Often times, depending on how we are being asked, or how the comment is being made, we will try to respectfully educate, or provide information to those asking the questions.
If the comments are nasty , or plain ignorant, and have little to do with an honest question we will either not respond at all, or simply tell them that we do not owe them an explanation as to why we make the choices we do.
Responses to home school opponents are situational, and since you stated that you would like your children to have a Christ centered education, home schooling is more than a choice for you, and your husband; it is a commandment, a Biblical directive.
For encouragement, and some idea's on how to respectfully respond to many questions see the links below:
Many people think that homeschooling ends up hindering your child's social development. Not so. I have found that we are busier while homeschooling than while in public school. We meet tons of people, and best of all, they are all good influences! They all have the same morals and beliefs as we do. It is wonderful.
You just tell them you've done a lot of looking into this. You don't need to educate them, don't need to convince them, just accept that your decision is okay.
Luckily and surprisingly, I've actually received a lot of positive feedback about homeschooling my kids. You'll be able to discern the difference between "comments" and "criticisms" and respond accordingly. Many people "comment" because they don't know much about homeschooling or have a few misapprehensions. You can decide if you want to use this as an opportunity to educate them. Some people hand out criticisms starting with "I think..." If you don't feel like getting into a debate with them or you know they won't listen to anything you say anyway, you can just respond with "This is what my husband and I agree is best for our children" and change the subject.
I would suggest trying to focus on the positives of homeschooling rather than the negatives of school, even though they do have an inverse relationship. Some people will take your decision to homeschool as an indictment of their own parenting choices. You can't help that; you can just try to respectfully walk away or change the subject.
For right now I probably wouldn't mention it since she is so young. I would find a local homeschool group that you are comfortable with and start going to park days etc. There are lots of people (at least in our area) that bring their under school children with them to park days field trips etc. It's not only good for your children but good for your family as you can bond with others that share your same views.
You will never be able to convince everyone so like Glurpy said it's not worth trying to although for me that was a hard concept...I wanted everyone to understand!
The other thing that helped me was to tell people well we are trying this for Kindergarten and if it doesn't work well for our family then we will make other arrangements. After the first year I have only had a couple of questions of whether I was putting her in school or not. I simply reply "well we are still happy with homeschooling, but we are taking it one year at a time"
Plus the only way to break the stereotype is to have enough of us homeschooling that aren't stereotypical
I've actually gotten a LOT of positive responses. When it is not a positive response, it has ceased bothering me because I have come to understand that the only people who are against hsing are the ones who do not understand it. When it is appropriate I will provide a factual answer, but sometimes I just say in a really pleasant way, "Hmmmm, I see," and let it drop. People will bring up the socialization a lot, but most of them are NOT intending it as an actual criticism - they just don't realize a hs'er has dealt with this question so many many times! It is important to pause and treat each question respectfully and patiently no matter how you feel. If someone says that they are against hsing because of knowing a particular family or group of hs kids that have X problem, then I just smile and say, "Hm, I've met those kinds of hs'ers too! I'm sorry if they've given you a poor impression of homeschooling. We're not all like that!"
We are a Modest-Dressing, Christian Homeschooling family. We haven't found a "stigma" of homeschooling in 8 years of schooling our children at home. If we go out during the day and someone asked if school was out that day, my children will answer that they are homeschooled... that usually starts a lot of questions about it and people see that our children are very intelligent. But we've never had anything but positive responses. Children in my daughter's Girl Scouts class said that she was "lucky" when they first heard that she was homeschooled. So I don't think we've ever gotten anything but positive responses. And as for our daughter wearing dresses all the time... most little girls have said they wish they could wear dresses every day, so even us dressing differently hasn't been an issue.
Don't worry about it! It's your decision, it's what is best for your children, and it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks!
I guess it just doesn't matter what people think to me. I know families who have the most issues are the ones with nasty grandparents. As far as the general public, you just don't care.
Do you know what a lot homeschooler secretly think of public school parents? If I tell you, I will get a lot of thumbs down. But just know that the public's opinion doesn't matter if you don't value it. It is WORK and it costs money to homeschool. That is a fact. I know how much homeschoolers do and what they pay for their materials. Nothing a parent who relies on a government nanny says will move me. In fact,, when I look at public school students I feel sorry for them. I think it is horribly cruel to separate a 3yo from their mommy and send them into a germ-infested herd of other little waifs to be treated like livestock and have the nerve to call it education!
You do get looks and even comments when you go into a walmart or go somewhere with the kids during school. So what? Is a minimum wage clerk's opinion really that important to me? Should it be? No. The only people I have to please are God and my husband. And when you homeschool, you just develop that attitude.
My kids are grown. I have one left home who is almost 17. Nothing anyone will ever say negatively about homeschooling will ever move me. I know it works. I see it and have lived it. And over time, you will develop that same thick skin when it comes to nasty comments. For our family personally, it didn't even matter what close relatives said. It does bother some people. But you don't have to answer to anyone but God and your mate. So ignore the rest. Their opinions are unimportant.
And because homeschooling has become more main stream, the newbies of today face less opposition and ignorance within the general public. There are people who have gone before you and paved the way. It is easier now.
I read about lots of ignorant, rude comments and have some friends that have experienced it, but, honestly, I have yet to have anyone say anything negative to me about homeschooling my boys in person. I've been stopped and asked if I homeschool and told how great it is. I've had people tell me they wish they could homeschool. I've had people ask me how I do it. Maybe I just don't hear it or don't take it in, but no one's said anything or even given a funny look about homeschooling.
My family is very supportive and I even got one of my sisters to homeschool her daughters. My husbands family is very impressed and my MIL is trying to talk my SIL into homeschooling her daughter. I surround myself with people I like and who lift me up and hold me accountable. Maybe that's why.
Anyway, we knew we wanted to homeschool before we had kids, too. I suggest you read as much as you can about homeschooling and the different styles. Then seek out a homeschool support group in your area. It's good to have mentors who have been-there-done-that. Congratulations, you will be blessed in many ways.
I have run in to both sides of this in my family. My side is very christian and completely for it my husbands side is completely against it. So much so that my sis-in-law loOKs for the downfalls of home school and some how I always come out of those arguments with a smile because I was able to prove her wrong. Some people feel like since they send their kid to public schools then its ok for your kid and you. Well you can;t please everyone. I usually get the comments in stores or places like that when someone asks why the kids aren't in school I usually get "our brave"comment or the always comical "and you still sane?" Which I always come back with the same remark of if you think that's crazy you should meet my sister she home schools 5 kids! You just fine your way of dealing with the comments and let the critical one roll off your back! I think it's great that your looking into it now and making the plans now while their so young remember though that home school doesn't start at 4/5 years old but when you bring them home from the hospital after all your teaching them everything from that day its just not formal education until their older.
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