6 Really Stupid Things to Say to a Homeschooling Mom!

After 15 years of homeschooling, nothing anyone says or asks me concerning it surprises me anymore; but, that has not always been the case.  I don’t sweat the questions or negativity from strangers anymore, that’s because I spent years prior having to stand trial.  My judges were family and close friends, but I don’t blame them though.  I come from a tribe of traditionalists and old schoolers, who like to live by the status quo.   They’ll tell you to “put a touch of cereal in the baby’s milk bottle” to help them sleep through the night, and to refrain from cutting a baby’s hair until after their first birthday, so it will keep it’s nice, soft texture.  There is another thing they’re also likely to tell you, “kids need to be in regular school!”

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Me: “Mommy, I’m going to homeschool”.  Her:

 

Now, Imagine their alarm and how I became an alien, when I didn’t follow any of those things.  I breastfed, which eliminated me from the cereal trick and I dared to educate my own kids; I think my mother just about fainted!  Well, maybe she simply lost her breath, I can’t be quite sure.  What I know she did for certain, along with many others in my family, is make made it clear that she didn’t agree.   Now,  back then, when I was still a homeschooling newbie, I’d stumble against their pushback.  Of course I knew the evidence supporting the benefits of my decision, but it was hard to recall them on the spot.  Most didn’t really care about the evidence anyway.  Their bombardment was for changing my mind.

Then things shifted.  I gained confidence in teaching my own children and I think I was even surprised that I was actually pulling it off.  By year ten, I was homeschooling all three of my kids and was really finding my own unique stride.   That’s when my responses changed.  I no longer needed to memorize facts or statistics or statistics to support what I was doing– I was the proof!  homeschooling was working in my household and as such, it became all the evidence I needed.

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“So, are you still doing that homeschool thing?”

 

Of course that didn’t stop the questions.  It’s been almost two decades (if you round up) and the curiosity and occasional doubt is still there.  The difference today is that I don’t mind the inquiries; sometimes they’re even legitimate, like when people want to know if my kids will be able to go to college, or if I ever plan to send them to school.    Other times, when the questions or statements are nonsensical, I bite my tongue and inwardly cringe.  Of them all, however, I’d have to say that the most frequent and also the most silly, have undoubtedly been these: 

  1. Well, God Bless you!  I could never do something like that!  I wish people who say this would just stop!  Yes you could. If you can keep a human alive while existing on little to no sleep, stop projectile, bodily fluids with bare hands, implement secret eyes in the back of your head, and can carry 12,000 items, plus two kids, up or down stairs in one trip, you could absolutely teach your own children—probably with your eyes closed.  I know, what you really mean to say is that homeschooling is not your thing–I get it.  Still, declaring what you couldn’t do for the very ones for whom you’d likely walk on hot coals and swim through shark water for, is just a nonsensical statement to make.

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    “Wait, did you say homeschool?”
  2.  You must really like being around your kids?  Oooookaaay!  Again—just dumb! These little ones came from me, quite painfully, I might add, and I put in a great deal of time to make them decent human beings (who are still works in progress). Of course I like spending time with the people I created!  If I didn’t, if my children were little monsters that constantly drove me crazy, wouldn’t that say something negative about me?  Now, I know they’re really trying to say that being a parent is hard, and as moms, we all need a break. Absolutely!  Still, how funny to be considered a unicorn because I actually like being around my kids.
  3. But, how will they ever make friends?  This one always stumps me, because it implies that friends are only made at school, or, that homeschool kids are socially quarantined.  Maybe these people forgot their own childhood, and how they made friends with the kids at boy/girl scouts, church, extracurricular sports, the kids in the neighborhood, or with the children of their mom and dad’s friends.  They’re likely also overlooking the fact their own children have made friends this same way too.  I realize just the word homeschool sometimes discombobulates peoples brains, but trust me, this isn’t that hard to understand.

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    “The kids are saying you’re weird baby.”
  4. Homeschooled kids turn out weird?  Well, of course they do, sometimes, but then what’s Johnny and Sydney’s excuse? They’ve only gone to traditional school and people call them weird as well.  In fact, thousands of kids who know nothing but traditional school are considered “weird” by other adults and their peers.  Why?  Because they’re eccentric, creative, non-conformists, free thinkers, old souls, or maybe they just enjoy their own beat.  Who knows the exact reason and my answer is usually, “so what?”.  How has weird ever hurt anybody?  I see more detriment when kids feel compelled to fit in.

