Having done this homeschooling thing for a while now, I have found that there are some common misconceptions the general public seems to have about us. I'd like to take a few minutes and clear up three of those myths for you. (These aren't universal truths, as I'm sure you could find families that do fit these stereotypes. But the homeschoolers that I know don't and I would bet that most others don't either.)
1. We don't care about public education.
Nothing could be further from the truth. While most of my kiddos are not currently attending our local elementary or middle school (we actually do have one in preschool there this year), the majority of kids in America are going to public school. With the exception of a handful of homeschoolers and about three families who send their kids to private Christian schools, all the rest of my kids' friends go to public school. Most of their cousins and their fellow Scouts go to public school. As do our neighbors and the kids on their ball teams. The kids we know at church and my own kids' friends as well. I have many, many friends who are amazing public school teachers. To even imply that I don't care about any of these people is absurd and to be quite honest, a little insulting.
2. Our kids are unsocialized.
Pa-leeze! This is such an outdated misconception. This week we had a back-to-school party for just our homeschool friends. They couldn't all attend, but we had over 20 kids and a dozen parents there. (If everyone we invited had come, that number would have more than doubled. And that's JUST our homeschool friends.) They swam, played games, jumped on the trampoline and a few of the older ones were even a little awkward around members of the opposite sex. Sounds pretty normal to me.
3. We somehow have more patience than other parents.
I cannot even begin to tell you the number of times I have heard, "I would homeschool, but I don't have the patience." And what, dear friends, make you think that I do? Seriously, I lose my temper way more often than I am willing to fess up to. And don't even shake you're head and think to yourself, Maybe, Kelsy. But I bet you've never (insert your worst parenting moment here). Because short of things that would land me in jail, I probably have. And because the nature of homeschooling puts in close proximity to my little dearies more often than some other moms, I probably lose it more often. Don't believe me?
Ask my kids. Wait. Scratch that. Don't ask my kids. They might tell you the truth.
The reality is, we're just normal people. Yes, we choose to teach our kids differently but our sameness is much bigger than our differences. We all care about other people, even the ones who are not just like us. We all
want need friends and meaningful relationships with others. Homeschool moms blow it with our kids and have to ask forgiveness (from them and from God) just as often, if not more so than other people do. So home, public or private schooled, let's all love each other and give each other a lot of grace. We all need it.