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Answering Confidently about Homeschooling


How confident are your answers when co-workers or others ask you about homeschooling? Do you feel like you are always having to explain yourself?

Here's the thing: you don't. And when you spend time trying to justify yourself, you are inviting unnecessary debate. In this video, we talk about the importance of confident answers.

You can download the audio on Soundcloud or listen here:

Here is the transcript:

Hi there, Kelly Harbaugh with working homeschooler here. And this week I want to talk to you briefly about your confidence and answering questions about your choice to homeschool. Let me first tell you a story. When my son was getting ready to approach his senior, I'm sorry, his high school years - his freshman year, he had been homeschooling for a year. And we had all decided that he was going to continue homeschooling through high school. And this actually wasn't a problem for my son. He wanted to do it. 

However, he was getting bombarded with questions from not just friends, but his friends parents about his decision, asking him all kinds of "what about" and "why" questions. And this was getting a little bit stressful for him to handle.

So he was discussing this with my husband, trying to decide what to do and how the handle this. And he was almost ready to just go to school to keep everybody quiet. But my husband gave them some very wise advice. He told him, You don't need to explain it. You don't need to answer the questions. You just tell them, "This is the decision I've made period. If you are confident and firm about your decision, people stop bothering you about it."

Well, a couple days later, my son came back to us and said, "Yeah, you know what that worked. People quit bothering me quit asking me questions when I just said yes, this is what I'm doing. This is what I want to do, period."

So there's a lesson in there we adults can learn, too. Now, there's a time and a place for talking about the benefits of homeschooling. But we can't feel like we need to get in defense mode - once you've made a decision, once you're confident and you know, this is what you're going to do - You can't get into defense mode in every conversation. The key is really to be very matter-of -fact and confident. You can be friendly, you can be nice, but you need to be very matter-of-fact that this is just something we've chosen to do because it's best for our family, period. And you don't need to invite the debate if you don't want to. 

This was key for me whenever I I returned to work and had really just started homeschooling. I had about a year behind me because I actually had a period of unemployment, where I started to homeschool. And so whenever I returned to work, it was a brand new job. It wasn't the job that I had been with for years. And so people were learning all about me right from the beginning. And I had at least had that year under my belt to say, yeah, I'm homeschooling and say it confidently and I really just didn't invite the debate.

And you know what? Most people didn't question me about it. I got a few questions down the line from co-workers after we had been working together for a while. And that's okay. You can usually tell the difference between sincere questions where people are wanting to learn more about it, and people who are just wanting to confront you on your decision. 

So my advice to you is just to answer confidently. If it's not the right time or place to debate, don't invite the debate. Tell them what you're doing, period, and leave it at that. And guess what, just like my son found, I bet you will find that most people will just leave me alone. Have a great day.