Homeschooling Kids 101: Educating Skeptics

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The kids are about to start homeschool and everything is ready!  You and your husband have bought homeschool resource books, spoken to a few homeschooling families, and even selected the most appropriate homeschool curriculum for your children . . . Everything is in place and you’re eager to move on to the next challenge: informing your family and close friends.

And while many of them will surely support your brave decision to homeschool kids, some might be a bit skeptic.  You should expect this, and not allow it to cause unnecessary stress.  Be thankful your children are surrounded by people who actually care about the kind of education they receive.  Take their concern as an opportunity to educate them about homeschooling.  This is the most effective approach in building a strong support system.  You may follow these three easy steps in educating skeptics in your family and group of friends on homeschooling:

Step #1:  Inform and educate those in doubt. Answer their questions on point, and try not to focus the conversation on what’s wrong about the public school system.  Be objective and clear when providing information, as clarity is always the best persuader.  Share the things you learned from researching and talking to other homeschooling kids and families.  From the new movement’s history to current status, share as much information as they want you to.  Let them know of famous homeschoolers from different periods of time, and use these successful figures to show how a different education system can also lead to remarkable, ground-breaking accomplishments.

Step #2:  Address all concerns. Issues about socialization and teacher qualifications are most frequently asked, so prepare to go at length when discussing these points.  Mention how you plan to incorporate social interaction with your child’s homeschool curriculum, and be ready to answer questions like “what about prom, sports, college?”  You will need to take a stand, and rightfully so, as the parent, and explain how you feel about these things.  When it comes to cultural diversity and being able to interact with other races and groups of people, talk about the trips you plan to take as a family, and how you feel such an experience will educate your children.

Step #3:  Prove skeptics wrong. You cannot please everybody, you know that.  What you can do, however, is to turn your homeschooling kids into homeschooling ambassadors.  Keep a portfolio of their work and progress, and show them to family and friends—both skeptics and supporters—when you get a chance.  Sharing your homeschooling kids’ success is good because not only does it help boost your child’s confidence, it also serves as testament that you made the right call.

But remember, your decision to homeschool your child is yours to make as a parent.  And although you will always find a skeptic in a bunch of supporters, this shouldn’t derail you from your goals.  Educate the skeptic, and if your efforts still do not bring your the results you want, do yourself and your family a favor and shrug it all off.

To get the help you need on homeschooling your child, visit our parent resources section for  homeschool resource books.

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