There are a million ways to “mommy shame” parents. Let’s face it, it’s all over the place. Let's see, Working Moms vs SAHM Moms, breast or bottle fed, organic or conventional food, and now, school choices.
Some of the responses that I’ve gotten for decided to remove my kids from public school and homeschool them took me by surprise. Even the looks I’d get from some homeschooling moms when I talked about belonging to a co-op bewildered me. Why would I be judged for sharing my homeschool journey? Or even which curriculum I used?
Who cares how you educate your child, as long as you do?
If you have good public schools and want to send your kids there, go for it! Many public schools are wonderful havens of learning for children, and it works for the majority of parents.
If the public schools in your area can’t fulfill the needs of your kids, you can look at private or parochial schools. Even though the cost of education now falls to the parents, and can be quite costly, they can be excellent choices for students. Sometimes, the cost alone stop parents for looking at this option, but it's not always out of reach. There are many national and local programs that can help, like BLOCS, a program that offers scholarships for private education for children, regardless of race, religion or financial circumstances based in Philadelphia.
If schools in general don’t fit your family’s needs, you can choose to homeschool, as I did. We withdrew our children after our daughter experienced horrific bullying, and a school setting wasn’t at all conducive to learning. There area a lot of homeschooling options as well, from traditional parent led learning, co-ops, or online schooling. Our family does a mix of all the styles, including college classes for my high school junior. Homeschooling can become costly as well, with the purchases of curriculum and outside classed and groups. Homeschooling can be challenging, but It has also been easily one of the most rewarding things I’ve done with my children.
The thing is, it doesn't matter so much where your are kids learning, as long as they’re learning. We really need to encourage and help each other as much as we can. I homeschool, but I donate my used curriculum after we are finished with them to other families, and I teach classes at our local homeschool co-op. I also support public schools with our taxes, and I buy something from every school fundraiser that I'm asked to support. I eat at many spaghetti dinners at our local Catholic School. I donate to Scholarship funds, and buy wreaths and candy bars and wrapping paper. I do whatever I can, no matter the educational system. I know that behind every kid is a parent that is looking for the best way to teach their kids and help reach their true potential.
This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.