Over the years, homeschoolers have been stereotyped a certain way. For instance, I used to be under the impression that all homeschool moms wore long, jean skirts. I also thought you couldn’t homeschool unless you had or planned on having six or more children. Ha! I still laugh at that.
Homeschooling families come in all shapes and sizes and colors and backgrounds. After attending my very first homeschool convention when my oldest son was a baby (he is 8 now), my mind was blown. I couldn’t believe all the different kinds of families. That’s when I knew I could do this thing called homeschooling too.
In certain crowds my family is in the minority. At my husband’s job only one other person has three or more children. We have three and it makes people act silly. In homeschooling groups we are normally in the minority as well (although things are definitely changing). Those families have lots of kids and we “only” have the three with no plans of adding any more.
The whole “wearing only long, jean skirts” issue is a non-issue. I know many homeschooling mamas who choose to wear jean skirts. They do it because they feel led by the Lord to do so. I, on the other hand, can’t stand skirts or dresses. I wear jeans or leggings (with a long top to be modest). I have seen many different types of clothing worn by homeschooling families. That stereotype is one from the 90’s. I also don’t think those women who choose to wear only skirts are old-fashioned. I truly wish I liked wearing skirts, but having all boys, it just isn’t reasonable.
One other stereotype that homeschoolers get a lot is you have to be extremely religious in order to homeschool. Although our family loves God and we are very faithful Christians, you do not have to believe in God or any deity in order to educate your own children. There are many secular, atheist, and other groups in my area that homeschool. They have their own reasons and I applaud anyone who chooses this road. It isn’t an easy one and definitely not one done on a whim.
There are stereotypes for every group of people. I have learned to look past those and to actually get to know those folks. Most of the time the things we “think” we know are simply not true. No matter what religion, ethnicity, background, how many kids, or whether or not you wear skirts all the time, you can homeschool. Anyone can do it. If you feel like you are being stereotyped for any reason, try to break that barrier. Show others what you actually are by your words and actions. Let’s start talking to one another about issues and situations instead of believing what others have told us. I have made many new friends by simply asking questions.