5 Things Public School Parents and Homeschool Parents Have in Common

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After yesterday’s post, y’all may think I’m going over to the dark side, but, really, these are just some things that have been on my mind lately. (And, yeah, the “dark side” crack was just a joke.)

There tends to be an us vs. them mentality among parents. Breast-feeding vs. bottle-feeding. Cloth diapers vs. disposable. Work-outside-the-home vs. stay-at-home. And, of course, public school vs. homeschool.

I’m not sure why everything has to be such a battle and debate. Why can’t personal choices just be that – personal choices? Sure there are some absolutes, but some things are just choices.

That fact is, we have more commonalities than differences. If we focused on those, we could just support one another and celebrate our differences. What a boring place the world would be if we were all just alike.

5 Things Public School Parents and Homeschool Parents Have in Common

So, what do public school parents and homeschool parents have in common? Most of the important things, I think.

1. We love our kids.

Place of education has nothing to do with how much we love our kids. Some people may act as though it does, but I’ve met lots of parents whose kids go to public or private school and those whose kids homeschool and guess what. They all deeply love their children.

2. We want what’s best for our kids.

Despite what debaters on either “side” will try to convince you, public school parents, private school parents, and homeschool parents all want what’s truly best for our children. I highly doubt that any good parent – and, yes, there are lousy parents out there, but let’s assume that we’re talking about your average, ordinary parents here – says to themselves, “Well, I’m just going to {send my kid to public or private school/homeschool my kid} and hope for the best. I really don’t think this is the best choice for my kid, but it’ll probably all work out.”

Whatever our choice, we’re all doing the best we can to make the right choices for our kids.

5 Things Public School Parents and Homeschool Parents Have in Common

3. We worry that we’re making mistakes.

All parents worry that they’re making mistakes. It doesn’t matter where you send your kids to school. We may not all be worrying about the same mistakes, but we’re all worrying.

If you’re a parent, you can pretty much rest assured that you’re going to make mistakes and your kids are going to blame you for doing something wrong – no matter where or how they were educated. So, maybe, instead of adding to each other’s guilt and worry by questioning and debating our educational choices, we, as parents, could support and encourage each other.

4. We get defensive when we think someone is judging our choices. Sometimes that defensiveness is caused by self-doubt.

I’ve said before that my choice to homeschool my kids is not a commentary on another parent’s choice to send hers to public or private school. Most of the parents I know aren’t making a commentary on my choices based on theirs either.

Don’t get me wrong – there are plenty of people who do think we’re crazy for choosing to homeschool, but I have often discovered that defensiveness comes from a place of self-doubt or feeling judged.

When Josh was 3 or 4, we went to an area public school for speech therapy. His therapist always seemed a little standoffish, until one day she asked why we homeschooled. When she discovered that our reasons had nothing to do with a disdain for teachers, her demeanor completely changed. She even admitted that she had considered homeschooling her daughter at one point.

Homeschooling parents do the same thing. When people ask us about homeschooling, we tend to get into fight or flight mode because we’re using to having our choices questioned. Sometimes, though, the questions are just that – questions. The kind born of curiosity not judgment.

5.  Sometimes our kids’ schoolwork stumps us.

I don’t care where your kids go to school, I bet there aren’t too many parents who have kids in upper elementary school and older who haven’t Googled to find the answer to some kind of homework/schoolwork problem. No, that doesn’t mean we’re not smart. I just means it’s been a long time since we’ve done some of this stuff and as much as we’d like to convince our kids otherwise, we really don’t know everything.

See? We’ve really got lots of things in common. Where we choose to educate our kids shouldn’t be so divisive. If I didn’t hate auto-play music, I’d have “Why Can’t We Be Friends” playing in the background. That’s okay, though, because now I’ve got it stuck in your head, which is almost as good. {grin}

This post is linked to the Hip Homeschool Hop.

images courtesy of pixabay

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5 Comments

  1. I have benefited from educating my kids in private, public and now homeschools. Each has some great benefits. But education isn’t always one sized fits all, and there are failures within each mode of education. That’s why I love having the benefit of – choice! That’s what all parents have in common. The choice and freedom to give their kids the best education the desire.

  2. I love this! As a mom with one kid in public school and one at home, I can certainly see arguments on both sides.

  3. So true! The public Vs homeschool wars could be stopped with this post. We all care about our children. And that is all that really matters!

  4. Found this pin on pinterest! Thus why I am commenting so late, However I just had to say I loved this post! Especially the last 2! About being stumped by school work and being judged. Thank you for sharing!

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