When Your Spouse Doesn't Want to Homeschool

What can you do when you’re ready to commit to homeschooling, but your spouse isn’t? Do you nag and badger until your mate is ready to concede? For many, that may seem like the right approach, but it’s not. Just ask any seasoned homeschooling parents, and they’ll tell you the same thing. When it comes to something as important as your children’s education, being in harmony and on the same page with your spouse is a must!

Is there anything you can do to begin the agreement process? Try these helpful ideas bellow:

Ask God for wisdom and follow His leading in obedience. The God of the universe is certainly more capable of changing your spouse’s heart toward homeschooling than you are. Like King Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles, Chapter 20, try singing homeschooling’s praises in subtle ways and let God win the battle by moving your mate’s attitude through outward circumstances and inner conviction from His Word. Be faithful, submissive, and prepared to wait for God’s time table, allowing your spouse plenty of space and time to think things through.

Get informed.
Your spouse will respect your opinion more if you have substantiated facts to back up and prove homeschooling’s benefits. Visit homeschooling blogs, forums, and websites to research and glean answers that will dispel the many myths associated with homeschooling. Talk to experienced homeschool parents, visit homeschool groups, attend homeschool conventions, and read information on homeschooling approaches and philosophies. Know your topic and show that your desire to homeschool is more than just a whim.

Talk it out.
Find out why your partner is against homeschooling? Is he/she concerned about the extra workload, the possible loss of income to the family budget, no time together as a couple, or social acceptance within the community? Are there extended family members who are opposed to homeschooling? Whatever the reason, have an open mind, listen to the concerns, and find out your spouse’s reluctance to homeschool so you understand his/her thinking. (Note: It’s best to discuss this important topic when your spouse is refreshed and not exhausted from a hard day’s work.)

Show; don't tell.
If your spouse is questioning your teaching ability, pick a subject in which you’re knowledgeable and work together with your child on fun-filled lessons or projects. Whether you teach a Bible story each night before bedtime with a LIFEPAC®, kitchen science experiments on Saturday mornings with The Science Chef, or a trial homeschooling run over the summer months with a Switched-On Schoolhouse® elective, demonstrate how you would prepare lessons and homeschool on a daily basis.

Invite a homeschool family to dinner.
Host a meal at your home or a picnic in the park with others so your spouse can better grasp what it is like to be a homeschooling family. Most people understand homeschooling better with hands-on activities and face-to-face interaction with other homeschoolers, rather than just reading what it’s like to homeschool from a book.

The bottom line is that homeschooling is hard enough without having a spouse who is overly critical of your teaching and sending mixed messages about homeschooling to your children. Like your marriage relationship in general, you need to be one in Christ and educate your children together as a team. Step back, be positive, and be patient as you remember how long it took for you to be won over to the many wonderful benefits of homeschooling.

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