Informing Your Family
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By Julie Carlson
Have you been asked numerous questions regarding your choice to homeschool? Well, if you’re like us, we’ve been bombarded. We decided to put together an information packet to give to people when asked questions. We started by writing a letter, intended for the grandparents, stating when school will start, what will be taught, what groups we belong to and our family and educational mission statements. We also included our school name and any upcoming activities that would be attended. We then attached this letter to photocopies of homeschool information like the state laws and requirements, a list of curriculum publishers, helpful books to read and anything else that would answer the questions we’ve been asked.
Once this was done, we mailed it out to family and friends, and when anyone else would ask about homeschooling we would simply reply, "I’ve got an information packet I could send you." The response has been overwhelming, and the endless questions have stopped. Now the questions are, "How’s school going?" rather than "Is this legal?" Be sure to include any information that will validate to others that you are well read and know what you are doing. Questions like "Do you have a teaching degree or certificate to do this?" will change to "How do you like teaching?" We’ve discovered that most of our ‘adversaries’ were only uninformed and appreciated the information. The relatives were comforted to know that school was school and not some radical educational process to brainwash kids. And yes, there are still those that completely disagree with homeschooling and will continue to debate until they’re blue in the face, but we’ve found that these people are best dealt with by simply stating that this is a conviction to homeschool our kids.
Bruce and Julie Carlson are in their first official year of homeschooling. They have one child, Jessica, who is in the second grade. She attended public school in the first grade after skipping kindergarten due to mom and dad instructing her at home. The Carlsons were house parents for juvenile offenders during that time. They’ve always had a conviction to homeschool and were consistently involved in a local church homeschool group throughout the years. After being exposed to the realities of the Omaha Public School system, they knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that what they’ve heard over the years was true.
This article is reprinted from the Eclectic Homeschool 1997.
Copyright © 1997, 2005 Eclectic Homeschool Association