Amid this coronavirus pandemic, many families have had to adapt to changing circumstances. One such change has left people particularly rattled: homeschooling.
Families previously accustomed to the routine of school and work are now being forced to explore new avenues. Some in society would have everyone believe that this nationwide change of pace is having detrimental effects on the development of children—that homeschooling is enabling child abuse and preventing children from being productive members of our democracy, to roughly paraphrase Harvard law professor Elizabeth Bartholet.
This comes as deeply disturbing news to many families who have come to appreciate the joy of spending time with their kids—something the establishment wishes to avoid at all costs. Otherwise, if not for schools, how else are they supposed to indoctrinate your children?
Homeschooling forces the government to relinquish control to none other than the child’s parents. Scary, I know. Mothers and fathers are being told not only that they are not qualified to raise their own children, but also that they don’t deserve this “punishment,” or “burden.” Might I ask, which of you would allow someone to call your child a burden to your face? Hopefully, no one. Yet, it’s happening right now in our society.
As someone who has been homeschooled my entire life and is beginning the college application process, I would like to do two things. First, to reassure you that, as your child’s caregiver, you are indeed good enough; and second, that, whether merely temporary or permanent, your child will do nothing but benefit from his or her time spent with you.
Now, I’m not trying to disillusion you. Homeschooling can be tough. There’s no magical setting in which your child will effortlessly transition into this new way of life or that you will instantly discover what works for you. But, over time, as many of you have already begun to discover, you will develop a routine and it no longer becomes this gigantic struggle. Life is, after all, about finding balance.
I was blessed to have a mother who sat with me for hours on end, between long shifts at the hospital, to figure out simple math problems. And a father, who would lend me just a little too much help when working on book reports in elementary school. But above all, I was blessed to have a family who cared for and encouraged me throughout my studies.
Yes, there were tears when I simply could not grasp a concept, and many times, I’m sure, when my mom just wanted to throw in the towel, but I’m glad she didn’t. You see, apart from excelling in my studies under the guidance of my parents, I was also able to learn many things not taught in traditional brick and mortar schools.
I had the opportunity to mature at a younger age due to my frequent interactions with adults. I learned how to take care of a house and the amount of work that went into my parents earning a dollar. When my siblings were born, I learned how to put others first. As an added bonus, by being homeschooled, I have had the amazing opportunity to get to know my siblings outside of the after-school hours.
Yes, I will be the first to admit that homeschooling is hard and doesn’t work for every family, but I cannot thank my parents enough for trying it out and seeing that it worked for us.
As this school year ends, I’m asking you to reflect on this time spent educating your children and know that, though it may not seem like it, it has made a difference in the lives of each and every one of them.
As I approach the end of my high school education, I know that I will spend much of my time reflecting on the past 12 years of my life and thanking God for having parents who were willing to try something scary, something different, and something new.
Victoria M. Kiper
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.