The Homeschool Minute ~ Diana Waring – When Your Extended Family Is Not Supportive of Homeschooling

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 When Your Extended Family Is Not Supportive of Homeschooling

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Relational Homeschooling    

Diana Waring

 Dear Friends,

Imagine if life were perfect:

You announce to your relatives that you are going to homeschool your children. They all burst into spontaneous applause, telling you how loving and wise you are to show this kind of courage and sacrifice in raising your children. Not only that, you are so esteemed by your church and community for making this choice that you are unanimously voted Mother of the Year.


Yeah, I know. That is not what most of us experience when we homeschool. I have often shared stories of my own experience in the mid-1980s, scenarios like this one:

My mother, enraged that I would ruin her only grandchildren, yelled, “What about socialization, what about computers, how will they ever get jobs?”


My father thought I was nuts, my grandparents were shocked, my mother-in-law–a special-ed teacher with a Master’s degree–was thoroughly disgusted.

Come to think of it, not a single relative WAS supportive. That is, until my Aunt Mary asked me to share what I did with my children in our homeschool. It was a bit scary to answer her, because Aunt Mary was the principal of an elementary school in Gainesville, Texas. You can’t get much more invested in public schools than that.

Surprisingly, this sweet, encouraging woman listened carefully to my description of homeschooling in the Waring home, and then said, “Diana, what you are doing is a gifted-and-talented program for your kids!  This is what EVERY student should have!!”  She went on to say that her school district could only afford this approach to education for a few hours per week for a few lucky students. With amazement, she added, “But YOUR kids get this every day, all day!!

Here is the take-away:

What you are doing at home has the potential of being the VERY BEST program of education on the planet. All it needs is your loving and listening heart, time for their creative exploration and imaginative play, and lots of laughter. Oh, yes, good educational materials are helpful, too.

Tell those relatives that you are giving the VERY BEST to your kids!! And, remember, stay relational!



P.S. Hope I’ll see you in Cincinnati this weekend! And, to learn more about the approach we used, the one Aunt Mary thought was the best way for kids to learn, check out my classic on homeschooling, Beyond Survival. And, to see it implemented in a world history curriculum, check out my History Revealed.

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