My husband was against home education when we first started out. I remember excitedly taking him to our first home ed conference and rubbing my hands together conspiratorially and thinking YES!
This will be great, he will see all that I love about it
On the drive home, filled with happy beans and home ed zeal, I asked him what he thought of the day?
His hands went white on the steering wheel and he said, ‘I felt like I was on the edge of the lunatic fringe.’
And this was a a relatively normal gathering. While there were the a few longs skirts and headbands, and the occasional dread locked hippy. Most people there looked pretty main stream, they looked like him.
(yes I know I have used stereotypes, but that is what he saw).
And so it went.
He eventually came around to ‘allowing me a trial’. And 19 years later we are still home educating. Mostly because he trusted me as mum, rather than home education itself, which was nice, kinda.
But mostly nice I think.
I truly believe that it is one of those parenting choices that your partner needs to get comfortable with themselves, or decide to trust you with the journey.
No amount of arguing or debating will change some people’s minds, because the cognitive dissonance can be too uncomfortable.
Perhaps asking questions more about what is worrying a partner might be helpful so you understand what is going on. Not to argue, but to plant a seed that leads to some honest discussion.
- What do you mean when you say socialisation?
- Is what you are saying an opinion, or have you spent some time learning about it?
- Do you know much about that?
- Have you had experience with home ed children that has worried you?
- Do you believe every school child is social capable?
- Are we really going to let that happen? We are good parents, we want what is best for our kids surely?
Sometimes questioning and understanding what is behind the worry can be more beneficial than bombarding someone with loads of information that they may not emotionally/mentally be ready for. Sometimes having that knowledge may cause them to question everything they have ever known to be true. And that can be a scary place to be.
Go gentle on them, it is a big thing for most people, let alone people who are uncomfortable with the concept.
It can challenge a lot about what they know, and who they are. That creates great discomfort sometimes.
The last thing you want is for that discomfort to be transferred to home education, rather than for it be addressed and owned for what it is- discomfort about something that challenges a long established world view.
If this is your reality, I hope you find the way that works best for you both.