Stay Calm and Positive
The most important thing you can do when someone reacts negatively to your schooling choice is to remain calm. Staying cool and collected will not only represent homeschools in a positive light, but will leave your mind (as well as the other person's) more able to communicate effectively. Explanations will come out better and be better understood from a person who is calm and has a positive outlook.
Listen To Concerns
Even when someone has a differing opinion, it is still important to listen to their concerns. Consider why they might have certain thoughts about homeschool. Figure out a way to ease or resolve those concerns with helpful information on the concerned response. Don't be afraid to state your case, but at the same time, be understanding. Just because someone does not agree with you, it does not mean their concerns are not valid. It also does not mean they have anything against you as a person.
People make the decision to homeschool for a wide variety of reasons. It is common to research the reason you choose to homeschool. However, it will be to your benefit to also keep up with current information on the main topics that come up about homeschooling, such as socialization, test scores, a parent's ability to teach, and curriculum questions, to name a few. When you are armed with information, rather than just arguing or stating your opinion, it can be much easier to help people better understand your choice to school your children at home. Reading articles on homeschooling, studying current events and homeschool laws, and even keeping up with the most recent research studies on homeschool, can help you stay informed.
Let Your Choice Speak For Itself
This method works best for dealing with those who will be around you most often, such as friends, family, and co-workers. Generally, these are the ones who will be the most critical of your choice. This is because these are the people who care about you the most. They are not always questioning you to be nosy or to boss you around. Quite often, it is because they are concerned about your children. Instead of being offended, use the options above, but also let your choice speak for itself. Over time, as your children advance in their studies and also thrive in social skills, behavior, and other areas, the reason for your choice will become quite evident. When you are fully committed to your homeschool choice, most often the children will, indeed, thrive. While you may deal with some negative responses and reactions, the fruits of your dedication will show in time.
*I originally published a version of this via Yahoo Contributor Network