First the bad news. No matter what you do, there is always someone ready to criticize you for it.
And now for the good news. After reading this little post, you’ll more easily be able to handle it.
It doesn’t matter if it’s home birth, eating vegan, or choosing not to vaccinate. There is just something about going slightly against the tide that rubs some people the wrong way. It’s easy to understand, really. Just put yourself in another person’s shoes for a moment and try to understand where it comes from. I mean, on a much smaller scale of course, perhaps you’ve even been guilty of doing this yourself (who among us won’t admit to briefly judging another person merely on the contents of a grocery cart?).
And so it goes with homeschooling, too. People are curious and do not always understand. So the mind begins asking questions. And sometimes, instead of those questions staying in the mind, they come out of a person’s mouth.
Basically, criticisms are the result of people wondering — except that the confusion happens out loud.
Most of the time, it only happens in small amounts. Like the, “Do you kids have the day off?” kind of wondering. Or the, “Oh, your kids are homeschooled.” kind of comments.
But other times, they’re much louder. As in the, “Homeschoolers are so weird!” and “What makes you think you know more than a trained teacher?” kinds of questions.
So here’s how I’d like for you to think about homeschool criticism. Criticism is just another person’s way of expressing a question about something they don’t understand. So when someone criticizes you for homeschooling, it’s because they don’t know what you know, and don’t understand why you’ve made that choice.
When you begin to understand this concept, you become more powerful. Actually, the criticisms can even make you stronger. Not because you fight back, but because they reinforce your reasons for doing what you do. Accepting criticism for what it is makes it more palatable and much less stressful. By examining why others criticize homeschooling, you’ll actually feel validated over and over and over.
On the matter of how to respond, well that’s the topic of another post. My recommendation, however, is to see it for what it is, and — most of the time – ignore it.
Fending off homeschool criticism actually makes you stronger in other areas, too. When you begin to look at criticism, even hate, as a product of others not understanding, it becomes so much clearer.