“We’re Homeschooling” – breaking the news to your family!

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Updated 9/29/2022.

Most parents, even if they are quite committed to the idea of homeschooling, have a few insecurities as the moment arrives to make that final decision and begin homeschooling.

The school has an enrollment deadline, and you let it pass.

The school bus goes by that first day, and your child is not on it.

Yes, you’ve begun, for better or worse. It’s a decision that seems so final, and although we know it is right, there’s that lingering fear planted from years of having attended school.

Will we fail, and will our child be harmed?

Will our child’s future be ruined?

It’s a little message that says that the only way to get an education is to go to school. . . only the teacher knows what is right. . .be good, and do what you are told to do. If your child wasn’t on that bus, or you are considering withdrawing them from school, you are no longer obeying that message, and some discomfort often accompanies that.

It’s tough enough to make the personal decision to home educate without having to also tell others about your decision. Some parents make the announcement when their child is still an infant, and let family and friends (and perhaps themselves) have years to get accustomed to the idea. Others wait until the child is of school age, just to avoid prolonging any arguments that might occur.

Yes, friends and family will have strong opinions about your choice to educate. Some will fear that it is illegal and that you will get in trouble. Others are going to be concerned about your child’s future because you don’t have a teaching credential, or they’ll recall you weren’t that terrific a student.

They’ll look at a little five-year-old, and question how you will teach that child high school chemistry. Or they will worry that the child won’t be admitted to college with “only” a homeschool education. They’ll wonder how they will learn to get along with others, if not at school.

And, you might even be accused of doing this for selfish reasons because some will think you aren’t willing to let your child leave you and establish an independent life – at the age of five. We worry a lot about apron strings in our society! We receive societal pressure that tells us it’s a good thing to see a three-year-old happy to be with others all day. It means they’ve adjusted well. If you and your child enjoy each other’s company, then you will likely receive the message in some way, at some time, that you have failed as a parent. You will be reminded that your job is to separate from your child, and the sooner the better because this kind of dependence on loved ones is viewed as a weakness.

The pressure will indeed be on for any family deciding to homeschool. It’s one of the reasons I recommend that you find a support group and why I post homeschooling information on Facebook and Pinterest. There is very positive news to report about homeschooling, and we now know without a doubt that homeschooling is good for children!

Originally published in The California Homeschool Guide.


Karen Taylor’s always homeschooled son attended a local community college after graduating from homeschooling. He transferred to UC Berkeley as a junior, and received a PhD in neuroscience from UCSF.  She shares homeschooling comments and links on Facebook, Pinterest, and this blog.