There are plenty of good reasons to homeschool your kid out there. Local school district doesn't have great academics? Check. Got a kid whose needs aren't being met by the district? Check. Homeschool can be a great thing for parents and kids alike.
But I've noticed a trend among homeschooling parents. Anytime ANYTHING happens at a school, even a one-off, silly thing that was a one in a million chance, they jump at the chance to tell us public school parents what idiots we are and how GLAD they are that they had the foresight to educate their kid at home.
Overcompensating much, folks?
Here's the thing. I hear you! Homeschooling is great (for some families), but not everything is a "great reason to homeschool your kids." And every time you overreact to a story in the news by jumping on the "OMG, homeschool" soapbox, you make a bad name for the whole homeschooling community.
In fact, I'll come right out and say it, there are a whole host of parents out there who have some absolutely ridiculous reasons for homeschooling:
1. The teacher is gay. Having a gay teacher won't make your kid gay any more than having a straight teacher will guarantee they're straight. Yes, it's true. You COULD have a gay kid ... 3.8 percent of the population does.
2. The school lunch isn't nutritious. Brown bags were invented a looooong time ago. Use them.
3. There's no prayer in schools. There are going to be a lot of places in life where your child shouldn't pray. Time and place, folks, time and place.
4. To escape vaccinations. It's true; most schools these days require kids to get immunized. But then, immunizations have been shown to decrease the risk of deadly diseases by as much as 100 percent in some cases.
5. To protect them from bullies. If there's a specific instance of bullying, and you've tried working with the school district to no avail, then by all means, pull your kid. But if you don't even give your kids the CHANCE to interact with the kids in a school setting because you assume they're "bad," what is the lesson you're teaching your kids about the world at large?
6. To protect them from standardized testing. I'm not a big fan of these tests myself, but you don't necessarily have to homeschool to avoid them. The opt out movement is growing, and there are a lot of great resources on how to work with your kids' public school and still avoid the tests.
7. Because you're afraid of socialization. Yes, I know plenty of homeschool kids get to socialize with other homeschool kids, and being a homeschooled kid doesn't mean you're cut off from society and blah, blah, blah. But there's an actual list of "reasons to homeschool" out there that has labeled socialization dangerous because one dictionary defines it as "to place under government or group ownership or control." Put down your tinfoil hat and put that kid on a bus, pronto!
8. The school requires uniforms. I hate the idea of uniforms; I really do. They're expensive for a family that depends on hand-me-downs, and they limit a kid's creativity. But it's a t-shirt and pants, not a scarlet letter. Kids need to learn to follow rules in life, and this is one of them.
Would you homeschool your kids for any of these reasons?
Image via Jerry/Flickr