Homeschooling Tips and Tidbits: Day 3

Home Education Advice You Didn’t Know You Needed

Day 3: Your’e Going to Irritate People

You’ve dealt with all the reasons, made a pros and cons list, and now you and hubby have decided to take the plunge. You’re going to keep junior at home to learn reading, writing and arithmetic. So, you begin collecting materials, school room furniture, and curriculum. Perhaps you’ve even put it out there on social media: “We’re homeschooling!”

But wait! Aunt Darla calls to ask you out for a cup of coffee.

“Honey, I’ve got something I’d like to talk to you about,” she says.

Over a latte she tells you she’s heard through the grapevine that you are considering homeschooling your kids.

“I just think you guys are making a big mistake. Your mother and uncles went to the local schools here and they are doing just fine. I just hate to see you go in this direction. Your kids are really going to miss out.” Aunt Darla is not okay that you are going outside the box and she’s vocal about her opinion.

This is just one scenario that can play out with family members.

Another scenario is when your friends suddenly ignore you and stop asking you and your kids to participate in social activities. There are many other situations where friends, family and acquaintances will reject openly what you are doing.

You need to be ready for this and here’s why: Some people are just going to be irritated that you are doing education differently. You are deviating from the norm and some folks are bothered by this. They literally do not understand why anybody in their right mind would go through the hassle to school their own kids when there’s a perfectly fine school up the street and they can put their kids on a bus to attend it five days a week! Thank you very much.

On the flip side, there will be plenty of friends and family who, while they don’t understand, will embrace what you are doing all the same. But there are always the naysayers, reactionists, group thinkers, and haters. There are people who don’t think outside the box and don’t want you to either. Sometimes these folks are openly opposed and sometimes they are passively opposed. And, what I’ve realized is that you homeschooling your child is a threat that they don’t know how to deal with.

Here are my tips. Find people who support you and what you are doing and spend time with them either in person or in conversation. When you sense that people are irritated or threatened by your homeschooling, smile, be kind and say, “This is what the Lord has us doing right now.”

Don’t let naysayers throw you off. You are strong and you have reasons for what you are doing.

When education comes up in polite conversation, “Where is Johnny in school?” respond directly and simply, “Johnny is learning at home this year.” Don’t feel like you have to offer an explanation. Just state it humbly and move on. I do this to let the naysayers off the hook. Don’t give them an opportunity to get irritated.

Finally, consider that vocal opponents might be struggling with their own educational decisions and histories, good and bad.

4 thoughts on “Homeschooling Tips and Tidbits: Day 3

  1. When we first started homeschooling, I thought we would encounter a bunch of people who would talk to us like we were freaks. (My husband and I are software developers and can work anywhere there’s an Internet connection. This is how we ended up homeschooling.) For the most part, we haven’t. Many people say “with everything that is going on in schools and in the world today, I think that is the best decision” or “if I had things to do all over again, I would absolutely have homeschooled my kids.” I feel like the only naysayers I meet these days are women who seem to feel guilty about outsourcing their kids’ childhood to other people because they have a professional life that affords them zero flexibility. And it’s not only about education, it’s about having a nanny and whatnot too, simply not being “there” in general. The sense that they spend all day at a law firm and life is passing them by. They don’t want to hear about the awesome hike you took with your kids that afternoon. I’ve learned to see these exchanges as an opportunity for compassion and remind myself that not all criticism is actually about our life decisions. Sometimes people are deeply insecure about their own, and you and your happy family are merely innocent bystanders.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I absolutely agree and appreciate your comments on this subject. Many people have bought into the idea that to be truly fulfilled they must do it all, have the career, the nanny, the expensive life style. When they encounter homeschoolers, they see a glimpse into what life could be like if they made different choices. This can be painful. And, I definitely understand their struggle. Thankfully, you are right. In many ways we are living in times when homeschooling is more “normalized” and many do see the benefits of this kind of education. I hope this trend continues. For those who still struggle with negative family and friends I hope these discussions encourage and remind them they are not alone. Thank you for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Both of you have made a wise decision and your children/young adults will be the better for it. With what is going on and being taught in public school, no way would I want a child there. When they took Bible and prayer out of schools, it has become a downward slope every since. Be thankful you can stay home and educate your children.

    Liked by 1 person

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