All right. So you’ve decided to homeschool your kids, and now you have backlash from family and friends. What do you do?
In this article, I’m going to teach you how to handle homeschool critics with grace to keep your sanity. It’s hard enough to be a homeschool newbie, but it can get discouraging when you start getting criticism. And in today’s world, everyone has an opinion to share, especially about homeschooling.
Need more tips on how to start homeschooling? Be sure to check out 10 Must-Read Books for New Homeschoolers and Are You Considering Homeschooling? Here’s What You Need to Know.
We all know that homeschooling is a personal choice, and it’s not for everyone. Some people will respect your decision, and others will not – and that’s perfectly okay. But when criticism comes from the people we love, it stings a bit. Here are some tips to help make sure your rebuttals stay kind and cheerful while standing up for yourself effectively.
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Educate them about homeschooling.
Most people don’t know what homeschooling actually entails. Instead, they’ve created stories in their minds about what they think it may be. So educate them. Tell them about your day, and have your child share some exciting ideas or facts they’ve learned. Have them share a project they’ve been working on, invite them to visit you at home, or join you on a field trip to see learning in action. If they don’t understand what homeschooling is or why people do it, they will continue to think it’s a terrible idea. So educate them!
Don’t take their comments personally.
I know that’s going to be challenging, especially coming from family, but they may not even realize that what they said was hurtful. Don’t brush it under the table, instead, let them know how it makes you feel. Inform them that being a new homeschooler is overwhelming because you’re trying to find your footing and your flow, and that it’s essential to have your family and friends be supportive of your choice. Tell them that it’ll become easier and more rewarding in the future, but you need their support right now. Be honest with your friends and family, and most likely they will listen.
Be confident in yourself and what you’re doing.
You have nothing to apologize for. We live in a country where homeschooling is perfectly legal. If you share your experiences with confidence and joy (seriously, don’t be angry, be joyful!) people will take the time to listen to you.
Stick up for yourself when necessary.
Sometimes you’re going to come across a straight-up rude person, and you don’t need to put up with that. Instead of getting worked up and offended about their opinions, stand up for yourself. Let them know that they’ve crossed a boundary and that you will not engage in a conversation with someone who is intentionally being hurtful.
There’s no time for that!
Know when enough is enough!
Sometimes there’s no point in continuing a conversation with someone who doesn’t support what you do (especially when dealing with online trolls!) Don’t waste your time and energy trying to convince someone who doesn’t want to get it.
You know deep in your heart that the person that you’re dealing with has already made up their mind about this situation. So it’s time to let go and move on. Your job isn’t to make other people happy.
Remember your “why.”
Your “why” is your homeschool mission.
It’s the guiding force of your homeschool. Write it out and post it on your wall so you and your family can see it every day. It’ll be your gentle reminder to keep on going when the naysayers raise their voices.
Dealing with homeschool critics can be difficult, but it’s important to remember that you don’t have to convince everyone of the benefits of homeschooling. You know why you’re doing it, which matters most. Stay confident in your choice and be prepared to stand up for yourself when necessary. With these tips, dealing with homeschool critics will become more accessible and less stressful.
If you’re curious about homeschooling or want some tips on getting started, be sure to check out my Start Here page!
And if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out in the comments. I’d love to chat with other parents who are considering making the switch to homeschooling.
Xuan Klevecka is a Southern California-based homeschool mom, wife, and sometimes purveyor of vintage goods. She’s an Enneagram 5w4, a lover of good food, and a former middle school history teacher. You’ll either find her looking at road maps and daydreaming about her family’s next epic adventure or perusing recipes and cooking up a feast for the brood.