Homeschoolers may only do this gig for a season. They dive into this adventure knowing there are scenarios in which their children may, at some point, resurface and tread the halls of public schools. They are cut from the same cloth as the Virtual Academy type, who, for one reason or another, access public school from their living room computer.
They keep a loose grip on homeschooling.
Homeschoolers are in this for the long haul and would never, I repeat NEVER, place their children in public school. Private or charter schools, maybe. If it became absolutely necessary.
They are the die-hards.
I'm here to condemn neither one.
In recent history I've known several homeschooling families who have made the decision to place one or more of their children in public school. The conversations I've had with these friends have been guarded. Cautious. As though they are accustomed to donning a veil of defensiveness. There is weariness in their voice and wariness in their eyes as they explain themselves to yet another well-meaning (albeit nosy) friend.
Dear Homeschooling Drop-Out,
There is no condemnation here. This is a safe harbor in which to drop anchor. It’s not the first difficult decision you've made for those munchkins, and it is most assuredly not the last. Perhaps you feel the palpable weight of guilt. Perhaps you were blindsided with the newsflash that you were homeschoolers when all along you've considered yourselves homeschoolers. It stinks to eat crow, but we all find ourselves in front of that dinner plate from time to time.* Hear me, you have not failed. You've wisely dropped out somewhere in order to drop in some place better.** The decision to cease homeschooling is of no less importance than the decision to begin thus in the first place. You've arrived at this conclusion after much deliberation. So, release the “I told you so.” and the “What a shame.” crowds and embrace the “Come to the PTA meeting. We have cookies.” crowd.
Dear Homeschoolers and Homeschoolers,
Let us deal graciously with one another as well as our friends who have chosen for their families, a different educational path than we have. We are not superior. Although we have a strong tendency to appear as such in the presence of dear friends who (coincidentally) love their children no less than we do ours.*** When a friend makes The Announcement we needn't dig out the sackcloth and ashes. No weeping and wailing necessary. Really. In lieu of facing off with our local Public School Convert (or worse yet, shaming them), may we be known to infuse grace into every syllable we utter. For, are we not all in this together?
This Homeschooling Mom (who needs to practice what she preaches...)
*I have found the best method is to just start chewing and then wash it all down with
**Better for your student. Better for your family. Better for your sanity...
***What a concept.