    200w-9
    “But, Sydney, Where’s the Music?”  Sydney….
  5. Don’t you think you’re going to shelter them? Yeeeesss!  That’s the point!  And you shelter your kids too!  All good parent’s do it to keep them from growing up way too fast.  We just differ in how we chose to shelter.  When you monitor your child’s screen time, refuse to discuss adult situations with or around them, restrict the age in which they can date, and keep them from hanging around kids who are bad influences, that’s sheltering in all its glory.  Other people might just call it good parenting, in any case, it’s simply making the best decisions for our children while they’re too immature to do so.  I’m not sure why this concept gets jumbled with the insertion of the word, homeschool, still I guarantee you, it’s exactly the same.
  6. How do you know you’re qualified? Albert Einstein once said, “The only thing that you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library,” and I had that mindset even before I had kids.   Even with a college degree, there are absolutely things I just don’t know.  But there are libraries, and books, and a thing called the world wide web that has information right at my fingertips.  Those are my qualifications; Plus the fact that I’m an expert in knowing my own kids.  What’s funny, though, is that most parents who ask me this, don’t realize that they are qualified in exactly the same way!

Tell us, have you made any lifestyle choices that family and friends didn’t agree with?  How did you stand firm in the midst of their criticism and doubt?  Or, if you are also a homeschool parent, let us know what your experiences were?  We love to hear from you!

 

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79 thoughts on “6 Really Stupid Things to Say to a Homeschooling Mom!

  1. I think we as homeschooling parents have all heard every one of these phrases, and sometimes all 6 phrases are literally said as one run-on sentence in an attempt to convey the seriousness of their dismay. We also had push-back from family, although it was gentle. They outwardly supported our decision when our oldest was still in elementary grades, but it was obvious they had serious doubts about how this was going to turn out. Of course years later now everyone is gushing over how great the kids have done and still we hear those same phrases creep into the conversation. Great post, thanks for this.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I bet there’s not a homeschooling mama who HASN’T heard these questions and if there is, they must know something we don’t. At first it was super annoying to hear the same things from people who weren’t even educated on the topic, just going off of what they think/thought homeschooling is/was. Now, I’m like you and I get a lot of compliments. It also helps that I stopped caring about naysayers opinions!

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  2. No matter what your parenting/educating choice is as a mother, there will ALWAYS be someone who will think to know better!! We as mothers must learn to respect and support all parenting choices and rejoice of the diversity! Instead, everybody is trying to impose their own style… quite silly indeed!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know. Maybe some are imposing, or they’ve found something that works and want to share with others. I know I’ve found something that really works, but I also know other teachers and parents who do amazing things which I just think is great. Great teachers don’t have to all be the same. Parents who’ve found their own way to teach and prepare their children, what works for them, I’m all for. But I certainly understand why some feel they’ve locked onto something that others need to understand.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. lol, at the gif with the woman’s face. My mom would have given me the exact same look if I said I was going to home school my daughter. I would so love to home school my kid too but unfortunately, we need two incomes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel for teachers though. I mean, I have a difficult time trying to understand my five, I could just imagine trying to do that with 20+. Teaching is tough, whether you’re doing that for your own or someone else’s. Hats off to all brave souls who teach!

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  4. I think homeschooling is great if parents feel they can make it. I also think it is hard and parent should have some pedagogic potential. I mean I am bad at explaining stuff so I am pretty sure school would be better for my kids when the times comes. When someone tells me they are going to home school I normally say I support them and say they are awesome for doing that. I think most of silly reactions come from the need to say at least something, it is not always easy to come up with anything

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    1. You are probably right, people feel the need to always respond, and in many cases, no response is needed. I also agree that teaching requires at least some wherewithal, but, you’d be surprised at how much most adults already posess.

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  5. Love this post! This is something that’s not often talked about but props to you for homeschooling! I feel like it’s not often seen as an option but it can in a lot of ways be better than traditional education- wishing you and your kids well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I never even knew about homeschooling until I was nearly 30– I’d never seen it done or even knew anyone who’d experienced it so the entire process was completely new. It’s certainly more popular than it was even 10 years ago.

