WithoutSchool.org : Homeschooling in India

Handling Resistance to Homeschooling

Schooling has become ingrained in the DNA of society and when somebody starts thinking about or decide to live without school then resistance can be expected from partner, family, friends. When you are straying away from what everybody else is doing you are at increased risk of facing criticism or blame or stress and conflicts in relationships. It is very common and many homeschooling families deal with these challenges.

When faced with these conflicts, the person who is thinking about living without school need to see that people resisting, especially family members also have need for well-being of the child. So both parties have same need that is well-being of child, but they may have different ideas about what this well-being means and how it should be served.

We may not want the relationships to get bitter or strain them. Instead of fighting with people or getting angry or irritated at people, consider first knowing and telling them that we respect their need for well-being for the child and then very gently bring it to their attention that we are doing it for same need of well-being of child.

When somebody has not ever thought about, heard about or seen such radically different things or ideas, this all arrive as shock and first reaction could be rejection. People even could be unwilling to listen to your arguments, ideas and reasons. Some people could just be defending their own decisions to use school for their children and in process ridicule homeschooling.

Where people and relationships matter, time can be provided to people to absorb such shocks slowly. It may take time and meanwhile we may try to understand their needs for resistance and keep communicating our needs through gentle requests. We may consider avoiding communicating in ways which would give message that our choice is non-negotiable. Many times we observe that when people start living around the idea, then the idea may sink in gradually. Many times after observing that child is learning and doing fine in homeschooling or unschooling environemnt people put their faith in this option. This happened with many families where one partner was unwilling, but after seeing effects, the views of the person changed.

Some families decide to try homeschooling for some time maybe for an year and see if can work for family, majority families here do not return to school. If children are being pulled out of school then many of them may need some time to make shift from conditioning and structures of school to school-free environments and new freedoms.

People may have different reasons for not wanting to homeschool. I would say that you do not need to defend every aspects of or every argument against homeschooling. Homeschooling or unschooling do not need to fit perfectly for every different idea people have about living.

In my view traditional schools, alternative schools, homeschooling, unschooling will have their pros and cons in context of different family circumstances, peoples needs and individuality of children. If you homeschool you could be missing some useful elements from schooling and and if you are using school then you could be missing some of the advantages living without school can offer. Many times you can't have both and do trade-off.

I say there are pros and cons, and for us pros outweigh cons substantially for our needs and we continue living without school.

Families should have dialog to figure what their collective needs are and which system is better suited to serve those needs.


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