The Decision to HomeschoolThe decision to homeschool is not one that a parent takes lightly. For most, it is fraught with questions, doubts, and an overload of research. We consider our children's needs and what we must do to accomplish the goal. We evaluate their experience in school, if they ever had one. In the end, we all make our decision for the same reason: It's in the child's best interest.
Family Opposition to HomeschoolingSome of us may experience opposition from well-meaning relatives. Perhaps they believe it isn't in the best interest of our children to homeschool. Some may be subtle about it. Some may be hostile. How do you handle it?
It can be difficult. These are people you love and respect. You want their love and respect. Possibly, you want their approval. You want them to understand you're doing this great thing for your kids! You want them to share in your joy.
Unfortunately, it's not always going to work out that way. Even though our relatives love us, they won't always agree with us. Sometimes we must see "disapproval" for what it really is: Disagreement.
Your family members are not always going to agree with everything you do. It doesn't mean they don't approve of you as a person or a parent. (Quite frankly, if they don't approve of you as a person or parent, is your educational choice really going to make a difference?)
My Personal ExperienceWhen I first considered homeschooling in 1990, I decided not to do it. I was concerned that my family would disapprove.
Fast-forward nine years.
My son had been living a school-nightmare for years and the school was threatening expulsion. He struggled with comprehension and attention issues. He needed things explained but no one was willing to do that. Instead, they assigned him to in-school suspension. They were ignoring his 504 plan entirely. After suspensions didn't improve his comprehension, they decided to expel him.
Obviously my fear of disapproval hadn't served my son well.
That day, I decided to bring him home. I didn't think about family. I didn't think about anything other than what was best for my child. But how did my family react?
There were one or two who didn't approve. I answered questions if they were legitimate. Sometimes, they aren't. Some people just like arguing and aren't worth the time.
In time, those who didn't approve at least grew to accept it. These days, no one thinks about our homeschooling any more than I think about their public schooling.
Homeschooling AdviceMy advice is to do what you feel is best for your family. Making sure children have a proper education in a peaceful, happy environment is a parental responsibility. You are accountable for them. No one else.
When experiencing opposition, you may choose to answer questions or call a family meeting to explain your decision. In the end, you may need to tell some people, "I appreciate your concern. I know you only want what's best for the children. I feel this is what's best."
"Did you ever see an unhappy horse? Did you ever see bird that had the blues? One reason why birds and horses are not unhappy is because they are not trying to impress other birds and horses." ~Dale Carnegie
Please visit the other bloggers at the iHomeschool Network to read their
"I Can't Homeschool Because..." posts.