They're People, Not the Problem

 

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.

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5 Responses to They're People, Not the Problem

  1. Toni says:

    This is so very true. I’ve noticed the exact same thing as I’ve gotten older. I think this is one of the characteristics of us homeschoolers that can make us come across as very judgmental and unfriendly towards people who educate their kids differently. Thanks so much for sharing!!! 🙂
    ~Toni

  2. Andy says:

    I totally agree. I have caught myself judging and lumping all public-schoolers into one category… There is a lot of pride in the home school community….

    I definitely don’t think it should be Public-schoolers vs. Home-schoolers!!

    Very good post….

  3. Annie Hall says:

    Very good! I have two friends.
    One of them I met when I was about 7. It was at church and I was swinging, and she wanted to swing too, so I got down and pushed her, and then I taught her how to swing herself. My grandma had taught me the skill very early, and I was very proud to be able to teach Hannah (my friend) something, because she could read and write (regular and in cursive) before I could. From then on we were Hannie and Annie, and Hannah banana and Anna banana. Then my family moved about an hour away and we didn’t get to see each other much, but we made sure we called each other and had double Birthday parties almost every year (my birthday in July 25 and hers is July 28). Then we moved 12 hours away, and aren’t as good of friends (when she was in JRhigh it was really bad, but she’s grown up now lol), but are still good friends.
    The other I just met this summer at camp. She’s very nice. One thing I really like about the camp is all ages so you can see how people interact with little kids.

  4. Like you mentioned, some of my public-schooled friends have been incredibly on fire for God.

    In some settings it’s just not cool to live God’s way or follow His path. So for my Christian friends who’ve stuck with their faith through public school and college, it’s almost as though their faith has been tested, tried, and they’ve now passed through the flames.

    They know where their faith lies because they had to choose. For many of us though, we haven’t been given that confrontation yet.

    I won’t be sending my kids to public school for several reasons (in addition to the ones that you’ve mentioned), but that’s still no excuse for us to prematurely judge others based solely on their schooling.

    Matthew 7:1-4 is a great resource on that.

  5. Yay! Excellent post. I agree.

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