Tuesday 20th September, 2016
I had never really thought of comments made about homeschooling as negative. Everyone has an opinion and they have a right to that belief. They don't have a right to try and force that belief onto me. I don't have the right to try and force my belief on them either.
Some of the suggested negative comments have included, "is that legal?" "are you qualified to teach?" "what about socialization?". I don't view these as so much negative, as non-educated people making comments. People like to take the path of least resistance, follow the crowd and just accept what they have been told, rather than look into other options. I will always offer an answer in a polite way and the conversation moves on. Sometimes the answer is a quick "yes" or "no", others are longer and more in depth. Sometimes the topic remains the same and sometimes it is changed all together.
I volunteered on a phone service for our national home education association, that people could ring for help and advice and most were asking these same questions. So these questions are not always a negative attack on your lifestyle choice. Some have just never given it a thought or even heard of it before.
My biggest hurdle for negative comments actually come from within my own head. Especially when I first started out.
"What if I am screwing my kids up?"
"Are they going to miss out on something that I can't offer?"
"Are they going to resent me for this later on in life?"
"Would they be better off in the education system with trained professionals?"
"Who am I to be educating my children?"
Finding other homeschoolers really helped with this. Chatting to others mums on homeschooling forums and reading blogs all help with changing my self talk. And that is what it takes. I had to catch myself out and change the self talk to the positive.
"I am offering my children a safe environment to discover who they are with out the pressures that are found in schools."
"They are getting other opportunities that they would not get if they were in the school system."
"1 on 1 support is better than being in a classroom of 30 kids"
"I am their mum and I love them, no one is going to love them more than me and have their best interest at heart."
"I CAN DO THIS."
So whats my advice? Think positive. Be respectful. Don't take the comments to heart (I know easier said than done). Be prepared to walk away from those that are just in it for a fight or want to push their own agenda's. You get to choose who you hang out with and who you rub shoulders with in person and on social media. I think our attitude is half the battle. "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." Proverbs 15:1.
This response is my part of the Virtual Homeschool Coop Channel Collaboration. You can find out more at http://virtualhomeschoolcoop.com/ The goal of the Virtual Homeschool Coop is to build the homeschool community of knowledge with collaborations to give voice to all experiences in homeschooling.