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  6. I hate how people talk about this and how they can easily judge those in Homeschooling. There’s nothing wrong about it. And Honestly, I prefer my kids o start homeschool.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I heard and have been through it all with both my kids who are now grown. I started homeschooling when my son was going into HS, before it was common, and even though it is still more common now, there is still a stigma which I dislike. I think homeschooling is a wonderful thing. Love all the points you’ve hit and I hope it opens the eyes of others before they judge.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! Homeschooling has definitely become more popular, but it still is met with much negativity in the minds of some, mostly due to misinformation or stereotypes, I think. People just don’t realize that regular ol’ folks homeschool, not just the ultra religious or people who want to live off the grid.

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    1. Well how cool that I might’ve been able to give you a heads up with this article. In the same vein, though, they should also be respectful not to offend you because you traditionally school. Respect for people’s parenting decisions goes both ways. Good luck to you.

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  8. The whole making friends thing is ridiculous; I agree! My son played football with several kids that are homeschooled and they did just fine making friends and are very good kids, as well! In fact, the whole family are now some of our closets friends!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, that’s cool! Yes, we in fact do let our homeschooled kids out into society sometimes, then people get to see that they make friends the same way as everyone else. This one misconception is just funny.

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  9. My sister homeschools her children and I can tell you, this is all the same stuff she tells me about! I could never understand why it’s frowned upon by some. I think if its something you want to do for your kids, and can, that’s great!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Shutting down every false imagined perception of home school at a time! I remember when I was in middle school, this girl came in when I was in like fourth grade! She was one of my best friends, one of the SMARTEST kids I’d ever met in my life. When the teacher announced that she was coming in from “home school” Because they always announced where you’d came from, everyone teased this girl. I couldn’t get over it. Her mom, the one who home schooled her, literally raised her and taught her to be the smartest kid in our great and people had all kind of skepticism. It was ridiculous! I’m glad you wrote this for us! End the stigma that home schooled kids are anything less than extraordinary and ordinary at the same time!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love this. It’s really is stupid when you think about it. Had the teacher not told the class the girl was homeschooled, no-one would have seen the girl as different at all, because she probably wasn’t. It was just the stigma associated with the word homeschool that gave the other students a bad taste. Hopefully the more people are around kids and adults who have been homeschooled, they will see just how silly these misperceptions really are.

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  11. this was an eye-opening post to read and definitely made me think twice about my perception on homeschooling (even though I’ve only ever heard about homeschooling and have yet to come across it in person)

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Yes, yes, yes!! I answered “yes” to all of these haha! My son is only in second grade so I’m still not confident about talking to people about our decision to homeschool. I still avoid going to the store before 3 pm to avoid questions about why he’s not in school. And I hate when people try to test my son with random questions to see if he’s really educated! People never give random pop quizzes to public school kids! I think homeschooling moms and dads hate these questions because most of us never had support in the beginning. For now, I’ll just avoid people, but I’m trying to be more confident when people say these things to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Girl! I have experienced all of these. People always say, “didn’t the kids have school today?” when we’re in stores during the day and I’m still conscientious about letting my kids play outside before 3. It is definitely a journey being a homeschool mom, but I get more care free and confident about it every year.

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      1. It’s definitely a journey and some days are so hard. Add the awful comments into the mix and you find yourself wondering why you’re even doing it in the first place 😭 but in the end, you realize it’s so worth it! ❤️

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    1. I’m still impatient at times– it’s not my strongest attribute, but having children gives us no choice a lot of the time. I agree that you could probably do anything for your children if you felt they really needed it.

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  13. this is nervewracking for me. I wasn’t a great student in school, it makes me think i wouldn’t be a great teacher. I think i’d be better off leaving it to the professionals!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. The important thing, if you’re homeschooling, is ensure the basics, but also create lessons that are real life lessons while including creativity and great suggestions from your children. When they see connections/ interests, guiding the lessons in that direction personalizes and opens doors. And always remember practical applications.

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    1. This is pretty much the methodology I use. That’s why I love homeschooling, it allows me to tailor each child’s education to their specific needs while still adding a bunch of cool things on top, like sports, music, dance, social clubs, field trips, co-ops, etc. Plus they can do it at their own pace. That’s the icing.

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  15. I have heard the first two before. A good friend of ours homeschools and she tells me some of the things that are said to her. Our kids are in public school but we still do a lot of educating at home. I believe education always starts at home.

