Sunday, August 28, 2016

A Current Prejudice

In this day and age it is shocking to me that there is still so much prejudice against minorities.   I am not referring to the racial discrimination that our forefathers fought to bring to equality, or the sexual discrimination that our foremothers stomped down to lift women up. I am referring to the discrimination that is occurring right here in our own backyards...that of the homeschooler.  

We, as a society, may think we are living a cutting edge life of equality as we welcome all races to sit at the same tables, hire all sexes for positions across establishments,  and even turn blind eyes to those who wish to cross barriers of natural orientation, but a small group amongst us continues to be received with contempt and ignorance.  Homeschoolers.

When I started homeschooling my children, there were small pockets of other homeschoolers that we came across here and there, but chances were slim and far between that our paths would cross.  Now, there are innumerable curriculums, cooperatives, classes, clubs, field trips, societies, graduations, sports teams, and the list goes on and on.  Yet, we, as homeschoolers, are still looked on as odd...misfits...different.

Sure there are some who fit the common picture of an odd homeschooler, but we are all individuals, not a massed unit.  We are all different from each other, just like you.  We may choose to educate differently.  We may choose to study in ways that you don't.  But we are still people.  We still have feelings.

When raising a homeschooler, we know that our children will be tried in ways that we ourselves were not.  Knowledgable and influential adults will ask them leading agenda-filled questions about socialization, education, and responsibility that we as parents might even struggle to answer intelligently. They will be laughed at, joked about, and singled out by peers and even adults, because their parents made this different choice.  They will have to be taught to ignore prejudice, to grow in character, and to have a thick skin reflecting on how God loves them and accepts them even when others fail to do so.

When I chose to homeschool, I, in all honesty, did not realize that I would face these criticisms.  I didn't realize that family members may take years to realize the advantages of this lifestyle, that friends would drift away because of the choice, that those I met would instantly label me as different and look at me as though I suddenly morphed into a creature from another planet.  I certainly did not realize that my children would be the pioneers paving the way and educating others that homeschoolers are not freaks but are families striving to educate in a way that they think best for their own particular family unit.

I do not judge those who choose not to homeschool.  I believe much good can come from a public or private school.  Not only was I brought up in the public school system, but I taught there for many years.  It blessed me in more ways than I can even acknowledge.   In fact, I may not continue to homeschool my children forever.  Our family takes it a year at a time, praying, talking, and deciding what would bring about the greatest spiritual encouragement for our children at this particular time. My point is not at all to say that homeschooling is the answer, because frankly, in all cases, it is not.  

My point is this...
Please take a moment to pray for all of our kiddoes, no matter which way we choose to educate them.  Lift them up. Encourage them.  Make their way a little easier by acknowledging that they are precious souls sent here to do a mission that God has designed specifically for them.  Remind them that they can be who God wants them to be regardless of where they do their schoolwork.  And let them know that we love each and every one of them, no matter what!