Are the grandparents against homeschooling? The next time you are faced with the response, “You can’t homeschool, you will mess up my grandkids” remember these three things.
I remember the day well. The day I received my first dose of homeschool criticism. The offender? My own mother….
“Why isn’t she going to preschool today?”
“We are trying out a homeschool group today mom. I told you I was considering homeschooling”.
“Please don’t do that, all those kids are “weird”! “
“Mom, I promise you they are not weird”
“Listen, I just don’t want you to mess up my grandkids, okay?”
This conversation repeated itself at least a dozen times in the first 2 years we homeschooled. The response from my father and many other family members was similar. They weren’t worried about us learning how to homeschool, they just wanted us to know they were against us homeschooling.
The truth of the matter is, sometimes our parents are our worst homeschool critics. Why is this? I believe it is because outside of us, they are the ones with the most to lose.
So, what can we do when the grandparents are against homeschooling?
Remember that they love us, and our kids
If this wasn’t true, then they wouldn’t care what we did with them. They want to make sure our kids have everything that we didn’t have, plus some. They want our kids to fit in, have a good education, and to become upstanding citizens. Should we fault them for that?
I shared with you before how my mom was NOT my biggest homeschooling fan. But, now? She had a front row seat at my first workshop on homeschooling and swears up and down I have converted her. I didn’t do this by shoving statistics down her throat. I did this by inviting her along on field trips, allowing her to show up while the kids were doing school, and by quite frankly, giving my kids a top-notch education. Do you believe homeschooling is the best thing for your children? Then educate your parents, by proving that fact. It may take a year, or two, or three…. But the time will come when they will finally realize that maybe you are not messing up their grandkids!
This is HUGE, and a mistake I made often. If my parents made a comment about homeschooling, I would immediately get defensive. I would throw out statistics, or say things like “THAT is why I homeschool”. Looking back, I truly believed that these things would make them see that what I was doing was okay. But, instead, it often led to an argument. The best thing to do when faced with criticism is to let it go. Seriously. Homeschooling is your right, and you don’t need anyone else’s permission. State that fact, and let the discussion rest. You will get nowhere arguing.
So, the next time you are faced with the response, “You can’t homeschool, you will mess up my grandkids” remember that homeschooling is your right, so don’t argue that point. Remind yourself that your parents love you, and your kids, and remember the best education for your parents is to model homeschooling done right, and leave the statistics for another day and time!
What advice would you give to homeschool parents facing criticism from grandparents?
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Christopher Wade says
My wife and I have been blessed with a supportive family who all believe in homeschooling. I was homeschooled and my SIL homeschooled her two children who are now both attending college. We are just beginning our journey into homeschooling with a five-year-old and a three-year-old. Your post gives good insight into how to deal with criticism if we encounter it. Thank you for sharing.
Stacey Doss says
My MIL is a little nervous, but she understands why we chose to homeschool (our son was way ahead in his class and very bored in ps). I think she worries that we won’t give him enough to really stay on track, or let him laze around and not do anything. My mother, on the other hand, is thrilled. She wanted to homeschool us as kids, and I think the only negative from her may be a bit of jealousy because we can and she couldn’t. My biggest critic is a good friend at church, and I think she’s critical because she was a ps teacher for years. The “socialization” issue is the biggest concern, but I remind her that our son needs to be able to socialize with all ages, not just his age group, since he will need to know how to deal with people of all ages when he gets out on his own. And that he’s not learning bad habits and rotten attitudes from his peers now. Most of the reactions we get is surprise that we don’t have to report anything to the school district or anywhere else. We fortunately live in IL, and don’t have a lot of restrictions and requirements like some other states. And we don’t have to track grades until high school….that brings up a lot of the “how do you know he’s learning anything?” question. It helps a lot that our pastor’s kids are homeschooled, so I have support and maybe a little more acceptance because of that!
Thanks so much!!
Scheduling to share on my Facebook page, this is a great post!
That’s so awesome!! Thanks for sharing your experience 🙂 And congrats for doing a great job mom!
My sister in law told me my son would never graduate high school or go any where, he’d be stuck flipping burgers! My in-laws agreed! The best advice I received was from a veteran homeschooler , she said “say nothing back, listen but don’t speak, eventually they will tire of talking and let it drop” . I tried it and after about a month they seemed to not want to listen to themselves talk about it anymore! My oldest was entering 8th grade then- he has now graduated from Syracuse university in the top 10 of his class, and is working at his dream job! My 2nd born is a sophomore in college with a 4.0, and my youngest is in high school with a high gpa! My advice to you if you are hearing these negative voices is 1) stay the course, do what you know I’m your heart is best for your family!2) listen but don’t argue back! 3) trust God, it may take some time but their minds will change and if they don’t, well it’s their choice to stay negative! Thanks for this post! It’s encouraging to know that we are not alone!
I think that feeling of judgement is what leads most to be critics. I wish more people realized our decisions to homeschool have little to nothing to do with them! Glad your family is supportive for the most part 🙂
My FIL was our biggest homeschool critic. But, he loved to brag on how smart my daughter was and how far ahead she was in her school was. I think deep down, he felt like we were judging his decision to put his kids in public school (which we weren’t, hubby and I both loved PS). Oh well.
My parents, on the other hand, love the fact that we homeschool. For the spiritual and academic benefits, sure. But also, because we can adjust our school schedule so they can spend more time with my kids. Want to take them on a long weekend from Thursday through Monday? Sure! We’ll just condense our week a bit. If they come in town for a quick lunch visit, we can go. It’s so nice to be flexible, and I think it helps my kids see that our priority is family/people first. 🙂
I think that first year or two of sending in papers makes us ALL nervous. Good luck on your first year homeschooling!!
Thank you for the reminder “Homeschooling is your right, and you don’t need anyone else’s permission.” I sent in our states requirements today. And was a bit nervous about the decision. My Mom said “well you can send her next year” I love my mother and often forget she isn’t in charge any more, I am!
I get but she won’t be able to go to college, or what socialization? Thankfully my parents were on board but when I choose to pull her from her old school I faced a ton of hassle from the old school principle on a vendetta and calling dhs on me. To others in our small town telling me I was screwing up my kid. I’ve learned to just walk away and ignore it. My kid however loves to tell them that they are rude and ignorant of they choose to see it that way with out bothering to research it. Did I mention she’s only 10. Lol
That is awesome! Our current pediatrician is VERY pro homeschooling as well. It makes a big difference to have that support system 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!
My mother was adamant that I not homeschool my two children, until she came with me to a doctor’s appointment and I mentioned it to my doctor. My doctor was thrilled that we would be homeschooling, saying how great that would be for them. Well that was it — now my mother brings over text books and work books and books books books she thinks we will use/need. Lol. I just let her bring them and pass on what we don’t want. As long as the negativity is gone, I’m fine.
Yes, that’s exactly right!
Yes it is!!
a spirit of simplicity says
It is a shame that often our own families are our worst critics.
Not being defensive when people are questioning you about homeschooling is the best way to react. If you are calm and confident, time will reveal the truth!