As I wrote before, we have run into quite a few children who are going to be entering kindergarten this fall at one of the local public schools. Their mothers, upon hearing that I have a child of that age, almost always ask, “Is she going to be starting kindergarten in the fall?” I usually hesitantly answer, “Yes.”
Inevitably, a few minutes later, they follow up with a question about which school. To which I answer, “Mine.” Then, I explain that we homeschool. So far, the comments have been positive toward our choice with a unanimous, “I could NEVER homeschool because . . . ” and all the usual reasons given. So, I read this article by Jeanne Potts Faulconer with some interest. There are times that I am very glad not everyone knows we homeschool because our kids are not necessarily the stereotypical “well-behaved homeschooled” children.
The gist of the article is that people stereotype homeschoolers and that all homeschoolers are ambassadors of the movement and need to fight the stereotypes – even the positive ones.
I certainly know that there are hundreds of different reasons why parents decide to homeschool. Some are enthusiastic and some are reluctant. Many start on the path to homeschooling for one reason and after a couple of years have completely different reasons for continuing. Still others find that after a few years, their reasons for homeschooling have changed and, in some cases, dried up. So, they decide to discontinue homeschooling.
I try to remember in all my interactions with the public that I am an ambassador of the homeschool movement. I am not one who thinks everyone should homeschool their children. I am pretty emphatic that many parents would not want to go down this road. However, I am not any more patient, more intelligent, more dedicated to my children, or more organized than most of the other parents out there. My husband and I have simply chosen a different path. A path less taken, so to speak. It is as full of briars, weeds, dead ends, and wild animals as the well-traveled path. It is a tough road to travel, but we are committed to it . . . at least for now.