When you first began homeschooling did you get asked a ton of questions by your family, friends, shop assistants and complete strangers only to have them doubt your ability to teach your own children?
Did you have a difficult time removing your child/ren from mainstream school?
Do you still get asked questions and feel as though you have to keep justifying your decisions to family, friends and strangers?
If you did (or even if you didn’t) I would love to hear your stories.
I thought I was one of the lucky ones…
‘My mother continually told my girls they couldn’t go to Uni or they wouldn’t get a job because they were homeschooling’ – Sam
In The Beginning…
We haven’t been homeschooling all that long – we only began in August last year when Miss then 13 wasn’t coping with school.
The application process was so easy and, not knowing any differently, I just walked into the school and ‘exited’ her into homeschooling. The woman I spoke with had never done a transfer to homeschool before and wanted to find out how to do it (all she had to do was write Homeschool in the space where it left a line for the new school). I just emailed a copy of the registration as soon as it was approved.
‘Feeling deflated after my daughter’s doctor made comments about my inadequacies to teach without an education degree…’ – Barbara
I began researching curriculums and joining Facebook groups. That’s where I learned I had got off easy. So many people had terrible stories of principals keeping them in offices as they tried to talk them out of homeschooling, or telling them it was illegal.
Then came time to tell everyone.
Some family members were fine with it.
Some I told and only say ‘fine’ if asked how the girls are doing.
Some said it was a great idea for Miss then 13 but that Miss 12 would have to go to high school!
Some didn’t even know it was an option and wanted to know everything.
Some friends still can’t quite understand it and as a result, we rarely see them.
My inlaws would always ask how school was going and if Miss then 13 liked her teacher!
‘I’m a certified teacher and people question my ability to homeschool my own kids…but not my ability to teach other people’s kids.’ – Mary
Homeschooling both Miss 14 and Miss 12 has been an amazing experience for me. I love seeing positive changes in both girls and their relationship with each other.
As a homeschooling parent I am constantly researching new curriculums and ideas to teach the girls plus I am always reading about other peoples’ homeschool journeys and the way they differ or match ours.
But, I no longer mention homeschooling with my parents-in-law.
‘Miss 7, ASD and anxiety, was asked yesterday by her paediatrician if she wants to go to school… I’m tired of feeling criticised about our decision to home educate our children.’
As I said, I’m fascinated by other peoples’ stories, especially learning about the positive changes homeschooling has brought into their lives.
Unfortunately, I mentioned one such story at dinner with the inlaws.
I didn’t get to finish the story as I was interrupted, yelled at and lectured in how difficult a job it is to be a teacher. (My sister-in-law is a primary school teacher).
I was not saying anything bad about the teaching profession – I never would. But now I feel as though they see our decision to homeschool as a slap-in-the-face to the teaching profession.
‘My daughter’s psychologist is constantly asking when I’ll be putting her back in school, asking my daugher if she wants to go to school (no), and telling me I need to force her to go to help with her anxiety.’
One of the reasons I began this blog was to document our homeschooling journey. I also want to help other homeschoolers – no matter where they are in their journey. I definitely did not intend it to be a place for me to vent, so I apologise if you don’t like this post.
Luckily, we have joined a local homeschool group so we are gradually getting to know other homeschoolers in the area.
Where is your safe place?
Where do you feel you can comfortably talk about your homeschool struggles and triumphs without negative comments?
This is a safe place. Leave a comment below.
Until next time,
Enjoy the Journey,
Author: Lara Galea
Lara is a freelance writer, blogger, photographer and homeschooler. When not helping others with their journey, she is either reading, binge-watching Netflix or creating havoc in the kitchen.