#3 The Local Public School Probably Isn't Your Enemy
The pioneers of the homeschooling movement have fought and won battles that have created a wonderful foundation for all of us. For the most part, we can now homeschool in an environment unbridled by fear. We are free to educate our children as we see fit. It's now an educational option that has matured and grown out of the Christian conservative movement into a larger community that includes parents from all walks of life looking for a better educational option for their family.
I always make sure I am in compliance with local regulations regarding homeschooling. I keep abreast of new and changing legislation concerning homeschooling. We are life time members of HSLDA which valiantly promotes and protects homeschooling in the United States.
Yet, I have to admit I used to spend many a day worrying about local authorities seeing our homeschool choice in a negative light. It's not that I feel they will "catch" us doing something wrong. It's the fear of a negative interaction or an ugly confrontation.
In the past I think I read so many accounts of pioneering homeschool parents battling for their right to educate their children that I somehow imprinted those battles on the front of my mind. But, worse than that, I impugned the motives of the local school officials in my area based on others' experiences.
In reality my experiences with local public school authorities have been nothing but positive. I have had numerous interactions with administration, front office staff, and counselors. The subject matter has ranged from testing to sports.They have always been friendly and accommodating. They have embraced our kids and made every effort to make them feel comfortable.
As homeschooling parents I think we need to remain alert and aware of legislation and attitudes both local and national concerning our right to educate our children. But this doesn't mean your local public school is your enemy. They may be able to help you with standardized testing, sports programs, and even service projects. It's likely they will be very happy to embrace you and your children.
By the way, if your children have the opportunity to work with a public or private school teacher or administrator have them write a thank you note. It's always a nice touch.