I Can’t Homeschool: My Family Will Disapprove

i_cant_homeschoolHomeschooling 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.

Understand Them

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.

Educate Them

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.

Ignore Them

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.”
Galatians 1:10

🔔Time To Chime In: If you’re already homeschooling, how did your families react to this decision?

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18 thoughts on “I Can’t Homeschool: My Family Will Disapprove

  1. I was not the first in my family to homeschool. My husband’s older sister teaches her two- going on three- school aged kids. She also teaches the younger kids, just not anything formal. She has been a huge encouragement to me.
    My husband’s mom taught his little sister for a semester of high school; it was a reset, if you will. Both his mom and little sister speak positively about that adventure.

    My own parents have been supportive, but I’m pretty sure they would be supportive no matter what. My mom is concerned about how tired I am though, and mentions having a break by sending kids to school. I’m happy to say that is not even a little tempting at this point. Also, I should try to keep my tiredness to myself-especially since it is not school related, but instead habit related ,ie I need to take better care of myself.

    All this to say I hope I don’t experience negative responses.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My family is very supportive. My step-daughters ask questions from tine to time about their younger siblings ”missing out” on regular school experiences, like prom and football games, but I have really only received biting remarks from my sister-in-law. It didn’t bother me because we don’t really like each other anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can remember when my father was upset that I was going to homeschool my daughter. He was pretty demeaning. My mother was always saying that my daughter would be lonely. Fortunately, as you said, the proof is in the pudding. My parents are exceedingly proud of my daughter because she is bright, intelligent, and is a good example to her cousins. Since she has so many friends from her various homeschool activities. My parents have been impressed by the behavior of her friends too! Now my parents are very supportive of our homeschooling journey. I knew they’d come around, :0)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Fear of what others would think was the final stumbling point in my eventual decision to homeschool. I wrestled with worries about my abilities, then the “socialization” question, and finally the feelings of my close family. I was prepared to inform and to eventually ignore (if necessary) friends and acquaintances, but I knew that my own mom would be a difficult sell. I was right. My mom and I are extremely close. We love each other to pieces, and we are genuinely the best of friends. However, I already knew that she was opposed to homeschooling. When she first found out that my husband and I were considering the option, she immediately expressed a long list of reasons (worries) that it was a bad idea, but even worse for me, there was suddenly a cold, awkwardness between us. That was so hard! Eventually (after much prayer), I could see that her opposing views were all stemming from genuine love and concern for her grandchildren and for ME. She had a little smidge of the feeling of judgment that you mentioned in your post, but overall, her feelings came from worry that the kids wouldn’t get what they need, that they wouldn’t have friends or share the wonderful memories from school that she had, and that I would be stressed, exhausted, and eventually burned out. When I saw her true reservations beneath the stiff, awkward front, my heart really softened toward her, and I was able to gently address her specific worries. Fortunately, my dad was on board, and he said to Mom, “if anyone can do this, it’s Erica and Cory.” That really turned her around, and now she is my biggest cheerleader. I’ve even heard her give an impassioned pro-homeschool speech to a friend who is a retired teacher and staunchly opposed to alternative education. Miracles happen!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My father only made one comment, “Send them where they belong.” He left it at that. I was wonderfully supported by my sister. My mother was supportive in a nonverbal fashion, sending books and toys. I had no fear of homeschooling. I learned to fear the responses of outsiders. My in-laws threatened to take our kids away from us and take them to New Jersey to educate them properly. I was devastated and truly afraid that our family would get a visit from a social worker. The pressure was horrible. I wasn’t able to overcome my fear until my son was accepted into college at Cal Tech. I never got another word of criticism after that.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. One more thing. In the parable of the sower, the word is sown on rocky soil and it withers and dies. You can sow love, affection and knowledge among the doubters of homeschooling, but if they are stony-hearted, it will never take root. I just pray they will open their hearts and minds. If not, I pray they are not people who are close to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is a good point! Some, such as those who ought to be ignored or distanced, will never come around and will always feel negatively towards your decision. In such circumstances, prayer is our best and strongest defense.

      Like

  7. My Family and Husbands Family never approved, I knew from the beginning it would be a battle if I didn’t pray and ask for guidance in that area. When the darts started being thrown, I just politely said, “you don’t have to agree with it, we can agree to disagree”. I also let the family know that if they didn’t have anything good to say then it was not a topic of discussion. I decided to let my children’s accomplishments speak for themselves. It was not about pleasing my family, or making them happy. It was about obedience to God, He has and always will fight the battles for us. Keep praying for those who don’t see what we see in the benefits of Homeschooling.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. My parents do not approve of me homeschooling. In my opinion they are just used to what they’re used to. If that makes any sense? It’s as if because they were not homeschooled as children, they do not think that’s the “right” thing to do. I believe they’re being closed minded and I am now encouraged by their doubts to be an excellent teacher for my children. I feel very frustrated by how I’ve allowed their opinion to make me feel. I am choosing to stay positive and excited about beginning our first year of homeschooling. I loved this post so much, Thank You for posting!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Don’t Think You Can Homeschool? Think Again! | A Homeschool Mom

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