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Homeschooling and the unsuportive family....

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#1 mlgbug


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Posted 24 January 2010 - 07:33 AM

So my family i dont think is going to fully accept and agree with our decision to homeschool....

my sister is a 4th grade teach,....but we are polar oposites

my parent si think will accept it, but will still try to tell me to send the kids to school to socialize them....but i know after reading here that as long as i get them out to socialize, then they will be fine....

if your family doesnt fully accept the idea, do they get over it or still trying to get you to put them into school?

when i mentioned it to my sister she acted like i coulded teach ALL THAT IS TAUGHT in K. come one, give me SOME credit :)

#2 ThatCyndiGirl


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Posted 24 January 2010 - 07:37 AM

Are you new to the homeschooling community? I only ask because an old gem that many still talk about is "pass the bean dip".

As in, "yeah, but you don't really know enough to teach X subject"

...."pass the bean dip, please" (change subject)

I have to do this a lot with my family of origin, not with homeschooling, but when they rant on anything else. I just change the subject over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again.

And I repeat as needed. LOL


#3 mlgbug


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Posted 24 January 2010 - 07:39 AM

yep new to the world. well, ive been teaching the kids, but no one knows how in depth i do...

#4 Pamela H in Texas

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 08:09 AM

They eventually get over it (either accept that it's your choice or accept homeschooling altogether). In the meantime, thank them for their concern and change the subject. They'll learn in time to quit butting their nose in your choices when you don't engage in the argument.

#5 Evanthe


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Posted 24 January 2010 - 08:13 AM

Relatives can be a drag...mine do that too. We had huge fights last spring when I pulled my kids out of school (with my sister - of all people). I've also caught my mother-in-law "quizzing" my kids and asking my husband when they're going back to real school. My brother-in-law told me that he thought a teacher should come out to our house once a week to "guide us" and check on the kids' progress. WTH???? :confused:

Parents and parents only are responsible and accountable for their children's upbringing. Everybody else can mind their own business. No one is going to know your child like you do. The school didn't teach my son how to read - I did.

I'm sorry that you have this problem too. :glare: Growwwwwl...

#6 homebychoice


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Posted 24 January 2010 - 08:35 AM

My family thinks we're nuts, but we didn't tell them anything until they started asking when dd was getting almost to the point of going to PreK. When they asked (in dh's family), he just matter of factly told them "She's staying home and we are going to homeschool her." I think they were rally shocked, but my dh does not try to defend our stance - it is none of their business. We don't ask our other family member how on earth they expect their kids to get an education in the public school - we could point out some pretty good reasons why we don't think putting kids in school is a good idea (especially in the public school here, and especially at 4/5 years old). But we don't - we are all adults and we all have to make decisions that are best for our kids and our families.

I would just matter of factly tell them that this is a decision that you and dh have decided, and it's not up for discussion.

Wait a few years, I am one who believes the proof is in the pudding.

stand strong and put on your thick skin and ignore all opposition.

#7 CalicoKat


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Posted 24 January 2010 - 08:54 AM

give them some time. Your kids will eventually persuade them in some weird quiet way you never anticipated that homeschooling is the absolute BEST educational adventure.

Then when you're ready to quit because your tired and burned out all of a sudden they'll be cheerleading you and they won't support if you want to quit. :D

My sis is a PHd carrying English/Lit professor who all but skinned me alive when I mentioned homeschooling 10 years ago. Just last weekend she and her daughter were here visiting and she said two surprising things.

First she said that she was glad my 2nd daughter and her daughter are such good cousin friends. She liked what her daugther was learning from mine, good behaviour, how to be a good friend, and reading! Evidently my daughter had been teaching her after we tucked them in bed at night. :D Her daugther is 6 mine is 9.

Secondly when I mentioned how burned out I was and how much easier this would be if I put the littles in day care during the day while I taught my older kids she said, "NO! They're learning so much about just hanging out with all of you every day." She was talking about the character training. "Dont' quit!"

