“I hear you are one who really does homeschool”, someone in my community told me in a casual conversation.
“Oh, really?”, I replied. “How do you know?”
“Because Vi told me you do it,” she returned.
“How does Vi know?” I asked.
“Because she’s your neighbor. She should know.”
“Well, I don’t know how”, I laughed. “She sure hasn’t come to sit in on my homeschool!”
This conversation left me disturbed and pondering. It brought to mind a similar conversation three years earlier when an acquaintance introduced me to her visiting mother. “She’s one who really does homeschool”, she had said to her mother in reference to me. When I asked her what she meant by that, she explained, “Everyone that I know that homeschools really doesn’t do it. They just take their kids out of school and then don’t teach them. I guess they use them for babysitters or to do their housework. Or maybe they think they will teach them but never get around to it.”
This woman was a very nonjudgmental person and it surprised me to hear her make such a statement. Of course, I felt defensive! I felt like coming to bat for all my fellow homeschoolers. Then I looked around and realized that her experience with other homeschoolers had certainly formed her opinion. She had seen homeschooled children at church, not able to read at eight, nine and ten years old.
Mothers, may I plead with you to do it! If you choose to homeschool, make the commitment to be devoted to making sure your children get a better education than they could get at public school. This type of devotion means that homeschooling must take priority over the phone, drop-in visitors, meetings, appointments, personal projects and housekeeping at least for a few hours everyday. My purpose in homeschooling is to ensure that my children are taught the truth. At the current moment, there is not a lot of truth being taught in the public school. If there were, it may be a good option. But if my own efforts to teach my children are so lacking priority that I cannot help them learn to read until it has become a burden and an embarrassment to them, then I will contribute to the bad name that homeschooling has become to many.
Yes, homeschooling is a tremendous task! It takes the best of what I have to give every single day. It keeps me from doing much shopping, cleaning house and socializing. But I feel so very blessed to be very good friends with my children and to be the one to give them the keys to understanding their life. Education is a marvelous liberator! When you teach a child to read or do math or in any other way to make sense of things, particularly with a Christian perspective, you give a precious gift. In the process, you become soul-mates. Enjoy that blessed opportunity!