Dealing with the Homeschool Haters (People Against Homeschooling)

I recently spent 4 hours in an airplane listening to the people in the row behind me bash homeschooling.

I couldn’t find a way to interrupt gracefully (it didn’t help that I was getting more and more angry the longer I listened), so I stuck my earbuds in. Because let’s just say my words wouldn’t have been very Christian at that moment.

You know the kinds of things they said because I’m sure you’ve heard these type of homeschool haters (people against homeschooling) before. They are everywhere!

You won't believe how this homeschool mom deals with homeschool haters. You can be empowered too! Learn how to be confident and stand strong against those who oppose homeschooling (and are only too happy to tell you about it).

 

When I hear these type of comments from people against homeschooling, I immediately go to my “homeschooling why.” 

Let me tell you a little more about what a “homeschooling why” is, and how you can use it to stand strong against the homeschool haters!

Why Are You Doing This, Anyway?

First we have to figure out the nitty-gritty behind why we’re doing this homeschool thing.

I’m not talking about the reasons like “we’re-homeschooling-because-my-best-friend-is-doing-it” or “because it’s the Christian thing to do.”

Instead, two key questions to answer are:

1) What are your specific reasons for homeschooling your kids?

2) How does your family define what school at home looks like?

Every single family will have different answers to these questions. And you know what? That’s what makes homeschooling–and the passion behind those who homeschool–so incredibly awesome.

There are no rules. You get to define your own homeschool why! Your school doesn’t have to (and honestly, shouldn’t) look like mine!

You get to figure out how to making homeschooling work to its highest potential for your unique family. That’s amazing!

Facing the Why-You-Shouldn’t-Homeschool Questions

The next step in developing your homeschooling “why” (and confidently standing strong against homeschool haters) is to answer what I call the “why nots.”

Think of every single reason why people oppose homeschooling. Write them down. Think about them. Maybe even journal about it, if it helps.

Warning: If you’ve never really thought through these before, going through this part of the process may cause you to actually see some validity in the homeschool hater arguments. If you see some of these springing up, I’d challenge you to face and acknowledge them. Don’t ignore them or stuff them down. There’s nothing wrong with saying “you know, they’re right about that.” Find out why you think they’re right, and determine if you feel that way based on what’s true about your family situation (or if it’s a fear or lie). Maybe wisdom from a trusted friend can provide some insight too. Or maybe you need to gain more knowledge in a certain area.

Or maybe put homeschooling on hold until you can get some of these core fears addressed. I believe that homeschooling isn’t for everyone.

Developing your “why” is the critical element that will power you through the tough times. It will also serve as a plumb-line for determining which activities or studies are beneficial.

In short, your “why” serves as a blueprint for how to outline your days, and it also fuels you with the confidence needed to complete those days. That’s why I say (before you buy curriculums and follow a teaching methodology), do some soul-searching and get to the root of your “why.”

And I’d encourage you to re-examine your “why” every year (because it changes slightly from year to year!)

When my husband and I were able to work through our own fears and concerns about homeschooling (and truly address the opinions/pressures we may have felt from society, friends or family), we discovered so much freedom and joy!

We knew we’d could say one hundred percent say that yes, we were on board for this year’s journey.

People Against Homeschooling Are Here to Stay

Haters gonna hate, ladies. That’s just the facts.

These folks are never going to fully go away.

Does that mean we should keep silent about why we homeschool? No. There are times when we do need to speak grace-filled words to those who disagree with homeschool.

Does that mean we should turn down the noise of the homeschool haters by limiting our interactions with them? Yes. I mean, as much as possible (many of us deal with homeschool haters in the family, which makes this a nearly impossible feat).

But the truth is, there will always be someone who dislikes something we’re doing. We can’t live to please others, and if you haven’t fully embraced the truth that the only person we need to please is the Lord Jesus, then come on over into the light of freedom and truth, friend.

Once you’ve decided to homeschool (and figured out your “why,”) stand strong in your decision! Summon your inner Elsa and just let the comments from the people against homeschooling go.

Discover Your Homeschool “Why”

Want more info about developing your family’s homeschooling why? Check out my latest resource the Back to School Survival Guide: A Girlfriend’s Guide to an Organized and Successful Homeschool Year!
The Back to School Survival Manual helps homeschool moms develop core strategies and systems to successfully set up a homeschool. This amazing new tool is a systematic way of looking at the year and readying yourself—and your homeschool—for whatever may come. Purchase this book by itself or as part of new Back to School Product Bundles!
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The Back to School Survival Manual has a whole chapter on developing your why, along with a comprehensive resource in the appendix for helping you sort through the whys and why-nots of homeschooling.

Your Turn:

Who are the people against homeschooling in your life? What are the claims they make about homeschooling, and what is your typical response?
What are some of the big homeschooling issues that you still need to get answered? How will answering these strengthen your “why”?

