by Amy Tjaden
Homeschool.com News Editor
I’ve spent hours scouring the web for inspiration for my next article and I’ve come up with nothing. I really need our readers to send me some ideas. Remember it can be anything homeschool related.
In the meantime, I’m going to focus on a topic I took right from the discussion boards. Recently there have been divorce cases that have shown how parents can be at odds with one another when it comes to the education of their children. But what about happily married parents who cannot agree? What do you do when you want to homeschool but your spouse doesn’t?
Veteran homeschoolers have offered advice on this thread over at Homeschool.com. Here are some other things to consider if this is an issue facing you and your spouse.
Try not to make it an issue of who is right or wrong. You simply want different things. As much as I’m a proponent for homeschooling, I realize there are people who just don’t understand it. It doesn’t make them wrong. They are simply basing their opinion on the information they have. So, instead of just hearing the word “no” when your spouse says he or she isn’t for homeschooling, find out why.
You want your spouse to listen to your reasons for wanting to homeschool. They deserve that same respect. Listen to why they don’t want to homeschool. Be objective and try to see where your spouse is coming from. Do not dismiss their concerns. Validate them. You may think some of their concerns are a non-issue but to them they are very real. Take the opportunity to use any research you’ve done to assuage their fears.
Make homeschooling a family objective. Instead of it being something that you are doing, it should something the entire family is doing. One spouse may be the primary educator but the endeavor should still be viewed as a team project. Let your spouse know how important this is to you and that you need him to be on your team.
Even if you have not reached an agreement, remain united in front of the children. This is an issue about the children so you don’t want them to think they are a point of contention between their parents. Bring them into the conversation once you’ve reached a decision.
Be willing to compromise. If you can have this conversation while the children are still very young then you’ll have time to do your homework. You can plan ahead. Maybe you can start a homeschool program while they’re still preschool aged. This is what we did. My oldest son attended preschool two days a week for fun. We worked with him at home on his alphabet, shapes, counting and all the other things that go with preschool, even though at that point we had not made a decision to homeschool. By the time he was ready to start kindergarten it was just a natural flow to continue his education at home.
Homeschooling is not a decision to rush into and it certainly helps when both parents are on the same page. It will be easier to get to that page if you can be objective and respectful and try to see each other’s points of view. Hopefully from there you can reach a decision that will make the entire family happy.
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