The same effect happens with new homeschoolers. Critics can smell a new homeschooler a mile away.
Have you noticed that the new homeschoolers are the ones who get the most questions, the most doubts from family and friends, and the most harsh criticism?
Confident homeschoolers don’t get bugged as much. In fact, cool, confident homeschoolers, are kind of frightening. They’ve done their homework, they’ve heard all of the questions, they know a LOT. You can’t stump them. They don’t cower at criticism or worry about what people think of them. It doesn’t make them uncomfortable to be asked tough questions (although it might annoy them). It’s like trying to question a seasoned politician about social security.
Confidence begets confidence. When we have confidence about our choice to homeschool, it puts people at ease. When we are nervous about it, it shows, and people are nervous about it too.
It’s very much like public speaking. When we see a speaker stand up, take control, and show confidence in himself in front of a group, the audience feels at ease, and trusts him. Even if he is saying things that we don’t agree with, his stance and comfort shine through, and we don’t feel like he’s unqualified. But if we see a speaker who is nervous, uncomfortable, or otherwise doesn’t seem to have a grasp of what he’s talking about, the audience feels it, and gets antsy too.
So, fake it until we make it, because it’s when we show we’re confident (not cocky or narcissistic, but comfortable), we put people at ease around us, and they’ll be less likely to grill us about homeschooling.
(The Bohemian Booklover has a great post on this topic, too.)