Ah, the holidays. It is a time to wind down and get a respite from the homeschool life. It brings cooler weather, longer nights and good food. It also brings those relatives. You know the ones. The ones who come visiting with a judgmental eye for you and ready with 20 questions for your children testing their academic knowledge. They are still deciding if you made the right decision to homeschool. This year being prepared and having confidence in homeschooling will get you through the holiday season when those relatives arrive at your doorstep.
When you decided to homeschool your children, you probably never planned on them being on constant display or for your decision to homeschool to become an extended family affair. There is something about the holiday season that opens the door for relatives to share their well-meaning “concerns” about homeschooling. During that time, homeschool children become contestants on an episode of Jeopardy and their parents make a special guest appearance on a version of the Dr. Phil show. Everyone else (other family members) becomes part of the audience as they watch in support with applause and smiles or criticism with an “I told you so” look, depending on your responses.
If that has never happened, consider yourself lucky. If that is a regular occurrence during the holiday season (or any visit throughout the year), know it is not unusual. It may seem unfair, especially when your public school and private school relatives (children and their parents) are not treated the same way. If homeschooling is not a supported choice within your extended family, know you and your children are going to be targets. That would make anyone angry, but why waste your time? Instead, turn the situation around and use it as an opportunity to let your children shine and for you to do some (home) educating of your family.
Play the Game
If they get to ask your children 20 questions, then your children get to do the same of them. That challenge may just bring the “game” to a quick finish before it even starts. Knowing their intellect will too be challenged may cause them to retreat. If not, play along and choose categories:
Go random and take the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Civics test
Share a Scrapbook of Children’s Work
Be ready with a scrapbook of the work your children have completed. Relatives will enjoy flipping pages through a scrapbook as your child tells them the stories of what they have done. Scrapbooking is a fun way to manage paperwork from the school year and for your children to have a personal book highlighting special pieces from each subject they cover in school.
Have your children prepare a play or skit to present before dinner or as after dinner entertainment. Give those skeptical family members front seats for a show they will enjoy.
Read a Story
If you have a new reader, let them show off their new skills by reading one of their favorite books. Older children may enjoy tackling a more advanced read and choose a holiday classic like A Christmas Carol or a standard that never grows old, the Bible and the story of the birth of Jesus.
If you have musicians in your home, present a holiday concert. Christmas songs sound wonderful played as solos on any instrument. Your children may enjoy playing and/or singing duets or larger group with all of their siblings. Mom and dad may also want to join in on the presentation.
Treat Your Guests
If you have a child who loves to bake (or likes to help bake), let them make a few of the special treats that will be served for the holiday dinner or given as gifts for your family members to take home.
Revisit Your Reason
Remind yourself why you decided to homeschool. This will not only help you with delivering good responses, but also help you with the confidence you need when questions are asked. We never really forget the reason why we homeschool, but sometimes need to be reminded every once in a while in case we get sidetracked.
We do not homeschool to impress. Despite that, sometimes our children are going to be placed in that position. The worst things that can happen from that experience are your children feeling like they are dumb or you like a failure as a teacher. Just because your children do not get 100 percent on the impromptu oral exam does not mean they are not learning. Even If you stumble over your words as you share the reasons why you homeschool, all that matters is that you know and understand your reasons. You can be ready for your family and their questions. Do not allow them to upset you with their challenges. Be ready to home educate them on homeschooling. You are the best example they have with homeschooling, so be prepared and shine.
Don’t miss a thing! Subscribe to the HomeLife Academy blog and get our articles in your inbox!
©2019 HomeLife Academy. Article by Jennifer Smeltser. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the publisher /.