Homeschooling is a choice that suits many families and lifestyles. For most people, children are sent to a public or private school, and as a result, there can be some judgment about that choice. These are some tips for coping with anti-homeschooling comments.
Avoid getting defensive
If anti-homeschooling remarks are made directly, try not to become argumentative. Odds are that the minds of those people will not be changed no matter what is said, so it is better to be calm and confident in the personal decision to homeschool.
Avoid putting down other choices
Even though there may an impulse to be negative, do not resort to putting down the choice of people to send their children to public school. It is far better to be positive about both methods of education and simply state that this is the family choice for education at this time.
Admit the challenges
Do not be afraid to admit the challenges of homeschooling. There should be no feeling that you have to portray everything as perfect. Admit that it requires study time on the homeschool teacher’s part to prepare and to study the information. Admitting the difficulties helps the anti-homeschooling party to realize that you are serious about doing the job right and not just keeping your children out of school.
Consider public school as part of the future
Consider the possibility that homeschooling may not be a 12-year experience and that sometime in the future the student may be entering public school, but homeschooling currently fits the child’s needs.
Tell a positive story
Share an experience that was positive that reflects what homeschooling offers to the family and the student. For example, a unit on caves and bats may have been enhanced by a tour of a cave and materials gained from this travel experience. Have specific stories of academic success.
Have pictures of the many experiences that you have with the homeschooled children. Consider taking photos of computer project, writing assignments, or speeches for example. You then have evidence that real learning is happening on a regular basis.
Realize that some negative comments may come from parents who are actually envious of the time that you spend with your children and the opportunities implied with teaching in your own home. Keeping that in mind, it is acceptable to generous and understanding with their critical remarks because it is to make them feel more comfortable with their own decisions to homeschool.
Use the garden analogy
Consider homeschooling as a garden that you plant and nurture into lush growth. You take pride in your accomplishments of the beautiful garden. Would it be as rewarding if you hired someone else to do the gardening for you? Just admit that you take pride that you are nurturing your own children’s love of learning and that you enjoy seeing the fruits of your labor with their joys of education.
Extol your qualifications
If you are a qualified teacher, do not be hesitant to express your education and experience, which makes you qualified to teach your children. Critics will then realize that the students actually have more one on one attention of a qualified teacher than the child would receive in a larger classroom.
Understand that not everyone will agree with the choice of homeschooling, but with some patience, critics will respect the decision a family makes to homeschool.