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Homeschool Guilt

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by , 03-23-2012 at 08:02 AM (2584 Views)
It's that time of year again. Time for kindergarten registration. It's also the first time many families make a public declaration of their intent to homeschool. I was talking to one mom today who just told her family and friends that she did not register her little one for public school. This mom had done the preschool thing, but when it came time to prepare to send her five year old to public school all day long, she decided that she just didn't want to do it. Of course her mother thought she was crazy for wanting to keep her daughter home. Her mother-in-law, well, she always knew that her son did not marry the right woman. This was just one more thing to prove it. Then she told the mother of her daughters best friend. The friend tried to be supportive. But instead of telling her she should do what's best for her daughter, she spent the afternoon worried about how her own daughter was going to go to school without her best friend. Support, love, understanding, encouragement, all the things she needed most were the very things she did not receive at all.

Then she turned to an onlinel homeschool support group that she had heard about. The first reply she got was, "What can we do to help you?" She mentioned the feeling of guilt that she had and she got 20 replies all talking about the guilt they felt when not registering their child for kindergarten or not registering their child for middle school. Some felt guilt about the lack of friends or social opportunities that they were worried about their children getting. Then every single one of these moms and dads went on to tell when that guilt went away. The second day of kindergarten when they were watching all the sad little faces getting on the school bus while they were on their way to the park. Or the day their middle schooler's friend came over and begged them to let them homeschool at their house.

I think almost all of us have felt that moment of guilt when we first started homeschooling. And I think almost of of us who have been doing this for a while can talk about the day that guilt went away. Maybe it was the first time you went to a Not Back To School picnic. Maybe it was the day you got to watch your child's face light up when they finally understood that hard math problem they were trying to do. What was the moment when your feeling of guilt went away? Maybe you were one of the lucky few who never felt any guilt about homeschooling. If you were, what do you tell the new homeschooler who is going through a bad case of the guilts? Do you have a special homeschool support group that helps you through the hard times?

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