After a lot of thought and discussion on a certain topic dear to my heart, I feel the need to address a huge problem I’m just now beginning to fully realize within the homeschooling community as a whole.
The problem: Labeling and stereotyping people who are/were publicly schooled.
This problem that I see running rampant through the homeschool community is our tendency to lump “publicschoolers” under one huge umbrella, namely that of Bad Government Stuff and Ungodly Kids Who Don’t Think At All the Way We Do. But do y’all see what happens when we do this? We’re basically combining the people with the problem, failing to see these people as having been made in God’s image. The people who are/ have been public schooled are not the problem. The real problem is the government-fed education system itself.
Over the course of my life, I have been blessed to know many, many wonderful (and Godly!) people around my age who went to public school, and to this day, some of them are my dearest friends. Yes, they did some things differently from me, and sometimes their personal tastes didn’t line up with my beliefs. And whenever this happened, my parents were quick to discuss it with my siblings and me: “We don’t do that.” or “We do not talk that way.” But this was not a reason to reject them and categorize them as stupid or “bad”. Remember, kids don’t often have a choice in what kind of schooling they receive. An overwhelming number of my public-schooled friends always told me they wanted to be homeschooled, but their parents would have none of it.
Also, I have heard the argument (from some people, not all) that lots of kids who have gone to public school often lose their faith, that there’s no/little Christianity in the schools, etc. This is absolutely untrue. You would not believe how many public-schooled people I know who are absolutely on fire for God. They are committed to shining His light around them, and they truly have a heart for Christ. They inspire me. And what’s more, the ones I’ve known from childhood have always been that way, not just recently.
And what about their education? Well…obviously, I believe that the best education is always going to be achieved at home and “in the field,” so to speak, not in stuffy, standardized, secular classrooms. However. I also know many, many public-schooled people who are absolutely brilliant. They have goals and they know how to achieve them. Sure, they may be the exception to the rule (and yet I still pity them for not receiving home education 🙂 ). But my point is that we can’t lump all public-schooled kids under the ideology of “publicschooled and stupid”, whether consciously or unconsciously.
In conclusion, it really hurts me to see this huge dichotomy between public schooled kids and homeschooled kids. I’m not saying homeschooling parents should rush to make sure their children receive all the knowledge of public-school kids. I just wish there was more widespread compassion and friendliness toward public-schoolers…because when we do that, we are not, and I repeat, not, showing the world what it means to be a Christian (much less a homeschooler!) I know from experience that many people see homeschoolers in general as being very antagonistic towards public-schoolers.
This is not right, y’all. These people are people. They are not the problem.