Homeschooling means running in to mean people sometimes. And it stinks.
It’s been a long time since I’ve written a post that has more to do with the heart of homeschooling rather than a technique or product or app. In the hustle and bustle of schooling, the actual tools of the trade have overshadowed the heart. But today is different. Today, I want to talk with you about mean people. Mean people who can make you doubt your decision to homeschool. Mean people who have no other purpose in their interaction with you than to be rude and condescending. Those people who you think don’t matter, but whose words settle under your skin like tiny nettles that you just can’t quite pry out.
When you’ve been homeschooling for a decade like I have, you learn to brush off the negative comments and naysayers. You think you’ve heard it all. From questions and comments about socialization to sideways looks from people when you say you homeschool…you get used to it and don’t let it get at it. But there’s a learning curve to that. It doesn’t happen overnight and it sure isn’t easy.
Then, just when you think, “I’ve got this” and are feeling comfortable in your own homeschooling skin, you encounter them. The mean people.
For veteran homeschoolers, it’s a prickle and it makes you mad. You don’t question your decision to homeschool as much as you question your decision to run errands at lunchtime with a precocious 2nd grader. You get mad that your child is subjected now to those same nasty comments. You just get mad.
But when you’re a new homeschooler, those cruel comments sink deep. They worm their way into your heart and settle on replay in your mind. You start to question every decision and you start to wonder if someone’s cruelty could actually be a sign that you weren’t cut out for homeschooling. Because, when you’re honest with yourself, you’re scared that you’re not.
But, Mama, hear me on this.
The cruel, uninformed, nasty comments made by strangers (or unsupportive family) are a reflection of their own insecurities, their own ignorance, and their own issues. They are not a sign that you need to stop homeschooling. (They are a sign that the other person needs a whole lot of Jesus!) They are not a sign that your child will end up damaged by not sitting in a classroom with 27 other kids taking tests and stressing about classroom life. They are not a sign that you’re not cut out for this. They are not.
You, my dear, sweet homeschooling mama friend, are enough.
Please don’t let the darkness of other’s put a damper on your light. Don’t let them dull your sparkle. Shine bright for yourself, for your children, and for Jesus. You, my friend, are doing work for the Lord, not the mean person at the post office or the grocery store.
Please don’t give up. Please don’t let someone’s mean words and attitude deter you from making the best decision for your family and children. Please remember that you’re enough.
If your heart is still achy, reach out. Us homeschool moms? We stick together.
And we’ve got your back.