We all have those people in our lives, the ones who raise their eyebrows in skepticism when we tell them we homeschool our kids. The ones who always have to make a biting comment or express their heartfelt (negative) opinion on your choice to homeschool. How do you stay strong when you are dealing with homeschool judgement? What do you say to those people? How do you talk to your kids about it when they are facing the same judgement and hearing those same comments? Make sure to pin this post!
Dealing with Homeschool Judgement: Don’t Engage.
It’s the hardest thing to do, but it can be one of the most effective approaches to homeschool judgement… don’t engage! When someone at the grocery counter makes a snide comment, smart comebacks aren’t really going to change anything. They aren’t going to make that person change their mind, they may make you feel a bit more validated and be a bit of a vent for you, but if your kids are standing there with you, it isn’t teaching them anything about how to deal with conflict. We can’t change other people’s minds, they judge because they are ignorant, and they aren’t going to be changing that based on one (or 5) comments you make in the heat of the moment.
If this is an issue with a close family member like one of your parents or in-laws… then it gets a LOT harder to not engage, because sometimes they just won’t let you! They want to talk circles around the issue, hoping to get you to see their side. If you are dealing with a difficult close friend or family member, you are going to need to establish boundaries. As awkward as it is, you need to have a frank discussion with them and tell them that this subject is off the table and their opinions are (essentially) not welcome on the matter. It is a difficult place to come to with someone you are close to, but establishing this boundary is going to save you a lot of hurtful remarks that will essentially damage your relationship with that person anyways.
Dealing with Homeschool Judgement: Stay the Course!
In the end, the person who is hurt by these comments is YOU. You are the one who can decide to just brush them off, to ignore them, to harden yourself against them so that they don’t bother you anymore. That starts with letting it go, by not engaging, by essentially ignoring those comments and not giving them the time of day. But it ends with your level of commitment, your vision, and your passion. How committed are you to homeschooling? Will a few comments discourage you and deter you from your path? Or are you sure this is what you need to do right now? Cling to that!
Write a homeschool mission statement, what is your vision? What is your primary goal with homeschooling? Is it to have crazy smart kids who are in college when they are 15? Or is it to have fun, build relationships, make learning a part of life, instil your values, etc. The list is endless. Figure out WHY you are doing what you are doing. Etch it onto a board and hang it up above your front door, so that EVERY TIME you leave, you remind yourself why you are doing this. Find encouragement to counter the criticism. Join Facebook groups, co-ops, reach out to another homeschool mom. You are NOT alone!
Helping Your Kids Understand Homeschool Judgement.
If you are hearing numerous remarks, then so are your kids! It is important to take the time to talk with them. To explain that not everyone around us is going to agree with us and some people can be rude or downright mean. Ask them how they think you should approach it! Get the conversation started, maybe your kids have been feeling judged by their friends and don’t know how to deal with it! Share some tips and possible responses so your kids have a better understanding and practical ideas moving forward.
Do you have homeschool haters in your life? Comment below!
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