As a homeschool mom of faith, this post is going to be quite controversial. I understand that my opinions and philosophy in life is not in line with the beliefs of many Christian Homeschoolers, so I’m not going to expect that this post will be well accepted by them. However, I do hope they’ll at least consider what I’m going to say. I hope they consider my thoughts, because children are being abused and neglected. I hope that their deeply religious hearts will consider my words for the sake of children in their own community. I’m not against parents who have genuine hearts to educate their children at home, but there is a deeply troubling dilemma plaguing the homeschool community and we need to open our eyes to it and do something about it. I pleaded with abused women to reach out for help and I’ve offered some advice to help begin the process of offering help to them. Today, I’m going to be blunt with the leaders who preach that homeschooling is best for all children, because it’s not! Homeschool isn’t best for all kids.
Homeschooling is not best for kids …
- whose parents blindly follow conspiracy theories.
- whose parents live in fear of everyone outside their own group.
- whose parents have anger problems.
- whose parents don’t think they have what it takes to home educate.
- whose parents can’t stand to be with their kids all day.
- whose parents spank for every infraction.
- whose parents lack grace.
- whose parents threaten their kids with CPS if they don’t do as their told.
- whose parents threaten their kids with after-life punishments.
- whose parents are threatening.
- whose parents lack patience.
- whose parents are pressured into homeschooling by other leaders.
The list could go on and on.
I’ve seen the arguments around the Internet and quite honestly, some arguments make me want to bang my head on a wall.
“Parents shouldn’t be allowed to teach their own kids.”
So people can have sex and give birth to children, but they can’t teach their kids reading, math, or history? I don’t think people realize how asinine their arguments are.
“Parents should only homeschool if they have a degree.”
But people can have sex and give birth to babies without a parenting degree.
If you’re going to make an argument about education and parenting, then get better at expressing your perspective. These statements aren’t helping anyone and they just make you look ridiculous.
Most homeschool parents were educated in the public school system. If these parents don’t have what it takes to teach the very subjects they learned in public school for 13 years, then God help the public school system! And you want their kids to attend the same schools their parents did?
But lets move the conversation to the hot topic of the week; children who suffer abuse in the homeschool environment.
If your leaders are pressuring you to homeschool out of some religious idea that only parents should educate their children, then don’t you dare bring your kids home!
You may not be the best teacher for your kids. Just because you’re a parent doesn’t mean you’re the right teacher for them.
Leaders, stop pressuring people to homeschool! You don’t know every family out there who is listening to your teaching. You don’t know which parents are abusive, mentally ill, or narcissistic. You should NOT be telling parents that they alone are the best teachers for their kids. You don’t know them!
Making the choice to home educate is a deeply serious decision that should never be taken lightly. If a parent is considering it, then they need to look into what it takes before they make their decision. Just because HSLDA says you have “parental rights to choose your child’s education”, doesn’t mean all parents are making their choice from a wise place.
Parents should look at ALL their options and research each and every option available to them. They should ask themselves if home educating is best for their child and if it’s best for themselves. Parents who hide in the “homeschool” community so they can continue to be abusive are NOT home educating. They are NOT homeschooling. They are abusing, period! Oh their kids might learn to read, write, and do simple math…but lots of kids who suffer abuse can read, write, and do math. Homeschooling is SO MUCH MORE than reading, writing, and doing math.
In fact, so called ‘homeschoolers’ who are hiding abuse aren’t REALLY a part of the homeschool community. They’re just trying to blend in by using the lingo. Of the homeschool abuse I’ve read about, those families lived highly isolated lives. A COMMUNITY isn’t isolated. Isolation and community are in opposition to one another. Isolated homeschoolers might make some public appearances so they are seen, but still live extremely private lives.
I’ve tried playing ‘devil’s advocate’ in understanding such an isolated life and I just don’t see how that can be healthy for anyone, let alone a child.
Home educating should be safe for kids. It should be preparing them for the world they will step into when they are an adult. Better yet, it should be preparing them to merge into this world. But if your idea of homeschool is about locking your kid away from the world out of fear, then homeschooling isn’t the best option for you. I’m not saying it can’t be at some point, but you may need to get help for yourself before you bring the kids home.
Learn all you can about home education. Learn about how hard it is, how much dedication it takes, how much of your life it’s going to take. In the mean time, be AS INVOLVED AS POSSIBLE with your child’s public education. Meet with teachers and ask lots of questions. It’s rare that a parent wants to spend that kind of time with a teacher so when those teachers meet a parent like that, they love it. Volunteer in the school, grade papers, read the books the kids are reading. Look at their papers, read their book reports, study their math papers and see where they’re struggling. You might find that keeping them in public school and being active in their school is better for you and for your child, than homeschooling would be.
Homeschooling isn’t best for all kids, especially not for kids whose parents are abusive. Since we don’t always know who is abusive, don’t advise people that “homeschooling is best for all kids”.