This week’s blog cruise asks the question “How do you respond to family and friends who don’t support your decision to homeschool?” That’s a very good question. Fortunately, I have many good friends who homeschool, so I get a lot of support there, and my family is mostly of the attitude “if it works for you, do it”, so I haven’t had to deal with it much. However, I have had to deal with “unstated” judgement about the decision my husband and I made to have me stay home instead of work, severely limiting our income, so we could chase this “crazy dream”. You know what I’m talking about…it’s not expressed directly, but you can hear it when they say “but won’t it be harder to pay the bills?” or, “in this economy right now, shouldn’t you hold on to your job?”…yeah, I find that irritating!
The emotional side of me wants to say “Who are you to judge what I’m doing?”, and sometimes, honestly, that is the side that wins out. However, I find that in situations that are emotionally charged on both sides, you need a more rational argument to make your point. When someone engages me in a conversation about homeschooling, and I suspect a hostile attitude, I try to remain calm 🙂 (note I said TRY, sometimes it’s REALLY hard). I usually begin by explaining our journey to this point in life, how we spent two years in prayer over this and felt led by the LORD to do things this way. I also give them some details about homeschooling. How it’s much more common these days then it ever was before, and how most homeschoolers have excellent records of success in school, college, and life. Of course, you can quote statistics all day, and to a lot of people that won’t mean a thing!
I also try to describe how this decision to homeschool has changed our family for the better. I tell them how my kids (and my husband) get more “mommy time” because I’m not so distracted by holding down a full time job on top of running a household. I explain how we have more time together as a family. Instead of an afternoon that begins at 4:30, with me screaming at the kids to do homework while I’m trying to cook dinner and my husband is in the garage, our afternoon now starts at 2:30, usually with all of us at the beach after school is done. I have more patience now, because I’m not worn out from working all day. My kids aren’t being rushed around all day long, and can take time to just enjoy being a kid….
You know, I think that’s kind of the whole point really. Childhood goes by WAY TOO FAST! I honestly feel like my 12 year old was a baby in my arms yesterday, and I’ve only got 6 more years until he’s an adult! That’s a big part of what drove me to this in the first place…I felt like my kids lives were passing me by, and I was missing MOST of it, because my mind was always on other things. The one thing you can’t get back in life is TIME, once it’s gone, it’s gone forever. I don’t want to miss a minute of the time God has given me with my kids. People can say it’s selfish, crazy, whatever…I don’t care. I know that when my children are grown and out of my home, I will look back on life and know that I soaked up every possible moment I could with them. I didn’t miss a thing. And, hopefully, my children will look back and know that the most IMPORTANT thing to mommy and daddy was the two of them. Period. I don’t need approval from anyone else to do what I know is right for my family.