What To Say To The Homeschool Naysayers

Remember the Homeschooling Q&A I was working my way through?  Well, here is the last question, posted by Karrie:

How [do you] handle and what [do you] say when many people including family are against your decision? I would love to have a list that describes verses in the Bible and common ideas why most families homeschool.

This is a question that is on every new homeschool mom’s mind.  What we are doing is not the norm, and when anyone does something out of the norm, they are met with disapproval.

First of all, EXPECT IT.  There will be someone, somewhere who will have something to say about your decision to homeschool that will be less than understanding.  Don’t think you will be exempt somehow.

Now, to prepare for the storm…

*Know why you homeschool. Remember the posts on goal setting?

You need to know what you are aiming at.  It’s not necessarily going to be the same things I am aiming at because our quivers and family visions are quite unique; however, each family must know where they are heading so when the naysayers don’t understand you, you don’t find yourself shaken to the core.

*Remember Who’s in charge. You are not beholden to what others think of you and your homeschool.  Yes, there are rules we must follow, but ultimately, you aren’t homeschooling to glorify the government and you aren’t homeschooling to glorify your in-laws (or whoever your naysayers might be).  You homeschool to glorify the God Who is in charge of you and your household. At the end of the day, it is His opinion that matters.

*Arm yourself with The Sword. Here are just a few of the verses Karrie asked for:

Deuteronomy 6:6-7
And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.

Isaiah 54:13
All your children shall be taught by the Lord,
And great shall be the peace of your children.

Proverbs 1:8
My son, hear the instruction of your father,
and do not forsake the law of your mother.

The Bible is quite clear that parents are to be the primary teachers of their children.  It is also quite clear as to WHAT they should be teaching.  Don’t let academics and extracurricular activities cloud the fact that above all else, it is your child’s spiritual welfare that is of utmost importance. Naysayers (even the well-intentioned ones) will try to force your focus away from the Truth.

*Don’t be against something, be for something! This is something I learned many years ago.  For me, homeschooling began as a knee-jerk reaction to all the bad of the educational system.  I soon learned spending your homeschooling years in knee-jerk mode will eventually leave you bitter and angry (not to mention self-righteous).  Shift your focus.  Quit thinking of homeschooling as a way out and start seeing it as a way IN: INto your children’s hearts, INto deeper fellowship with God, INto more world impact for Christ! Avoid verbal arguments over why homeschooling is so much better than public schooling.  Instead preach how homeschooling has given you the opportunity to spend time with the blessings God has given you, shaping them to be warriors for Him some day.

*Be blessed. I hate to say it, but it does matter what kind of face you put on as a homeschooling mom.  Your game face had better look blessed rather than frazzled and grumpy.  Actions and attitudes speak MUCH louder than any words you could offer to your naysayers. You may be able to talk the talk, but it’s your walk that matters most.  Enjoy your children because even if you can’t convince your hecklers that homeschooling is the way to go, at least there will be no denying you love your children to pieces!

*************

You can also find me at The Homeschool Classroom writing on finding science in the city:

For those of us living in the city, science (especially the nature studies) can seem impossible.  After all, what could a child possibly find to study in a world of concrete and high rise apartments?  After watching my children play and discover in our backyard this past week, I am realizing there is much science to be had here in the city.  You might just have to work a bit harder at it…

To read more, head over to The Homeschool Classroom!

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19 thoughts on “What To Say To The Homeschool Naysayers

  1. this is such a timely post for me! My husband and I are agonising over whether or not to homeschool our kids. We know what the Bible says but just don’t know if we can bring ourselves to actually do it. Our friends mean well but don’t really understand it at times. They argue the salt and light and how many of them wouldn’t have become christians if there hadn’t been christian kids in their school. I just don’t see how I can argue with that.
    Love Collette xx
    how would you respond?

