When Your Family is Anti-Homeschooling
If you homeschool or are thinking about homeschooling you need to be ready. Not everyone you meet will agree with your decision to homeschool and some will be so anti-homeschooling they’re downright hateful. However, most hurtful comments will come when your family is anti-homeschooling.
When you’re approached by anyone that is anti-homeschooling, it can be very uncomfortable and also, depending on where you are and how loud the questioner is, embarrassing. The thing is to already know how you’ll respond before you’re ever questioned.
An Anti-Homeschooling Valid Point
First off, some disagreers have a valid point. With all of the homeschool abuse and neglect stories floating around, it has given homeschooling a bad name. Those are very unfortunate stories and parents that are guilty of abuse and neglect should be punished.
BUT, not all homeschooling parents are child abusers and neither are public schooling parents, for that matter. AND MOST parents, homeschooling or not, want what’s best for their children.
So, when you have a run-in with those people, family or not, that make snide comments about homeschooling, you have two options.
- You can choose to educate them about homeschool.
- You can choose to respond with a snarky, “Mind your own business.”
The latter is a little more tricky when dealing with family. They feel your kids are their business because they love them too.
Here are four comments I’ve made to anti-homeschooling naysayers in my family:
1. “Did you know ____________________ was homeschooled?” (Fill in the blank with a famously smart person.)
You can find a list of those Famous Homeschoolers at homeschoolacademy.com.
Through my research, I found that Thomas Edison was thought to be incapable of learning and was kicked out of public school. He was taught by HIS MOM when the teacher sent him home, refusing to allow him in class. Very interesting!
This usually sparks an interesting conversation about how “they” learned all that “information” at home, which leads to comment #2.
2. Public schooled children are limited to the education the school offers. My children can learn anything their heart desires.
These famous smart people were allowed to further investigate their interests and learn at their own pace. Learning doesn’t have to come from textbooks. Some education is obtained from trial and error, and making keen observations into what we don’t understand.
If we come across a subject my kids what to learn more about, we either find a class, webinar, online class, or a book to teach us.
3. There are more opportunities for learning outside the four walls of a classroom.
Again, learning doesn’t have to ONLY occur in a classroom. Giving children the opportunity to learn outside in nature gives them a sense of how the world around them works.
4. Children are unique. Learning should be catered to them and their learning style, whenever possible.
Are your children auditory, visual, verbal, logical, physical, social, or solitary learners? You can find definitions and an overview of these learning styles here.
Know Your Why
Why do you want to homeschool your children? Do you have religious reasons? Would a public school setting bore her? Are you concerned about the character of other kids and the effect they’d have on your child?
These are all valid points. My why is a combination of some of these.
In a perfect world, no one would ever question any decisions you make regarding your own children, but this ain’t a perfect world, folks and lots of people have their own opinions and voice them, loudly. Some people feel because they’re in line with you in the grocery store on a Tuesday at 11 a.m., they can quiz your kids on the U.S. Presidents, in order. You’ll have to be the one to put a stop to that and it might get ugly.
Knowing your why and standing firm in it will take you a long way in silencing the homeschool naysayers. If you can effectively stand your ground and provide a little education for them, you may have made life a little easier for the next homeschool family this person comes in contact with.
Silencing the Homeschool Naysayers
Ultimately, these are your children. You make the decisions for your kids. The homeschool naysayers don’t feed, clothe, or pay the bills for your children. Please don’t let their opinion (’cause you know everybody has one) sway or influence your decision to offer your kids the best possible education you can.
If the naysayers are family members and persist in constant arguments about your homeschooling decision, it may be time to distance yourself from them. Anyone that doesn’t support your decision could be toxic to your children.
Want to begin homeschooling and don’t know how? Sign up for the free ebook below. You can also check out How to Homeschool in Tennessee.