I am a homeschooler. And I love homeschooling.
I love it in a no options, no excuses, no holds barred kind of way. I love it without reservation. I believe in it. I’m passionate about it. In my mind, there is no doubt that homeschooling is the single best option to educate children.
This is hard to say. It is unpopular; it offends too many people. It’s as if I have to add a disclaimer each time I speak of homeschooling, lest I appear negative, bigoted and insensitive or, heaven forbid, commit the ultimate sin of not being inclusive enough.
I’m expected to pay my respects to public school teachers, often listening to unsolicited advice from them in the oddest of places like the gym locker rooms, random strangers and whoever else is included in this village that is supposed to be raising my children.
Of course there are wonderful teachers out there and I know many good families that I would leave my children with in a heartbeat without any concern about their well being. But that would only be because they would care for them with an eye to my authority over the children and would not try to usurp it.
Oh, look. I’m doing it again. Disclaimer has apparently become my middle name.
So here it is. I’m a homeschooler and I (no disclaimers) love it.
When I say I love it, I don’t mean it’s easy or that I don’t wish for a break or even that I do it perfectly. I certainly don’t write only uplifting things about it.
Homeschooling isn’t the only way to teach children, for sure. But here’s my conviction: I do, wholeheartedly believe it is the best way.
But… but… but…
I can already hear the slingshots loading.
“Surely you’re not saying you’re their best teacher? What training do you have?”
“Are they learning anything? How do you know they’re learning?”
“Homeschoolers are so insular! What do you do all day? Memorize Bible verses?”
“So you’re judging the rest of us who send our kids to public school?”
To which I’ll say just this: We’re not not part of the purity culture, the patriarchy movement, the radical unschooling culture or whatever other culture you think we might fit into.
We just happen to be passionate about homeschooling our children.
If I didn’t think homeschooling was indeed the best way to teach my children, why in the world would I give it my all? In a world that considers “me-time” so important, why would I choose to spend so much of my time, emotions, intellect and sheer will creating a curriculum, scheduling, explaining, reading? Why indeed?
Interestingly enough, even though I stand firmly on Christian ground as a homeschooler, my introduction to learning at home began in the secular world. The first books on education I read were by writers like John Taylor Gatto and John Holt. It was only after we had decided to homeschool that I became a Christian.
As a result, I have the unique experience of seeing from both worlds – secular and Christian – how homeschooling (and especially our specific brand of classical unschooling affords the best possible option for educating children.
So don’t assume that we are homeschooling for practical reasons which could change as soon as it doesn’t work any more or as soon as it gets difficult or until better prospects come along. As far as I’m concerned, we’re in this for the long haul.
Yes, homeschooling is all it’s cracked up to be. Even on days when it’s hard – indeed, especially on days when it’s hard.
I’m not asking for permission to be in love with homeschooling any more. I refuse to apologize for promoting it.
I’m going to be unabashedly supportive of other parents who choose this option. I’m not going to say it doesn’t matter what you choose. Because it does.
So I am not ashamed of homeschooling because it has the power to save families who feel powerless in the education of their children – in the many public schools and also the private.
I am a homeschooler and I love it.