatever form works for their families. If your kid loves public school or you found an amazing arts charter or you’ve found a way to pay for a great private school for your child – whatever your choice is, if it is working for you, I am happy for you.
I am not against schools. I don’t look down on other parents for doing what is right for their own family. I support whatever choice you make for your kids.
I just ask for the same support. It gets old feeling like I have qualify our educational choices all the time. “Well we homeschool because….” Because if I give a reason that can’t apply to you, maybe I won’t offend you. But in the end, we’re doing what works for us. I can list of dozens of reasons why it works for us, but that’s really not the point. My kids are thriving in a way I don’t think they would in another educational setting.
I am going to keep celebrating their education. I hope you do the same, no matter where your kids learn.