Do you want to homeschool but your spouse disagrees? Have you decided that homeschooling is the best choice for your family but you’re the only parent who feels this way?
This is a frustrating situation when the person you love and trust just won’t agree with your views. It gets especially challenging when the topic of discussion is the education of your child. You want what’s best and feel that homeschooling will be the right answer. You’re expecting the only difficulty will be choosing a curriculum and setting up your homeschool.
You tell your partner that homeschooling is the best choice and you want to withdrawal your child from school or begin the preschool year at home. You expect the green light. You await your partner’s response but it’s not what you were expecting:
“No. I don’t think that’s a good idea. Our child should be in school.”
Your heart drops. Your throat tightens and you feel like there’s an intimidating mountain in front of you that you need to climb. You reach out for your partner’s hand and support but they simply back away and leave you there, feeling lost and alone in this difficult situation.
You have two choices:
Leave it be and continue with traditional school,
You decide this is something that needs to be seriously discussed because something inside of you is screaming out that you can’t let this go. Homeschooling is the choice I need to make to ensure the educational success of my child.
The worst thing you could do right now is to let emotions take over. Anytime you have a disagreement about your children it could open the door to yelling, name calling and resentment. That’s not how you want to begin your path to homeschooling. As a mother I know how important my child’s education is and I will always fight hard for what’s best for my daughter.
How do you do this when the person you must fight is the one you vowed to love, trust and support through the good and bad times? The simple answer is:
You don’t fight.
You have strong views on homeschooling and your partner is more than likely not as educated on all of the benefits of a home education. Stereotypes and myths may be the only information your partner has every heard on the subject.
Show the love of your life all of the research you’ve done, the reasons why you’ve decided this is the best choice and how passionate you are about homeschooling your child.
Present to your spouse the facts, figures and results from other homeschooling families. Give your partner proof that homeschooled children are more confident, focused and goal oriented. Explain how homeschooling will create a strong bond with your family and you have the opportunity to educate your child YOUR way, with your views and beliefs. You can focus on your child’s interests, strengths and dreams so that you provide your child with the most powerful tools so that she may become a successful and productive member of society who will do great things, armed with the tools, morals and intelligence that you lovingly provided through years of exposure to a warm, open, safe and loving education, tailored specifically to her learning style and interests.
Another excellent option is to offer a trial homeschooling period. You both come up with a predetermined amount of time to try homeschooling (a semester, 6 months or a full year.) That will give your partner plenty of time to see all the benefits of homeschooling and the peace of mind knowing that there’s still an option to enroll your child in school if things don’t work out the way you’d hoped or planned. That will bring your spouse peace of mind and will prevent the feeling of being trapped in a decision they may be not be 100% comfortable with.
A couple of No No’s:
Don’t try and bring in friends or family to convince your spouse that homeschooling is the best option. You’re asking for resentment and a lack of trust. If you can’t come to an agreement or decision on your own, you may need some more time to figure things out. If your partner wants to speak with others about homeschooling that’s perfectly fine but don’t ask people to help you convince your spouse.
Don’t become the “anti-school” preacher and try to use scare tactics about traditional schools ruining children. You’re setting yourself up for a debate and your spouse may try offering solutions to the traditional school issues while convincing you that it’s best for your child to remain in school. Stick to the positives of homeschooling and not the evils you’re trying to protect your child from.
It’s true that homeschooling isn’t for every family. There has to be a level of dedication and support coming from BOTH parents in order to make your homeschool a success. If your partner’s concerns are because of finances or time constraints, there are always solutions to those issues and they can be worked out along the way. We all know if something is in the best interest of our child we WILL find a way to make things work. My website is loaded with advice, tips, tricks and solutions to just about every issue that can make homeschooling challenging so feel free to find resources right here on this site.
Have you gone through this situation? What advice would you give to struggling parents who are having trouble convincing their spouse to try homeschooling? I’d love to hear your thoughts and advice below!