What People Think
Twenty years ago I would have never imagined I would be a stay at home mother (heck, I didn’t even think I would be married). When I decided to home-school I received an array of responses such as, “Really, why did you decide that?” and “What about their social life?” My favorite comment was from my mother who said, “Oh don’t do that! WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO DO THAT?!” Nine years have passed by and I still hear similar comments, “Why did you decide that?” and “How are they socially?” and of course “Really? Why would you want to do that?”
I don’t always know how to answer all the questions I receive. When I first began homeschooling I thought I would be eager to tell others. Now I just wait until they find out. In the past decades, I think home-schooling has gotten a poor stigma attached to it. Homeschooled children had gained some kind of a reputation for being super-whiz kids with large glasses and acute social anxiety. Well, both of my older boys wear glasses, but they are far from geniuses and Kyle, my fifteen year-old, has three hundred friends on Face-book (but I guess everyone does now-a-days- so that might not be saying much).
Yesterday my twelve
year old, Cole, told a few of his football buddies that he is home-schooled. They responded jokingly, saying, “Do you have friends?” and “What’s two plus two?” Cole laughed and then retorted with, “What’s a photon?” and “What kind of charge does a neutron have?” The response he got was “Huh…?”
I believe what people think does matter to some extent. I seek advice from parents, who send their kids to regular school, but have parenting skills I admire and look up to. There are friends who work in education that are always eager to share what they think when I need help with something. I especially like to seek a lot of advice from Godly people, some who have home-school experience and others who don’t.
On occasion I do care what people think, but only when it matters. It is very important to me what God thinks and I know he wants me to seek lots of advice (Proverbs 11:14, 15:22 and 24:6). I pray and try to find out what certain people think. For all those other people, who have questions or comments, I know that in the end the only opinion that really matters is the one that governs my household.
Troy Perkins lives outside Chicago with her husband and three children.