Many homeschool parents feel the heavy weight of responsibility on their shoulders. They’re the sole provider of the child’s education and upbringing. If their child doesn’t learn there’s no-one else to pin the blame on.
Rest easier, homeschool parents, because there’s one fact everyone seems to overlook.
Even if you send them to school, you STILL get the blame.
As parents, we’re ultimately responsible for our children’s education.
Many parents choose to outsource education, but that doesn’t meant they lose accountability. By choosing the method and place of education you set your child on a path. If that path is not taking them in a direction they or you want to go, then it’s your job to find a better path. You chose the school. If it isn’t working it’s your job to either choose a better school or fill in the gaps yourself.
- School or homeschool, if your child can’t read then it’s your job to ensure they get the resources and help they need.
- School or homeschool, if your child is a bully then it’s your job to show them that it’s not acceptable and teach them empathy and better ways of social interaction.
- School or homeschool, if your child lacks motivation or passion, it’s your job to help them find it.
No excuses. No complaining that school should be doing it. Yes, they should, but if they’re not you’re the one who needs to make sure your child isn’t disadvantaged.
When I was a teenager I stayed with a family friend for the school holidays. She had two boys around the age of 10. They’d been identified as struggling in many areas at school. So, nearly every night after dinner they cleared the table and began working on strengthening their weak areas.
She wasn’t a teacher. She wasn’t well-educated. She worked full-time. She could have just blamed the school and ignored the problem, ensuring it wouldn’t go away. But she knew her children were her responsibility, so she spent 2-3 hours nearly every day working with them to help them. I’m pleased to report that after a year or so they didn’t need daily intensive help. They both went on to finish school with good results, and today one is in the Navy and the other works in IT.
I was always impressed. I had friends who struggled at school (I was shocked to find one of my classmates couldn’t read-in year 11!). None of their parents took personal responsibility for their learning. It was the school’s fault, and they expected the school to fix it. The school generally didn’t.
School has no long-term investment in your child. Teachers are busy, harried and snowed under with paperwork. They don’t have the time to give each child individual tutoring. This has predictable results of low literacy and numeracy levels.
For homeschool parents this is a wonderful realisation. It sounds terrible-no matter what happens, it’s all your fault! But so many parents think that their child’s literacy/numeracy/enthusiasm problem will be fixed if they send them to school (or maybe just feel relieved that they can pass the problem on to someone else).
Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee it will be. Why will your child get more help in a class of 25 than in a family? School doesn’t promise great results and it definitely doesn’t give a no questions asked, childhood-back guarantee.
In the end, your child’s education remains solely your responsibility. Don’t feel overwhelmed by that statement. Instead, feel empowered. With a bit of effort and experimentation, you can achieve amazing things.
And best of all? You get to take ALL the credit.