My husband and I chose public schools for our children several years ago and have been satisfied with our decision. As a Christian family living in a community with a large home schooling population and variety of private religious schools, we break some stereotypes by sending our children to public schools.
Here are a few of the things I experience as a Christian mom who doesn’t home school or send her kids to private school:
People are really, really surprised when they learn we don’t home school.
People see that our family fits a certain mold (Christian, stay-at-home mom, smart and generally well-behaved kids) and assume we home school. Some of these people are relatives. Others are people from church I’ve known for years. It happened again just the other week with someone I’ve known for nearly 10 years. At my grandfather’s funeral a few years ago, I met a church official’s wife who commented on how nice my daughters were and in the same breath asked if we home schooled, as if that must explain the good behavior. No, my family doesn’t fit the mold. It’s kind of a fun way to mess with people.
I have a range of different friends.
My circle of friends includes families from my church as well as people from our neighborhood school who are Catholic, atheist, and Muslim. If you want great Mediterranean food like falafel and baklava, I’ll refer you to the little restaurant down the street from our school because I’m friends with the Palestinian family that owns it.
I get strange warnings about public schools.
People like to share shocking stories with vague details about “those public schools.” These are mostly people who haven’t set foot in a public school since their own childhoods decades ago, but they are authorities on what happens in public schools because they’ve shared a bunch of Facebook posts of dubious truthfulness. According to them, my public-schooled children are praying toward Mecca daily, are card-carrying members of the New Age movement, need remedial reading and math courses, are probably in gangs and doing drugs, are spitting on the American flag, and worse things I can’t mention in polite company. We must have lucked out with our neighborhood school because none of those things are true for us. We’re okay. Really.
How about your family? Whether you do public school, home schooling, or private school, share your stories and any experiences with misapplied stereotypes in the comments.
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