Did you ever quit something and, looking back, wish you hadn’t? Why did you do it? What could have helped you stay the course? Did you ever see somebody else quit, and wish you could have helped before it was too late?
In homeschooling circles, every once in a while somebody drops out. Perhaps it is someone you haven’t seen for a while or know very little about. Or maybe it’s someone you see all the time, but never suspected was thinking about throwing in the towel.
Whatever the reason, up goes the white flag. Is something wrong? Why are the kids back in school? Should I call and find out? Gosh, I hope that family is alright…
The truth is, it happens.
First, the good news. Sometimes, it happens because the family really wants it to. Life changes, different priorities, attractive new options, or even some “grass is greener” sense that we cannot understand but that they certainly feel is best. That’s cool. Homeschooling isn’t for everybody. It’s none of our business. And, we wish them the very best.
But what about the bad news? That is, the families that surrender for lack of information and support? That’s when it feels bad. If we had only perceived this family’s frustration or noticed their need for help (or advice, or information, or materials, or friendship, or babysitters, or financial assistance, or a shoulder to cry on, or whatever it is that might have helped…), maybe they’d still be homeschooling today.
This is really where a good homeschooling contact or a great support system comes in.
If the basis for quitting is completely mythological, some good advice and a dose of reality might be all that it takes. If the basis for quitting is a misunderstanding, or some misuse of homeschooling materials or protocols, an experienced parent or great homeschool leader could be just the ticket for straightening things out. If it’s legalities making things difficult, there are organizations that handle that, too.
The key is for families to have resources and to be able to communicate their questions before things get out of hand. Not that they will. And not all families want or need homeschooling help anyway. However, for those who do, sometimes great support can mean the difference between giving up too soon or giving up at all.