June 9, 2008 at 10:50 am #243627
Although he’s only 8mths old, DP and I have recently decided we’re going to homeschool our son and are dreading the day we tell our families. We are both from very pro-school families and expect our choice to HS will be met with resistance and probably anger from our relos.
I understand that it’s ultimately our choice etc but I’m wondering how other HSs have dealt with family/friends who don’t agree with HS or were not very supportive?June 9, 2008 at 11:15 am #349192
good work, starting these things early chellabella.
i thought i would get resistance, but everyone has been really supportive. we’ve been hsing for a year.
there’s nothing like pointing out that it’s your choice and your family’s job is to be supportive or be quiet. however, i would suggest quietly quietly telling positive stories about hsing. they’re not very hard to find.
i reckon there’s no better PR instrument for hsing than a hs child. you could visit a hsing group event and take the relo most likely to see the light.
you’ve got lots of time, so just gently pave the way and by the time your son is ready to go to ‘school’, it won’t be a shock to your families and they may even be your biggest support.
good luckJune 9, 2008 at 11:20 am #349193
Good thread CB, I’ve been holding off from saying anything to our families as well. I want to say it because I’m excited about it, but I can’t be bothered with the endless explanations and rationalising that my mum in particular will expect. Interested seeing how everyone else handled it.June 9, 2008 at 11:36 am #349194
Basically people who dont support us drop off the radar so the speak.
It comes down to the fact that it is not anyone elses decision to make. When they see that your child is getting plenty of socialising opportunities from organised events, playdates with other homeschoolers etc…it becomes a non issue.
Im still dealing with the *academic* issues….but my family can easily see that my son’s vocab development etc is on par with other family members his age. In fact my son is alot more verbal so thats a plus.
Its also cool to see them freak out now and again when he talks about cells in the body or how tornados are formed 😆
Best of luck with it….if any other homeschoolers in perth catch this thread and wanna catch up pm me 😉
xxJune 9, 2008 at 1:14 pm #349195
I’m lucky my Mum has been very supportive, but then she saw first-hand how miserable DD was at school. Otherwise I don’t care what people think, and it does get boring rationalising and defending yourself. Nowadays, if I think somebody is genuinely interested in home ed I’m happy to talk to them about it, but if I think somebody just wants to grind me down, I just smile quietly and say to myself, “Isn’t it nice I don’t need your approval …” It takes two to continue an argument, and if you refuse to participate, it very quickly goes away. 😉
If it’s somebody you can’t really just give the silent smile treatment to, the broken record technique is a good alternative. Whatever they say, you say something like, “Well, it’s our decision and this is what we’ve decided will be best for our family.” Repeat until they give up. That is a valid response to any objection!June 9, 2008 at 9:31 pm #349196
My parents and family have been 100% supportive. My inlaws have been 100% unsupportive. MIL, SIL are teachers, FIL was a teacher. Teachers seem to either think it is a wonderful idea (a lot of home edders are ex teacher) or the worse thing you can do to a child – my inlaws are the latter.
Happily we live interstate, that helps 😉 I just don’t discuss it with them. At first I tried to, as did my hubby, but that cats bum mouth and the refusal to actually talk about it pissed me off too much. It is a wedge in the relationship between MIL and our children which is so sad. Though recently they’ve been going to a community school a couple of days a week, and her whole attitude to them has changed, and she is suddenly more friendly, approachable.
Majority of our friends though really couldn’t give a toss what education decisions we make, ditto us to them. Each to their own, we all make the decisions best for our families. 1 friend was initially very concerned, but over the years has realised different things work for different families – doesn’t help though when her son constantly asks if he can be home educated too ;).June 10, 2008 at 2:06 am #349197
I’ve struggled with this one too. I’ve come to the conclusion however, personal “faith” is all about maintaining a self-reliant ideal. You don’t need anyone else to approve or disapprove it – in order to believe it’s the right choice for you.
