Have you ever had someone say something rude to you about homeschooling?
You are not alone. When you are homeschooling, you are going against the grain. You are running counter-culture. So it stands to reason that you will face opposition. That’s okay; it comes with the territory. Coping with negativity is part of what homeschooling is about.
How you choose to deal with the negativity will determine whether you succeed, or whether you are badly affected by it. Here are some tips to help you cope well.
1. The relationships in your life are either supporting you or they are not. Choose to spend time with those who will support you in homeschooling. Choose to listen to them when they encourage you.
2. Don’t let others hold you down with their expectations and doubts. If they have wrong expectations that’s their problem. Lovingly and gently release yourself from them. Focus on your own expectations of good things in homeschooling, rather than those negative, discouraging expectations of others.
3. Generally, the more negative attitudes and comments come from people that we don’t care for and that we don’t need approval from. Those closer to us are easier to win round because they do love us and want the best for us. Let those you love see that you are happy with homeschooling and that you value their support and encouragement. Smile politely and ignore the ones whose opinions don’t matter to you.
4. Encourage people around you to speak positively to you and your children about your lifestyle and your work. Help them to see that it’s good for you, that you enjoy homeschooling most of the time and that you value their positive input.
5. You have more strength and potential than you know. Remember that, and draw on that strength by focusing on positive events, and nurturing your own positive attitude.
6. Seek out a positive attitude in those around you, including your children and your family. Respond well when they are positive. This will help them to want to be positive more and more.
7. Encourage other homeschoolers in your local support group so that it really is a place of positivity, encouragement and support. (Remember that it’s a support group).
All these tips rely on you and your attitude towards others. If you are positive about parenting and homeschooling, you set the tone for all those around you. You can head off the negativity from others and in yourself. You can do it!
P.S. Here’s a small selection of books worthy of a place on your bookshelf. I know they will inspire and encourage you in homeschooling:
For the Children’s Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay inspires with her warmth and gentle attitude; she covers each subject with comments and thoughts. This book is the antithesis to the high pressure, exam-related, politically correct stress of school learning, and focuses on learning as a pleasurable activity which will last a lifetime. Many people would say that this is the book every home educator should start by reading and should have on their shelf. I tend to agree with them.
Homeschooling on a Shoe String by Melissa L. Morgan & Judith Waite Allee. This book offers inspiration, ideas and encouragement on homeschooling, reassuring readers that not only is homeschooling a reasonable lifestyle choice, it’s also not an expensive one and not one restricted to the comfortably off. Chapter titles include topics like choosing curriculum, computing on a shoestring, simplifying home and your life, budget ideas, enrichment, character building, and more.
How Children Learn at Home by Alan Thomas. Research among home educators in Australia and Great Britain showed that more experienced homeschoolers gravitated towards an informal style of education, very different from school education, with the children developing their learning agendas. It’s an ideal book to show to sceptical family members.
The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook by Raymond & Dorothy Moore. Full of encouraging stories to make you feel you are not alone and there are always solutions.
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