Does other people's perception of homeschoolers/homeschooling ever start to bug you? I can say for the most part that what other people think doesn't matter a bit to me. I am 100 percent convicted that homeschooling is what God wants me to do and His perspective is truly the only that matters. There is nothing anyone can say that would make me change my mind about that. But there are some situations where I kind of stand back and wonder where people get the ideas they do about homeschooling.
Dealing with the stereotype of homeschoolers being locked up in the house their whole lives and never having the opportunity to go anywhere or do anything is one thing. I think that most people are starting to see that that is in fact not true and homeschoolers get plenty of social activities and access to the "outside world." But the idea that people think that our children are getting a poor education (or no education) really does bother me. While homeschooling is nothing like the "educating" that goes on in the Public School System (which I am not going to turn this post into a novel about what I think about that) that does not mean my children are being deprived of a great education because we homeschool.
A Public School teacher (an art teacher) that I know questions me every week when he sees me about my High Schooler. I don't think he means it at all in a rude way, but it really comes across that way at times. I try to just always answer his questions politely, but sometimes his questions and responses after I answer make me think he thinks I am some kind of idiot and depriving my children by keeping them home. He always asks me what she likes and is interested in. I explain over and over that she likes to read, cook, sew, make crafts,write, listen to music, and her favorite school subject is history. So this week after I answered the questions about her interests again he told me that I should look into getting her supplies. I could get online and check Hobby Lobby's website out and see what was on sale and order stuff online. They carry all kinds of hobby supplies and even art supplies so she could learn art. I was a little confused. Does he really think that I don't do art or have never gone to Hobby Lobby? (we love Hobby Lobby btw and have for a long time!) I said , "Oh we love Hobby Lobby, but when I am ordering art supplies I usually order from Blick Art Supplies because they carry quality products at a reasonable price and I can get everything I need for the curriculum we use from them," He was totally stunned! So then he offered to let me look at some of his supply catalogs if I ever want to order anything. I just thanked him and moved on.
I am not going to pretend that I have an amazing artistic talent. Quite honestly, my 5 and 7 year olds draw better than I do. But, that doesn't stop me from teaching this skill to my children. We have several drawing and arts and crafts books. We also have used different art curricula that not only teaches technique, but art history and appreciation also. Last year we also had an opportunity to take weekly art classes.
The amazing thing about homeschooling is that you have the capability to expose your children to a wealth of different areas and topics even if you are not skilled in them yourself. You have the opportunity to explore their areas of interest and learn much more than students in a traditional classroom. We have the ability to do more than learn from textbooks, but to go out and do what we have learned. We have studied a wide variety of subjects over the last 8 years of homeschooling and will continue to learn and grow through the next 18 years of homeschooling. I believe that not only are my children receiving a wonderful education, homeschooling prepares them much better for life "in the real world." Perhaps those that are so concerned about homeschoolers missing out on a "quality" education should turn their focus where it needs to be at the government run school system and its problems.