Of course it’s always nice to have approval but the people who often criticise home schooling, often don’t know much about the benefits to another family’s situation. I think home schooling could be bad if a parent completely chopped their children off from the real world, or didn’t allow them to have friends. Because that’s pretty much what bullies do at school.
If homeschooling is approached from including the children in the world, while also taking responsibility for their schooling at home, then it’s not really a bad thing. I actually joked to my husband recently, whether I had the knowledge to teach my daughter high school stuff. That’s when I realised half the problem I didn’t learn much is because I didn’t want to be at school in the first place.
Yet here I am – a member of society – part of something more than myself and my knowledge. 😆June 10, 2008 at 2:09 am #349198
Yet here I am – a member of society – part of something more than myself and my knowledge
That’s an excellent point, Metu!June 18, 2008 at 4:09 am #349199
Good topic Chella! One of the most important aspects of home-schooling is not to get sucked into believing you need to have a certain knowledge for any particular age level. Effective home schooling should not in the slightest resemble a structured school-like atmosphere or curriculum. Our western society has brainwashed us to believe that we are not capable of effectively teaching our children, and that only some snotty nosed, know-all punk fresh out of university or a grumpy old man/woman could possibly teach our children (up to 25-30 at once).
Learning can be found everywhere, baking a cake is science, as is maintaining a veggie patch. Feeding a pet teaches responsibility, going shopping teaches maths & economics in a real life situation, if your child helps write the shopping list, it teaches the essential skills of writing, reading and spelling. Going on a beach holiday teaches planning skills, geography and outdoor ed. The trick is to involve our children in everything we do! They are so very capable!
Essentially school was designed to keep children of the streets and out of the workforce, that is a fact. Curriculum has been designed to fill time & to shape our children into acceptably functioning members of society as our government sees necessary, not to equip them with the knowledge they REALLY need. Anybody who tells you that only a teacher can effectively deliver learning needs a reality check…. HELLOOOOOO, I know some people going through uni to become primary teachers, ALOT OF THEM CAN NOT EVEN PUT A SENTENCE TOGETHER PROPERLEY OR EVEN SPELL SIMPLE WORDS! Uni don’t teach up and coming teachers curriculum, they spend most of their time studying ‘psychology-like’ topics, basically being brainwashed to believe that school is the only effective form of education. Most uni teaching students haven’t seen a curriculum until they get a job following completion of their degree.
Learning is experience, exploring, failing, prevailing & so many more things that school can not offer. School takes away a child’s natural desire for learning, & forces them to ignore their instincts and take on ideas foreign and sometimes even wrong to them. Children are so easily inspired, what better vehicle for learning is there than inspiration?!
Go for it Chella, this is the way we were MEANT to raise our children.
🙂June 18, 2008 at 5:10 am #349200
i’m reminded of dh telling me about a book he had read that had references to stuff like prometheus and saying that most people don’t know who prometheus is.
ds7 promptly piped up with ‘i know prometheus. he was…’ and told the story.
i’m not saying that one’s education should be judged on knowledge of ancient myths; rather their ability to learn some stuff of interest to themselves and others.
dh had been a strong doubter about hs but that episode and others have pretty much convinced him that his education is superior to the beige rote learning he was subjected to at school.
disclaimer: not all schools are beige, not all teachers are wasting their students’ time. all school readers are unforgiveably boring 🙂June 18, 2008 at 6:12 am #349201
RedHen2, I love your disclaimer…. it says so much. i recently had my eldest two go to a local community school(while we moved house) and I could honestly say that the teachers were interesting and passionate about helping the kids to learn. It was a tiny school, so the child teacher ratio was much better than what exists in bigger schools. Slowly many of my ideas about why not institutionalised school were being addressed. I couldn’t use my normal protests against school because of this school, and yet my heart is stilll for home education.
I think the trick is to remeber…write down why you are making this decision… all the reasons. It helps on the ‘low days’ to bea bale to read over that list.
Even if you have all your family on side… even if all your friends understand/tolerate your decision, Home ed. seems so radical to the larger community that it is just so hard for them to wrap their heads around the idea… you do tend to be trotting out your reasons … one more time.
