We are a homeschooling family. That statement will evoke a variety of responses from family, friends and even strangers. Many people will be happy and supportive of your choice, but others will immediately respond with criticism and negative comments. How do you deal with the negative reactions and comments? Here are a few thoughts to keep in mind.
Keep it Simple. You do not have to give a detailed summary of how you came to choose homeschooling. You do not have to support your decision with the latest research or long quotes. The choice to homeschool is private family business and it is not rude to keep it as such. A simple “After much thought and prayer, we are homeschooling our children.” is a perfectly sufficient response. Do not feel obligated to share more if you don’t want to do so.
Keep Motives in Mind. It is helpful to consider why the person is being negative. Is the person doubting your ability to homeschool? Are they concerned about the financial impact of one parent staying home? Is it jealousy or plain curiosity? Is the family member concerned about what others will think? Does the person just want to understand homeschooling more clearly? When you consider the motivation behind negative comments, it helps not take them so personally.
Remain Positive. You are happy with your choice, and leave it at that. Don’t make negative comments about the local church school or public school. That invites negativity towards your choice. It also invites the temptation to gossip or spread rumors. It is better to leave the local church school or public school out of your response. How can you expect to gain support of a public school parent if you are denigrating their choice?
Agree to Disagree. You may come across someone who is set in his/her mind against homeschooling and has no intention of changing his/her opinion. That person may even share the latest homeschooling horror story that’s in the news to bolster his/her opinion. That’s okay. Breathe deeply, send up a quick prayer, smile and let those comments float away. Don’t engage in debates or arguments because there will be no winners. You have more to lose than to gain by letting a conversation become heated. Diffuse a potential argument by stating that you agree to disagree. Then change the subject or leave the conversation completely.
Let time bear witness to your prayerful efforts of homeschooling your children. As you strive to follow the True Education principles laid out in the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy, the blessings of your work will become evident to all. God will honor your efforts to be a homeschooling household of faith for Him.