Homeschool Etiquette: Discover Polite Ways to Answer Those Inevitable Questions

At some point, you will speculate if you made the right decision to teach your children at home. You may wonder if you really are compliant with the legal requirements. You may worry if your children are suffering academically. Perhaps you will doubt your ability to teach geometry and chemistry. You might grow to be concerned about your children’s capability of entering college. In addition, you may become anxious about what others will say.

Your family and friends will ask similar questions you ask yourself. They will also ask the inevitable ones, such as, “Why do you want to do that?” “What are you afraid of?” “What about socialization?” “What about sports?” How do you respectfully answer them? Prepare what you will say in advance by reminding yourself why you initially decided to homeschool. This will assist you in calmly responding rather than foolishly reacting to those who consider your educational choice as less than desirable.

Let us look at each query and how you might graciously reply.

Many people wonder how you can legally teach your children at home. First, assure them that it is legal. Secondly, make them aware of the history of the Home School Legal Defense Association and the lawyers’ active involvement in the legal issues surrounding home education.

A number of people will not understand why you have chosen to homeschool. In order to avoid an argument on the inadequacies of public education, you might not want to share your specific reasons for educating your children at home. A simple reply of, “We feel this is the best option for our family,” shall suffice. If the Lord has directed you to teach your children at home, do not feel reluctant in saying so.

One individual repeatedly asked me, “What are you afraid of?” Once I explained the Lord called me to homeschool my children and I will continue until He directs me differently, the inquiring stopped.

The most commonly asked question is “What about socialization?” People will be surprised when you reply that you have to limit all the socialization opportunities available. You might go on by listing a few of those activities. The persons will quickly see your children are not lacking peer interaction.

You may also hear “How can you teach…?” Let the person know there are teacher’s manuals, CD-ROMs, DVDs, satellite instruction, individuals willing to teach a subject, as well as additional options accessible to you. Assure the person with all these resources, your children will not suffer academically.

Parents who send their children to public schools think participating in sports is not an option for homeschooled children. Enlighten them that sports opportunities are readily available through co-ops, community organizations, and other sources.

A few people do not realize homeschoolers can successfully enter college. Help them to understand that colleges and universities seek out and accept teens that are taught at home.

You may come to realize people who disagree with your educational choice are not fully aware of the benefits of homeschooling or have had a less than desirable experience with another family. This is an opportunity to educate them on the positive aspects of home instruction. Do be cautious in trying to “convert” the persons for it may lead to additional negativity. Keep in mind that not everyone is suited to providing home education.

Occasionally, you may come across an individual who is adamantly against your educational preference. The best response is to respectively listen, agree to disagree, and let the person see the fruits of your labor.

Being gracious in your answers will leave a positive impression and may even change your family and friends’ perspective on homeschooling. They may even consider teaching children at home as a viable option.