I love to explain that most of my friends who were teachers before they began their home ed journeys have found that they have had to ‘untrain’ themselves… that much of what they learned and experienced in the class room does not translate that well.
It seems that mothers without prior ‘classroom experience’ may have a particular advantage there:D.
I also love sharing about families I know where dad goes to work to teach school… and mum home educates their own kids… such an expression of confidence in the system I think 😀June 18, 2008 at 8:31 pm #349202
love my girlsMember
Thought you might like this, came across it a while ago and could relate to nearly all of it. The person that wrote this really has it covered. 😆
The Bitter Homeschooler’s Wish List
1 Please stop asking us if it’s legal. If it is â€” and it is â€” it’s insulting to imply that we’re criminals. And if we were criminals, would we admit it?
2 Learn what the words “socialize” and “socialization” mean, and use the one you really mean instead of mixing them up the way you do now. Socializing means hanging out with other people for fun. Socialization means having acquired the skills necessary to do so successfully and pleasantly. If you’re talking to me and my kids, that means that we do in fact go outside now and then to visit the other human beings on the planet, and you can safely assume that we’ve got a decent grasp of both concepts.
3 Quit interrupting my kid at her dance lesson, scout meeting, choir practice, baseball game, art class, field trip, park day, music class, 4H club, or soccer lesson to ask her if as a homeschooler she ever gets to socialize.
4 Don’t assume that every homeschooler you meet is homeschooling for the same reasons and in the same way as that one homeschooler you know.
5 If that homeschooler you know is actually someone you saw on TV, either on the news or on a “reality” show, the above goes double.
6 Please stop telling us horror stories about the homeschoolers you know, know of, or think you might know who ruined their lives by homeschooling. You’re probably the same little bluebird of happiness whose hobby is running up to pregnant women and inducing premature labour by telling them every ghastly birth story you’ve ever heard. We all hate you, so please go away.
7 We don’t look horrified and start quizzing your kids when we hear they’re in public school. Please stop drilling our children like potential oil fields to see if we’re doing what you consider an adequate job of homeschooling.
8 Stop assuming all homeschoolers are religious.
9 Stop assuming that if we’re religious, we must be homeschooling for religious reasons.
10 We didn’t go through all the reading, learning, thinking, weighing of options, experimenting, and worrying that goes into homeschooling just to annoy you. Really. This was a deeply personal decision, tailored to the specifics of our family. Stop taking the bare fact of our being homeschoolers as either an affront or a judgment about your own educational decisions.
11 Please stop questioning my competency and demanding to see my credentials. I didn’t have to complete a course in catering to successfully cook dinner for my family; I don’t need a degree in teaching to educate my children. If spending at least twelve years in the kind of chew-it-up-and-spit-it-out educational facility we call public school left me with so little information in my memory banks that I can’t teach the basics of an elementary education to my nearest and dearest, maybe there’s a reason I’m so reluctant to send my child to school.
12 If my kid’s only six and you ask me with a straight face how I can possibly teach him what he’d learn in school, please understand that you’re calling me an idiot. Don’t act shocked if I decide to respond in kind.
13 Stop assuming that because the word “home” is right there in “home school,” we never leave the house. We’re the ones who go to the amusement parks, museums, and zoos in the middle of the week and in the off-season and laugh at you because you have to go on weekends and holidays when it’s crowded and icky.
14 Stop assuming that because the word “school” is right there in home school, we must sit around at a desk for six or eight hours every day, just like your kid does. Even if we’re into the “school” side of education â€” and many of us prefer a more organic approach â€” we can burn through a lot of material a lot more efficiently, because we don’t have to gear our lessons to the lowest common denominator.
15 Stop asking, “But what about the Prom?” Even if the idea that my kid might not be able to indulge in a night of over-hyped, over-priced revelry was enough to break my heart, plenty of kids who do go to school don’t get to go to the Prom. For all you know, I’m one of them. I might still be bitter about it. So go be shallow somewhere else.