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    1. Right, parents are a child’s first teachers, and when we’re no longer teaching, we should be advising, and listening. Long after schools are gone from our children’s lives, they will still have and need all the wisdom we have to give them. We are their living schools!

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  16. I can’t even begin to understand your frustration with these questions. I’m glad you posted them. I’ve asked several of them (although not all) to homeschooler moms before. I’m not judging them in any way. I really mean these questions and statements. I think it’s a huge undertaking,

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  17. First if all, your post tittles always crack me up? Lol. I don’t have any children yet but, I would consider homeschooling, specifically with all the nonsense happening in schools for the past couple years. Our kids are not safe. And that question about being around your kids is so dumb. They are your kids, Susan!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, schools do seem to be far less safer than they were when we were growing up. That is a huge reason some people homeschool, but there are many reasons people do it. And yes, some actually do homeschool just to be around their kids more, though I know the thought of that really blows some people’s minds.

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  18. The fantastic thing is the parents get to know their children, understand how they think and reason, and can follow up with interests. In a class of thirty, though the teacher may be fantastic, she is limited in what she can do. Kids can learn well at home and at school, but moreso in the early years, homeschool can set the tone for the future.

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    1. This was my sole reason for homeschooling originally, to set the tone for my son for when he did eventually go to school. I wanted to make sure he had a healthy dose of my husband and me, our values, and his own sense of self confidence, before I put him in a room with dozens of other immature people with one person to direct them. I think it’s worked out pretty well.

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    1. I’m sure they’d love to hear that. Being a mom, dad, or teacher is often a thankless, praise-less job. It’s cool to hear that someone actually thinks you’re doing something right! Let them know!

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  19. Such a great topic. My sister grew up in homeschool and there so many things come in other people mind about it. they will never understand the feeling until they experience it.

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  20. Interesting post! I’v always been a bit opposed to home schooling (mainly for the reasons you named here…) but this made me think. Maybe I need to re-evaluate!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Great post. I want to share one example of real learning. We all know the moon goes around the Earth, that the number of days doesn’t completely equate with Earth’s rotation. So, I started walking at night, looking up at the moon. I noticed each night, at the same hour, the moon had moved. And I continued until the moon returned to the starting point, counting the days. Also noticed the same side always faced the Earth. Why do I mention this? There’s a far cry difference between reading about something and experiencing it for yourself. While I understood the concept, walking each night and looking up made it real. And real, where there’s understanding, makes learning understanding. Learning steps, follow a cookbook when making meals. Learning about measurements, follow those steps in meal making, design a dog house and put one together. Learning about percentages, calculate the prices of sales and how those percentages save money. And so on….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I couldn’t love this response more. I am definitely a person who needs to actually experience things rather than just being told. I think most of are like that. Experiencing is what gives us true understanding, not just taking tests and reading things in a book.

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  22. I’ve asked one or two of these questions and my intention wasn’t bad – I really wanted to know more about home schooling. I like that you’ve shared these and it’ll educate those of us that aren’t well informed on the topic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No, I get it. Homeschooling really is like a foreign language to a lot of people. It was to me before I was introduced to it. Many people truly have no clue as to what homeschooling is all about and are genuinely curious to learn more. It’s “the others” that this was written for, LOL.

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  23. I love this post, mainly because you highlighted the fact that you had to overcome opinions from those closest to you. Honestly, that’s can be so hard but I am so happy you believed in yourself enough to prove them wrong!

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  24. LOL I love this post girl! I have full intentions of home schooling my kids (when and if that ever happens for us) and when I bring that up to friends and family it’s a slew of misguided comments and questions (and opinions). Thanks for putting it all out there… I’ll just send them to you 😉

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  25. I think that people are asking questions because homeschooling is somehow new, and most of people are used to the traditional school system. For example, in my country, if you don’t take your children to school, you get a fine from the state.

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    1. I really agree with you.. It really depends upon the situation. Traditional homeschooling is okay, if your child is doing okay hanging out with different types of children but if their not,and just want to stay at home. Then let them be.

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      1. Yes. Homeschooling gives children the time and opportunity to figure things out at their own pace and come into their own. I wish more children were able to do this– we’d have far less followers and more leaders.

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  26. Love your post and i have to admit i am guilty of saying a couple of these things. I now know i should not! Thanks for doing what you’re doing.

    Liked by 1 person

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