    • Collette,
      Always look to the Bible when dealing with the arguments of others. There is no Biblical precedent for children being missionaries as the people who use the salt and light argument would want you to believe. The Bible is clear that children are to be trained and led in the ways of the Lord. Jesus was 30 when his public ministry began. Yes, he was in the temple at 12, but that was among scholarly adults, NOT his peers. (And let’s not forget He is God!)

      Families are integral to the raising of godly children. Yes, there are those who were influenced by Christians within the public school system, but that is not the norm and shouldn’t be the basis of making a decision of whether or not to have someone else educate and train your child. As a family, you are salt and light…and how much saltier and brighter you will be as a whole unit rather than one separated into pieces and not fully trained. :)

    • Colette, I totally know where you’re coming from. I felt really uncomfortable the first few times I told people we were homeschooling, like “I can’t believe we’re actually doing this”. I have heard that same argument as well – that it’s wrong to pull all the Christian kids out of schools, and then what about the Christian parents being able to witness to other parents meeting their kids at the school gate.

      I’m actually all for Christian ministry in schools, and I also believe kids can be a great witness to Jesus. But we still had several reasons against that. Our kids are quite quiet and shy, and we didn’t think they would handle “missionary” situations. That’s not to say they never will, but not now. We also want to be sure our kids actually are saved before we start expecting them to witness to others. Again, I’m not saying kids can’t be saved; just that Christian parents shouldn’t assume more than there is.

      One of the biggest things for us, though, was that we couldn’t afford private school which means our kids being in government schools. And even the best of those isn’t intended to teach from a Christian world view, generally. It seemed to us that it was asking too much maturity of our kids to teach them that they must obey and respect their teachers, but then at home we would be teaching them the opposite of what they were learning at school. We didn’t want to put our children in the situation where we have to go over their day’s lessons with them and help them ‘unlearn’ all the unbiblical things they had gotten from school (not that you can really unlearn stuff – once it’s in, it’s in). We want to help them through those situations in a family setting, so that when they are older they are equipped to face those challenges, rather than just being confused as kids.

      Hope that helps!

  2. Thank you for this timely post. We have been met with much resistance both from family and friends. Even in the body of Christ (which confounds me) are those who will look at you as if you came from outerspace.
    Please keep doing what you are doing! I really enjoy your blog!

  3. Couldn’t agree with you more, especially about sharing what you love about homeschooling rather than arguing how bad public school is. When I share how much fun we have and how much I enjoy it, people usually say something about how they wish they could have done that. Whether they mean it or not, I don’t know, but it silences the arguement. With my parents I feel the pressure of having my kids ahead of where they would be in public school. I don’t know why. It’s my way of showing them we can accomplish more at home, I guess. I’m also always eager to share with others that my kids do have a life outside the home- church activities and ministry, swimming, music, etc. For some reason, people assume that because we homeschool, I keep my kids locked up at home never to see the light of day. They seem relieved when they realize that outside of school we have fairly “normal” lives!

  4. Oh. I usually tell people that we keep the kids home to run the potato-whiskey still and they don’t need no fancy book larnin’ for that…

  5. Even though one of my cousins homeschools (and her kids are above grade average), my parents totally think we are nuts. Thanks for the reminder next time someone gives us resistance to the idea :)

    • my mom is a teacher and AUTOMATICALLY assumes that my oldest(who I hope to homeschool in the fall for 2nd grade) will be behind…

      That isn’t what I have seen from homeschooling moms.

      ANd a great point brought up to me by a mom was so what, isn’t that what tutoring companies are for!!! I TOTALLY agree. I got her a tutor due to her hating school as she need to finish the year out. The company I went with WORKS WITH HOMELEARNERS… Even the lady that runs it is considering homeschooling her son(and she is a teacher)…

      I think there is good and bad, but it seems homeschooling families are closer and there appears to be less rebellion… I see rebellion in my future if things continue the way they are… Negotiating with a 6 year old to go to school on a regular(not daily fortunatly) is not healthy, and not fostering a love of learning… I want her to learn for the enjoyment of learning rather than because she “has to”…

  6. Wonderful advice! I wrote out my list of why I homeschool (and made it a page on my blog!) a couple of years ago and I refer back to it pretty often. Even though much has changed, those reasons are all still applicable.