About Alicia Michelle

As a wife and mom to four passionate kids, Alicia Michelle loves encouraging other moms with practical tips for joy-filled living in everyday life, especially in parenting, marriage, faith and health. Alicia is the owner/editor of Your Vibrant Family; the author of Plan to Be Flexible, The Back to School Survival Manual; and the creator/producer of the "7 Days to a Less Angry Mom Online Video Course,", Christ-Centered Christmas Resources and My Memory Box Organizing System. In addition, she is a monthly contributor for several popular family blogs, including Crosswalk.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

About the Author

As a wife and mom to four passionate kids, Alicia Michelle loves encouraging other moms with practical tips for joy-filled living in everyday life, especially in parenting, marriage, faith and health. Alicia is the owner/editor of Your Vibrant Family; the author of Plan to Be Flexible, The Back to School Survival Manual; and the creator/producer of the "7 Days to a Less Angry Mom Online Video Course,", Christ-Centered Christmas Resources and My Memory Box Organizing System. In addition, she is a monthly contributor for several popular family blogs, including Crosswalk.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Leave a Reply 23 comments

Rachel G - September 11, 2015 Reply

I was homeschooled from preschool through high school graduation, and my current job is homeschooling two awesome 4 year olds, and to this day I’ve never personally run into homeschool haters. However, back in the early 90s when my mom first started homeschooling us, she ran into a lot of opposition from family and friends, largely because homeschooling was so unheard of where we lived way back then. Now, it’s so much more common, which definitely makes things easier. I think for homeschooling, as for everything, it’s value is shown by its fruits. Homeschooling isn’t the right choice for every family out there, and for many, it wouldn’t work well at all, but it was definitely the right choice for my family.

    Alicia Michelle - September 12, 2015 Reply

    Rachel, I agree that it makes it easier that homeschooling is more common now, and so overall people are less shocked by it. I think it also helps that, in some areas, there are so many options within homeschooling that even include partial days at a school or a weekly co-op time. While I don’t think these are necessary, they certainly help combat some of the stigmas that homeschoolers deal with. And I totally agree that overall, the value of homeschooling shows by its fruits! Thank you so much for sharing your story!

    Arla Alexander - July 25, 2016 Reply

    Rachel G..I also started homeschooling my 5 kiddos in the early 90s. 92 to be exact. I didn’t really run into any “haters” back then. It just seemed to be folks who were curious when they’d see a mom and her 5 kids shopping in the middle of a “school” day. When they’d ask why my kids weren’t in school (which by the way was actually NONE of their business), I’d reply that we were homeschoolers. Well they’d look at us like my kiddos had a third eye on their forehead or horns growing out of the sides of their heads! Most folks just didn’t know what homeschooling was. Rachel G, you are right because it was a relatively new concept for lots of families. To be honest, a year before I started, I had never even heard of homeschooling. I am now homeschooling 3 of my grandchildren and I must say that I deal with the “haters” now more than I ever did back in the early 90s. I never get confrontational with anyone but I do let those dear “haters” know that this is the right choice for OUR family. For MY grandchildren just as it was for MY children 24 years ago. I am the first to say that homeschooling is not for everyone. But it IS for us. When I am asked if I think I can do a better job than someone who went to college to become a teacher, my answer is….Well are you asking me if I think schooling “one on one” with my kids/grandkids is better than them sitting in a classroom with 25 to 30 other children and only 1 teacher and “maybe” a teacher’s aide, then my answer would be yes. And there is so much available to homeschoolers for those subjects that they are not confident in teaching. Having a valid “ready” answer for the naysayers will sometimes hush them up too.

Melissa D - September 11, 2015 Reply

Thankfully, our community is very homeschooling-friendly. I honestly can’t think of any hateful encounters!

    Alicia Michelle - September 12, 2015 Reply

    Melissa, that’s awesome! Ours tends to be overall pretty welcoming as well, thankfully. But every once in a while I do run into the homeschool haters. Thank you for sharing and stopping by!

Carrie - September 11, 2015 Reply

Mostly, friends who are public educators. When I can legitimately say things like “my son made a 10% increase in his writing goals in 6 weeks of homeschooling” ( he had an IEP in writing in public school and it was easier to renew it, while homeschooling, than it would be to get it back, if he ever went back and the test results don’t lie) or “my daughter helped her public school friend with math homework because she’d work on the same thing months before” academics aren’t usually in question. So they fall back to socialization, to which I always respond “man, I wish they were less socialized, so I could stay home in my PJs once in awhile. Between the two, we have something going on 6 days a week, plus all of our homeschool group activities” and then I smile and walk away. My job isn’t to make them see the homeschooling light. My job is to educate my kids and anyone that doesn’t like it can kick rocks.

    Alicia Michelle - September 12, 2015 Reply

    Carrie, I love your perspective and your confidence! Yes, I’ve found that many of the homeschool haters make comments because perhaps they don’t fully understand all of the freedom and opportunities available in homeschooling. We have so many great options to allow our kids to work ahead or to involve them in unique social/educational activities.

