In the last 20 years homeschooling has gone mainstream, and homeschooled students are often highly praised for their accomplishments. But some skeptics remain, many of whom are teachers themselves.
But as it turns out, teachers and homeschoolers may share some of the same critiques about today’s public education system. According to homeschool mom Melissa Roy, some people choose to educate at home because they believe the system is inept, not the teachers who labor tirelessly within it. In Ms. Roy’s own words:
“At no point did we say ‘the teachers are just not okay.’ Because, truthfully, we adored our daughter’s (original) kindergarten teacher. And all of her friends parents loved who would have been her first grade teacher. And I have many, many, many friends who are elementary teachers whom I truly respect and value. Teachers who make a difference in the lives of their students every day.
But I also see these teachers struggle. I see them deal with too little resources, too much testing, too little time and too many rules. I see people who are passionate about teaching and reaching their students slowly fizzle out as their spirits are crushed by the pressure and restrictions placed on them. I see teachers who watch their students struggle and have their hands tied and can’t always make the difference they set out to.
We pulled out of the public schools because of the system, not the people (we even adored the principal at our local elementary school who, with genuine excitement, wished us good luck on our homeschooling journey when we unenrolled). I truly believe the system is not only failing the students, but it’s failing the teachers too.”
So when I go on and on (and on and on and on) about why we choose to homeschool, I just want my teacher friends and readers to know: this is not about you. I know the hard work you put in to your job and the amazing people you are. I know how much teaching means to you and how passionate you are about doing your best for your students as you expect the same from them. But I also know how much you struggle within the system, just as we did as a family. I know how much you wish you had more control and say over what really happens in your classroom.”
So teachers, be encouraged! Homeschool families aren’t always against you; they’re in the same boat, anxious to do the best for children in the face of an educational system that seems to continually squelch true and genuine learning.