Whlie discussing a few homeschooling type isues with my mom the other day, she made a great observation: sometimes the homeschooling community can get a little...well, catty. You'd think, she said, that a community of people who agree that public school isn't the best option for their kids, would be a little more unified.
I get what she's saying. A friend of mine recently made the jump to homeschooling one of her children because of his complete boredom with school coupled with hyperactivity. She chose to do cyber school for him. However, she's having a hard time finding support from any homeschoolers because apparently she's not seen as a "real homeschooler". Another example is the undercurrent of cat claws (or whatever you want to call it) between those who "unschool" and those who use packaged curriculum.
My comment to all of this: Ok, seriously. Are we in high school? (Public, that is.)
It was my impression that homeschooling was an agreement to do what worked for your family. People opt out of public school for about a thousand different reasons and homeschooling is a legal place to fall. While "bucking the system", we need to make sure we aren't jumping into another system where just as many separations exist.
While its important that the world at large is aware that not all homeschoolers choose homescholing for precisely the same reason or go about it the same way, it is good for them to know there's a purpose to what we are doing and that homeschoolers, on the whole, are not simply a group of rabble rousers who can't even get along on their own turf. Now, I'm not saying we should all agree. Nor am I suggesting we should school the same way. That would defeat the purpose in the freedom of homeschooling. I'm just saying I'm tired of attending homeschooling groups or conferences and feeling like people are trying to convert me to their way of schooling, rather than just putting information out there and letting me decide for myself.
What kind of a homeschooler am I? I don't know if there is a label for it, and if there was, I would hesitate to slap one on. School means something different for us everyday. I do know my family is happy and my kids are learning. If school-at-home or cyber school or unschooling or unit studies or what ever works for your family...more power to you. Whatever works for your kids, you, your family...because that was the point, right?