However, it has never occurred to me that my children should be able to decide whether or not we continue homeschooling. As parents, that decision and its related consequences, belong to myself and my husband. That's why it baffles me to read about experiences like the one shared in this article.
In it, the author states,
"The first day of school came without having a structured social network in place. While everyone still expressed commitment to the homeschooling arrangement, I secretly experienced pangs of guilt as we watched other children walk the streets with their new lunch bags and backpacks. Were we depriving Isabel of an important cultural experience?I can relate to the author's feelings of doubt when everyone else was leaving for kindergarten and her child was still at home. I had similar feelings as a new homeschooler. However, I would never place the weight of the decision to proceed with homeschooling on a 5-year-old. As a parent, that's my burden to bear.
Since Izzy maintained homeschooling was what she wanted, we proceeded as planned."
The author goes on to say,
"Two weeks into the school year, Izzy, being 5, naturally lost some of her gusto and began protesting. One particular day, I said, "If you were in regular school, you'd have to listen to your teacher. If you won't do the work for me, you're going to have to go to school."I don't believe it's wise to use public school as a bargaining tool. If you've decided to homeschool, committ to stay the course for a pre-determined time period. Focus on working through the challenges you are facing instead of holding public school up as a threat or bribe, or worse, using it as an out.
More from the article,
"Perhaps if we were truly committed, we would have pulled rank and kept Isabel home. Over the course of a year, odds are we would have ironed things out. But because we desperately wanted Izzy's experience to be enjoyable, it seemed foolish to fight what she wanted, especially when it was the less complicated, traditional way." (emphasis added)For me, this statement displays the author's true motives. I have unfortunately encountered this mindset on more than one occasion. This parent did not want to deal with the inherent challenges and doubts that come with homeschooling, and instead of owning up to those feelings, she blamed her decision to change course on her child's wants.
I have absolutely no problem when parents decide public school is best for their children. However, I think it's unfair to burden young children with adult decisions because we as parents are afraid to make them.