Open Letter to the Doctor I will Never See Again

Dear Doctor,

Today I came to see you with my four year old, a mother worried about her son, wanting to know where to go next and seeking the possibility of a bit of professional advice and a referral. You didn’t give me that. That is your professional prerogative and I completely accept that. Were it as simple as that I would not be writing this letter.

No, I am writing this because I homeschool.

Because as soon as that information slipped from my lips in response to the perennial question “where does he go to school?” you stopped listening. Your mind was made up. It was all because of the homeschooling that we were having any problems at all, I was a weak mother raising an isolated and deprived child.

Of course at his age he would only be doing one half day a week anyway, but you didn’t know that because you didn’t ask. That three hours a week would obviously fix everything. Because, as you said, he would do better in school.


You have no basis for that statement. There is no research that backs you up. You made a whole series of insulting and upsetting assumptions about my parenting and life without asking one question to see if your assumptions were correct. Then you charged me more than $100 for the privilege.

I feel I need to set the record  straight.

Yes, my child does see other children his own age. More than three hours a week I might add. The socialisation horse is long dead yet you keep flogging it. Yes, he has friends. Yes, he does have other adults care for him. Yes, he has a father who actually parents him.

Actually no, I don’t think I have unrealistic expections about sleep. My oldest woke every two hours for the first year and didn’t sleep through until he was more than 18 months old. He took day nap in the pram or car at all times. I took up baby wearing as a necessity. So when I say his sleep is disturbed, I mean it is SERIOUSLY disturbed.When I say I couldn’t put this child down, I don’t mean I couldn’t just dump him and leave. I mean I could not leave my seat once he fell asleep, even for a minute or he would start screaming.

And you know what? I do know a little bit about boys. So it’s not just that he’s a boy.

Oh and I do know a thing or two about classrooms. Would you take me more seriously if I had signed my notes as his teacher?

You studied medicine, Doc, not the keys to all knowledge of the universe. And that makes you a civilian in this field. And as The Bitter Homeschooler says: Dear Self-Righteous Civilians: Do Please Kindly Shut Up.

If you had shut up, you would have heard that none of what I was talking to you about had anything to do with that three hours a week he wasn’t spending at school. But you couldn’t look past your own prejudice to see that, could you? Instead you overlooked that I must already be pretty stressed and concerned to go to you, and you added more by saying that “this could all be because you are his full time carer”. Way to help, Doc. Way to ease my burden. Way to provide support and listen to your patients.

No thanks, I don’t think I need a return appointment.

Yours etc…


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