Homeschooling for the Rest of Us
opportunity to develop their own rhythm or experience the benefits
of teaching at home.Frequently, information for homeschoolers or those consider-
ing homeschooling concentrates on perfect families, perfect chil-
dren, perfect curricula, and even perfect schedules. Or at least they
appear perfect. Although this type of material
is appealing (who doesn’t want to be perfect?),it’s impractical for the average household. Evenif perfection could be achieved, what’s the costto your sanity?
Magazines tell homeschoolers to relax, yet
they consistently have photos of families in hand-
made matching clothes that the sixteen-year-olddaughter designed when she wasn’t volunteering
at the local hospice center.
Books present one extreme viewpoint or another: If people
don’t homeschool, it’s a sin. Anyone interested in homeschooling
for religious reasons is a fanatic. If you simply follow the suggestions
in the book, it will fix all your problems.
Moreover, as society places pressure on homeschoolers to be per-
fect, media reports can perpetuate myths about how homeschooling
is harmful for children. They tell stories of homeschooled studentswho have been locked away from society and are abused. Yet many
of these stories are unfounded and involve truancy cases rather than
actual homeschoolers. Homeschoolers are also portrayed as ultra-intelligent freaks that have been drilled by obsessive parents livingout their academic-achievement fantasies through their children.
At the other end of the spectrum, we see on TV how the Duggars,
a homeschooling family with eighteen children (at last count), livean idealistic, debt-free, non-voice-raising, godly child-training lifein Arkansas. I have great respect for any family who seems to have
We are a new home-school family. The first half of the year was difficult. Ididn’t know what kind of ahomeschooler I was tryingto be and I was impatientto learn the “right way of homeschooling” for my chil-dren. There is often no “rightway,” but just a constantsearch for a better way.
—Tamiko C.,British Columbia