    Since I started homeschooling, two of my cousins have started as well. :)
    Another thing to keep in mind is that some may seem like they don’t approve, but they might actually be wrestling with the possibility themselves. That was the case with one of my cousins; she gave me the 3rd degree on all sorts of things, on more than one occasion. I answered as thoroughly as I could, & eventually she called to tell me SHE was going to homeschool, too!

  7. Wonderful post! I agree with Jamie, many of the naysayers are just trying to figure things out for themselves. I’ve had a few very similar situations.

    Thanks so much for linking up to Mingle Monday. I hope you have an awesome week!

    Robyn

  8. Amy, you are such a blessing! Thank you so much for the wisdom that you share. Too often I project myself as the frazzled mama (and my quiver is several children smaller than yours!). I’m realizing now that some of the “advice” I get from well-meaning friends and family is in response to this projection. I def. needed the reminder to get my game face on. Whew!

    • Hi Steph! I’m saddened that as moms of larger families we can’t have bad days without having people come down on us, but by God’s grace, we can project His power and be strong in Him. Just one more way He shows me I have to fully rely on Him!

      • it seems that moms with one or two kids have jsut as many day days and are often too uptight about being “perfect.”

  9. Wow! Thanks… My mom is a teacher and pretty well indoctoronatedthat the public school system is the be all and end of education :( I don’t agree. I see my daughter struggling in grade one with the work(even though she is totally capable of doing it). She hates school, it is sad to have to force and coherse her to go at least once a week.

    In SK she wanted to stay home a few times, but ending grade one she dosen’t want to go even though she seems to enjoy the social part to some extent… She is not motivated to do workbooks at all… She need to be forced almost to even try. It is hard as that is a big focus in traditional school…

    I think part of the issue is simply that isn’t the best way for her to learn. She loves going to SPARKS(socialization), swimming lessons(fitness), and Juniou feild naturalists(science and ecology). Next year she will be joining CAGIS(girls in science) as well!

    I am considering homeschooling her as I don’t think that the school system is going to meet all of her educational needs.

    Moms argument is all that I could never duplicate all of the hours that they spend in class doing lessons all day… Yet I remember recess and lunch, distraction and time spent managing the classroom/dealing with beharioural issues, lessons(that kids mat or may not even listen too). All in all there were days where there was barely more interaction with the teacher than to say hello on the way in. Truth I think I got much more personal attention from College professors(who spend extra time with students that ask or show an interest) than I did in grade.high school… How much individual time doses a teacher(say grade 1) have to give a student when there are 20 other kids in the class. Her teacher seems great, but even he has expressed that he isn’t able to repeatedly redirect her to her task as he has other kids too(some of which have “extra needs” whether social, behavioural or developmental)… The average class it seems has at least two special needs kids be they ADHD, ASD, ODD, etc…

  10. I needed to read these words so badly! I have a cousin who teaches in public school and has been vehemently opposed to homeschool for years. My son is in kindergarten and I haven’t been approached by her yet regarding our decision to school him at home, but I know it’s coming.

    I’ve worked out dozens of replies in my mind, but nothing felt right. I did not want to belittle her choice as a mother to educate her kids in the public school system and that tended to be the foundation of my “stance”.

    One particularly nasty reply I’d thought up: “I’m not asking YOU why you choose to let the government decide how to educate your children even though I think you’re making a horrible mistake.”

    You have helped me see that the most correct way to respond is by highlighting the positives! When she asks, “Why on earth are you homeschooling?!” my reply shall be: “Because it is absolutely wonderful.”

    And it is! I’ll have a much better chance of glorifying God and honoring our family’s choice by taking this route.

    You have helped me more than you can know!