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Don’t Confuse Homeschooling Cause and Effect

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Don’t Confuse Homeschooling Cause and Effect

By Linda Dobson

homeschoolingThere’s a notion floating around out there that there’s something “different” about families who choose homeschooling. Jedediah Purdy, author of For Common Things: Irony, Trust, and Commitment in America Today (Knopf) and a young man who experienced homeschooling in West Virginia before heading off to Harvard and Yale, explains, “People seem to think there’s some kind of trick or you have to be really amazing. Or,” he adds, “they think their kids have to be amazing. None of that seems really right.”

People Often Confuse Homeschooling Cause and Effect

It isn’t right. I think we often mix up the homeschooling pattern of cause and effect. We meet homeschooling parents who seem confident in their decision to homeschool. They seem to have a lot of facts to back them up. Their children seem happy and intelligent, maybe even a bit mature for their chronological ages.

See also Homeschooling: When Doubting Thomas Is Your Husband or Yourself

Did these folks start off this way? Maybe some of them did, but I guarantee not all of them. Odds are better they began life as homeschooling parents feeling uncertain, unprepared, and afraid to be proven incapable — and then what?

YOU Are Very Capable of Homeschooling

The misconception of which Jed speaks stems from people witnessing the effect of homeschooling on family members, not what necessarily caused the homeschooling. These seemingly “super” parents and children have spent some time believing in the power of their love by exercising responsibility muscles; accepting their instincts; discovering, honoring, and sharing their abilities; and trusting and respecting each other. This only makes them look amazing.


  • Put experts in their place
  • Trust your parental (mother’s and father’s) instinct
  • Utilize your other untapped abilities and seek out the abilities of others
  • Develop trust in and respect for your child
  • Know you’ve got everything it takes

So what’s the secret here? There is no secret; no trick. These people are us, everyday adults and children. It’s just that these homeschooling parents have realized they already possess inside of them everything they need to succeed. They have chosen to believe in love, the love that only you, as parent, have for that person you call your child. And guess what? This “secret-that-isn’t-a-secret-at-all” doesn’t just work well for homeschooling families. It works in any home that embraces a learning lifestyle, and that includes traditional schooling.

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4 Responses to “Don’t Confuse Homeschooling Cause and Effect”

  1. Another wise and wonderful post Linda. Again, sharing!

  2. Jenny says:

    That’s an interesting question to ponder: Do ‘different’ people homeschool, or does homeschooling make people ‘different’? I’m sure there is support for both.

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