The irony of being featured for my writing and Homeschoolers Anonymous, and posting nothing in written form all week isn’t lost on me. I’ve been overwhelmed by the (amazing) responses and talking to so many people this week, it’s kinda surreal and hard to believe it’s only been a few days.
I felt for most of this week, that there wasn’t really much to say – I had an overwhelming feeling of Deja Vu, and some of the nervous energy I think transferred into pummeling through my creative block and actually making some headway with the Surface Pro, Sketch Book Pro and comic-drawing. I’ve actually been more proud of the drawings I’ve created over the last few days than I have been of my creations in a while.
I’ve been avoiding the comment sections religiously, but that’s not to say some of it hasn’t gotten back to me. Most of the negatives were exactly what I expected: largely dismissive responses, saying things that were never said or writing off our experiences as illegitimate, as if we aren’t “actual homeschoolers”.
So, I’d like to take a moment – before I go back to drawing – to say what I think it means to be an “actual homeschooler”.
It’s simply this:
If you are a parent, and you are homeschooling – you are not a homeschooler (you are a homeschooling parent).
If you are/were a student who was/is homeschooled, you are a homeschooler.
Every homeschooled child has a different experience. Saying that those of us who had negative experiences are making it up or because it’s “only one” story doesn’t mean there isn’t a real and legitimate problem – simultaneously, this doesn’t mean that every homeschooling family is doing it poorly. Simply put: there are problems, abuse does happen and the situation is unique because there is little recourse to be taken on behalf of the people directly involved (homeschoolers). This is why we share our stories, because we have been silent – we want to help people who are feeling alone know they are not, to tell people who had no idea this went on that it exists, and hopefully aid well-intentioned parents in not falling into the same kinds of traps that we lived through. These are our stories, but they don’t have to be anyone else’s.