Sunday, August 30, 2015

I Am Sad Because I Have Found Such Joy In Homeschooling

Friend: "My kids started a "such-in-such" public or private school today.  I think they will thrive, don't you?"  Or "I put the kids into school today. What do you think?"
  Me (the homeschooling mom):   Oh wow, that makes me sad!
Friend: Sad?!?! Who do you think your are to be sad about my decision?

Being an active member in the homeschool community for a long time puts me into a position of leadership.  I don't ask for it, I don't speak it.  Yet newer homeschool families look to success stories to draw from for inspiration.  Over the years I have spent many hours with younger moms, sharing ideas on what works and what doesn't.  Sometimes these families stay the course and join my family as success stories.

At the same time many others may abandon the homeschool lifestyle and send their kids to school.  I find this to be especially true if the kids had been in school before or if just one parent wants to try the homeschool lifestyle.  In rare cases the need for traditional school arises because of the health of a child or of a parent.                                  

Many times these families that decide to go back into the traditional school route are a little lost.  They have spent years developing their homeschool relationships.  Moms that had come to me for advice end up joining my circle and become close friends.  Often I know their children and have spent time in various activities with both the children and the moms.

I suspect that because we have become friends my opinion still matters to these moms.  More often than I like I have been asked for my opinion when I am told that their friends have put their kids into traditional school.  One mom even wanted to remain friends by hiding the truth.  My first reaction is one I hide from most but if we have become close I will really say what I am thinking.  I am always surprised that my response is troublesome to others.

I think homeschooling is the best possible option, that is why I homeschool my kiddos. My first gut feeling is that these moms are choosing the worst option and that makes me sad.  I love homeschooling, I have had wonderful success. I know my children so well because of the adventures we have had.  We have learned together. We have shared the good and bad along the way.  When you tell me that you gave that up it makes me sad.  
"I am Sad!"  If you are my friend, I am sad that you will not have the same joy I have had.  That is all that is meant by that.  I am sad that you and your child will not have the bond that I know with my children.  (That isn't to say you won't bond but it will be different that the one I know.) I am not judging you, I am not condemning you, and I am not mad at you.  We all make different choices for our own reasons.  I wish you and your family all the success and joy in the world. I do not hold anger or distain to you or your kiddos.  In fact I like your kids and will miss seeing them around all the time. I am also sad that our relationship will change and we will have less to share.    

I ask that you understand that I don't want to loose you as a friend but we will grow apart.  We will be in different circles now.  I homeschool, I like that.  I will be spending the majority of my time with homeschool mom. I do not worry about an bad influence on my kids or anything like that, it is just a different world that you are now in.  As I start the official 20th years I can reflect on the many families that have come and then gone on different paths.  God Bless you!  This is the path for me and my family.   

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