My family says I’m ruining my child by homeschooling him!
“Ok, I need some advice. Someone basically told me today that I am ruining my child by homeschooling him. I really want to make this work and I know I shouldn’t let them get to me because I know what is best for my son. But I can’t help it. It’s gotten me feeling down and questioning whether they are right. Has anyone else dealt with this before? If so, what did you do or say?”
Seeing this type of post breaks my heart.
And it happens far too often. I’m in several Facebook support groups geared towards homeschool parents and this type of post is something that seems to pop up in at least one of them every week – and that’s me being modest. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them every day.
Do you know what’s even more frustrating about it?
The people who say these things probably don’t even give it any thought after the conversation has ended. Sure, they probably still think they are right, but they don’t realize how much distress they have caused.
And, sadly, the people who cause this distress are usually not strangers. Yes, random strangers do sometimes voice their negative opinions about our decisions to homeschool. But the difference is we tend to care less about what they think. After all, we’re probably never going to see them again.
It’s the ones we expect to support us in our goals that have that power to hurt us. Because we care about them and what they think. When they launch what we perceive as an attack on our parenting choices, it can sting. And, boy, does that sting pack a wallop!
As much as we may have researched and prepared for our family’s homeschool journey, hearing a family member or close friend tell you that you are “ruining your child” by homeschooling them can be a tremendous blow to your confidence.
I mean, most of us have to deal with someone who doesn’t understand homeschooling or who is skeptical about it. We all have to field questions like “But what about socialization?” and “What do you guys even do all day?” They’re annoying, to say the least.
But to hear that what we are doing is actively harming our kids? That one hurts! It can make you question not only what you’re doing, but why you’re doing it, and how you’re doing it.
So what do you do when this happens?
Remember Your Why
Remember why you homeschool. This reason varies for everyone. Maybe you have one big reason. Maybe you have several reasons. Take some time now to write them down. Better yet, create a homeschool mission statement that details fully:
- Why you homeschool
- What you plan to achieve during your homeschool journey
- How it benefits your family as a whole
- How it benefits each individual family member.
Keep your homeschool mission statement somewhere that is easily accessible for times when you need a reminder.
Remember Your Progress
Think about the progress your family has made thus far. The experiences you have had while homeschooling. The lessons you have learned. The skills that you and your children have practiced. Remember that you are making progress every day. It may not be fast progress, but it is progress. You are doing something valuable and important. Remembering the things you and your family have accomplished can remind you of that.
Reach Out for Support
You can also do what many people do in this situation – reach out to your fellow homeschoolers. Whether you reach out in person or online, it helps to voice your concerns, your doubts, and even your anger or hurt feelings to people who will not only understand but who can be your cheerleaders when you are in need of a morale boost. Having and utilizing that support is so critical when you don’t have the support from your loved ones. In many ways, your homeschool community becomes like family. If you’re not already a member, I’d love to have you join our Relaxed Homeschool Community.
Another thing you can do is to educate your loved ones. Find out what it is about homeschooling that they think is terrible. You may find that they are misinformed. I’ve also written a blog post that you are free to share with your loved ones (either directly or just on social media where they may see it). It’s An Open Letter to Loved Ones of Homeschoolers and can be a good thing to share with loved ones that you think maybe receptive. for them to share with those loved ones who they think are genuinely concerned and may be receptive.
But, most importantly, take heart, my friend! Know that you are not going through this alone. Many of us have been there and you can make it through!