So you’ve looked at studies, read books, researched online and talked to homeschoolers and have decided that homeschooling is the best path for your family — and your husband is still convinced that public school is the way to go. What can you do to change his mind?
Here’s five good steps to take.
Introduce him to some homeschool families. The best way to get rid of homeschool fears and stereotypes is to spend time around real homeschoolers. Join a local homeschool list like Mankato’s MAHE and come to one of the many outings. There are park days, homeschool swimming, local business tours and other outings going on all the time and everybody is welcome. Homeschool kids tend to do a good job of selling homeschooling and he can talk to other parents to get a sense of what it’s really like.
Listen to his objections. Before you plead your case, find out what parts of public school are important to your husband. Is he concerned about socialization? You can tell him about social opportunities your kids will be able to take part in. Is he concerned about sports? Let him know that homeschooled kids are still legally able to take part in sports at local schools, community rec programs, the YMCA and all of the same places that public school kids can in Minnesota.
Teach him about homeschooling. You’ve done all the research and know how great homeschooling can be but if your husband doesn’t know much about it he may be basing his decisions on false information. If he likes to read, you can get him a pile of good homeschooling books from the library but you can also just tell him what you’ve learned. Share the things that got you passionate about the idea. Show him the studies about how well homeschoolers do academically or socially. Let him know what it was that convinced you and he’s more likely to get on board.
Include him in your homeshooling. Find some fun ways for him to take part in teaching the kids. Get the kids some fun science or building kits. Bring him to some field trips that will interest him. Ask him to teach the kids about something he’s knowledgeable about. Let him see firsthand how natural and fun homeschooling can be.
Make a deal. My husband wasn’t sure about homeschooling when I first brought the subject up nine years ago. We finally agreed to homeschool our oldest daughter just through kindergarten, and if she was “behind” at the end of the year we’d put her in public school. Before the kindergarten year even began, he realized that wasn’t going to happen. Our daughter was thriving and well ahead of where she would be in school and he saw how easy and joyful homeschooling was.
The bottom line is that both parents deserve an equal say in where and how their children will be educated. Luckily, homeschooling works so well for so many families that it does a good job of selling itself.