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?