How to Answer Homeschool Criticism

 

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.

  1. 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.
  2. What if they are genuine? Look past the question and criticism and try to determine if they are genuinely concerned.
  3. 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.

Four Reasons to Consider Homeschooing

 

The number of homeschoolers is growing by leaps and bounds.  In fact, in one state, there are more homeschoolers than private school students.  There are many reasons why people choose homeschooling; they range from personal preference, to special needs. If you have ever considered homeschooling before, you are not alone. Here are just a few reasons to consider homeschooling.

  1. Flexibility- Homeschooling leaves so many options open. Homeschool families can take vacations when they want, and are not tied down to a public school calendar. Some homeschool families’ school year round, stopping for breaks as needed. Homeschool families can sleep in and do school later, or arise early and have the rest of the day to play.   Part of the beauty of homeschooling is the flexibility!
  2. Learning is Customized- Children learn differently. One child may struggle with math, another with reading. Some children may need a little more time before moving on. Some children learn while moving around, some need visual aids. Homeschooling allows the parents to cater to each of their children’s individual needs. This cannot be done in a public school setting. If a child is in a class with 15 other children, and 12 know the material, the teacher will move on. The alternative is true also, if three know the material and 13 don’t, the teacher will need to spend more time teaching while the three who know it are bored. Homeschooling allows children to learn at their own pace, and in the way they learn best.  As parents, we are our children’s best teacher, and the one who loves them and wants to see them succeed. If curriculum is not working, you can change it! If a child needs more time, you can take it. Homeschooling allows parents to customize the learning to fit their child.
  3. Learning as a lifestyle- Homeschooling allows children to see that life happens every day. Children do not need to be “in school” to learn. There are learning opportunities everywhere! When you homeschool the whole world is your classroom. One way that many homeschoolers integrate daily life into homeschooling is through field trips. Many times businesses are more than willing to accommodate a small group of homeschoolers, and because the class size is so small, the children are able to have more interaction and hands on opportunities.
  4. One on One Ratio- You can’t beat the student/teacher ratio in homeschooling. If your child has a problem they don’t understand, you are right there to help them. This means you will know when they have mastered the material. There is no waiting until the teacher has time, or until parent teacher conferences to realize your child doesn’t quite “get it”. You will know what they are learning, how they are learning, and how they are doing in school all the time

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 and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.

What do I NEED to Teach?

When parents decide to home school, one of the first things many wonder is what do I need to teach? Or am I qualified to teach?  The teaching is one of the things parents are most afraid of when it comes to homeschooling. Don’t let fear rule your life! You are the most capable person on Earth to teach your child. You have been teaching your child since birth. You have already taught your child to walk, talk love, get along with others, pray, feed themselves and many other things I’m sure. Nothing changes when your child reaches school age. You are still more than capable.

You Need to Teach The Basics

In today’s society, the “rush” to put kids in school is starting earlier and earlier, but studies show that many children aren’t ready for the rigors of formal schooling until age eight to ten. At this point, they are better able to handle the physical, mental and social demands. Until this age, the only thing a home school parent really needs to teach are the basics. The basics include things like the alphabet, how to count, shapes, colors, how to tie their shoes, ride a bike, how to write numbers and their names, how to read. There are also some foundational skills in addition to Reading and Early Math Skills that a child will need to know. These are:

  • How to find and organize reliable information
  • How to think and communicate clearly
  • How to discern world view
  • How to make thoughtful, reasoned decisions

These are all things a parent can teach in the safety and comfort of their own home, or while they are out and about in their community. The bonus is the parent can teach these things with little to no “extra” curriculum or money. Most of these things can be learned through play and daily life experiences

Is Curriculum Necessary? 

As a child gets older parents may invest in a curriculum or purchase learning tools. Again, these are all things that add to a child’s education. They aren’t always necessary. For me, having a teacher’s guide in math was essential, as I am NOT the best at teaching math…. For another parent, they may not need a manual because they are a math whiz. Some parents may be great at creating their own curriculum and unit studies. Some (like me!) may need a curriculum to help guide their child’s learning.

Homeschool parents, be encouraged, you actually NEED very little to homeschool. But, sometimes having extras are a great bonus!

Should You Homeschool Preschool?

As you look at your active three or four year old, you may be contemplating what step to take next. Should you put them in preschool? Try it out at home? The questions may be swirling through your mind making you wonder if you should homeschool preschool?

Homeschooling preschool is a great option for a lot of parents. And it just may be what you are looking for!

Homeschooling Preschool is great practice! If you have thought about homeschooling but are not sure if it is for you, then preschool is a great place to start! Preschool is a lot of fun, and working with your child at this age will give you an idea into whether or not you could educate your child at home long term.

Teaching Preschool is easy! The three and four year old range is the best age to teach (in my opinion). Lots of hands on activities make up learning shapes, alphabet and numbers. That and a lot of books (preschoolers LOVE books!).

Homeschooling Preschool gives you time! Keeping your child home an extra year gives them time to mature, and time to spend in a home environment. I don’t think this could ever be a bad thing! It also gives them time to be potty trained (if they are not yet), and to become more independent.

Homeschooling Preschool does not have to be permanent. I know a lot of families who have homeschooled preschool then sent their children to kindergarten. Homeschool does not have to be an all or nothing approach.

So, if you are thinking about homeschooling preschool keep these things in mind and do what you think will work best for you and your family!

Misty Bailey is a wife to Roger and a homeschool mom to three beautiful blessings. She resides with her family in Southern Ohio. She loves helping new homeschoolers and has a Homeschool 101 eBook for those getting started. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.