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Responding to Other People's Concerns About Your Decision to Homeschool

Although homeschooling has increased dramatically over the years, it is still relatively uncommon. It is human nature to at least question, and sometimes fear, the unusual, so you can expect that some people will have concerns about your decision to homeschool your children. Some of these people will voice their concerns directly to you.

There are two general types of people who might question you about your decision to homeschool your kids.

Some people will have genuine concern for your kids and might just be ignorant of the benefits of homeschooling. These people often include family and friends. Usually, you should be prepared to respond to their questions in an informative and nondefensive way. Of course you have your kids' best interests at heart and if these people have the same concern, there is common ground for discussion. In many cases, you can respond to their questions in a meaningful way to reassure their concerns and make them feel comfortable and even sanguine about homeschool. And, you can often learn things from these discussions that will help you better prepare your kids for life.

Others have a political or social agenda that they feel is challenged by homeschooling; these people aren't really interested in the reasons you feel homeschooling is the best option for your kids, but are more interested in defending their agendas. People in this category are usually easy to identify as they will quickly become hostile when you respond to their challenges. When you sense someone in this camp is questioning your position, you should decide if the conversation has any potential for benefit. Often, you might decide that such a person isn't really interested in a discussion and simply wants to propagandize, in which case further discussion is a waste of time. However, sometimes even people with an agenda are willing to listen to reasonable arguments, in which case you might be able to help educate them about homeschooling.

In the remainder of this section, you will see some common questions or objections you are likely to receive from either type of person. For each objection, possible responses are provided to help you better inform others about homeschooling. The objections are grouped into six general categories.

When you are defending your decision to homeschool, try not to be defensive about it. The fact is that homeschooling stacks up well to all the other educational options and soundly "beats" them in my opinion. In the end, you decide that homeschooling is best for your kids. Be comfortable and confident in that decision and you will be better equipped to educate others about homeschooling. Because dealing with our kids can quickly get emotional, especially when someone challenges our decisions about our own kids, such discussions can get out of hand, especially if you aren't confident in your choice. You don't need to worry about convincing anyone that homeschooling is the best choice for you; all you should try to do is to present some of the reasons you have chosen to do so. It is up to the other person to evaluate these reasons for themselves.

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Reproduced from Absolute Beginner's Guide to Homeschooling, by Brad Miser, by permission of Pearson Education. Copyright © 2005 by Que Publishing. Please visit http://www.informit.com/store/product.aspx?isbn=0789732777 to order your own copy.

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