Who’s Judging Who? The Homeschooling/Schooling Divide.

Green for tea ~ Orange for coffee
Green for tea ~ Orange for coffee by ?lex

As a home educator (homeschooler, unschooler, whatever we are) I often feel awkward around schooling families, not because I have any issues with parents who send their children to school, but because I sometimes get the feeling that they think I am judging them for sending their kids to school. First let me say that I am lucky enough to live in a very non judgmental community where we all make our own decisions regarding education for our own reasons and respect each other for our differences. I have many friends that send their kids to school and they are wonderful loving families that I treasure. It is when I step outside my little bubble that I am confronted with the schooling/not schooling drama. When I tell most people who send their kids to school that I homeschool the immediate response almost 100% of the time is. “Oh I could never homeschool my kids.” Which to me seems like a very defensive response. I usually respond that we do what works for our family and that I’m glad they are doing what works for theirs. I mean this from the bottom of my heart but I’m not sure if the schooling families actually believe it because most go on to continue to spew reasons why they don’t homeschool. Granted these are usually strangers who I run into at museums or other family friendly events that I meet in passing but I feel that I need to convince them that not all homeschoolers hate school or the educational system. People homeschool for many reasons. Also on the other hand I rarely feel the need to defend to people why I homeschool, I just do.

How you educate your children is just one of many choices we make for our kids. I like coffee and some people like tea. It doesn’t mean that coffee is better than tea or that tea is better than coffee they are just two different ways of warming up or getting (or not) a caffeine kick start. I’m not going to judge you for drinking tea nor should I be judged for drinking coffee.

How you you as a homeschooling or schooling family deal with those on the other side of the educational divide?

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

3 thoughts on “Who’s Judging Who? The Homeschooling/Schooling Divide.”

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Who’s Judging Who? The Homeschooling/Schooling Divide. | Harmonic Mama and the Noisy Armadillos -- Topsy.com
  2. The Bitter Homeschooler wrote about his very typical response (“Oh, I could never do that!”) a few months ago. The post and comments are kind of a venting session from homeschoolers, as opposed to a mixed-company discussion, but that’s what your piece here reminded me of.

    For me, the subject of schooling rarely comes up around strangers even when I have the kids out and about with me (or maybe it’s just our winter schedule of late). I just say, “Oh, my kids don’t go to school” (or the kids say it). The conversation unfolds in whatever way it unfolds and depends largely on the person I’m talking to. It is really interesting to see others’ perceptions of us as they reflect back what they WANT to believe about me and the kids. I’m happy to expound if it’s relevant to the conversation but often people aren’t that interested in hearing more.

    I don’t experience “sides of the educational drive” because I think most parents and carers are similar in their core needs and hopes and fears and desires. Schooling and autodidactic or radical unschooling/life learning (how someone else might label us) might seem very different and are in some key ways, but most parents genuinely want what is best for their children and are going about it as best they can.

    I write tons about our life on my blog. I’m really grateful to be exposed to life learners becuase their work and conversations have really helped us.

  3. The biggest “aha” comes when, (to use a variation of your analogy) just as Starbucks coffee drinkers should feel gratitude to Dunkin’ Donuts coffee drinkers for adding competition and innovation, I realize that I am grateful to those who take an alternative path – even if I never want to take it myself – for encouraging a rich ecosystem of creativity and options.

Send a Comment

Your email address will not be published.