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Audrey@That Recipe - September 12, 2015 Reply

I will never understand why some people feel the constant need to tell other people how to live their lives. Unless it is the principal of your neighborhood school who “lost your business” it really isn’t anyone else’s concern why you have chosen to go through the homeschooling route.

Thanks for sharing on the #HomeMattersParty. I hope you will join us again next week.

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Trena Balakrishnan - September 22, 2015 Reply

Great post and perspective. We all need to “evaluate” at various stages of our homeschool journey. For us, its a “lifetime” commitment, but some do it “for a season” and that’s okay, too.
Thanks for sharing with #What to Read Wednesday. Hope to see you back next week!

    Alicia Michelle - September 23, 2015 Reply

    Trena, I couldn’t agree more. I truly believe that each family needs to regularly re-evaluate their homeschooling decision to determine if it’s still a good option for their family. We must ask ourselves, “Is this working for my kids right now in this season?” We must homeschool for the right reasons, not just because we “should.”

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Jennie V - September 25, 2015 Reply

Thank you for posting this. I love it!

    Alicia Michelle - September 25, 2015 Reply

    Thank you, Jennie! 🙂

Jala - September 26, 2015 Reply

My haters have been family members. One had a very explosive encounter with me where she was very angry and said some really hateful things. I also learned that we were the topic of discussion at a large family gathering once we left. (many people were present for that one.) Very hurtful. However, we are not homeschooling to please family members. If we were we would have solicited their opinions before we made the decision. “can kick rocks” I LOVE this attitude. Thanks for the post! New follower here.

    Alicia Michelle - September 26, 2015 Reply

    Hi Jala! Oh, I’m so sorry to hear about the interactions with your family. But, like you said, we are not homeschooling to please others. We have to make the decision to homeschool or not based on what’s best for our kids! I think it’s just one of many decisions that couples must make independent from their other family members. I’m glad you enjoyed the post and thanks for following! 🙂

Emily - September 30, 2015 Reply

My mom homeschooled my little sister and brother. Her mother was the biggest hater. She tried all of the usual things like my mom didn’t know enough (she had done tons of research and had online classes to help as well as my aunt who was a retired history teacher to help), no socialization (both also attended extra curricular activities, art or music classes at the school, church, and homeschool group activities) etc. But the worst and most unexpected was that my grandmother tried to claim that my mom was doing it because she was going to get money. My mom had to explain that she wasn’t getting money, in fact she had to put out more money because she still paid her taxes and then had to pay for text books, supplies and of course her time (which as we know a mom’s time is worth a lot). My husband and I have decided to homeschool our kids (our oldest is only 2 right now) and haven’t really had any haters. Some people disagree, but haven’t been mean about it. And thankfully I have my mom, my sister-in-law and friends who have/are homeschooling to go to for support.

    Alicia Michelle - October 1, 2015 Reply

    Emily, thank you for sharing your story! I think that’s interesting that you’ve decided to homeschool even though you yourself weren’t homeschooled… did you see the difference between your siblings’ education and your own? And yes, that’s wonderful to have your mom as support. I had someone ask me today if I thought my kids weren’t getting enough socialization. That one always kills me. I’m like, “do they think I keep my kids in a closet all day?!” Yes, we for sure are around lots of kids. And through homeschooling, we don’t have to deal with “reverse socialization”–you know having to de-program them from being around the wrong influences all day. 😉 I love that I’m able to influence and encourage and guide my kids because we’re together each day.

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Alicia - May 26, 2016 Reply

How would you address your spouse being the homeschool hater? He feels the kids need to follow a strict schedule, be up by 7am and working on school work until 3pm every day…I don’t agree with him at all and his negativity has now spread into my son’s outlook on homeschooling. For the last month he has refused to work at all…stating he’s going back to public school next year anyway…his dad’s thoughts, not mine. There are so many “why’s” I have personally but he’s not hearing me out…any suggestions?

    Alicia Michelle - May 27, 2016 Reply

    Hi there! Thanks for sharing this unique situation. I can understand your frustration here! Perhaps this summer (when school is out) is a good time to have some conversations with your husband about how homeschool can be a good fit for everyone in your family. Find some time when you can be alone together and can calmly and casually talk through the situation (I find that difficult conversations with my husband or kids are way more productive when we are not in the heat of the moment). Share your reasons why you’re OK with the learning time being more flexible, and be willing to consider his thoughts on why he prefers a more structured schedule. Honestly, I don’t think there’s a right or a wrong answer here–we have used both a more flexible and a more structure learning environment in our homeschool depending on our season. However, it’s important that you are a unified team on the best way for homeschooling to work right now for this season in your family. I hope that is helpful. Praying for you to find peace and clarity in this situation!

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