So take some time to write down why you decided to initially homeschool. This will encourage you when you're feeling low after family comes to visit. Your kids have a great mom and dad.

#8 Prudent


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Posted 24 January 2010 - 09:59 AM

I think they were rally shocked, but my dh does not try to defend our stance - it is none of their business.

This is how we handle everything with our family. We're grown ups, we don't have to and will not justify our life choices to anyone other than God.

#9 prairie rose

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 10:28 AM

We've been homeschooling since my oldest was in K (really since they were born but my oldest did have a 6 month stint in public pre-k at dh's request) so we've been homeschooling for about 7 years or so. No one seemed to say anything at first. They weren't over the moon but they didn't have anything really bad to say about it either.

Recently, my dad has been making some off hand comments about putting at least my oldest ones (11.5, 9.5 and 8.5) in public school. His reasons? Socialization (the same kids that they would go to school with spending all their non-schooling hours at my house isn't enough I guess) and getting them "on schedule with the rest of the world". :confused: Yes, we hold some non-traditional hours sometimes but that's so that the kids can spend some time with dh when his work schedule is non-traditional. Does that mean dh also needs to go to school so he can be "just like everyone else"? :lol: My dad seems to think that learning to get up at o'dark thirty in the morning when the alarm clock goes off every morning is a learned skill that my kids aren't learning by homeschooling. :confused: Funny, my kids don't seem to have a problem doing it when we do hold a traditional schedule or if we have to get up early for some reason. They are also more flexible and I find that to be a much more valuable skill than being "just like everyone else". ;)

We are considering buying a house that is the next street over from an elementary school, my dad actually said, "that will be good for the kids because even if you don't enroll them, they will be on a better schedule because they will hear the other kids going to school in the morning." :confused: :lol: Ummm...bean dip please? ;)

No one in our family questions that we provide a better and more well rounded education to our children than the public schools and that they are quite socialable and have more self-confidence than most kids their age. They make friends easily and usually have lots of friends where ever we move to. But even then we are not immune to judgemental comments and the idea that because we are living a non-traditional lifestyle that we are somehow damaging our children. :001_tt2:

#10 scrapbookbuzz


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Posted 24 January 2010 - 12:00 PM

Parents and parents only are responsible and accountable for their children's upbringing. Everybody else can mind their own business. No one is going to know your child like you do.


That, in itself, is 'nuff said, so to speak. :D

However, IF you feel the need to say something (but you really don't have to) bring it to them in a way they can understand. For example, my mother, upon discovering that we were coming BACK to homeschooling this year, once again said, "Well, I think they should be in (public) school."

I put it to her this way: "Mom, Arizona is ranked 50th out of 50 states for public schools. The public school just down the street from us can't even meet Arizona state standards. I can meet state standards."

She said, "Oh" as she was laughing and agreed with me. Since then, she's not said a word about our choice in schooling.

May you be encouraged in your decision! :)

#11 sunshine


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Posted 24 January 2010 - 12:01 PM

My SIL, whom I refer to in rather unladylike terms that I will spare you, for the last 5 years made comments every holiday (because that is when we see her) how my son wanted to go school (this is my teenager who thinks all schools should be closed because the socialization is what is wrong with kids today) really and that he was too scared of me to say so. Hmmm pass the salsa,...as I laugh politely and my ds rolls his eyes.

My MIL who was apalled that I wasn't going to put my kids in the elementary school that she put her kids in (they all turned out sssoooo great, BIL on crack, hubby to SIL who thinks my ds secretly wants to go to school, and me ALWAYS on the verge of kicking out dh) NOW sings the praises of homeschooling and wishes SIL would homeschool her son.

FIL loves my ds, FIL is a jerk but admits publicly that in my ds's case it was a great choice. Hmmm, see above description of FIL.

