Homeschooling for the Greater Good

Homeschooling for the Greater Good | HSLDA Blog

There are a few questions and remarks that I think most homeschoolers anticipate hearing at some point, and we’ve either chosen to ignore them or we’ve meticulously crafted a witty response in retaliation. Sometimes it’s just like rapid fire, and it comes out without any extra effort. I’ve heard a lot of different kinds of these remarks over the last 10 years, but the one that really stands out came from a highly educated, experienced public school professional. I was engaged personally in the conversation that took my breath away and left me in awe.

It was a casual conversation about the school year and my two kids whom he’s known for years that started out with the ever-popular question (usually phrased more like an accusation), “When are you planning on putting them back in school?” Although that particular question never surprises me, I do wonder what magic answer they are expecting. However, I always answer in the same positive way, with all sincerity, “When I find someone that can do a better job than I can.” (And statistically, we know that homeschoolers are at no disadvantage!)

I say this because if you’re the parent of a child with special needs of any kind, you are very in tune with how your child learns. You’re very specific about what they need to be successful and why. You don’t get that from any college, trade school, or other specialized training. It comes from being their parent. As we are cultivating and educating, social and emotional intelligence play a huge role in academic achievement. By tailoring their daily agenda with curriculum and supplementing with local homeschool groups and countless field trips, we can offer the best individual education plan possible.

So here it comes—brace yourself, because it’s a new one for me and probably you too. “Kristy, it is your civic duty to put your kids in school. What if all active, responsible parents pulled their children out of school? What would be left of the schools? It’s up to you and your children to help the others in the class and help them overcome and achieve. You know, for the greater good.” I literally gasped out loud.

“No, sir, it has and always will be my responsibility to teach my children in the least restrictive environment (LRE), and that is at home. I have renewed appreciation for that term and find it quite ironic really. In our foundations courses, Special Education 101, we are taught to teach children in the LRE for their best benefit. It wasn’t until I had children of my own that I was able to extrapolate how that term really contradicts the classroom model.”

Over the next 45 minutes, in round-table discussion, I was able to better educate the challenger with countless perks to home education. I guess I’ve never looked at it from the perspective of the “greater good”; the angle where I risk my child’s education, spirit, and individuality for 25 others his own age. The one where I say to him sink or swim, “I’ll see you in 8 hours.” The one that says we will give up several parental rights in the process, for the “good” of others. The one that says your emotional needs are less important than this classroom‘s overall achievement. But then again, I think most parents side against playing roulette of any form when it comes to their kids.

A mixed bag of emotions stirred when that comment was made. At first I wanted to laugh because it was a ridiculous thought to me, then I was saddened for the kids that are overwhelmed and already in a less-than-beneficial situation, and lastly I was afraid of what lies ahead if this is the setting for educating a whole new generation. With thoughts like these, I wondered why the burden has been misplaced. All these thoughts were trumped with a resounding sense of peace and security that my children and an ever-growing number of others are being taught and evaluated based on their individuality.

There are plenty of reasons you can site for not homeschooling, but that, Sir, was appalling. We are expected to enroll our children in public school for the greater good? No thank you. Quite the contrary, my family is keeping our children out for the Greater good. Where we can exercise our parental freedoms, teach according to our religious beliefs, and better foster social and emotional cores while building and maintaining quality family relationships.

Homeschoolers unite. Stand your ground for your freedoms and show others why we do what we do! The cold hard statistics on home education and how it measures up on paper are available as great tools for being more informed. If you want to know more about homeschooling your child with special needs, we are here to help you.

So now I wonder, what are some of the most memorable comments or questions you have encountered in your homeschooling adventure? How do you deal with or respond when you face challenges or derogatory remarks?

Stay strong and informed!

Blessings!
Kristy

Photo Credit: Graphic design by Charity Klicka.

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10 Comments on “Homeschooling for the Greater Good”

  1. Angela Hurlbrink
    June 29, 2016 at 12:37 pm #

    Amen, sister. We must stay united in faith and the knowledge that we are sacrificing our lives for the greater good of our own children. We are raising good, kind, strong, independent, well rounded thinkers. It is my honor to have the means to keep my children at home. Thank you for sharing your article!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nick Stuart
    July 13, 2016 at 11:22 am #

    Q “What if everyone homeschooled?”

    A “Then I’d be foolish to do any different wouldn’t I?”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Kathleen Shumate
    July 13, 2016 at 10:40 pm #

    Homeschooling for the good of our children is enough. But if you want to think about the greater good, consider the fact that our children’s education IS for the good of society. We aren’t raising them merely to give them a good life, but so that they can be productive members of society, salt and light, a blessing to the world. The greater good is encompassed by us giving them the best possible holistic education, nurture, and discipleship.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Charlee M.
    July 14, 2016 at 1:25 am #

    I was having a casual conversation with an old retired substitute teacher, that I knew during my school days and haven’t seen in years. She asked me what I had been up to lately. When I mentioned to her that I am currently homeschooling my child, she stared for a quick second and looked down to the ground and had the nerve to mumble under her breathe, “You can’t make money like that.” I was in true disbelief that a retired educator could make such an ignorant comment. I’m learning to laugh at doubters. Yes I made a sacrifice, but what parent wouldn’t?? If I had to do it all over again, I would make the same decision. Thank God I have a wonderful support system, I call MY FAMILY. Thank God that she isn’t a part of the support system, I call MY FAMILY.

    Like

  5. Sissy Mcginnis
    July 14, 2016 at 5:00 pm #

    I am at a dilemma my child is 16 been homeschooled last year from till this year left school in 9th started homeschool in 10th now supposed to b in 11th but I am having problems with credits and her working on a 6th grade level on math and language well I just started her on 7th this week I have been considering putting her back in school where she will b in 10th and they say they will help me with the credits I don’t know what to do help????

    Like

    • Stacey Wolking
      August 1, 2016 at 1:53 pm #

      We have lots of help on our website at http://hslda.org/highschool/. And best of all, HSLDA members can talk to a high school consultant at any time. They can help you!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Renee D
    October 18, 2016 at 10:20 am #

    Thanks for the great article. This is the new collectivist thinking that has dangerously permeated every corner of our government. Why should we be shocked that it has also naturally permeated public schools? The truth is our public educational system is failing and broken. Schools with high success rates are in wealthy and more educated areas where the parents, not the schools, ensure success. As the public schools fail, more and more ridiculous claims will be made to try to preserve the sinking ship. This is only the beginning, and we would be wise to voice our support of other methods loudly and intelligently while we still have the freedom to do so.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Kim Cannon
    October 18, 2016 at 5:03 pm #

    The question that came my way from a physician that I felt was loaded was this: Certainly there are many benefits to homeschooling. What are some of the detractors?

    I was caught off guard by that one! I just answered that I was very busy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kristy Horner
      October 21, 2016 at 4:46 pm #

      What a great response Kim, I love that you chose to ignore that as a trap and stay honestly positive! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Pepper Koch
    October 20, 2016 at 5:49 pm #

    Hi Kristy!

    Thank you for your insights. I wonder how you would have chosen to respond to this statement, which came offhandedly from my father-in-law…

    Nolan: “Well, they have to be exposed to it sometime.”

    Me: “What do they need to be exposed to, exactly?”

    Nolan: “The government process.”

    Me: silently “WHAT???!!”

    I’d be curious to see how other people would process this question. I answered with questions until I figured out what he thought would be missing from our curriculum and then affirmed that indeed we would be teaching those topics of concern. I also let him know that neither my husband nor I received instruction on his topics of concern at the public school or from our parents. I believe the conversation left him with more to think than me.

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