When I first started homeschooling I was so excited. I was ready to open the curriculum, sit down with my child, and teach her everything she needed to know. I told everyone about our plans to homeschool both kids. I was overjoyed about it. Then I told my mother-in-law. While I was excited about our choice to homeschool, she wasn’t even close. In fact, she was very upset about the decision. There were lots of comments about socialization as well as the fact that at the time I only had my GED and didn’t have a teaching degree. We continued on in spite of her disapproval and things have changed with time. I am going to share a few tips with you to help you when your in-laws hate homeschool.
When Grandparents Hate Homeschool
The first thing I want to tell you before going any further is that these are your children. They do not belong to anyone else. At the end of the day, the opinions of others can be valuable but they are opinions and not fact. Do what is best for your children. The rest will fall where it needs to in time.
Is your in-law ignorant?
Let me clarify because I can hear it now, “I’ll say!” What I mean by this is, is your in law ignorant about what homeschooling really is? Would a little bit of information help them to be at peace with your choice to homeschool? Sometimes answering questions with honesty can kindness can win your in-law over to your decision to homeschool.
Do they judge all of your choices?
Some people are not positive people to be around. Is this person critical of all your choices? It could be that they aren’t critical of homeschooling but they are critical of you. It can help to have your spouse explain why you have made this choice together. Sometimes a difficult in-law will listen to their child and hear reason.
[tweetthis]The goal of homeschooling is not pleasing others; it’s putting the educational needs of your child first. #homeschool[/tweetthis]
Does their opinion matter to you?
This is a very important question for you to answer. Does their opinion of you matter? If it does, will it change what you plan to do? If homeschooling is best for your child, I suggest putting their opinions on the back burner. They will either come around or they won’t. The goal of homeschooling is not pleasing others; it’s putting the educational needs of your child first. This may mean that there is some adversity but you have to make the best decision for your child.
Will you need their help?
Some families depend on the grandparents a great deal with the children. If you are going to need their help in order to make homeschooling work, their opinion will affect you in a different way. It will be important to know why you plan to homeschool and how to effectively communicate that to them.
Does it have to do with your education?
Many people believe that you must have a teaching degree to homeschool your children. This is not true at all. In fact, you can homeschool your children if you are willing to learn with them. If your level of education is a reason your in-laws hate homeschool, it may be time to remind them that you will be able to hire a tutor, put them in school if it doesn’t work out, or learn the information alongside your child.
Is it a financial judgment?
Homeschooling can be a large financial commitment. If your in-laws help with your finances or see you struggling often they may be against your choice to homeschool. Address the financial issues with them honestly. At the end of the day, it is your household and your choice. However, don’t be surprised if they refuse to help you with finances if you choose to homeschool in spite of their opinion.
They may come around.
My mother in law was completely against my choice to homeschool. As time went on, she started to see how well my kids were doing. As she saw them doing well, she started to change her mind about homeschooling. Though she and I don’t agree on much of anything, we can agree that homeschooling has been great for the children. If you are discouraged because of the opinions of your in-laws wait. Their opinion may change with time. If it doesn’t rest in the fact that you are doing what is best for your children.
Will they badmouth your children about it?
If you want the quickest way to anger me, put a kid in the middle of an adult disagreement. It is important to start out with guidelines about how your children will be handled. Your in-laws don’t have to agree with your choice to homeschool but it will be important for them to show your children respect and kindness. Make sure that your in-laws know that they can not talk negatively about homeschooling to your children or make them feel less intelligent because they are homeschooled. This will not be healthy for the child.
I know from experience that it can be hard when you don’t agree with your in-laws. The most important advice I can give you is, Maintain your integrity. Your in-laws can push every button you have but it is up to you whether you choose to respond in a way that would compromise your integrity.