Most friends that we had (and I say that in past tense) that I see occasionally like to play the "My child is doing this and he has accomplished that and if it weren't for this great school etc.....game.
I politely smile and make snide comment "wow, I had heard that school had a 3% success rate and I am sooo thrilled your dc was in it! How proud you must be!"

You of course will not be mean like me, and will admire the accomplishments of the little hoodlums and smile sweetly while saying....
"Pass the salsa please and did you hear that a meteorite hit a doctor's office in VA?"

#12 m0mmaBuck


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Posted 24 January 2010 - 12:32 PM

I come from a family of PS teachers.... 3 brothers are teachers... their wives are school employees (psychologist, speech pathologist, preschool aide)... 2 of my nephews are teachers... one of their wives is a teacher... 1 neice is a teacher.. 1 neice a librarian... my MIL is a teacher... You get the picture.

Anyway, their view that only teachers understand teaching (which may be true in the sense of wrangling large groups of children of various levels and potentials to stare in the same direction for 6-7 hrs/day) and that homeschooling doesn't yield excellence in education (based on the few 'failed hs'ers' that return to the system now and then and are grade levels behind where they should be) was my biggest obstacle initially.

With my family, I explained where my son was in school (they were ready to bump him up a grade) vs. where he actually is in terms of his true education (mastery of language, math, etc, and total lack of any background in science or history other than what he got at home), they were stunned. I had to remind them that I don't live in WI where they all teach and our system is in the bottom 25% in the country... With a few examples of his education and dealings with the school... as well as me telling them that if they thought he needed to be in PS they could move here to teach him... they finally got on board or at least quit talking about it.

My MIL, on the other hand, teaches at a very expensive private school here in town and she KNOWS the public system. She has been more than supportive of our decision and sometimes is a bit too helpful, bringing home worksheets, curriculums, and books ad nauseum to make sure that I know all of my options.

My friends who have kids in the same system frequently remark that they wish they were brave enough to pull their children. The only 'negative' remarks have been more of the "How do you stand being home with them all day?" type.

#13 mrs.m


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Posted 24 January 2010 - 12:55 PM

I have a lot of people ask me "why?" and I don't want to make them feel like my choices are better than their choices.

I found there's two different type of people: 1. People who fight it because they don't feel like it is something they can do (but something deep down makes them attracted to it). Or that I'm going to try to talk them into homeschooling and preach on the terrible public schools, etc. I find these people to be slightly interested but ready to debate. I don't engage because I'm not out to change their mind. And I learned that the debate sometimes leads them into feeling guilty about their situation. It's not like they can quit their jobs and start homeschooling. Or if their children have finished school, they are really questioning their own past choices and can't go back and change them. These people are ok to discuss it with because they are a little more open. I can always tell these types because they continually justify their choices, aren't attacking mine, and they ask a lot of questions.

And 2. people who think that since they are not doing it (or didn't do it that way), it couldn't possibly be a good choice. These people just want to fight. It's not healthy. I will not engage in this type of conversation. They naturally assume that I am going to be hostile in my approach because that is how they react when someone disagrees with their choices for their families.

I have people in my family that fall into both camps. I also have some that are very supportive and others that could care less what I do.

Many people did the "look how much my kids have learned" even when my kids were in PS. They're PS was always better or so great. Blah blah blah.... It's human nature to want to one-up someone. People talk to fill the space, so I let it roll off as small talk!

So my response is when asked "why" is usually "It's best for our family." Yes, empashize the "our" so that they don't feel like I'm saying that they are wrong or that they have to homeschool. And I leave it at that. Any further attempts to carry on the conversation result in me needing to check on my children or have to excuse myself for a trip to the bathroom. ;)

Edited by jannylynn, 24 January 2010 - 12:58 PM.

#14 Joanne


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Posted 24 January 2010 - 08:05 PM

Here is a link to the Bean Dip response.

It's more than changing the subject and, even if it's not the approach you always take, it is probably worth reading.