Sept-Oct Q & A: Family Criticism

HEM’s Questions & Answers – Sept-Oct, 2011

Family Criticism

We’re moving back home due to unemployment problems. We’ll be living in a duplex with my parents right next door. I’m grateful for their help but already dreading the “supervision” our homeschool will receive from relatives who openly doubt our homeschool decision. I need help warding off criticism but doing it nicely. Please give me some lines you’ve used! – Amy in Oklahoma

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2 Responses to Sept-Oct Q & A: Family Criticism

  1. Cheryl T. on July 24, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    We found being proactive worked best. Have the kids go over and show off what they’ve learned, projects they’ve made, written work they’ve done, books they’ve read, etc. regularly. The more relatives see what they are learning, the less likely they are to be worried that the kids aren’t learning. But also make it a point to let the relatives know what activities the children are doing outside of the home, the friends that they have, the places they are going, etc. At least one of our relatives was very worried that our children would be friendless hermits. And don’t be bashful about pulling out the family scrapbooks and materials that the kids have been learning from to show off to the relatives. We found that the critical relatives changed their tunes once they were reassured that the children were learning and no longer give us grief (though we still make sure that they are updated regularly about all the kids are doing.)

  2. Carri Ann on July 24, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    If you are worried about unwanted “supervision,” you and
    your husband may need to set firm and clear boundaries
    from the beginning in regards to drop-in visits, phone
    calls during “school” hours, and anyone pop quizzing
    your kids. It’s easier to enforce set boundaries than
    to try and set them up AFTER people have already made
    you – or your kids – uncomfortable. If family members
    openly question your decision to homeschool, you can
    always gently and politely point out that you were kind
    enough not to quesiton their parenting choices, and you
    would ask that they extend you the same courtesy. You
    may also want to prepare your kids for some questions
    that they might encounter. If a family member is well
    meaning (and open minded), bring them along on a field
    trip, park day, etc. If it’s somebody who’s going to be
    against homeschooling no matter what you do, it’s best
    not to share too much as they could use anything they
    don’t like about what you’re doing against you later.
    Good luck!