Homeschooling is on the rise. More and more families are opting to educate at home, each for their own unique reasons (you can read ours here). Yet there is one thing they all have in common. Each family will have had “the talk”.
Whether “the talk” was a simple light hearted discussion or a somewhat sensitive subject, all home-ed families have been through it at some point. Families starting to consider educating at home or those who may have already made the choice but are dreading telling family, may be left wondering where to start.
The truth is, there is no easy start point. However, these tips will hopefully make you feel more confident and less daunted at having “the talk”, be it with your partner or family and friends.
Research, Research, Research.
This is a point I cannot emphasise enough. Home education is fantastic and in my opinion the best way to raise your child. But that doesn’t make it right for everybody! Make sure you do your research first and really make sure this is a responsibility you feel comfortable taking on. It can seem scary at times, but there is also a whole host of support out there waiting for you, and if this is something you really want to do, we have your back!
That being said, you can be as prepared as you like, people are still going to ask questions and push buttons, and interrogate…. That is the unfortunate nature of home education being seen as alternative!
By doing your research you will be ready to combat all that is thrown at you. The “but how will they get a good education?”, “won’t they miss out on socialisation?” and of course, my personal favourite, “but homeschool children will never have a future!”.
Timing Is Key
For some families, this discussion may be a welcomed casual talk, however there is definitely something to be said for timing. You don’t want to bring it up mid dinner and then have an awkward civil debate about the pros & cons, or to not have fully discussed it with your partner before bringing the subject to light with your family.
For each family the situation will be unique, and thus, the correct timing will also be unique. Only you know when the best time to bring it up will be, whether this is a formal sit down talk or a casual drop into every day conversation. Just do what is best for your family! We had more of a casual approach and it worked very well. Once we explained our reasonings everyone else was on board with our decision, some remain sceptical, but respect our decision that we have made for the benefit of our family.
Whether your family are supportive or sceptical, this is your choice that you have made. A choice that you believe is the best choice for your family, and a choice that you have not taken lightly. Yes home education comes with responsibility, but if this a choice you truly believe is the right one then stand by it!
I felt so anxious when first telling family. Despite knowing the reasons why we chose to home educate the girls, I still felt rocked by people’s criticism and questioning. Yet this was a decision I was so excited by, a choice that I knew in my heart was right for us…. So why was I letting other people’s judgement affect that!?
It has taken nearly a year, but I finally feel confident in stating that yes my girls are home educated and am more than capable of answering any questions and dealing with criticism. It can still be hard, and occasionally I feel myself shying away from mentioning it to new people, but then I remember that this a choice I should be proud of. I am going to give the girls the best education they could wish for in a balanced environment where their individual styles will be catered for… that’s not something to be ashamed of.. that’s something to be damn proud of!
You will find that the more confident you are in yourself and your decision, the more confident your family and friends will be in knowing that this is the decision you have made or your family and you are standing by it.
Give Them Time To Process
Even if your family/partner takes the news well, they will still need time to process. This is after all, a big decision that is a form of lifestyle. If you find that no matter how confident and well prepared you are, that your family are still having trouble accepting it, then just give them time.
Even with our family, who were fairly open to the idea even at the start, they still needed time to process what we had told them, do some research for themselves and accept that this was a choice we had made for our family. We weren’t asking for their permission, just their support. Once they had the time needed, they then were much more open and supportive.
So even if you come up against some heavy criticism at the start, give them time and have some faith, I am sure most will come around in the end!
All families are unique and every reaction will be different, however, by being prepared, confident and giving your family time to process, you are setting yourself up in the best way possible. In an ideal world, you would simply state that you have chosen to educate at home and no one would bat an eyelid, it is a choice that you have made for your family and it would be respected as such. Yet this is not a perfect world. Sadly you must prepare yourself for criticism as you “dare” to go against the norm in modern society.
However, there is a huge community that have your back, that will support you every step of the way. The home education community is simply amazing. Once found these people will not only inspire you, but give you the confidence to realise you can do this! Through founding GUWN, I have realised just how many people home educate and just how ready everyone is to help each other! It really is a beautiful community! This is one of the reasons I created our very own online community, which you can join here, so that you can inspire and support each other!
I have created a dedicated thread for discussing how you told your family you were home educating, so please go ahead and tell your story! Was it an easy discussion? Or did you face challenges? The tribe would love to hear it!