Our guest for this week needs no introduction for South Africans… Not only is she a stay-at-home mom, teacher, speaker and marriage counselor but she is also a writer of stunning children’s books and a stunning book called “Book of romance” Now don’t freak out when you click on that link, its not porn!!! Its actually an awesome Afrikaans blog on healty sex (with a Christian view) run by her husband, Timothy Kieswetter! Now please don’t skip this post and jump on over there (I know you want to), but please head on over there after you had almost-as-much fun over here 😉
On the topic of today I won’t say much because whatever I say will just not match up to what she wrote so I’ll just leave you with a thought…
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!
The Glasses We Wear
Understanding the responses you get about your decision to homeschool.
By Janet Kieswetter
“Ooo, here is an article about homeschooling!” Sandra reaches for her glasses. They are a lovely floral vintage pair. She puts them on the end of her nose. She reads the first few lines of the article. Her face lights up, she smiles and exclaims
“That’s exactly what I was thinking!”
You see, what we often forget is that everyone looks at life through their own glasses. Some wear sunglasses in order
to dim the brightness of others’ enthusiasm. Everything they say is negative and dark. They are often fearful of something and warn others of the dangers of too much exposure or too much of a good thing. I heard such a lady the other day cautioning a mom: “Think long and hard before you homeschool. There are many hard days.” We need these sundowners in our lives, to bring us down to earth, to be realistic about things.
Others’ glasses have been cracked by hardships and rough-handling. They can’t see very clearly yet what they see is truth to them. “You are doing your child a big disservice by homeschooling them! Look how bent that other child is!”
They do not understand that their veiw is scewed. Perhaps all the children they have looked at, have looked weird and abnormal to them.
Does that mean YOU shouldn’t homeschool your child?
Everyone has a set of circumstances and knowledge when it comes to any subject. Whenever something controversial gets placed on the examination table, they put their glasses on and look at it. A common response is “I could never do that!” Immediately, the person evaluates homeschooling through their own aptitude and interests. Their insecurities and belief that only teachers are qualified to teach are all built into the glasses they wear and in turn, the opinion they share.
It’s not only homeschooling that illicits such person-centered responses. Think of the last time you saw a person’s new haircut. Immediately you form an opinion based on your feelings surrounding that haircut. Even your favourite flower is your favourite as a result of some pleasant experience related to it. Therefore, I have a lot of patience for people voicing their opinions, good or bad, about homeschooling. They may have been held up in a bank by a delinquent who was kept at home throughout his childhood, and now they are convinced children from homeschooled families become criminals.
Some grandparents wear ancient horn-rimmed glasses. They are anti-homeschooling because when they were children, going to school was an enormous priviledge.
Their parents had scrimped and saved to send them to school, working multiple jobs and working themselves to the bone. Perhaps, it was dangerous to go to school, like it was for my grandparents in England during the war. Perhaps like my grandmother, girls were only sent to school until they were 12 even if they longed for more education. Can you then blame this elderly person for valuing traditonal schooling so much?
But then there are many who had a horrible experience during their school career and jump with excitement at the thought of your child escaping that.
Their reading glasses were jumped on, and kicked and broken. Bullying and evil teachers still haunt them and they feel a measure of relief, and a little jealousy, at the thought of homeshcooling. Perhaps they have found meaning in their suffering, -they have taped their glasses back together- and have become successful bussinessmen as a result of learning
to stand up to the bullies.
Now they believe, public schools are there to toughen kids up, to prepare them for the real world. They are simply unaware that homeschoolers also live in the real world and often come into contact with bullies and hard-to-please people.
Moms who feel guilty that they are not spending enough time with their children might attack you. Strangers who have never heard of homeschooling quickly calculate that your kids probably don’t have any friends and pounce on that. Well-meaning friends wonder if you’ll still have time to visit with them. Even in your heart, you hope you’ll still have a little me-time somewhere. And thats all okay. It’s all understandable.
Its just your glasses.
The moral of my story is, when you share that you are homsechooling or planning to homeschool with someone,
remember that they will be looking at homeschooling through their glasses. It has little or nothing to do with you and your decision.
It has everything to do with them and the glasses they are wearing.
This was the Third post in the series Homeschooling.
Click here for the first post, titled “Should I, or shouldn’t I homeschool”
Click here for the second post titled “So what about socialization?”
Click here for the third post titled “The good, the bad and the unexplained”
Stay in touch for more on this series by following the blog and liking Mother in the Making…. Naturally on Facebook!