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When friends quit homeschooling

     (On Monday, December 15, 2008, HomeSchoolBlogAwards had the following blog from Spunky Homeschool).

     Recently, I ran into a homeschool friend that I hadn’t seen in a few years. As we began to catch up with one another, the inevitable question came up, "Are you still homeschooling?" With a downward glance and slight shuffle of her feet, she responded, "No. We had to give it up last year because…." But before she could continue with her explanation, I gave her a hug and interrupted, "Please don’t feel like you owe me an explanation. You’ve made your decision and I’ll support you in whatever way I can." Her face brightened, the tension eased, and we were able to continue our conversation and, more importantly, our friendship. I’m ashamed to admit that I haven’t always been so gracious. Very early in my homeschooling journey, I would have pressed in and tried to "help" her see why that can’t possibly be the best choice. But it never worked and it usually killed what little hope there was of retaining the friendships. If you’ve been around homeschooling as long as I have, you will probably encounter families along the way who will decide that homeschooling is no longer the right choice for them. Change is never easy, but that doesn’t mean I have to make it harder on them. The worst thing I can do as their friend is stamp a judgment on them, make them feel that they are a failure, or destroy the friendship because they have changed the way they educate their children. Once the decision has been made, it’s time to move on and allow God to lead them in the way that they should go. If that’s back to homeschooling then I’ll be there to help them along; if not, then I’ll still be around as their friend. Friendships are more important than homeschooling. It’s a lesson I learned the hard way, but at least I finally learned it.

4 thoughts on “When friends quit homeschooling

  1. As a mom who's been on both sides of that fence, I want to say THANK YOU. The guilt a former homeschooler often feels over their decision to put their children in school can be very intense. Having someone they consider a friend come at you in attack mode (whether that is the intent or not) is very hurtful. We have kids in school and we have kids who are homeschooled. The decision is very personal and often difficult, for each family. Please uphold your friends!

    Also, keep your eyes open for struggling homeschool moms. I was one of those when I just gave up. No one tried to help. No one. What I really needed was some mentoring once again, to help me get back on my feet BEFORE I gave up. It didn't happen and the decision was made. We are now pulling our youngest two back out of school (as of tomorrow actually), but it has been a very difficult chain of events from last April until now.

    Thank you for your post.
    Momma Knows

  2. I don't think it is right or fair to post someone else's blog verbatim on your blog without their express permission. I think you should have posted and excerpt and a link back to the original blog. Don you?

  3. I have tried to post this response a couple of times and somehow it has never seemed to go through.
    Thanks for the warning about plagarism; it's something that we all need to take seriously and be careful about. However, I wonder, how does the commenter know whether I had permission to use the blog in its entirety or not?

  4. HI Wayne,

    Plagarism is serious. The commenter likely assumed, correctly, that permission was not granted because permission is usually noted when granted. Something like, "Permission to republish this post in its entirety has been granted by Spunky at SpunkyHomeschool."

    Blogging is still a relatively new medium without many rules. However, unless permission to reprint is granted, it is customary to quote an excerpt from a blog and link back to the original post for the complete article. This post was originally published on my blog at

    http://www.spunkyhomeschool.blogspot.com. As a professional writer, all the material is copyrighted. I also write for the other blog, HomeschoolBlog Awards and republished the article there, which is where you found it.

    If you would like to contact me to discuss arrangements for the use of my writing, please feel free contact me. The email is

    spunkyhomeschool AT Yahho DOT com

    Thanks for your time and consideration.

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