I was talking to a non-homeschooling mom the other day, and she said, “I feel bad that I don’t homeschool our kids! Even if I had the time, there’s no way I could be with my kids all. day. long! I’m a bad person, huh?” and she laughed a bit shyly. I realized she felt guilty about not homeschooling her kids. And I told her: “No! To homeschool is a calling.”
Not a higher calling, as though my call is better than someone else’s, but a unique, individual calling.
Not everyone is called to homeschool.
Everyone isn’t called to be in the military. Not everyone is called to be a musician, or astronaut or doctor or lawyer working at a top buffet like at the workers comp attorney Las Vegas firm. If we were all called to the same things, our world would be a boring, dull place to live.
Saying homeschooling is the best route for every family is like saying every family needs to eat spam for dinner each night. It’s absurd (and frankly weird).
If you’re not a homeschooling parent, it’s ok. As a matter of fact, it’s more than ok. If God has not placed an undeniable burden on your heart to teach your kids at home, then I believe you would be doing your children a disservice if you did.
And this doesn’t just apply to education.
We adopted our children from the foster care system. I was on a mission to spread the word that everyone should be adopting; after all, isn’t it our call as Christians to “help the widows and orphans?” But after being an adoptive parent for a few years, I realized: this is hard. Like, really, really hard. Not like “parenting is difficult” hard, but like “this is not what I signed up for” hard. It’s a calling and a ministry. It’s not for the faint-hearted, and it’s not for someone trying to fill a void in his or her life.
Adopting is stepping in when you feel the burden on your heart to help a child in need.
In our culture, we tend to jump on bandwagons and try to be martyrs for causes we are passionate about. We try to convince others that they should be doing what we’re doing. After all, if we’re doing it, and it’s working, doesn’t that mean everyone else should be, too?
Of course not.
Friends, if you homeschool your kids, good for you. If you don’t homeschool your kids, way to go.
We need to do less judging, and more encouraging. We need to stop (even if it’s subconsciously) looking down (or up) at people on the “other side.” Because sometimes by looking up to other people, we are looking down on ourselves.
Each of us needs to search deep within ourselves to find our calling. Then it’s our duty to answer our own call, not someone else’s.
YES! I totally agree. There is no “right” or “wrong” way. Thank you for putting it into words!
Completely agree, and well said.
Thank you! Love this!
I’ve always felt guilty for not homeschooling. I have a lot of friends who do, and I feel like they are always trying to prove to me how their kids are doing better than mine. It may not be on purpose, but that’s how I feel. I really appreciate this post, I think you’re right, and I wish more people would act this way.
Sarah Malone says
Great point! I think we often forget that we aren’t called to the same things. And you’re right–it would be boring if we were!
Brenda Helvie says
I agree. I did not start homeschooling until our kids were in junior high and high school and I did it because I was truly not happy with the education they were receiving. When our granddaughter came to live with us I planned to homeschool her, but my husband was not on board for that decision and since I have to work part time and he is disabled, he would have had to do part of the school. This year however, we took a trip to Washington D.C. and it reminded him of the fun things we did when we homeschooled with the kids. (He was only remembering the battles we fought with them during some of the teenage years) And he decided that we could give it a try this year. I was ecstatic because our granddaughter was complaining about kids at school bullying her and the teacher told me that some kids were being mean to her, but it wasn’t bullying. So I really wanted to get her out of that situation. We are loving every minute of it. Today we even spent the day at a Civil War Reenactment and it reminded me how much I love to see the things the kids take in and how they learn. It’s been a great day. The rewards are great. The work is not for everyone. If public or private school works for someone’s kids that’s great, but when it isn’t working this is definitely way better than I ever thought it would be.
Life Made Full says
I love that story, Brenda! Thank you for sharing!
I always wanted to homeschool when I dreamed of being a mom, I am a teacher at heart and this felt like the perfect fit…for ME. Of course homeschooling isn’t about me. Our little girl is only 8 months old, so who knows where the future lies. I am trying to not make plans and just enjoy watching her explore and learn right now.
I think kids deserve to be around other kids their own age. Keeping them at home won’t teach them valuable lessons about being in the real world.
I realize this is an old post, but I just came across it. I find this to be so true in EVERY part of motherhood. I chose to have home births, to breastfeed, to be a stay at home mom ect.. BUT in no way do I think that the decisions I make are right for everyone. It’s hard to not fall into the comparison trap, it’s a battle I’m constantly fighting. We need to remember to be encourages and to cut ourselves some slack. Right now we’re trying to decide if homeschool is right for us. We would love to send our children to private school, but we just can’t see that happening with our budget so now we’re tossing around the idea of homeschool. I was homeschooled and had a pleasant experience, so the idea doesn’t seem to crazy to me. We figure we can give it a try, and if it doesn’t work out it’s ok. Funny that you see moms beating themselves up for NOT homeschooling, because I know that we’re going to face a lot of backlash from family when we tell them we plan to homeschool next year.
Shanti Landon says
Thanks for sharing, Marie! Praying for you in your decision!