I recently spent 4 hours in an airplane listening to the people in the row behind me bash homeschooling.
I couldn't find a way to interrupt gracefully (it didn't help that I was getting more and more angry the longer I listened), so I stuck my earbuds in. Because let's just say my words wouldn't have been very Christian at that moment.
You know the kinds of things they said because I'm sure you've heard these type of homeschool haters (people against homeschooling) before. They are everywhere!
When I hear these type of comments from people against homeschooling, I immediately go to my “homeschooling why.”
Let me tell you a little more about what a “homeschooling why” is, and how you can use it to stand strong against the homeschool haters!
Why Are You Doing This, Anyway?
First we have to figure out the nitty-gritty behind why we're doing this homeschool thing.
I'm not talking about the reasons like “we're-homeschooling-because-my-best-friend-is-doing-it” or “because it's the Christian thing to do.”
Instead, two key questions to answer are:
1) What are your specific reasons for homeschooling your kids?
2) How does your family define what school at home looks like?
Every single family will have different answers to these questions. And you know what? That's what makes homeschooling–and the passion behind those who homeschool–so incredibly awesome.
There are no rules. You get to define your own homeschool why! Your school doesn't have to (and honestly, shouldn't) look like mine!
You get to figure out how to making homeschooling work to its highest potential for your unique family. That's amazing!
Facing the Why-You-Shouldn't-Homeschool Questions
The next step in developing your homeschooling “why” (and confidently standing strong against homeschool haters) is to answer what I call the “why nots.”
Think of every single reason why people oppose homeschooling. Write them down. Think about them. Maybe even journal about it, if it helps.
Warning: If you've never really thought through these before, going through this part of the process may cause you to actually see some validity in the homeschool hater arguments. If you see some of these springing up, I'd challenge you to face and acknowledge them. Don't ignore them or stuff them down. There's nothing wrong with saying “you know, they're right about that.” Find out why you think they're right, and determine if you feel that way based on what's true about your family situation (or if it's a fear or lie). Maybe wisdom from a trusted friend can provide some insight too. Or maybe you need to gain more knowledge in a certain area.
Or maybe put homeschooling on hold until you can get some of these core fears addressed. I believe that homeschooling isn't for everyone.
Developing your “why” is the critical element that will power you through the tough times. It will also serve as a plumb-line for determining which activities or studies are beneficial.
In short, your “why” serves as a blueprint for how to outline your days, and it also fuels you with the confidence needed to complete those days. That’s why I say (before you buy curriculums and follow a teaching methodology), do some soul-searching and get to the root of your “why.”
And I'd encourage you to re-examine your “why” every year (because it changes slightly from year to year!)
When my husband and I were able to work through our own fears and concerns about homeschooling (and truly address the opinions/pressures we may have felt from society, friends or family), we discovered so much freedom and joy!
We knew we’d could say one hundred percent say that yes, we were on board for this year’s journey.
People Against Homeschooling Are Here to Stay
Haters gonna hate, ladies. That's just the facts.
These folks are never going to fully go away.
Does that mean we should keep silent about why we homeschool? No. There are times when we do need to speak grace-filled words to those who disagree with homeschool.
Does that mean we should turn down the noise of the homeschool haters by limiting our interactions with them? Yes. I mean, as much as possible (many of us deal with homeschool haters in the family, which makes this a nearly impossible feat).
But the truth is, there will always be someone who dislikes something we're doing. We can't live to please others, and if you haven't fully embraced the truth that the only person we need to please is the Lord Jesus, then come on over into the light of freedom and truth, friend.
Once you've decided to homeschool (and figured out your “why,”) stand strong in your decision! Summon your inner Elsa and just let the comments from the people against homeschooling go.