Wednesday, July 07, 2010
Responding to why you keep your kids out of school.
"But why?" They ask you. "Why do you homeschool?" You haven't dared to tell them that, "actually, we unschool." It's difficult enough as it is to explain why one would keep a child out of school in a culture where 'everybody goes to school.'
Your family doesn't approve. You friends don't get it; "She's crazy." "she's brave! I couldn't do it."
I hear from newbies who are trying to figure out ways to respond to questions about 'home based education' that are often asked with suspicion and dubiousness at best. At worst, they get the very rude person who ends up winding them up and feeling defensive and incompetent.
But the fact is, we can't and shouldn't try to convince others about our choice. It is unrealistic to think this way; to believe that everybody must be on board so that you can unschool without criticism is an unattainable goal. It's beside the point. If you are waiting for that moment, you can expect a great deal of disappointment.
A simple, "It works for us," does the trick. You could also choose not to respond at all. No one says you have to answer a question just because its asked!
If a grand mother or aunt wants to really understand what you are doing, you can offer them books to read and links to follow.
As parents, we must be advocates for our children's learning and this means being strong within one's own self. If you feel insecure, better not be looking to convince others! Rather,it makes sense to work on unschooling yourself.