Though people are slowly starting to come around to the practice and benefits of homeschooling, the decision to homeschool remains a fairly controversial one. There are a lot of misconceptions and outright myths surrounding homeschooled children and their educators. These fuel a lot of the negativity that home-educating families receive as a response to their decision. Some people will even try to sway a prospective homeschooling parent from making that very choice for their families. Let’s discuss how to deal with these critics and stay firm in your decision along the way.
Every parent who homeschools does so for a reason. This reason should be clear and defined in your head even before you commit to this choice. When the weight of another person’s judgments is becoming difficult to manage, use this reason as your mantra to reinforce your choice and strengthen your resolve.
A lot of people wrongfully believe that homeschooled children don’t receive a high-quality education, fall behind their peers academically, and never have enriching experiences outside of the home or with other children. Share your student’s successes and new experiences with the naysayers in your life who are skeptical of your choice to homeschool.
Even when someone says something incredibly negative and unnecessarily harsh, it can be easy to become defensive and argumentative. This is a waste of energy, though. Getting red in the face won’t change any minds and can likely make the rest of your day a pain if you carry the anger and frustration with you. Instead of arguing and being negative with homeschooling critics, ask them questions instead. Try saying things like:
- “When has that ever happened?”
- “Why do you think that?”
- “Where did you hear that from?”
Instead of arguing, asking questions can promote a healthy conversation. It may even encourage the homeschooling naysayer to reevaluate the way they think about homeschooling.
To best defend your position, you should know the ins and outs of what homeschooling entails in your area. There have been instances of homeschooling critics wrongly accusing parents of violating the law with their curriculum. Be prepared to cite the facts about regulations, requirements, and other laws or policies that apply to your area.
Talk to Someone Supportive
If all you hear is negativity and criticism about your decision, this can wear you down tremendously in no time at all. It’s important to have a break away from the negativity and to talk to someone who supports your choice to homeschool. This gives you the chance to freely express your thoughts on your homeschooler’s curriculum without fear of judgement.
The decision to homeschool will likely remain controversial to a degree for quite some time. But it isn’t all bad news! More and more people are starting to see what’s great about homeschooling, so you’re just as likely to find people who will be supportive and free of negative judgements.