Homeschooling can seem like a daunting journey, especially for those who are new to the concept. We are unsure of where to start, overwhelmed by the notion of taking on our children’s education, and feel as if we are not enough. May we offer encouragement for families unsure of the adventure called homeschooling.
After what seems like months of prayer and searching, you’ve finally accepted the decision to homeschool your children. You’re a little intimidated by the thought of taking on such a momentous task, but excited by the adventure to come. You can’t wait to share the news with your friends and family.
But, what happens when your family is less than encouraging? What if their disapproval boarders on anger, distrust, and hurt. Instead of cheering you on, the attacks begin.
Pray for Them
As hard as it might be, we need to be praying for those who strongly oppose homeschooling. We should be asking the Lord to soften their hearts, open their eyes to the possibilities, and quiet their tongues. No matter how long we homeschool, praying for those who oppose what we stand for should be a daily event.
Often, people oppose homeschooling because they feel it is a personal attack on themselves. They might misconstrue our actions as judgement for not homeschooling their own children, or ourselves when we were younger. (After all, what’s wrong with the education we received? Right?) Others might wrongly assume we are being prideful, or arrogant; thinking we are better than those who’ve been educated to become teachers.
When we understand where our opposition is coming from, we have a greater opportunity to share with them our hearts toward homeschooling, and remove any unfounded ideas.
If they are willing to listen, we need to be open to sharing what homeschooling means for our family and our mission in educating our children. We could share what our children will be learning, how they will be learning, and how family can be involved in the process, if they so desire.
Politely Ask Them to Stop
Unfortunately, some people feel the need to continue expressing their thoughts well after they’re welcome. In fact, some people don’t know when it’s polite to stop sharing and just let things be. If you come across someone who feels the need to express their displeasure regarding your homeschooling every time you see them, kindly ask them to keep their comments to themselves. As nicely as you can, let them know you’ve heard their concerns, but are sure this is the direction the Lord has called you. Ask them to remain silent on this issue in the future, and, if they still have concerns, pray the Lord would be clear about His intentions for your family.
Just as unfortunate are those people who not only cannot seem to stop complaining, but refuse to stop even when asked. In such cases, the only option is to ignore them. When they choose to incessantly bring up the issue, smile and nod; then walk away without making a comment.
If this proves too difficult, or the person becomes obnoxious, it might time to put a barrier between you until the other person can be more respectful of your family’s choices. You should not be forced to endure such stress, nor should your children be subject to continuous debate and/or ‘testing’ of new skills learned.
The Proof’s in the Pudding
Given a little time, the success of your children’s learning and the strength of your family unit will usually convince people homeschooling is a positive decision for your family. Don’t worry about convincing every person you see of the value in homeschooling. Move forward in the direction God is leading, and allow God to use your family as an example of all He is accomplishing.
While I’d like to tell you everyone will be leap for joy over your decision to homeschool, this would not be the truth. Some will feel you are in over your head, a few will think you are being prideful and arrogant, and yet more will accuse you of using homeschooling as a means of brainwashing your children with your worldview.
It’s not your job to convince everyone that homeschooling is wonderful, nor should you have to justify your actions to anyone. If the Lord is leading you to homeschool, this is the only approval you need. Pray for those who stand against you, and move forward knowing God stands with you. If you find you need a little encouragement, find a like-minded family and pray for one another. Looking for a friend? You’re always welcome here!
“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
Time To Chime In: If you’re already homeschooling, how did your families react to this decision?