Protect Your Homeschool Gifts

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Perhaps you’re a veteran homeschool parent.  Maybe like me, you’re nearing the end of your first year.  You might even be in that familiar stage of researching your education options for your children.  I’ve been at a place where I knew I had a heart for Homeschool, but it wasn’t quite time.  Whatever stage you may find yourself, we are ALL familiar with THE question…

What will I tell the people who are against us homeschooling our children?

How will I explain that I know this is best for my children?

How do I respond to that one family member who always has something bad to say about our decision?

This same question can be packaged in many different words.  It can also be found being asked repeatedly in almost every homeschool ‘discussion forum’.  Homeschool and ‘Pre-Homeschool’ Mom’s alike have faced the opinions of others on more than one occasion.  Sometimes it may really bother us.  Other times you might not care.  I know for myself, I kind of broke from that ‘newbie’ homeschool stage into that ‘I got this and you can’t tell me otherwise’ frame of mind.

We could go on all day about the wonderful advantages of homeschooling.  We could provide site research, statistics, personal experience, and more to back up what we do.  That’s not what I’m here to share today.

I’m here to tell you something else when it comes to explaining yourself and your family’s decision to others…..

You simply DONT HAVE TO!!!!!!

In all reality, I feel there are certain people who deserve explanations.  That list of people is personal for each of us.  I can also tell you that the list of ‘critics’ is probably just as personal.  For us, criticism didn’t come from those close to us, but to those who actually had no right or place within our family to voice their opinions.  I shared our journey in the beginning not because I had to, but because I wanted to.  It’s exciting, fun, and I enjoy the input of others….until it became negative.  Kids are very smart, they pick up on the comments of disapproval, and it was actually entertaining to hear their opinions of these moments.

At the end of the day, the Lord showed me that I simply didn’t have to share our journey, this gift, with any and every one.  It IS a gift to me, and I have learned to protect it.  Thankfully, we’ve been very blessed.  Even the few family members who are not on board with our decision, have decided to support us whole heartedly.  That too has been a gift.  As for the ‘other’ opinions I mentioned above…I’ve learned that if I don’t put the information out there-it leaves less opportunity for criticism.  As for the now rare occasions that the negativity of another filters to my children, I simply use it as a great moment to teach my kids how NOT to act when they grow up!

And for the record….most everyone I know has something great to say about what we’re doing.  If not, then it’s usually just a reason why THEY can’t homeschool.  But like any good thing…there will always be a critic.  Just remember, you don’t have to explain why you do what you do.  Just like the public school parent doesn’t have to explain why they’ve made the choice to send their child to school.

Keep doing what you’re doing.  Treasure this gift.  Enjoy the journey.  And don’t EVER be afraid to protect and cherish what God has given you!

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Jennifer Whitten FamilyJennifer is a first year homeschooling Mom of 3 elementary aged kids and step mom to one middle school girl.  She was born and raised in Wyoming but now enjoys country living in Louisiana with her husband and kids.  She is a lover of Jesus, family, gardening, canning, all things creative, and hog hunting with her husband.  Tea enthusiast and crochet addict, she can be found blogging about all things family, devotional, health, and homeschool at Stop, Pray, Listen.  A volunteer peer counselor at a Pro-Life Crises Pregnancy Center, her other passion is sharing the gospel with women in need.  Far from perfect, but in love with this grace filled life with kids, Jennifer makes it her mission to Stop, Pray, Listen, and Obey.

 

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