All too often homeschooling families feel the pressure to continue the journey they set out on. Many of those families are met with trials along the way that their public or private school counterparts do not have to fight through. There are countless articles and blog posts out there for supporting these families through those times, but what about when those trials bring the end of our homeschool journey?
Homeschooling as an educational platform has grown in popularity in the past decade for many reasons. While a lot of these reasons are very specific to the family or individual student, there is no doubt that it is growing in popularity. A wide range of curriculum material available today demonstrates the effort being put into this educational “movement”.
Homeschooling is often glorified in blogs littering the internet, with very few that express the days that are exhausting, trying, frustrating, and make the parent feel like an utter failure.
On top of these trials there are a slue of articles that certainly express their negative opinions of home education. While our country has great leaders who have been home educated, it is also true that home education has failed some students in either education or life preparation.
Regardless of statistics, or the reason a family starts their journey there is a great amount of effort put into the process of learning how to make homeschooling successful. So what does happen when we have to make that decision to move our children to another educational platform?
A wide range of emotions flood parents who need to adjust that homeschool dedication they poured into their children. Failure, disappointment, and some even have expressed embarrassment for not being able to move forward with their educational journey. On top of this they are also comforting the pains of transition that their children endure during what is a significant change for them.
This is one area I feel like the homeschool community fails our counterparts. All to often instead of hugging our parents who are going through the painful process of shifting their children out of their homes, we poke them with more support, more options, success stories, and the all too common, “Oh yeah, we’ve had bad days too”.
Parents and children alike need support during these times. Yes, home education is a challenge. Yes, there are beautiful success stories. Yet, there are always factors outside of our original scope that we may not have the ability to plan for. One such example are parents who find themselves depressed from the pressures of home education, whether self-induced or placed on them from the state, or even homeschool support groups. Depression happens to homeschool parents, and public teachers, bus drivers, administrative staff… after all we are all human.
Health factors, unique learning challenges, changes in family structure, trauma, self-doubt, or even just realizing that you are not a teacher, are all common reasons home educators step away from the white board. It is time that these people are embraced and accepted for doing what they felt was best for their children, rather than being beat up by their support groups and the public education system.
I encourage you to listen to the pains of those who have to hang up their “teacher” outfit to continue wearing the other outfits they have to wear to be a parent or guardian. Remember that encouraging them to try again may not really be what they are asking for, maybe they just need someone to understand, MAYBE they are trying to show you that you don’t have to put the weight of the world on your shoulders either.