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Home > Support > Homeschooling > How do I handle negative feedback or surprised responses from family?
 
 
Question: We are new to homeschooling and feel so blessed to have found CHC curricula. I feel in my heart after thinking about homeschooling for 2 years now that finally I am at peace with the inner voice inside me calling me to homeschool. I have 100% support from my husband and children. Our 8 year old has never been happier. My question is regarding the negative feedback or surprised responses from family who cannot imagine homeschooling and think it is very odd we are pursuing it. Is this a common reaction with other moms out there and any suggestions on some awesome responses for me to reply with. I am a very loving mom and am passionate about CHC and homeschooling. I have found peace in myself and my family and am looking for some support on the extended family front.
Answer:

Dear Mom,

The peace with which we attend to the tasks at hand is (to my mind) the most powerful witness to our inner resolve and the truth that our calling/vocation is of the Lord's will. It is obvious to me when I read your lovely letter that not only are your children truly blest to have a mom who describes her role as one of passion but who speaks eloquently to a much higher emotion: peace within oneself. Praise God from Whom all blessings and all comforts come.

It is unfortunate that those who should feel at least someway connected to our journey to the Lord's will at times do not share our vision. Let me tell you something that I think will help.

When I first began growing in my faith through charismatic prayer I was amazed and astonished at the amount of knowledge and insights I received from those who shared this journey with me. One night as I was praying in front of the Monstrance I heard an interior voice say 'Love Me'. I was so moved that I could hardly wait to share this experience. I did share with a close friend and her reaction was not at all what I had expected. What was so powerful to me, did not seem to touch her heart in the least. I was crushed. I went to my parish priest to speak with him. He explained that sometimes in our faith walk, the Lord touches us and compels us with such vision and peace that we are eager to share that experience. However when we share it there are those who can not fully understand the depth to which our feelings are moving. This is not bad just needs to be understood.

Remember the first time you held your baby. The emotions were beyond human words. Even if you were the most gifted writer/photographer/artist you could not completely convey the depth of your feelings. This is of the Lord. For you see our relationship with the Lord is very intimate and unique to each person. This makes our journey with the Lord so profound and comforting. Imagine a friend who knows you better than you could know yourself. Our relationship with the Lord is more intimate than our relationship with our spouse.

Now considering the nature of your relationship with Jesus (and His loving call to you to homeschool your dear children) there will probably never be words that will adequately address the depth of your feelings. Many times we must resign ourselves to this and accept that a certain amount of misguided response is unavoidable. Think of this response as a gentle persecution. You are not being misunderstood for your choice to homeschool but for the loving and focused passion you feel when you are answering the Lord's call.

Imagine that you are in a room full of moms. Your babies are in the next room. You hear what you believe to be your baby crying. You  immediately get up and go see to your baby. Suppose the other moms admonish you for your response? Perhaps they will say 'I don't know why you dash off to see after your baby.' or 'I can't understand why you think you must tend to your baby so quickly. Do you think you are a better mom than the rest of us?' or 'Sit down and let the babysitter handle it. After all she has had lots of training.' All of these responses sound absurd, don't they?  But as absurd as these responses are to your reaction when you hear your baby cry, what would be even more absurd to me, is your listening to these responses and following suit.

When the dear, tender Jesus calls us into His loving will for our lives, we have only one response that leads to the peace that passes all understanding. Our response is to answer His call and allow our spirits to rest in His embrace.

Gently and with compassion ask your dear family to pray for you as you begin the journey in the homeschooling lifestyle. Reassure them that you need their support and value their help. Reassure them that through prayer you feel that you are indeed within the Lord's will in this choice. Once this is said, leave it there and do not let the Tempter niggle you into picking up the comments that are hurtful. Offer up your gentle persecution for those in the world who are persecuted more cruelly than you or I want to imagine.

Please bind your feelings of hurt to the cross of our Lord. He will honor your desire to follow Him in His will for you and will uplift and encourage you more than you can believe at this moment.

I admire you very much. I especially admire your 'passionate dedication' to the needs of your children. That is a holy witness for me during these times in my life when I sometimes feel pushed or hurried. The children are the gift.

Let us pray together a Hail Mary for the needs of all mothers in the world who find that they are not only persecuted for their loving choices but find themselves with little in the way of physical resources to comfort and sustain them. Our Lady of Perpetual Help, pray for us.

Sending out a prayer,

Rita Munn

   
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