So, you’ve done it. You’ve made the homeschool leap. You’ve said no long enough. After firmly planting your feet on the public school hallway and protesting for years, shaking your head so fervently that your banana clip came loose, you’ve finally cracked.
Or maybe you’ve known you would homeschool since the Beginning of Time. Maybe you had your method planned out since the day you first saw those two pink lines. Perhaps you and your spouse are homeschool graduates. Since you are, in fact, able to interact socially with a minimum of awkward instances, you know it can be successful.
And so you’re homeschooling.
Whatever the case, you have news to break to loved ones. You know the ones: the grandparents who fed you hot dogs and jello molds and let you watch Nightmare on Elm Street as a child, but who now only give their grandchildren organic juice and wax sentimental about the perils of today’s entertainment. You have to tell your best friend, who not only has public school children of her own but is married to a teacher. Awkward! You have to tell your siblings. And, let’s face it, they already think your kids are kind of weird. You have to tell the librarian who will stare when your homeschool brood comes in at noon on a weekday. Your hairdresser and your pastor and your coworkers and your dentist. The pediatrician, the mail lady, and the dog’s vet. The bank teller, the vacuum salesman, and the mechanic. Being a homeschool family is a bit like living in a fish bowl: the water’s fine, but it can get a little poopy sometimes. It’s best to keep your mouth closed when in doubt.
There are plenty of methods for breaking the news to a loved one, but here a few favorites:
Invite them for a meal and tell them during dessert.
It’s hard to argue when your mouth is full of pie.
Choose your words carefully.
Saying things like, “Public school is great for some people!” may seem innocuous. But trust me, you might as well be saying, “Public schools are great for some people…people who HATE THEIR KIDS.”
When you say, “We are just going to go a different route,” all they will hear is, “We will be learning Latin in kindergarten while your kids are frisked for guns and bullied, bring their babies to show and tell, sell drugs out of theirMy Little Pony lunch boxes, and slip through the cracks.”
Yes, you can say, “Isn’t it wonderful that we all have options?” But you might as well just come out with, “Too bad you’re choosing the wrong ones, and we will be praying for you to get your act together.”
It’s just a hard conversation to have with someone who doesn’t understand. But here’s a thought and a prediction that you can take to the bank: the ones who protest the hardest are the ones who will choose to homeschool in a year or two. They’re the ones who think, wrestle, and will join your fish bowl soon enough. So, smile and nod a lot. Be polite. Keep it simple. Serve pie. And when they call you next year, banging their head against the phone and shouting things like, “Talk me out of it!!!” you will understand, because you have been there, too. Don’t pretend there isn’t a phone sized dent in your forehead. And speaking of the phone
Source: Crosswalk | Melyssa Williams, Home Educating Family Magazine