In the midst of endless Mommy Wars, add homeschooling methods as fuel to the fire. A major perk of homeschooling is to tailor an education to each child, to provide them with exactly what they need in order to learn. Whatever manner best meets their educational needs, should be the go-to course of action. Yet, in this never-ending battle of competition, homeschooling parents are judged based on what materials they choose to use for home education.
It begins at birth with the litany of questions from the cashier at the local market to the nosy neighbor down the street. Breastfed or bottle fed? Cloth diapers or disposables? Pacifier or none? Cry it out or attachment parenting? It doesn’t stop there; in fact, it doesn’t ever really end. Typically, if the response to the questions about school are answered with “We homeschool,” then the inquisition, er, conversation, grinds to a halt--unless the question is asked by another homeschool family.
Then, the rapid fire begins. “Which language arts program do you use?” “You use that for math?” “Have you ever tried [insert big name box curriculum company here]?“ “A computer-based curriculum? I could never sit my son in front of the computer all day.” Suddenly, the wish to travel back in time to retract the statement regarding homeschooling comes to mind in order to avoid the firing squad.
In the end, however, it is no one’s business what one family chooses to use (well, the state, perhaps, in accordance with homeschooling laws). Choose a curriculum that arrives in one big box filled with workbooks, textbooks, supplies, and writing utensils with every lesson planned. Choose to write curriculum from scratch. Find a middle ground that is most suited to the children at home. At the end of the day, isn’t it about what works for each individual family? Then again, the constant fight to determine who is right won’t ever end, rather just shift its focus. In the meantime, use what works and ditch the naysayers.