Homeschool

Forced into Homeschooling

Homeschooling is popular around the world. Some recent statistics show that the number of homeschoolers is dramatically increasing. For instance, the number of children being homeschooled increased by over 40% in the UK over the last three years! Wow! Right? And what does this have to do with being forced into homeschooling?

But Why?

Do the reasons even matter? Yes, I think so! I want to point out there is something happening in the UK that we all need to know about because we are starting to see it here in the United States.  And I find it frightening. At the top of the list for the reasons why homeschooling is exploding in the UK are mental health issues and avoiding exclusion.

Sounds great, right? They are protecting the vulnerable…. Well, there is more than meets the eye here.

What Is Exclusion?

They are not protecting the children from being excluded by the other students, which is exactly what I thought when I read the article. Schools are encouraging students who are struggling in the traditional school environment to be homeschooled. And I’m not just talking academics here.

Students at risk.

Students who are falling behind and are struggling to keep up.

Students who have a mental health issue.

Those who might be in the juvenile detention system.

Those who are doing drugs or drinking.

Those acting out in other inappropriate ways.

An exclusion is where the headteachers exclude children if they misbehave in or outside school. It is what we call expelled here in the United States.

Off-rolling Students.

Ironically the number of students “excluded” rose by about the exact same numbers in this same time period. Coincidence?

Probably not.

So these parents are essentially being forced into homeschooling their children to avoid the children getting that “exclusion” on their school records. I’m not sure this is good for the students or the parents.

Why?

Because Homeschooling Takes Commitment

Homeschooling is the hardest job I’ve ever had. Period.

It takes commitment.

Perseverance.

Grit.

Flexibility.

Love. Lots of love.

But even more determination. Because there are days we don’t want to do this homeschool thing.

Gasp… yep, I said it (well … I wrote it).

We don’t always want to be everything to our children.

Every.

Single.

Minute.

Of.

The.

Day.

Every.

Day.

Most days, yes. But not every day. Day in and day out.

IT IS HARD.

It is hard giving our own identities up.

It is hard figuring out all those details of homeschooling.

It is hard finding balance between homeschool and, well, the rest of our lives.

So throwing a mom into this situation without her full DESIRE and COMMITMENT is dangerous. And it is happening here in the United States too.

What’s the Answer?

The children who are being removed from schools because of behavior problems or mental health issues need help! Instead of simply being forced to homeschool, these students need to have their mental and perhaps even physical issues addressed. In most cases, if a student refuses to behave and learn at school, he or she will do the same thing in a homeschool setting. Simply forcing the child to homeschool does nothing to address the root of  the problem.

Think of it this way. If a person becomes diabetic and is given insulin but is never told cut down on (or cut out) sugar and carbs, that person isn’t going to be able to truly get well. It’s the same with troubled students. If those students are simply told to leave the school in order to be taught at home, the underlying problems aren’t being addressed, so the student doesn’t have a chance to “get well.”

In other words, homeschooling (or public schooling or private schooling for that matter) is not going to “fix” these students’ problems. While many many parents love homeschooling and are committed to it and do a wonderful job teaching their children (statistics prove this to be true), forcing parents who are overwhelmed already with children who have mental health and perhaps physical problems to homeschool is not going to help. Adding that kind of stress and responsibility to parents who are overwhelmed, struggling, and unsure how to help their children will only exacerbate the problem.

It just doesn’t make sense at all.

So What Does Make Sense?

Addressing these students’ mental and physical issues first! Regardless of the setting, students who are struggling and have serious issues like these cannot successfully learn. The only way for these students to become successful, to learn, and to grow up to be productive citizens is to address their problems, help them get well, and then to teach them. Until we address their health-related issues, they aren’t going to be able to learn no matter where we try to teach them.

 

About the author

Trish

Trish is one of the owners of Hip Homeschool Moms. She has been married to her best friend, David, for 20 years and they have three sons (ages 17, 16 and 14). Trish is from the coast of North Carolina, but they now live in rural West Tennessee on a 40+ acre farm. She has been homeschooling since 2009 and her homeschool style leans towards a Montessori approach with a heavy emphasis on hands-on learning. They also own a small business that Trish runs from home. Trish’s family is Messianic and they love studying the Scriptures, learning Hebrew and growing in their faith and walk daily. In her spare time, Trish loves to write, work in their garden and can regularly be found trying to learn something new, modeling that learning is indeed a life-long endeavor!

About the author

Wendy

Wendy is one of the owners of Hip Homeschool Moms. She married her high school sweetheart, Scott, over 27 years ago, and they live in the South with their three children. Hannah, age 23, has autism and was the first homeschool graduate in the family. Noah, age 21, was the second homeschool graduate. Mary Grace, age 15, is the remaining homeschool student. Wendy loves working out and teaching Training for Warriors classes at her local gym. She also enjoys learning along with her family, educational travel, reading, and writing, and she attempts to grow an herb garden every summer with limited success.

6 Comments

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  • Indiana has been at the forefront of the School to Prison Pipeline issue for homeschoolers. Two years ago they testified on behalf of traditional homeschoolers. You can read up on what took place at the IAHE Action webpage. http://www.iaheaction.net

  • I am a mom of a 7 year old boy with autism, and I am considering on homeschooling but not because of his health but because I believe the school system are not doing enough to protect our kids, I have seen and heard things on how teachers do nothing to help or protect our kids, that is why we have so much bullyn problems in the schools because most of the times the school would rather act like they don’t see nothing instead of doing something about it, I believe this is the main reason why parents feel “Forced” to homeschool they’re kids.

  • We were forced into homeschooling because of inadequacy of the public school system, academically. I think if you look at the statistics our public school systems for the most part are horrible. I have talked with a number of other homeschool families who have said the same thing, along with the bullying issue. Which all I hear about that is we need to have a “conversation” about bullying but nothing is actually being done about it. I don’t want to place all the blame on the schools it is also parents who do not guide their children towards moral behavior, you cannot always be their friend. Parents are not holding school systems accountable for the poor quality of learning. It is assumed schools are doing the job, but if you ask your child questions about the work they are doing and the going ons in class you might be surprised. This article tries to paint the picture that homeschool is a not so good way to go, again look at the statistics. Homeschool children consistently perform well above public school students.

    • Steven, I’m not sure if you noticed, but we are a homeschool community! So of course we support and believe in homeschooling. We love and encourage moms all day every day. We have a Facebook page with 125,000+ moms and a group with over 30,000 homeschooling moms. This is what we do. But families being FORCED into homeschooling is what we are struggling with.

  • Not to mention the added cost of books and supplies that they may not have had to buy in the past. Homeschooling really is a big commitment and being forced into it is no way to go. Great article!

  • This article hit home for me. This is also happening in California due to parents not wanting to Vax their children. My friend has twins whose charter school says they can’t be schooled together in the same class bc of Bx problems. However, there’s only one class! So what does she do? Keep one home and let one goto school? That doesn’t feel right to her. She also can’t put them in public school because she doesn’t believe in Vaxing her kids and there’s now a law in CA saying no vax, no public school entrance. (Does she also get to stop paying taxes towards those schools?? My guess is no.). So, she is stuck homeschooling her twins. For the reason’s you mentioned above, that’s not going to be good for anyone’s stress level in that house when her heart isn’t into it. 🙁

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