I was recently chatting with a fellow homeschooling friend of mine. During our conversation, I mentioned someone I knew would be putting her previously homeschooled daughter in public school this year. Although she didn’t say anything, the look on my friend’s face was a clear a mixture of disapproval and condescendence. We finished our chat and parted ways, but her reaction has stayed with me ever since.
It got me thinking – have I ever acted that way about parents who made different education choices for their children? I’m ashamed to say, the answer was yes.
The Lord reminded me of those times. There were the times we’d finished school early, and went off to do something fun. When we saw buses pulling on the road WAY after we were finished playing, I would say something like “Aren’t you guys glad you aren’t those poor kids!” Or when my response to when someone did something less than stellar behavior-wise was “That’s public school for ya!”. I’m also quite sure my facial expressions have been less than loving when discussing public schools in general.
Why do I do that? Raising kids is challenging enough without having others judge us on how we educate our kids. Some parents don’t really have a choice – whether it’s being a single parent or just needing both parents’ incomes to survive. I know I’ve been on the receiving end of that judgment as a homeschooler, and I didn’t like it one bit.
Homeschooling was the right choice for our family. Actually, I can’t imagine us ever doing school any other way. However, if we were to make a change, I would hope my home schooling friends would support us regardless of where my kids were learning.
I’m supposed to be a light to others, not make them feel like losers because their kids aren’t schooled the way mine are.
Here’s a good verse for me to remember when I’m tempted to look down on others in this area: “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Matthew 7:1 & 2)
I could also take advice from those fun loving kids at East High – “We’re all in this together!” (Sorry if you’re singing that song now, and will be for the rest of the day!)