“You’re Ruining Your Child, Pass the Yams, Please”

applies to more issues than homeschooling!

Thanksgiving’s around the corner, and if you’re a new homeschooler, that holiday conversations will revolve around one hot topic: Explaining Your Crazy Life to the Friends and Relatives.  I’ve been at this homeschooling business for a decade now, so my Thanksgiving route is composed of people who know all my answers, and have seen the positive impact of homeschooling on our kids.  But only last winter, I had a run-in on the homeschooling topic at an office party.  The conversation could have turned into a disaster.

But it didn’t.

Why not? Because there are some ways to explain your decision to homeschool that turn the conversation away from offense-defense arguments, and towards mutual understanding:

1. Remember you aren’t the only one in the room.  Across the table is grandma, who sacrificed to send her child to the best school (or any school at all), and wonders how you could skip out on such an opportunity. Over in the corner is the fellow mom who isn’t entirely happy with her kid’s school, but doesn’t have a better choice.  And what about your cousin, who’s spent years honing her skills as a professional educator, and knows how hard it is to teach well?  Sure, there are a couple old cranks itching to pick a fight.  But remember there are good-hearted, well-meaning folks listening to your conversation, and they’re all dealing with their own struggles.  Be gentle.

more–via Simcha Fisher, I think

About Eve Tushnet

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