I often wonder why we as Homeschoolers feel the need to justify our decision to homeschool and our qualifications as an educator. In the beginning I did this a lot. Especially to friends and family when they found out about our decision to homeschool. I answered a lot of questions about why we made the decision, how we were going to do it, what about the "s" word ( socialization), what made me qualified, how will your children graduate?, what about the prom? etc..etc..etc.. I always felt the need to answer these questions and explain myself to everyone who asked (even strangers on the street.) I wanted people to understand why we made our decision and we really weren't that "crazy homeschool family."As a few years passed and I became more confident, I started caring less about what people might think. But, even now I have found that at times I am still defending (or explaining) myself in context to our lives as homeschoolers. Two recent situations came to mind.
The children and I ran into the new pastor of our church in Walmart early in the afternoon on a Thursday. Instead of just saying hi and making quick pleasant conversation, I went into this long explanation about how we had just taken brunch to the ladies at the Assisted Living Facility and decided to do our grocery shopping on our way back home instead of driving back into town the next day. He didn't even ask why we were there, I just felt like I had to explain myself so he wouldn't get a bad impression of us as homeschoolers.
Then , the other day, Alex's Sunday School teacher approached me to ask about his reading. She was not being mean about it, she just wanted to know if she should be encouraging him to read aloud with the other children in class. I found myself explaining to her about Alex's reading difficulties (which I probably should of done already) in a way that was explaining myself as his teacher. I didn't want her to think that the reason Alex can't read well is because I am a bad teacher.
I have come to this conclusion about the need to justify homeschooling: If people ask questions about homeschooling, I will answer them politely. But, I don't need to explain or justify my decision to anybody. I am absolutely convicted that homeschooling is the best decision for my family. God thinks I am qualified to raise/teach the children he has blessed me with, what difference does it make what others may think? I am making the best possible choice I can for my family.
Teach them to your children talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Deuteronomy 11:19