What is Just Right Homeschooling?

Welcome to our homeschooling website! We’re glad you’re here!

Are you thinking about homeschooling? Are you already homeschooling? And, are you wondering what the %#*@ you’re doing?

In the beginning…

That was us back in 2016. (OK, truth be told, that’s still me from time to time!) We were brand spanking new to the whole concept of homeschooling. During the course of trying to educate ourselves about how to educate our daughter, we were inundated with information. The more I learned, the more I felt like I DIDN’T know. I’ve often likened it to trying to drink from a firehose!

One of our main concerns initially was what I’ve come to think of as, “The S Word” … Socialization. If you’re already homeschooling or even if you’re just thinking about it, chances are, “But what about socialization?” is a question not only on your mind, but also the first question almost everyone else will ask you about homeschooling. Like many people who had no personal point of reference for homeschooling, I had what turned out to be long-outdated stereotypes about who homeschoolers are and how they socialize.

Religious and Secular Homeschoolers…

After I searched the internet and social media, I found whole swaths of people who homeschooled that I didn’t even know existed. Turns out a huge variety of people homeschool for a lot of different reasons. Hmph, who knew? As we started joining groups on social media and meeting other homeschoolers, I started noticing that people seemed to break down into certain camps or schools of thought in their approach to homeschooling. This is not to say that EVERYONE strictly belonged to one of these factions, but it seemed to apply to the vast majority of people that I met.

They were either:

  • People who were conservative, right-leaning politically, and taught from a strictly Christian world view.

Or

  • People who were liberal, left-leaning politically, and taught from a strictly secular (sometimes anti-religion) world view.

It seemed that both types of groups had some very nice and very welcoming members. In many ways, the other homeschoolers that we encountered through organized activities and chance meetings were like any other parents you’d meet at the park or a public school function. There were mostly Moms with a few Dads sprinkled in. Some knew each other from activities or lessons their kids were in, from church, from their neighborhoods, or just from the homeschooling group itself. Not every conversation was about education philosophy, curriculum choices, and every other thing “Homeschool”. We homeschooling parents think about those sorts of things constantly so sometimes it’s nice to have a break and talk about other things while the kids run around and have fun!

However, once the conversation rolls around to social or political issues, the differences start to become apparent. People eventually start talking about curriculum as well, which is often another give away as to whether someone is a secular or Christian home educator.

In the Christian groups, someone making polite conversation would ask the pivotal question, “So, what church do you go to?” Once the question is posed, at that point I’ve got a couple of choices. I can tell them that we don’t go to church and can then plan on politely refusing their invitations to every single service, activity, and bible study their church hosts. Or, the other choice is that I can just go ahead and tell them we are spiritual but not religious and that have no interest in going to church. Some people distance themselves at that point, and others double their efforts to witness to me.

As any parent that has attempted to drink from the Curriculum firehose will attest to, everything is divided into Religious, Religion Neutral, or Secular categories. It doesn’t take a lot of internet searches before you start to hear some of the same curricula companies and prominent figures in homeschooling mentioned over and over. So, when there is discussion about what programs, curricula, and resources you use for any given subject, people can (often but not always) tell if someone is more religious or secular. Our approach to homeschooling was never something to hide or avoid talking about but when you’re the only one at the picnic table in the park not talking about the power of prayer, it can make you feel like you stand out.

Eventually, over time, we became less invested in some of the more religion-centered groups (and likely they in us) because it’s natural for people to be drawn to developing relationships with others who share their values, beliefs, and lifestyle.

As for the Secular groups, there were similar outcomes. The biggest difference in my personal experience was the fact that after about 2019, once it came out in conversation that we are Republican, some people in the specifically secular groups distanced themselves more quickly from us. As I stated, in my experience, even if a secular homeschooling group doesn’t have “liberal” or “Democrat” in the group name, there are more liberals in the group than moderates or conservatives.

Don’t get it twisted…

Time for a disclaimer! We can get along with just about anyone. We try to be respectful of everyone’s beliefs and personal convictions when it comes to how they live their lives. We certainly have our own beliefs and convictions that we stand by and may not agree with someone else’s. But, we believe in the philosophy that, as my husband puts it, you’re either an A-hole or you’re not. And you can apply that philosophy to pretty much anyone whether you agree with them on any given topic or not.

The world is made up of all kinds of people and not everyone we associate with has to be just like us. That would be boring. But as we’ve researched curricula and met other homeschoolers, we kept feeling like we didn’t quite fit into any one group. The thought has occurred to me countless times since we started that it would be nice to meet other homeschoolers that we have more in common with…people “just right” for us.

So, if you’re taking the time to read this blog – thank you! Whether you use it as a resource, for ideas about what to do (and not do) along your journey, or because you’re struggling and it helps to know that others have struggled at times too – I hope that you’ll enjoy it and maybe it’ll be “just right” for you, too.

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