16 Don’t ask my kid if she wouldn’t rather go to school unless you don’t mind if I ask your kid if he wouldn’t rather stay home and get some sleep now and then.
17 Stop saying, “Oh, I could never home school!” Even if you think it’s some kind of compliment, it sounds more like you’re horrified. One of these days, I won’t bother disagreeing with you any more.
18 If you can remember anything from chemistry or calculus class, you’re allowed to ask how we’ll teach these subjects to our kids. If you can’t, thank you for the reassurance that we couldn’t possibly do a worse job than your teachers did, and might even do a better one.
19 Stop asking about how hard it must be to be my child’s teacher as well as her parent. I don’t see much difference between bossing my kid around academically and bossing him around the way I do about everything else.
20 Stop saying that my kid is shy, outgoing, aggressive, anxious, quiet, boisterous, argumentative, pouty, fidgety, chatty, whiny, or loud because he’s homeschooled. It’s not fair that all the kids who go to school can be as annoying as they want to without being branded as representative of anything but childhood.
21 Quit assuming that my kid must be some kind of prodigy because she’s homeschooled.
22 Quit assuming that I must be some kind of prodigy because I home school my kids.
23 Quit assuming that I must be some kind of saint because I home school my kids.
24 Stop talking about all the great childhood memories my kids won’t get because they don’t go to school, unless you want me to start asking about all the not-so-great childhood memories you have because you went to school.
25 Here’s a thought: If you can’t say something nice about homeschooling, shut up!June 18, 2008 at 9:46 pm #349203
Also be prepared for those that not only disagree but try to undermine your decision through your children.. My 5year old got off the phone from my MIL in tears a couple of days ago because she had been telling him he should go to school, that all kids go to school, that school is so much fun.. I was (and still am) so ropeable about that! Disagree with our choices all you like, but do not try to brainwash my child!!June 18, 2008 at 10:18 pm #349204
This is silly, I know, but, people often say to me “what about school”? (but I am cheeky by nature lol). I say, well I went to school and if you think that I learned nothing, then what’s the point of me sending my kids there??? tehehe!
Also, “what about socialisation”? I say that, “Yes, my kids, socialise with each other, kids their own age, people who are older and people who are younger than them”. That’s a lot of socialisation.
Some still complain, even though, my kids are respectful to others, they seem to think that it’s not normal for kids to be nice to adults. D’ah…how many times do you hear, about people complaining about kids mouthing off at adults, they don’t know and vandalising things, and when they meet kids who don’t do that, it’s wrong too??? My kids can and do talk to adults and don’t look bored. They also converse with other kids and are more confident in their interactions.
I know what you mean about undermining through children, boy that annoyed me.:@ Some relatives had done that with DD, they tried to poison her mind against homeschooling by telling her about how wonderful school is and she is missing out.(behind my back) Or they asked her questions about what she does learn, instead of just talking to me. That was until I told them in no polite terms to stop doing that. I am very protective mother hen lol
People have stopped asking stupid questions of me now about homeschooling.
Just weed out the parents who are homeschooling for weird reasons (you’ll meet a few of them lol) and the rest of us are normal.June 18, 2008 at 10:37 pm #349205
I’ve noticed the trend for some people to point out that homeschoolers are weirdos, from another planet maybe? I laugh now at the judgemental attitudes of people because I really don’t care anymore! I just ignore it, and live life as I please. If I want to hs my kids than i will. If you want to question me, I’ll tell you that it’s really none of your concern. I guess I just got past it all thankfully! I am currently trialing hs with my older son who is enjoying his time at home learning and is also doing better at school now when he’s there.
He feels more confident in himself because he has been getting more attention and focus from me and is actually retaining information and spelling and reading better in a very short time. He needs more than what the teacher in his class at school can provide. Many kids have needs that cannot be met at school and are you really a bad parent for providing them with their needs?
To hell with the arrogant attitudes of others! Live your life, you only have one, do whats best for you and your family!
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