Are you starting to homeschool this year? First of all, congratulations and welcome to the adventure. It’s going to be one of the most awarding and crazy things you ever do! I wrote a letter for new homeschool moms I would love you to read before you continue with this post. I know that homeschooling can be beautiful but it can also bring anxiety at the start. I had a reader ask me recently, “How do I tell my family I homeschool?” My sweet friend was so nervous about telling her family because she was afraid they would judge or belittle her. I would love to share some tips for you as you prepare to tell your family you homeschool.
How Do I Tell My Family I Homeschool?
It can be very intimidating to think of telling your family you have chosen to homeschool. Sometimes people can come across rude and judgmental when they first find out. I know that I can’t soften the initial telling but I hope to at least prepare you to make it the best announcement possible.
Know your Why – Before you ever tell family you are homeschooling, know your why. Why are you doing it? At the end of the day, there is a lot they can negate but they can’t take away your reason for doing this. Make sure that before you talk to family you sit down and figure out exactly why you homeschool. Is it because it educationally best for your child? Is the school not providing special needs resources you need? Is your child being bullied? Is your child falling behind? By knowing your why, you will be able to direct the conversation to your why instead of letting your family direct the conversation.
Set the tone of the conversation – It can be easy to walk into a conversation and have it go the wrong way quickly. Set the tone of the conversation by talking about it at a time when your family is already in a great mood. If you bring your anxiety to the conversation your family will see that. Instead, start the conversation with confidence and you will be ok.
Don’t include the kids – This can seem counter-intuitive but it makes sense. If your family is going to be negative about homeschooling, you don’t want your children to hear that. It could damage their views of homeschooling and make them feel bad. Instead, have this conversation when the kids are occupied with something else.
Be ready for questions – You will deal with questions. Lots of them. How do you socialize them? Can you really afford this? But what about your real job? How can you teach him/her everything he/she needs to know? The list goes on and on. Be prepared for a litany of questions about why homeschooling is best for your family. You can answer these kindly. That being said, if the person is not responsive, you have the right to stop the conversation. Don’t let someone look down on you because of your decision to homeschool.
Include them in the process – Is there something your family could help teach? Could homeschooling open more time for them to spend with the kids? What ways can you bring your family into the process so that they feel like they can contribute? Sometimes people will have a different view of something they own responsibility for.
Know when to walk away – My mother in law was not happy I chose to homeschool. I had to understand that it would take her time and proof before she would be ok with it. If you have a family member who is against you homeschooling, stop engaging them about it. Give them some time to process. You don’t need to start this with negativity.
You can do this. I know homeschooling is overwhelming enough without family issues adding to it. Take it one day at a time and you will get through it. They may even come to love the fact that you homeschool.
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