Non-homeschoolers often have many comments or questions about your decision to educate your children at home. They may be making conversation and are genuinely interested in the educational path you have chosen, or they may be totally opposed to your desire to homeschool. Such critics may have deeply ingrained beliefs because they are used to conventional methods of teaching, and they will have firm convictions as to what the “right” type of schooling is. When you encounter someone who doesn’t understand why you would homeschool, be prepared, confident, and kind when presenting the option you have chosen for the children in your family.



Be prepared: Know the common questions and have answers for them.

Keep in mind that most comments occur out of simple curiosity and that most people are not being critical! Being well-prepared to answer inquiries from non-homeschoolers will allow you to assert your beliefs without being confrontational. These common questions include (but are certainly not limited to): Why would you want to homeschool? How can you spend that much time with your children? How can you teach without a teaching degree? What about social development? You may have critics questioning not the choice to homeschool, but your ability and experience of teaching subjects you may not have dealt with for decades. Non-homeschoolers may even ask your children questions such as what grade they are in or even pity them for not attending “regular school”. Let your children know how to handle these questions and comments so they are not caught off-guard.

Be prepared to state the reasons you chose homeschooling. For example:

“I chose homeschooling because it is self-paced. This allows Johnny to learn at a pace that is suitable for him.”

“Homeschooling reduces the interruptions and wasted time in a physical classroom. We start learning right away and continue without the distractions of bells and time spent on classroom management.”

“Homeschooling tailors learning to meet Emma’s specific needs. When she understands a concept, we move on to the next one. There is no point in repeating concepts and doing additional practice if she is ready for something more challenging.”



Be confident: Remain proud of your choices.

Being confident is one of the most effective ways to deal with skeptics. You chose to homeschool for a reason, and it probably has to do with the fact that your child’s education is of paramount importance to you. No one else loves your child as much as you do, and no one can nurture your child’s development and growth as well as you can. If you remain confident in your reasons for homeschooling, others will believe in your rationale. Explain that your children will cover the same topics that other children do, but in a different order or at a different pace. Explain that spending valuable time with your family is important, and homeschooling allows eating, playing, and learning to happen simultaneously while building a bond that is strong and stable. Whatever your reason may be, having support is important, especially in the beginning. Such help could be available from a spouse, friend, or anyone else who sees the benefits of homeschooling and reminds you what a good job you are doing.



Be cordial: Stay friendly.

It is easy to become defensive and retaliate with short-tempered responses when you feel attacked, even though the person you are speaking with didn’t mean any harm. Remain calm, confident, and collected when confronted by a non-homeschooler. Remember, long-held opinions are not easily swayed, so no matter what you say, others’ opinions may not change all that much.  There are many, many different ways of learning; you have simply chosen one that best suits your family. Period.

 What are your strategies in dealing with homeschool haters? Share below!



Linda Ruffolo is a Curriculum Developer in our Social Sciences & Humanities, Canadian & World Studies, The Arts, and Guidance & Career departments at Virtual High School as well as a Co-Coordinator with Virtual Elementary School. Linda is passionate about encouraging critical and creative thinking in the online learning environment.