The following is a guest post written by Hillary of Infinitely Learning.
We know it’s well worth taking the time to prepare a holiday budget and plan seasonal activities ahead of time, but have you ever prepared yourself to talk about homeschooling over the holidays?
Chances are you will be visiting family and friends and attending holiday parties, and while you may have loved ones who support your choice to homeschool you might also run into those who have questions or who do not understand your homeschooling lifestyle.
You can help create smoother interactions with friends, family and even strangers by taking a little bit of time to plan ahead. Here’s how.
1. Be prepared.
“Hi, my name is Hillary and we homeschool because we value organic learning, flexibility and we like spending time together as a family.”
Why do you homeschool? It may seem obvious to you, but it’s probably wrapped up in the many layers of your personal belief system, experience, and philosophy.
Can you break it down into three key reasons?
Chances are one of those reasons will answer any question you are asked. Give it a try.
2. Listen with an open heart.
“Thanks Mom, I appreciate your concern and am doing my best to make great decisions for my family.”
Sometimes it feels like we hear the same questions and comments over and over again. “What about socialization?” and “How will they learn to read?” are common questions. It might feel like they are doubting your ability to homeschool, your child’s innate ability to learn and insulting your ability to make good choices, but this is usually not the case.
Some people don’t understand the how and the why and are genuinely concerned about your family simply because they love you. Others feel uncomfortable when something is outside their usual comfort zone. Try to really hear what they are saying and respond appropriately.
3. Be confident.
“Whatever you say, say it with conviction.” ~ Mark Twain
Confidence makes a difference. Be sure of yourself with a steady dose of humility. You are a great parent and are making the best decisions you know how to make in the present moment; speak from that place.
Hesitancy may invite criticism or unwanted advice. Expressing yourself with confidence makes it easier for people to respect your choices even if they happen to disagree with them.
4. Opt out of drama.
“Let’s agree to disagree.”
Holidays can stir up the drama in all of us. A little too much eggnog, way too much sugar and lots of little ones scrambling underfoot can lead to misunderstandings and heightened emotions.
You don’t choose your family and there may be relatives with strong opinions that don’t mesh with yours. If you sense a conversation is heading towards drama you can make a choice to keep the peace.
It’s better to be remembered for your pumpkin pie than your loud debate over educational philosophies.
What are your three key reasons for homeschooling? The toughest question you’ve ever been asked? Your best answers?