Bold Turquoise

Mar 15 2017

Homeschool Wednesday- How to Deal with Nay-Sayers

We’ve all had to deal with the naysayers, it’s just part of homeschooling. We’ve all encountered people from the grocery store clerk, to people who don’t know they are naysayers, to people in your family and are really close to you who consistently challenge you and your kids about it.  Today on Periscope, we discussed some key strategies for handling these kinds of people and situations, and ultimately, becoming more confident homeschoolers.
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My Experience

I tend to be pretty bold with how I do things but I also tend to not get too much pushback. In general, our family have been relatively supportive of our decision to homeschool, besides some grandparents.  However, I know so many families who experience a lot of pushback. Why don’t I get that push back? I think it comes down to confidence. I am very confident in our decision to homeschool. I’m unapologetic. I think my confidence dissuades people from wanting to argue with me too  much about my decisions.
Just because I am confident in this decision, however, doesn’t mean that I feel like I’m a perfect homeschooler. I fail all the time. That doesn’t take away from the fact, though, that I strongly believe this is the right decision for our family. Whatever my shortcomings are, they don’t have to impact the firm belief I have that homeschooling is the right and best decision.
So, let’s get down to the brass tacks of what all this homeschooling confidence has taught me about dealing with the naysayers and some tools that might help you too!

Keys to dealing with naysayers:

Key 1- Don’t be wishy washy. Be solid in your reasons. If you need to sit down and write out why you are a homeschooler, do so. Wishy washiness opens the door for others to challenge you even more. Stand by what you believe in a stanch way, not rude, but matter of fact.

Key 2- Be confident with your kids too. Your kids need to see you be confident in your decision to homeschool as much as everybody else. Let your kids know that this is your family’s decision. Help them to embrace this way of life, talk up homeschooling and remind them of the benefits (shorter school day, get to be with siblings, etc.).

Key 3- Know your stuff!! About homeschooling, homeschooling philosophy, homeschooling law, parental rights. If you go through your list, and you have all your reasons for why you made this decision, then get your data to back them up! You need to know why this is a parental rights issue or why you chose the education philosophy you’ve chosen. If you sound really knowledgable about what it is you’re talking about, people don’t like to knowingly enter a conversation where they clearly don’t have the knowledge base the other person has. And it will help build your and your child’s confidence to top it all off!

Key 4- Embrace your opportunity to educate others. This is all about a shift in perspective. If people come to you to ask you questions, instead of being annoyed, take it as an opportunity to educate them. If you give genuine excitement for what you’re doing and you want to share it with others, that perspective gives people pause before they want to bring an onslaught of disapproval. (It also works for having a large family).

Key 5- (This is especially for those that are close to you and are legitimately concerned) Kindly listen to them and then leave it with a simple I will talk about this with my husband. Let them know that they have been heard but that you are the parent and you are responsible for making the decisions for your family. If they continue to combat you on this, there may have to be consequences. Boundaries have to be drawn. Undermining you, especially to the children, will not be tolerated.

Key 6- Don’t always wait for the questions to come to you. You need to be open with people. It’s okay for you to initiate conversations with these naysayers. Not that you have something to prove to them, but allow them to be able to get a glimpse into your life. It’s good for them to see that you are making progress and really invested in your homeschooling journey. It will help them to see that the children are learning and doing things. Even be open with the struggles, that it isn’t easy but that it’s still worth it. Another helpful option can be to find a way for grandparents to participate or even attend a field trip, just to see first hand how wonderful homeschooling can be.

Key 7- Find a safe place to spill your fears and insecurities. Because you have them, we all do, and homeschooling is hard! Finding that good friend who you can share with when you are struggling, or even when something goes well, is so helpful. Spouses can be great for this, but there isn’t always the same level of understanding. Finding that homeschooling friend who is in the trenches with you or even a mentor mom who has homeschooled, who you can text when math is taking two hours and you’re losing your mind, helps you to weather the storms of homeschooling and to not question yourself so much. You need to find someone to be able to commiserate with, share with, get advice from, deal with the naysayers with- someone who understand the struggles.

A viewer question about having confidence as a teacher

We all doubt. You may feel like you’re not a natural teacher and like that can’t be overcome, but even people who feel they are natural teachers doubt their ability. We all have our strengths and weaknesses that we come into homeschooling with. As mentioned above, however, the more you learn about you “whys” for homeschooling and are educated about the way in which you want to homeschool, the more confidence you will have as a teacher.  Don’t be your own Naysayer! 😉
Also, there are so many resources out there: groups, curricula, courses for moms, independent co-ops, Classical Conversations, books on education, which can all help you in building confidence and expanding your own education about homeschooling.  Some of my favorite resources are Educating the Whole Hearted Child (which has chapter on dealing with naysayers), and Carol Joy Seid Seminars from Compass Classroom.
And make sure to look at the fruits of homeschooling that present themselves along the way, such as your children’s character, even though there are struggles along the way!

Other resources mentioned:

Homeschooling Stats
National Home Education Research Institute
Teaching Textbooks (it teaches them, it’s amazing)
Khan Academy
All About Reading

If you have anymore questions:

Message me Instagram or Facebook (Bold Turquoise page).
If you have ideas for scopes and podcasts, post it in the Cultivating the Lovely Facebook Group.
Tomorrow is Homemaking Thursday and we will be talking about the non-chore-chart approach for kids chores!  See you then!
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2 thoughts on “Homeschool Wednesday- How to Deal with Nay-Sayers

  1. Heidi

    Hi! I’m an ENFP like you (although I don’t think I’m nearly as creative or bubbly!). I am really struggling to get my feet under me with my 6 yo (and I have a 4 yo boy coming up behind her). I thought I might gain some insight from homeschoolers who share my MBTI! I noticed you used The Wand from BraveWriter at one time, but now seem to be using AAR. Can you give me some insight on what worked/didn’t? I’m drawn to BraveWriter, but I’m terrified about teaching reading. I resist following a “format” but seem to need it to make sure I don’t mess reading up. I’m embarrassed to admit I’ve bought 3 or 4 different phonics curricula, but usually cast them aside because I can quickly tell it’s not “my” style. Thanks!

    1. MacKenzie Post author

      I’m sorry it has taken me so long to respond. First of all, I totally hear you- I have this same problem a lot of the time too. At some point for me I just had to decide that it wasn’t so much the curriculum- it was us. And we just needed to stick with something! I LOVE the BraveWriter philosophy of learning and try to apply it to all kinds of subjects, not just writing, but for things like reading I have found a bit more structure and direction to be helpful. I am currently using AAR with my boys while I use Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons for my daughter. Both give a sequential way to work through the material, while still allowing me to draw in that BraveWriter lifestyle in a lot of other ways. In the end I have realized that just getting down and dirty and getting the learning to read out of the way as much as possible frees you up to do so much other learning in a more natural and enjoyable way. I hope this made sense and please let me know if you have any other questions.


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