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Homeschoolers get negative comments from time to time.
It’s just a fact.
But let’s be real. From the time you have your first child, you are bombarded with opinions from well-meaning family and friends (and sometimes critical strangers) who feel they need to share with you exactly where they stand on whatever it is your are doing with and for that child.
Of course, once you take a step out into the world of homeschooling, it can seem like you stepped in front of a firing squad. Those negative questions and comments come at you so fast, you hardly know how to respond.
So, how should you respond to negative comments about your homeschool?
Let me tell you how I deal with it…
- Be gracious– This is the most basic way to reply. Remember that most people who are approaching you with a negative comment really feel as though what they are saying is true and it will be a help to you. Give them the courtesy of assuming they mean well, and respond in love. Even if it is not said in love, you can take the high road. If nothing else, it is a good example for your children.
- Don’t respond– Not every comment/question requires a response. A lot of the negative comments I get are online. They come from people I don’t know and probably never will know. If they are just being hateful or rude, I have no issue with deleting their comments. No one needs to take garbage from other people. It is one thing if they have a genuine question or comment and it simply comes across in a negative way. It is another thing if someone has made you their verbal punching bag. Before wasting your energy on formulating a response, ask yourself if a response is even necessary. If not, click delete and move on.
- Be direct (but kind)- Don’t feel as though you can’t speak truthfully, either. A direct and courteous response has a way of shutting down further discussion. Just don’t forget to be kind.
- Be articulate (not emotional)– The key here is to respond- not react. The temptation is to take negative comments personally. It is not necessarily about you. Homeschool has enemies whether you are part of the team or not. Consider your response carefully and be articulate.
- Attempt to be helpful- Some people speak negatively, but they really need help. They really want to understand, but they don’t know how to ask. They have been filled with doubts and fears. You are just on the receiving end of their concerns. Think about what the person is really trying to say to you. Then, reframe your response so that it is helpful.
- Bring it back to the Bible- The truth is, the Bible has a lot to say about parents training their children. Anyone who is a Christian can’t help but acknowledge this truth. If you are speaking to someone who acknowledges the Bible, it may be helpful to show them from God’s Word what a blessing homeschool can be. In this way, you can handle the negative comments without bearing the burden of crafting the full response.
- Wait– I truly believe that the best response to negative comments bout homeschool is our children. Give them time. They will show forth all of the effort you have put into them. Even if someone does not understand what you are doing in your homeschool, their doubts and fears will be put aside when they witness your family’s success.
I made a video today, sharing some of my experiences with negative comments. I even show you a negative comment I got on my YouTube channel and the response I gave. Maybe it will help you in a more direct way. Take a look.
I think I was kind in my response.
Not too long ago, I wrote a post called “When People Don’t Agree With How Your Raise Your Children.” I actually think a lot of the advice from that post applies to this situation, as well. Check it out and let me know what you think.
Anyway, thanks so much for stopping by. Next week, I will have the new assignment from the Virtual Homeschool Co-op. I hope you will stop in and check that out. In the meantime, respond well to those naysayers- or don’t respond at all- just remember that you can do this! Keep on sowing good seed, and you will reap a good harvest.