Moms, we are all in this together. Every good parent wants the best for their child. The best looks different for each family. In the spirit of “Oh my goodness, I didn’t realize I was offending you!” I desire to share from my own experience and the experiences of other homeschooling mothers (special thanks to the Quad Cities Homeschool Coalition). These tips are meant to encourage and equip you to walk alongside your mama friends who homeschool. Alongside what not to say, I will offer an option that will be better received by your fellow mama friends who hit the books at home with their kiddos.
1. “You must be so patient. I could never do that!”
Please don’t assume we are blessed with the superpower of patience. It is not really a patience thing. We just do school with our kids. We taught them how to use the potty, ride a bike, and tie their shoes. This is a natural extension of the role we all play as mothers. We all teach our kids.
A better question- “You homeschool? What do your days look like?
2. “If things are so hard, why don’t you just put them in school somewhere else?”
This is usually said by someone that was trusted enough to share a burden with about a struggle we are having with a child in our homeschool. This one stings because the solution to a problem is rarely to quit. Reverse this line of thinking and how would you respond with, “If school is so hard, why don’t you just homeschool?”
A better question- “That sounds hard. Is there anything I can help you with?”
3. “Do you have an education background? How do they let you do that?”
I am educated, so yes, I have an education background. As the oldest child continues to advance grades my resume builds. “They” let me do that because just like you, no one loves these children more than their father and me. Just like you, we have their best interests in mind. Just like you, we take schooling seriously.
A better question- “What do you love about teaching your kids? What is your favorite subject to teach? How did you chose your curriculum?”
4. “What about socialization? You don’t want your kids to be weird!”
Weird people have weird kids. It is genetic. Don’t blame it on where they were educated. As the popularity of homeschooling has grown, there are actually a lot of social outlets to plug into. We have to purposefully chose so we don’t overwhelm our schedules. Homeschool mamas have the same hopes for their kids – to have a best friend, be invited to birthday parties, and have fun with peers. Bottom line, homeschooling doesn’t equal social isolation.
A better question- “What activities are your kids involved in? What do they like best?”
5. “When are you going to stop? What about high school?”
One day at a time people. Last week I wanted to stop on Thursday, but that was just a really rough day. Some families commit to homeschool for every grade. Some families commit to homeschool for a portion of the grades. Some families homeschool part of their brood, and send other children to a different place to be educated. My husband and I make it a year by year, child by child decision. Homeschooling is going really well for us right now, so I don’t see us stopping it. The above line of questioning sounds condescending, like it is a phase our family is going through or something.
A better question- “How is homeschooling going this year?”
I hope this article can bring encouragement and insight. I don’t want to be party to putting another mother down. We are all in this together, right ladies? No matter where our children are educated, we consider it a gift to have the freedom to chose.
What have been great questions you have received as a homeschooling mother? What questions do you wished people asked you?