The decision on how to go about a child’s education is usually something that both parents agree on together. It’s an important decision to make because it will affect the child’s educational journey and ultimately, his or her future as well.
This is also true when it comes to deciding whether to homeschool or not. If you and your spouse are able to easily agree on homeschooling, lucky you. However, there are those whose partner may be hesitant or even down right skeptical. How then do you get him or her on board?
Listen to your spouse’s concerns.
The first thing you need to do is to understand where your spouse is coming from. Listen actively to his or her concerns or fears. You may find out that they are actually valid and that he or she is not just trying to be negative. You may also discover certain things that you weren't able to consider.
Some common concerns include socialization, time, finances, your ability to teach given that you’re already managing a business, and access to further education among others. No matter what they are, make sure that your spouse feels heard and that you work together to come up with appropriate solutions.
State the facts.
Chances are your spouse doesn’t know much about homeschooling yet. This is your chance to share what you know from taking weeks and weeks of research.
Give your spouse links to articles you’ve read or videos you have watched. Provide some homeschooling books. However, if you think your spouse would be too overwhelmed with all of this, be prepared with a condensed version of the important facts instead such as statistics or results of homeschool studies.
Talk about the benefits.
You may already know all the benefits of homeschooling but your spouse may not. Mention the obvious benefits of homeschooling, such as your kids being able to explore their interests instead of doing busy work all the time.
However, don’t stop there. Make sure to include other benefits that may not be initially that obvious to your spouse such as having more time to teach your kids about your business.
Take your spouse to homeschool conventions.
Homeschool conventions are usually attended by homeschool families from all places and from all walks of life. It would be a great opportunity to see just how big the homeschool community is and that all types of families homeschool.
Have your spouse attend the talks and workshops so that he or she will be more informed about certain aspects of homeschooling. Browse curriculum and other materials available at the convention. Seeing all of the possible resources that can cater to your family’s specific needs might make your spouse realize the benefits of individualized education and encourage him or her to open up to the idea of homeschooling.
Meet homeschool families.
Sometimes your spouse’s hesitation stems from the fact that he or she doesn’t know anyone who homeschools. If you do, introduce them and let them share their experiences in homeschooling including their ups and downs.
It would also be nice if you can introduce several families who are in different stages of their homeschooling journey. This will give both you and your spouse a better perspective on what to expect.
Suggest a trial period.
After doing all these things and your partner is still not sold, suggest a trial period. It can be for several months or even a whole school year. Then evaluate after that. Are you and your kids happy? Were you able to achieve your learning goals? You both just might realize some things about your family, yourselves, and about homeschooling that you haven’t known before.
Just know that a school year, or even a month, will not look the same as the next. Changes in your business or personal life can affect your homeschool, so know that nothing will be perfect and that you’ll need to adapt to whatever season your life is at. If you’re not happy with the trial period, you can always send your kids back to school.
Allow your spouse some time to process everything so that he or she can make an appropriate decision. If the answer is still “no”, you’ll have to respect that. Don’t let it affect your relationship. The important thing is for both of you to make a united decision. Just because your spouse doesn’t agree to it now doesn’t mean he or she won’t in the future.