I’m often asked about our decision to homeschool. Sometimes the inquiries are out of genuine curiosity and conversation, but other times the questions are fueled by judgments and misconceptions.
After five years, I’ve heard just about every kind of criticism out there.
“Aren’t you worried about socialization?”
“Why don’t you put them in private school?”
“I just worry about him learning to read.” (Yes, a real live person said this to me.)
“How will you teach them? You don’t even have a teaching degree.”
“They’re missing out on so much!”
“It’s not good for them to be home all the time.”
And that’s just naming a few.
How do you deal with homeschool criticism?
I can write about why I homeschool all day long, but in person I easily shy away from the conflict. I fumble over the reasons I made the decision and in the heat of the uncomfortable moment I struggle to put words together. When the moment to defend my choice has passed I am almost always left feeling like I wanted to say more (or something different all together).
Sure, there’s that age old advice to simply not care what other people think, but that’s easier said than done. In the long run I don’t care, but it’s nice to feel like you can intelligently speak your mind when it comes to the educational choices you’re making for your family.
I owe it to myself and my children to be able to articulate why we choose this path.
It’s one I’m proud of and one I want them to be proud of too!
My best advice for you (and me) is simple:
We need a elevator pitch!
In marketing an elevator pitch is a short summary used to quickly describe a product, service, or person.
“The name ‘elevator pitch’ reflects the idea that it should be possible to deliver the summary in the time span of an elevator ride, or approximately thirty seconds to two minutes”-Wikipedia
I got to thinking about this concept as a homeschooling mom and decided this is exactly what I need in those sticky situations mentioned above!
If you had just one minute to “pitch” your homeschool decision, what would you say?
My reasons for homeschooling my children are no better than your reasons to send your children to public or private school or enroll them in Montessori learning schools or charter schools. We homeschool our children because we believe it’s what’s best for them. I believe every parent has to make the decision that’s right for their own children. Every family and child is different.
We lost faith in a broken educational system and were blessed to have been lead down this path. Now that I’m on it, I feel like my eyes have been opened.
We have the freedom to learn any way we want, and I can adjust our lessons according to each child’s learning styles. We get to break away from textbooks, standardized tests, and over populated classrooms. I have time to enrich our lessons with hands-on activities, experiments, field trips, and research. Homeschooling allows the freedom of schedule and I never have to worry with buses, car lines, or late bells. We are able to incorporate our faith and morals into each subject and learn from a perspective the children would not be able to at public school.
Our quality time as a family is increased by 100%. My boys get to grow up together instead of being separated by their age and grade level. They get to form a special bond with each other they simply would not get otherwise. Not only do they form a special bond with each other, but I’ve watched them grow real friendships with their peers. Socialization is not friendship!
More than anything, we’ve become a team on this journey. I will never get these years back and I’m so thankful for them.
I like the the idea of simply being prepared when faced with criticism!
What would your elevator pitch look like?
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