Homeschool Corner

Dealing with “Negative Nellie”


Dealing with negative family members is kind of a given when you homeschool. I mean, who doesn’t have an “Aunt Nellie," who, at every Christmas gathering, asks, “So how much longer are you going to homeschool? You certainly aren’t going to do it in high school, are you?"

Now you could pray that God would take Aunt Nellie “home” before your kids get to the high school years, fake a cold and miss the next 20 Christmases, or wear dark glasses and a fake mustache and hope she doesn’t recognize you, but that would be too easy.

Instead, you need to take the “Aunt Nellie by the horns" and stand firm in the convictions you hold.

Now, I need to direct my next comments to the dads out there. (I’m sure “the girls" will have plenty of good advice for you moms).

So, Dad, this is one issue where you need to stand up and be your wife’s knight in shining armor. When those challenges and questions arise from family members, you must step up to the plate and allow your wife to hide behind you. You need to be the one delivering the answers (if possible).

For example, you might need to say, “Yes, Aunt Nellie, we are still homeschooling and we’ll keep doing it …”

You may even need to pull your aunt, parents, or in-laws aside and say, “When you say those things, you really discourage my wife. I know you don’t mean to, but you need to stop."

That, my fellow Dad, is how you deal with negative family members.

Biographical Information

Copyright, 2009. All rights reserved by author below. Content provided by The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC.

Todd Wilson, “The Familyman,” author of Lies Homeschooling Moms Believe, Help! I’m Married to a Homeschooling Mom, and The Official Book of Homeschooling Cartoons, is a dad, writer, conference speaker, and former pastor. Todd’s humor and gut-honest realness have made him a favorite speaker at homeschool conventions across the country and a guest on Focus on the Family. Todd and his wife Debbie homeschool their eight children in northern Indiana when they’re not traveling around the country encouraging moms and dads. You can visit Familyman Ministries at www.familymanweb.com.