As a parent, I’m used to being judged. Everywhere I go, someone is judging me for the parenting choices I make. But no decision I’ve ever made caused as much of a furor among my social circle as the one to pull my kids out of public school years ago. My kids have since graduated, but they were homeschooled. And thanks to the wonderful technology that’s available today, like doing a cell phone lookup in just a few minutes, they were getting a better education than they were in public school. In addition, they didn’t have to deal with any of the problems associated with public school.

Our Situation

It’s hard for other people to accept my decision. To a certain extent, I understand that. My husband and I are financially comfortable, but not wealthy. At least, not wealthy enough for a private school anyway. We’re an average, middle-class suburban family. Also, we’re not overly religious, so we didn’t homeschool our children out of a religious objection to science and secularism.

The schools just aren’t the best in our area. We always have to do a cell phone lookup on new parents we meet to learn more about them. When I noticed that my daughter wasn’t doing very well in her new school, compared to her old one, I wanted to know why. Eventually, I discovered that the material she was being taught just wasn’t challenging her. She was bored and acting out, but she wasn’t making friends. My husband and I didn’t know what to do. We couldn’t afford private school, but public school was quickly becoming a disaster.

How We Came To Our Decision

I started looking at online homeschool programs. There are several, and some of them are totally free. The programs I looked at were developed and taught by certified teachers, who connected with their students through video chat. My husband and I talked about it a lot before we pulled the trigger. We asked ourselves all those questions that middle-class, educated parents ask. Where we doing the right thing? Did we have a responsibility to try and fix the school for every student, instead of just pulling our daughters out? How much judgment would we face for choosing to homeschool our children?

It turns out there was a lot of judgment and anger. People take education very seriously, and they all have their opinions on a parent’s choice of education for their kid. But when they were homeschooled, our children were thriving in every possible way.

A lot of kids do better when they're homeschooled.
Our kids thrived when they were homeschooled.

Not only did my youngest daughter do schoolwork on the computer, but she also used our Amazon Echo to get help with lessons and homework. She was comfortable video chatting with her teacher, and she received plenty of social interaction talking to her classmates. In addition, we all went on field trips and had meet-up events with other homeschool families. We felt so comfortable with these other parents that we didn’t even bother doing a cell phone lookup on them. My daughter both got the best possible education after pulling them out of public school, and they were so much happier.

My daughters were never bullied at school; they were just bored and unhappy. But I didn’t want them to be. Instead, I wanted my children to learn and enjoy it, which they were happy to do at home.