As a homeschooler, you need to be prepared for homeschool criticism. It will happen! Sometimes it will be from your family. Sometimes your friends, and often times the stranger at the grocery store.
How you answer homeschool criticism will vary greatly. However, there are three things to consider before you respond, regardless of who you are responding to.
Listen, and consider
When I first get asked an annoying homeschool question, I listen and consider the source. Is the person asking because they are genuinely interested? Are the considering homeschooling? Do they have a valid question that I have wondered myself? Or are they just being critical?
The answers to these questions determine my response.
Respond without defense
Oh, this is hard to do. But really, we need to attempt to respond to the critical questions without defense. Also, oftentimes we have been asked critically so many times that we respond to the genuine questions in a defensive manner too.
This is not a good way to respond for a couple of reasons.
- What if you are the only homeschooler the person ever sees? They are going to have a negative opinion of every other homeschooler from now on.
- What if they are genuine? Look past the question and criticism and try to determine if they are genuinely concerned.
- What example are you setting for your children? Responding to criticism in anger is portraying a bad example for your children. Just don’t do it!
Separate yourself from negativity
If you are continually surrounded by homeschool criticism it may be a good idea to separate yourself from the offender. I have had to do this with some family members. I now only go around them WITH my husband, and he fields the questions.
If you are tempted to respond negatively to a person at the store, church, or another event, walk away. Negativity does NOT require a response. Sometimes the best response is silence and a reminder that you will not argue something that you strongly believe in.
If you make the choice to homeschool, answering homeschool critics is something that you are going to have to do. For years to come. This is sad, but it IS the truth. Anytime you go against the grain, you will have to fight for what you believe in. Homeschooling is no different.
How do you answer homeschool criticism?
Author Bio: Misty Bailey and her husband have been married for over a decade and have three beautiful children. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued, homeschooling and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.