Homeschooling with Unsupportive Family – MBFLP 276

 

If God has called you to teach your children at home, that’s what you need to do! But it’s easier if everyone around you is cheering you on. What do you do if your parents or in-laws or extended family are skeptical? How do you and your family keep on the path when there are headwinds? How do you handle questions, criticisms, or other opposition? And what can you do to find the encouragement you’re not getting from the family?

LINKS OF INTEREST

Census data shows the number of families homeschooling doubled during the pandemic (from 5.4% to 11.1%) and among African-American families, increased from 3.3% to 16.1%

Census Bureau: “Survey shows significant increase in homeschooling rates in Fall 2020” – 3/22/21

Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA)

Search by ZIP code to find support groups (state and local) 

DEALING WITH FAMILY SKEPTICS

Assume concern is well-intended unless proved otherwise!

Figure out where their concern is focused, then address it with facts and experience

Go ahead and commit to a period of time, like a full school year. That gives kids a more stable educational experience, and it gives both parents and students a chance to adjust to a new way to “do school.” It reduces the temptation of constant second-guessing, too.

Go to a conference! It’s a great way to encourage yourself, and it’s an eye-opener for skeptical family. Even a small conference is likely to be much larger than your family has pictured. And invite grandparents to activities when your kids are involved – whether it’s homeschool sports, a science fair, a talent show – whatever your family is connected to.

Think ahead about “difficult” people – the ones who want to argue with your decision, or the ones who want to interrogate your kids. Coach your kids on the obvious, likely questions – “What grade are you in?” (which is really more like, “How old are you?”) – “What do you like about homeschooling?” – “Do you like to read?” – “What are you learning now?” – “What’s your favorite subject?” Kids sometimes go blank when an adult throws an unexpected question – go head, coach the witness!

Remember, you don’t have to argue and convince everybody (whether homeschool skeptics, or homeschoolers who are taking a different path than you!). Smile, be polite, but be confident. It’s your family, and your kids – not theirs!

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