Why I’m Not Going to Bad-mouth Public School
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As a member of the homeschooling community for almost a decade now, I hear a lot of public school bashing and bad-mouthing. Maybe that shouldn’t surprise me. I mean, as a homeschooler, shouldn’t I be anti-public school?
Oops. I didn’t get that memo.
Here are six reasons you won’t hear me bad-mouthing public school.
My kids could have gone to public school.
If, when I presented the idea of homeschooling to my husband, he would have turned to me and told me I was completely nuts and we were not going to do that, our kids would have gone to the local public school. If my husband and I weren’t in agreement about the choice to homeschool, there was no way I was going to take it on.
If I bad-mouth public school, it means I’ve forgotten that not everyone has support to be educated elsewhere.
My kids could still end up in public school.
We have always given our kids the choice to attend public school. So far, they’ve always elected to stay home, but who knows. They’ve got the option to change their mind.
I cannot see the future. I don’t know what’s going to happen. Who knows what situations our family will find ourselves in? Will homeschooling always work for us? Will something prevent us from continuing at some point?
I don’t know. The future is wide open.
If I bad-mouth public school, it becomes difficult for my kids to have a positive outlook about going should they ever want to or have to make that choice.
Public school really is a better option for some families.
I know that your family is safe and loving and wonderful. Of course it is.
But folks, that’s not every family.
There are families out there whose kids are safer in public school. There are kids out there who feel paid attention to when they are in public school. There are kids out there who, if left with their parents all day, would be immensely unhappy. And there are parents who would feel the same.
Can we all admit that we know at least one person who, if they suddenly announced they wanted to homeschool their kids, you’d respond, “Wait. What? Really? Um. Wow. You might want to think a bit more about that. Seriously.”
And I know some of you might think I’m being judgmental, but come on. We all see and hear things that happen in other families, right?
If I bad-mouth public school, I ignore the fact that some kids are better off in public school. Some kids actually prefer to be there, and some family relationships are better for it.
I know some really awesome teachers.
I attended public school for my entire education. Y’all, I had some amazing teachers. Some were amazing because of how they taught, some were amazing because they went above and beyond what they needed to do.
Those teachers didn’t disappear in the late 90s when I graduated. Those teachers still exist.
I have many friends who teach in public schools and they are busting their butts to make their corner of public school as amazing as it can be.
If I bad-mouth public school, I lose sight of the fact that even though it’s not everyone’s system of choice, there are some wonderful people working within it who are making a difference and changing lives.
My kids have a lot of friends in public school.
The thing about being in the real world (where homeschoolers claim to be raising their children) is that your kids will make friends with all sorts of people. Homeschooled kids and private school kids and public school kids. The world is big and wide and varied.
That’s the beauty of it.
Are we really benefiting anyone by sending our kids out into the world to look down at those who have attended public school? To see publicly schooled kids as having a sub-par education or being nothing more than trained monkeys filling in bubbles on a test form or not learning about anything that really matters?
Hint: the answer is no, we’re not.
If I bad-mouth public school, I’m skewing my child’s perception of those who attend it.
I’m tired of us-against-them.
When you get down to it, the constant badmouthing of public school that I hear some homeschool parents spew forth does nothing more than perpetuate the us-against-them mentality that many of us are trying to get away from.
Do I agree with everything the public school system does? Nah. But I don’t always agree with everything that homeschoolers do either.
Do I think there are changes that can be made in public school? Yes. But do I think there are changes that could be made in homeschooling? Also, yes.
Remember, the children you are raising have ears that are listening and processing everything you say. It’s not us-against-them. Last time I checked, we were all on the planet together.