Have You Faced Homeschool Haters? Tips for Dealing With Anti- Homeschoolers
Homeschooling is on the Rise, but Not Without Critics
Homeschooling is on the rise in the United States. The number of homeschooled students has increased from 4% to 11% during the pandemic, according to the US Census. This increase has not come without criticism, however. Some people view homeschooling as a threat to the public school system and worry that it will lead to more children being isolated from society. Others simply think that homeschooling is not an effective way to educate children.
Despite the criticisms, homeschooling continues to grow in popularity. A major reason for this is that parents feel they can provide their children with a better education at home than they could receive at a public school. With all of the recent budget cuts and teacher layoffs, many parents feel that public schools are no longer able to provide the quality of education they want for their children.
Have You Faced Homeschool Haters?
Tips for Dealing With Anti- Homeschoolers
What is a Homeschool “Hater”?
A homeschool hater is someone who doesn’t believe that homeschooling is a good or valid form of education. They may think that homeschoolers are weird, sheltered, or behind academically. Some people become homeschool haters because they were themselves homeschooled and had a bad experience. Others may have never been homeschooled but have heard negative things about it and don’t think it’s a good idea.
If you’re a homeschooler, you’ve probably faced some negativity from people who don’t understand or support your decision to educate your children at home. Here are some tips for dealing with Homeschool Haters:
1. Don’t take it personally. Just because someone doesn’t agree with your decision to homeschool doesn’t mean they don’t like or respect you as a person.
2. Be confident in your decision. You have the right to educate your child as you see fit, and that decision should be respected.
3. Don’t ever let another person tell you how to educate your child. That’s your job. Remember that they likely don’t know anything about your family or your child’s individual needs.
4. Focus on your child’s strengths. If you’re homeschooling, it means you think your child has something special to offer the world. Don’t let anyone take that away from him or her.
5. Take a deep breath and remember that most people are actually very curious about homeschooling. Their initial “knee-jerk” rejection may actually be a sign of curiosity. If you get a partner to do it well, you might develop your own following of homeschool parents.
What are the Different Types of Homeschool Haters?
There are many different types of homeschool haters. Many are simply uninformed about homeschooling and what it entails. Others may have had a bad experience with homeschooling themselves or know someone who did. Still, some may be jealous of the time and freedom that homeschoolers have. Whatever their reason, homeschool haters can be a real problem for families who have chosen to educate their children at home.
Here are some typical profiles that may attempt to disrupt your happy homeschool journey…
The Educator Homeschool Hater
Homeschooling has become more popular in recent years, but that doesn’t mean everyone is a fan. Some people, including educators, can be quite vocal in their dislike of homeschooling. If you’re facing an educator homeschool hater, here are some tips for dealing with them.
- Remember that you’re not alone. Many other homeschool families have faced similar opposition.
- Try to understand where the educator’s position. They may have spent years in a bureaucratic system perfecting their lesson plans, only to have a parent come along and achieve high-level results without formal class time. That can be deflating and confusing for a professional educator.
- Stand up for yourself and your family’s decision to homeschool. Homeschooling is a valid educational option that has worked and will continue to work for many families, and you have a right to choose what’s best for your children.
In some cases, it may be impossible to find common ground and come to a mutual understanding or respect, for which you simply learn to walk away. You don’t have to waste energy proving anything to them or explaining your curriculum (unless they are genuinely willing to mentor or sponsor your child in an enrichment program).
The Family Homeschool Hater
As the homeschooling movement continues to grow, so does the number of people who oppose it. Whether it’s because they don’t understand how homeschooling works or because they have a personal vendetta against it, family homeschool haters can make life difficult for families who choose to educate their children at home.
If you’re dealing with a family member who disagrees with your choice to homeschool, there are a few things you can do to ease the tension.
- First, try to engage in a calm and rational conversation. This isn’t always easy, but it’s important to remember that most people are just trying to express their opinion and aren’t actually looking for a fight.
- Second, be prepared to answer common questions and concerns about your approach to homeschooling if they are involved in your child’s life. Share the benefits you look forward to that a traditional school could not provide.
- Third, ask for help! You never know if your family member may want to explore the opportunities with you and become a resource partner! Many people simply don’t know much about the subject and are basing their opinions on misinformation.
The “Stranger on a Trip” Homeschool Hater
When you make the decision to homeschool your children, you may face some opposition from friends, family, or even strangers. Some people just don’t understand why you would want to take on the responsibility of teaching your own children, and they may voice their opinion quite loudly. If you find yourself in this situation, here are a few tips for dealing with homeschool haters.
Depending on the situation, try to understand where they are coming from. Most of the time, they don’t know that most American homeschoolers test 14 percentage points ahead of their peers. They are likely unaware of your children’s access to mentor-led education or real-world socialization skills. If you can have a calm and rational discussion about homeschooling, you may be able to help them become an advocate.
If that doesn’t work, then just politely smile, nod, and walk away when they start talking about how “weird” or “different” homeschoolers are.
The Next Door Neighbor Homeschool Hater
Every community is different, but there is no shortage of people who still have something negative to say about homeschooling. The lady at the grocery store, your child’s soccer coach, and even your next-door neighbor can’t help but share their unsolicited opinion about how you’re “ruining your kids.”
Perhaps you have had a neighbor “scoping” your home because your children are home! This is not a case you cannot simply ignore, as they may go so far as to make false claims about truancy which lands you in a world of inconvenient legal encounters. You’re not alone. In fact, many homeschool families have faced similar criticism.
Here are a few tips for dealing with neighbors who are anti-homeschoolers:
1. Don’t argue.
Homeschoolers sometimes become defensive when we’re criticized, and this only makes the situation worse. When you feel yourself becoming upset, take a deep breath and remember that arguing won’t help your cause. Remember, the person criticizing you is likely an outsider who doesn’t have all the facts.
2. Be prepared to answer questions from family and friends, not strangers.
Often a remark is best answered with a question. For example, when a friend says, “What will your kids do after high school?” you can ask, “What kind of education do you think kids need after high school?” Your question will often put the critic on the defensive.
3. Ask a neutral question in conversation.
This is the best way to get people to talk about themselves and their opinion of homeschooling. For example, if your neighbor makes a comment about “putting them in a real school”, ask them “What do you know about homeschooling?” You will likely get some horror story about a distant cousin who could barely read and never washed their hair. At this prompt, you can affirm that is an exception, not the consensus for most home school families. Don’t make your encounter an interrogation; it’s an opportunity for them to be involved without you feeling defensive about your unique homeschool operations.
4. Give them valid information.
Know your rights, leave a pamphlet from your State’s Department regarding homeschool rights on their door, and let them know that you would appreciate their protective “watch” as you homeschool. Taking away the mystery often disarms the watchful neighbor who is concerned about children. Plus, you never know if the nosy neighbor could save your child’s life one day!
Realize that Homeschooling is not for everyone, thus the reason there will always be skeptics
There will always be people who are against homeschooling. Some may think that it’s not a “real” schooling option, while others may believe that homeschooled children are isolated and don’t have enough social interaction. No matter what the reason is, it’s important to remember that not everyone is going to support your decision to homeschool.
Homeschooling is a great option for many families. An Academic Coach can help you when you and your scholar navigate these types of issues.
The Academic Network Team compassionately recognizes and advocates for those who have experienced trauma under a “homeschool disguise”. The advice from this article is intended for engaged, community-oriented parents who have a healthy sense of academic success for their children. If you or someone you know are a victim of neglectful parenting and used homeschooling as a disguise, learn how to become an advocate for engaged parenting or contact your state’s department of education.