The other day I was scrolling through Facebook and came upon a question that grabbed my attention. The writer asked if there were other homeschool moms out there that did not subscribe to the “homeschool culture.”
My first reaction was curiosity about what others’ responses were. As I looked through the comments I became aware that a lot of the responders echoed my second reaction: What does “homeschool culture” mean? What exactly is this person asking? Of course, I started thinking…
And a lot of the comments seemed more about making friends, even when the original poster clarified her question with the comment:
“It’s open to individual interpretation on purpose, but there’s a trend with homeschoolers to look down on and demonized other types of education, to need to humble brag about their kids (more than average), and to make the kids the focus of all conversation. I’m HSing because it’s in my child’s best interest at the moment and in his specific situation, not because of ideology. Even secular homeschooling seems to take on an almost religious fervor for some people (not to pick on anyone, but lots of posts here about being devastated kids want to go to traditional schooling). I join FB groups for good ideas and tips, not because “these are my people “. Like, I HS, but I don’t feel any different than I did as a traditional school parent. It can make it difficult to plan things and makes friends when you aren’t SUPER WAY INTO THIS THING…”
Maybe the original poster needs to read my suggestions on Making Homeschool Mommy Friends. While I’m certainly comical, there’s some truth to finding and making friends, and not judging people based on generalizations is a pretty good start.
So, here’s the thing… all of the homeschoolers I know are very different. They homeschool for different reasons, in different ways, with different ideologies. There are some that are completely anti-“other types of education” and some that are kombucha drinking, anti-vaccinating proponents. There are some that love and adore every precious moment with the beautiful little beings they breathed into existence. But there are just as many that support all kinds of other educational types. There are some that enjoy Coca-Cola and Jack Daniels, sometimes together. There are some that recognize their kids can be assholes. And no two of them are alike.
In many ways, doesn’t this attitude of a singular “homeschool culture” reflect a generalized view of homeschoolers at large? We are already fighting the perception that we are all broom-skirt wearing, religious extremists holed up on our farm, sheltering our children from the evils of the world while abusing our children reciting Proverbs 13:24 “Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.”