If your spouse is against homeschooling, it’s time for a candid conversation.
I fell in love with homeschooling during the pandemic, but I will never forget the look on my husband’s face when I said I wanted to keep homeschooling. It was an expression of complete skepticism. So, I dug into the research, I put together my best argument, and I wrote him a paper. If you need to get your spouse on board with homeschooling, this is the approach I recommend.
It’s a sensitive subject, and I know I felt crushed by his doubts at first. Why doesn’t he understand? I kept thinking. This will be so much better for our family. I took some time to understand his concerns, and I wrote an initial argument about why I want to homeschool in this post, but in my paper, I went into a great deal more detail, obviously. While your reasons to homeschool will be personal, and individual to your family, I can give you a free printable template to help you craft your best argument, and put your most careful and considered thoughts on paper. I’m incredibly proud of the paper I put together, and I can’t wait to hear my husband’s thoughts about it.
YOUR HOMESCHOOLING MANIFESTO
That’s literally what I called my paper. The Homeschool Manifesto. Because it was a 20-page-long masterpiece. Yours may not be that long; but here are the points that I would include:
- Any Research You Have Done
- Your Specific Family’s Situation and the Reasons Why You Want to Homeschool
- Any Details or Exciting Ideas You Have About What Your Homeschool Will Look Like
OK, Let’s Break This Down:
If you’ve looked into any specific scholarly research about homeschool, you can open with that. I did a very basic overview of the many, many papers I’d read, since I knew that my husband’s biggest concerns were my whys and hows (sections 2 and 3).
If you need help looking for homeschool research
My “Homeschool Research” category has the summaries of the most pertinent and useful studies that I read. I would also be happy to help you find research, if you’re looking for it. Reach out to me and I’ll be sure to connect you with the information you want!
I would recommend keeping this section the shortest. If your husband has any specific homeschooling myths that he has mentioned in his objections, just go through some of the studies that debunk them- socialization questions, college admissions, etc. Homeschooling is a perfectly valid choice that leads to very desirable outcomes- and even the critiques of homeschooling that I read were careful to mention that! To get your husband on board with homeschooling will probably take more than just some basic statistics, so the next sections are the critical pieces.
Section Two: The Heart of the Matter: WHY
This is where you pour your heart out. I made sure to talk about the ways each of our unique, wonderful kids would benefit and learn best through homeschooling. I had done a bunch of research about Finland’s school system and why it’s so good- so I talked about why I felt our homeschool would be better able to mimic some of their effective education methods.
Take some time to really think about what brings you joy in having your kids at home right now (during the COVID pandemic). The things about which you are most excited are probably the things it will be easiest to get him excited about as well. Share any special anecdotes or experiences you’ve had at home with your kids. If your husband is like mine, he’s been working hard, holed away in his office, and maybe hasn’t had a chance to share and experience the day-to-day pleasures that homeschooling can bring. Now is the time to clue him in! No detail or reason is too small or too silly. Everything you share will bring him new insight into your thought process. Your enthusiasm could very well be infectious!
Section 3: Your Exciting Plans
This is where you spout all your amazing, creative ideas for curriculum, schedules and special plans. If you’re like me, you’ve already started shopping for homeschool curriculum, so this won’t be hard to write! Be sure to include any thoughts you might have about homeschool co-ops, virtual classes, etc., especially if your spouse has concerns about socialization.
I put together a full weekly schedule, complete with room for play-dates, to include with my paper. I also included a list of potential “extra-curricular” activities for our kids to try over the course of the next many years. Don’t be afraid to suggest things, even if they don’t work out in the end! The point of this paper is to let him know, you’ve been thinking about all the amazing things. Once he sees all your hard work, thoughtfulness, and preparation, I think it would be hard for him to have any major objections.
The Very Best Way to Get Your Husband On Board with Homeschooling
After all your hard work writing, a follow-up conversation will be in order; after he’s read your thoughts. He’ll still have questions, and may need you to decide some other things that you hadn’t even thought of. My husband’s biggest question for me was about our “exit strategy”… what would we do and how would we decide if homeschooling wasn’t working? Once we nailed that down, he felt a lot more comfortable!
The very best way to make this decision is together. After all, they’re your children together, and you’ll still need his support- maybe even more than ever- after you take on this new, exciting role. Be patient, and offer him the chance to “sleep on it”. Depending on how his brain works, he may just need a little time to get comfortable with the idea. After all, his concern is rooted in his deep concern and love for your kids! I had to remind myself of that often, when I was feeling impatient or frustrated.
I Want to Hear How it Goes!
Please write to me and tell me how it goes, if you decide to write your paper, or just make some notes. Don’t feel anxious, just give it your best, and your heart will shine through! I’m rooting for you!