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Anxious about relationship impact of homeschooling


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Old 27th August 2018, 1:25 PM   #1
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Question Anxious about relationship impact of homeschooling

I consider both my wife and I to be level-headed, as much as any parents born in the late 20th century who are raising children in the 21st century can be. Despite this, we're seriously considering pulling our oldest son out of school in response to the school shooting crisis, and it's led to a discussion around homeschooling that has me worried about our relationship.

I'm struggling with the fact that we have differing approaches to keeping our son safe. My wife is advocating for homeschooling him. She has lots of good reasons, many of which I agree with, but quite frankly we both have college debt, and being a dual-income household allows us to do things like go on vacations that would be tough if I was the only one working. (She makes better money than I do, but hasn't asked me to be the one who stays home.)

In order to try to reach a compromise, we've discussed bulletproof backpacks and some other stuff. I'm not sold on sending an eight-year-old to school with a bulletproof backpack... They cover half of your body and apparently don't really work against the type of weapons that mass shooters are using, but I digress. We thought about something like a coverme-seat but aren't sure his school would let him keep it at his desk.

Obviously if my wife decides she's going to quit her job and homeschool our kid, I will be supportive, but I LIKE the fact that I can talk to my wife about all the drama, politics, stress, etc. of working in an office. After our son, and whether to plant cherry tomatoes or grape, our office jobs are probably the main thing we talk about. Being married to someone who probably more adept than myself in navigating the world of work makes me happy. Should I be concerned that we'll lose that connection if she stays at home?

I feel a bit neurotic about all of this, not the least of which is that this whole thing has been provoked by the fact that we're concerned for our son's safety, and we probably shouldn't be. Thanks in advance for the input.
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Old 27th August 2018, 3:25 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by palpond5 View Post
I feel a bit neurotic about all of this, not the least of which is that this whole thing has been provoked by the fact that we're concerned for our son's safety, and we probably shouldn't be. Thanks in advance for the input.
School shootings are amongst the worst tragedies since they target society's most innocent and vulnerable.

But...

Your child has a statistically greater chance of being injured or killed in a car accident. Will you have him walk everywhere? More kids are injured or killed playing sports. Will he not ride a bike or a skateboard or join a team?

On any given day since 1999, the chance of your child being killed in a school shooting was roughly 1 in 614,000,000. You have to sensibly balance risk with reward, otherwise we'd bubblewrap them at birth and lock them in a safe room.

So no, on that basis alone, I wouldn't homeschool my child. YMMV...

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Old 27th August 2018, 7:13 PM   #3
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I wouldn't homeschool just because of school shootings. The fear is real, but the media overstates the risk. I think the bulletproof backpack is a nice idea, but my husband would say that is "closing the barn door once the horse is already loose."

First, I'd look at the possibility of a smaller school, and specifically look at the environment at the school. Lots of these school shooters are picked on by others and so they take out their anger at school.

If you really want to homeschool, I think that it is a valid choice. I think it bonds families together, and can provide a high quality education. The negative factor in homeschooling will be on your child's socialization. You will have to actively provide opportunities such as sports activities or some other way they can have contact with peers. My husband's oldest two children are "group-schooled." Several families in our area have gotten together to provide education for the children in a one-room schoolhouse setting. It seems to work well. The main instructor was trained as a teacher, and other parents step in with specialty skills. My husband and his father are both closely involved, but they don't have the burden of being responsible for a class all day. If you live in an area where homeschooling is common, you might ask someone you know about settings such as this.
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