You would think the word would have gotten out by now. I mean, homeschooling has been growing by leaps and bounds in recent years, so it’s not like it’s some new and mysterious movement people are just now learning exists.
And yet I continue running into these silly misconceptions about who homeschooling moms are and what they do. I’m not sure why that is, except that there are still plenty of people out there who may have heard of homeschooling, but who don’t actually know anyone who does it. And I also realize there are still a lot of people out there who are baffled by a woman who would choose to keep her kids home and teach them herself, even when there are free schools out there designed for just that purpose!
And so the goofy preconceived notions abound. Here are just a few of them. Lies, all of them, but that doesn’t keep them from being spoken over and over again…
Homeschooling moms have more patience than the average woman.
Sorry. That one just gets me every time, and it is undoubtedly the lie I hear the most often.
If you think homeschooling moms are all these sweet, demure, soft-spoken women, then you are sadly mistaken. Homeschooling moms are just as impatient, just as moody, just as prone to grouchiness as any other mom you could ever hope to meet. Trust me.
But let me also say that I do think homeschooling can sometimes develop patience. It forces it, actually, though that is an effect of homeschooling, not a cause of it.
Even yet, I’d guess 99.8% of experienced homeschooling moms will tell you that they don’t have the patience for homeschooling either. They just choose to homeschool anyway.
Homeschooling moms are confined to home all the time.
Contrary to the belief of some, most homeschooling moms don’t live in outer-Sclabobia, (don’t ask me where that is, it’s just a word we always used for way, WAY out in the sticks,) where their oppressive husbands keep them under lock and key, allowing them no contact with the outside world.
No, most homeschooling moms are busier and more social than they want to be, involved in more activities than they can often manage. There are field trips and homeschool groups and co-op classes and music lessons and library visits and play dates and church functions…
Believe it or not, we don’t grow all our own food, weave all our own cloth, hand-make our Laura Ingalls-esque clothing, and conduct religious services on compounds surrounded by razor wire. We do go out. Often. More often than most of us would probably like, in fact.
Homeschooling moms aren’t concerned about their children’s socialization.
Actually, it’s often because they ARE concerned about their children’s socialization that many moms choose to homeschool! A lot of them are probably like me: I got LOTS of socialization in my years of public school, and most of it bad. Not all of it, granted, but a whole lot of it.
But if 12 years of age-based segregation, which provides a social setting my children will never, EVER realistically experience again, is the kind of socialization you’re talking about, then you may be right: Most homeschooling moms probably don’t care much about that kind of socialization.
Homeschooling moms are helicopter parents.
Okay, I struggle a little bit with this one because, particularly when our children are small, aren’t we supposed to hover over them enough to prevent problems and control some of the things they’re exposed to? Isn’t that part of loving and protecting them? Am I a helicopter parent because I watch my children around a bonfire or because I choose what they can or can’t eat? Then why am I considered a helicopter parent because I don’t want to hand my 6 year old over to total strangers for 6 hours every day? Let’s be honest: People do that because it’s the cultural norm, not because it makes good sense.
But regardless, homeschooling moms do NOT shield their children from every evil and hurt and disappointment and certainly not from experiences that will teach them something. They don’t sweep in to remove their child’s every roadblock or solve their every problem. If anything, homeschooling moms probably encourage independence in their children more than the average mom, since it’s all a part of the process of developing life-long learners.
Homeschooling moms are organized.
The less said about this, the better.
(That’s my easy way of saying no, not always. Good organizational skills are not a requirement when it comes to homeschooling…THANK GOD…though decent organizational skills do come in handy!)
Homeschooling moms are creative.
No, homeschooling moms just visit Pinterest. A LOT. Sometimes I think I come up with some really good ideas and I go with those, but more times than I could ever count I find myself going to Pinterest or doing a quick internet search for some brilliant idea of somebody else’s. I can draw from other homeschooling moms, but also from brilliant thinkers and writers, experienced classroom teachers, and talented, crafty people of all types.
Maybe being naturally creative was more important back in the “old days” of homeschooling, but now it really isn’t necessary. There are plenty of other people out there to be creative for you!
Homeschooling moms LOVE homeschooling.
Listen, I don’t regret my decision to homeschool. I do love it. Really. I thank God often for changing my heart on the issue of homeschooling because I know I would be missing out on so much without it.
But that’s not to say I love it every day. Some days are tough. Really tough. Sometimes algebraic equations fry my brain and trying to look at words through a dyslexic’s eyes leaves me exasperated. Sometimes I get really tired of cleaning up Play-doh and organizing a zillion books and trying to teach my kids the Bible when I’m feeling anything but spiritual. Sometimes I hate my kids’ school subjects more than they do, (though I don’t generally tell them so,) and sometimes I long desperately for peace and quiet and one day, JUST ONE DAY all to myself. Some nights I even go to bed thinking, “Oh, please. Tell me I do not have to do that again tomorrow…”
But then I wake up in the morning, start the coffee, pull out the Bible and some well-worn prayers for grace and patience, and we go at it again. And there is always grace sufficient. Always.
And I have a feeling most homeschooling moms will tell you the same.