Monday, January 27, 2014

Are you hesitant to tell people you homeschool?

Last week Gracy Olmstead wrote Why It’s So Hard To Come Out of the Homeschool Closet. She makes the point that as homeschoolers we are often reluctant to tell people that we homeschool our children. It can be hard to stand out as the odd one in a crowd. Gracy is building on posts by a few other people who have recently talked about how parents may be slow to tell others that they have started homeschooling. (Out Of The Homeschooling Closet and Owning Up to Being a Home Schooling Parent)

Thirteen years ago when Janine and I started homeschooling we were a bit cautious about telling people. Partly it was because we were still learning the value of homeschooling. After a couple years we become more comfortable about how the education experiment was going and we were more confident about the value of homeschooling. We could see great benefits to our children, and to the other homeschoolers we hung out with.

Today Janine and I are willing to bring up the topic of homeschooling in a conversation when it is appropriate. Whereas ten years ago we might have tried steering the conversation on to other topics. Now that we have become sold on homeschooling and recognize the many great benefits we have no problem admitting that we are homeschoolers.

I think part of the reason why many people fearful to come out of the homeschool closet is because they are still new to homeschooling. They are still learning the value of homeschooling. My guess is there are very few long time homeschoolers who are shy about owning up to being homeschoolers.

If you are hesitant to admit you homeschool, my advice is to take it easy and don’t worry about it. After another year or two you will have much greater confidence that homeschooling is a viable option.


C T said...

I actually feel hesitant to tell people I'm homeschooling because I don't want them to feel bad that they can't or aren't doing it, too. We live in Colorado, a veritable smorgasbord of part-time school options thanks to the way school funding works here, and most people I talk to tend to be very positive about homeschooling.

Anonymous said...

I find that if I delay telling people we homeschool, people will get to know us as individuals first rather than instantly judge us by a stereotype. If people have preconceived ideas about people they tend to filter all of their interactions with those people through their biased lenses. However, if they get to know the people first, they are often surprised later about how people didn't fit their stereotype and are more receptive to learning about them.---

Unknown said...

I can understand why one might be a bit hesitant to tell people that they homeschool, but I feel as though people are becoming more educated about it. While none of my friends homeschool, I have quite a few that do in the parenting groups I belong to online...and it doesn't seem strange, or weird, or "stereotyped" at all. I think the fact that there are so many reasons for homeschooling out there, and so many options for doing so, makes it a little more approachable (for lack of a better term).

Leah Courtney said...

I've never really been afraid to tell people. I've sometimes been frustrated with the comments I get, but I don't let that stop me. :-)