Encountering The Doubters


Between myself and my kids, we’ve encountered our fair share of those who doubt our decision to homeschool.  They doubt my ability to teach, my kids’ ability to learn, our socialization options, you name it!  It’s as if stepping outside of the societal norm of public school is terrifying to most people.  Deep down I wonder if they’re unconsciously equating homeschooling with child abuse.

I know we’re not the only ones dealing with the doubters.  One of the homeschooling Facebook groups I’m part of started a thread: What’s the weirdest thing someone said to you about homeschooling?  There were the common socialization questions, and then there were the completely wacko comments like “does the school send out a teacher for your kid?”

If you’re like me, you smile and nod, and try to answer gracefully when you encounter a doubter.  I attempt to follow the social rules and be polite (even though they’re not!) but at the back of my mind, there’s a running commentary.

A very sarcastic, smart-ass commentary.

“Do you have a teaching degree?”

No, but I acquired a double major in 3.5 years with a Suma.  Think that’s enough?

“How will they learn to interact with their peers?”

The way generations of kids have – starting with their siblings.  We’re doing good so far, no one has died yet!

“I couldn’t do that!  I couldn’t spend all day with my kids.”

Why are you saying this with pride?

“How will they learn if you’re going on field trips all the time?”

Well, I don’t know.  Maybe I should print out some worksheets?

“Did you research this before you decided?”

Umm, I don’t know how to answer this.  Do my blood-shot eyes mean anything to this discussion?

“You’re going to send him to real school later, right?”

Yes, we’re planning on sending him to college if he choses to go.  Most colleges don’t take kids until middle school, so he’s stuck with us for now.

“Public school teachers are trained to teach special needs kids.  Are you?”

No, I’m just his parent.  I certainly don’t deal with the special needs at home, no, I leave that to their dad!

“Do you sit at home all day?”

Nope, we almost lost one out of a gun port the other day.  And the crew wanted to send the Engineer up into the rigging, but I had to put a stop to that idea.  Did I tell you he climbed up a giant intestine?  At least he went the correct direction, unlike the Destroyer.  All of the kids wanted to bring the robot arm home with us, but the museum objected.   At least they got to bring the glow-in-the-dark slime they made home.


I know, it’s rude and impolite to think this stuff.  It’s also rude and impolite for people to assume that I’m an idiot, or that my kids are socially inept weirdos.  Let’s call it a draw and agree to do what’s best for the kids.

What about you?  What’s the craziest thing anyone has said to you about homeschooling?  I look forward to the fresh Thanksgiving results!  (And Happy Thanksgiving everyone!)



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