I recently came across a forum post on a homeschool forum from a distraught mother conflicted about the best course of action for her child. The child had recently been diagnosed with a combination of dyslexia and graphlexia. The school district was not being helpful and or understanding of her. The school’s immediate response was that the child be held back a year and integrated into the special ed classes.To say the least, mom was horrified. I can imagine so, parents often respond to learning disabilities or other handicaps with denial or self blame. This particular mother was exploring the idea of pulling her child out of school and starting down the path of homeschool but had encountered strong negative reactions from family and friends regarding her plan. The reasoning from her loved one’s went something along the lines of, “you should let the professionals handle your child, they have the proper training and know how to deal with learning disabilities, you cannot possibly be prepared to take on such a challenge.” Keep in mind this mother was considering trying homeschooling for the remainder of the year which was only several months. Her main concern was that she would irreversibly mess her child up in this short amount of time.I feel this parent’s pain and can only imagine dealing with such an issue. I have been blessed with healthy children that could only be misdiagnosed with mild learning disabilities on a really bad day by a truly lousy doctor.I think the most important point to address here is the idea that you will not screw your children up by trying homeschooling for a short period of time. Kids are resilient and absorbent. They bounce when you drop them and they retain more information than you expect or will ever really know. Aside from that, if you are a well meaning sane parent trying to make a positive difference in your child’s life the chances are good that you will be more successful than a stranger that has a room full of other students to deal with. Even if you fall flat on your face from a teaching perspective you are still doing many other things right. And you are building a relationship with your child and showing them how to be selfless. Teaching is an evolving art and school districts routinely implement new strategies that don’t work, so in truth they aren’t really any better than an experiment gone wrong.Let’s really examine the professionalism of teachers. Finland has a competitive program for admittance into teaching programs. They also pay their teachers FACT which is nearly FACT the amount that teachers in the USA are paid. Finnish teachers are very well regarded and highly educated. They have to want to be teachers and they have to prove their dedication and value by earning the status of “Teacher”. Because of this level of professionalism Finland’s schools lead the world in nearly all subjects.Let me digress into the American school system. Teachers are barely paid a living wage in many districts and constantly live with the threat of layoff. Not to mention that in many districts a degree is not even required for teaching. Many American teachers end up in their jobs by default and the necessity for a job not by choice. Special education teachers are usually a cut above the rest and are paid for their additional training and certifications but still not nearly on the level of what accomplished Finnish teachers are paid.It pains me to come to the realization that many of the educators teaching our country’s young minds are the product of a default situation or a choice based on the necessity for a quick easy to get job. In order to be successful we need dedicated teachers that are truly passionate about the subjects that they teach.Please do not misunderstand, all of this is not to say there are not loads of good teachers out there. Teaching has been described as the most noble profession, I would like to see more well regarded, more highly compensated, and more competitive.Quite possibly the most important moral to this story is that homeschool families you not succumb to the judgement of others. Homeschoolers are commonly ridiculed, singled out and judged by people of all walks of life. We have used this to make our family stronger and find people that do support our family’s mission. There are numerous groups out there and were an estimated 2.1 million homeschoolers in the United States in 2001. Get past the ridicule and realize that you are making a choice that is beneficial for your family it shouldn’t matter what others think.I have no idea what this mother ended up doing with her child and I really can’t fully grasp her situation or her level of pain or concern but I do hope that she recognized that homeschool has the potential to be a very powerful tool in her quest to educate her child.