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How to get across that homeschooling is "real" school


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So the conversation with dh's cousin went like this:

 

Cousin: "So, are you coming to visit with dh this week?" (a mid-week overnight trip 3 hours away)

 

Me: "No, we have school."

 

Cousin: "Oh, the kids go to school now? Why can't just you come then?"

 

Me: "I can't come, because I'm the teacher."

 

Cousin: "Oh, you have a job teaching now?"

 

Me: "I teach the kids."

 

Silence.

 

Cousin: "Oh, you mean you still homeschool the kids."

 

Me: "Yes, but we've just gotten off spring break so we need to get back to work."

 

Cousin: "But they aren't going to school. Why can't you come?"

 

I changed the subject. I understand that we can be flexible. But I don't understand why she doesn't understand that we still have stuff that we really need to get done by the end of the school year. And that yes, they really are going to school - just at home.

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I am very fortunate and have very good family support for the most part.

My husband has a cousin that HE gets to deal with for that exact reason.

 

IN fact I told her about the thread on here where the cashier was talking about kids not learning SOCIALISM and she says "You homeschool so your kids dont get socialism? You dont want them to know how to act around other people?" :001_huh: And I told her to look up the word SOCIALISM and she later says to me THATS NOT WHAT SOCIALISM MEANS :001_huh:

 

But I have a few friends back in Mi where we moved from that talk like that. Just the other day I was talking to a friend who said "So if you ever put your kids back into real school are you afraid they are going to be really far behind a public school kid and won't be able to handle the pressures of real school?"

 

:rant:

 

UGH so annoying. Sorry off my rant now

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I think this is more just benign ignorance than anything else. "We still have stuff that we really need to get done by the end of the school year." Did you say this part? Some people don't get abstracts--they need concrete to "get it." If she doesn't teach in any way, she may just not be clued in.

 

I would recognize positively the (mutual?) desire to see each other and just spell out the reality:

 

"I would really like to see you too! I know it seems like we should just have all kinds of flexibility because we homeschool, but that's just not the reality. For instance, you wouldn't expect a teacher in a different kind of school just to blow off a section of the math her class was expected to learn, right? Well we have x number of lessons left to finish before the end of the year. I have to adhere to a schedule of instruction just like any other teacher or we would end up not meeting our learning objectives. "

 

I don't think she's necessarily disrespecting homeschooling. I think she's just not imagining it accurately. I know it feels disrespectful because you know how hard it is! But isn't that true with so much in life? I know, for instance, that I really ticked off the friend who was supposed to do a solo in our wedding when I wanted to change the song a couple weeks before the wedding. I mean she had a good voice and she could learn a tune easily, right? So I had no idea that I was throwing her a curve ball when I asked to change it. I just didn't know what it took because I was not a singer. (I kept the original song after hearing it spelled out for me about practice, etc. I had no idea she had to practice more than a couple times! It was pure ignorance, not disrespect.)

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We always take trips "off season". Our family vacation is in Sept. We visit family in April instead of March. However, they still want to visit us on their vacation time. I can't tell you the number of times they have called and announced they're coming for a week and we've just gotten back from a week off. We school year round so we can accommodate pretty easily, but it's still frustrating.

 

Phone calls in the middle of the morning are also one of my pet peeves/

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I think this is more just benign ignorance than anything else. "We still have stuff that we really need to get done by the end of the school year." Did you say this part? Some people don't get abstracts--they need concrete to "get it." If she doesn't teach in any way, she may just not be clued in.

 

I would recognize positively the (mutual?) desire to see each other and just spell out the reality:

 

"I would really like to see you too! I know it seems like we should just have all kinds of flexibility because we homeschool, but that's just not the reality. For instance, you wouldn't expect a teacher in a different kind of school just to blow off a section of the math her class was expected to learn, right? Well we have x number of lessons left to finish before the end of the year. I have to adhere to a schedule of instruction just like any other teacher or we would end up not meeting our learning objectives. "

 

I don't think she's necessarily disrespecting homeschooling. I think she's just not imagining it accurately. I know it feels disrespectful because you know how hard it is! But isn't that true with so much in life? I know, for instance, that I really ticked off the friend who was supposed to do a solo in our wedding when I wanted to change the song a couple weeks before the wedding. I mean she had a good voice and she could learn a tune easily, right? So I had no idea that I was throwing her a curve ball when I asked to change it. I just didn't know what it took because I was not a singer. (I kept the original song after hearing it spelled out for me about practice, etc. I had no idea she had to practice more than a couple times! It was pure ignorance, not disrespect.)

 

I think you are correct that she is not imagining it correctly. And no, I didn't spell it out like I should have.

 

When I mentioned the conversation to dh late last night, he just rolled his eyes and said, "You realize that you were talking to M, right?" This is the cousin who gets an idea in her head about what someone should do, and nothing can sway her from it. Before I had kids (when I had been told that I couldn't have kids for medical reasons) she hounded me with advice on what I should do in the bedroom etc. in order to fulfill her command that I have kids. Nothing I could say about Drs. etc. could sway her. So I will keep your words in mind for other people who don't understand, but in her case, I think it was best that I changed the subject!

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YES!!! Family is clueless. My retired mom wants us to come visit all the time. She doesn't understand that I can't keep taking off! We are just half way through math (again) and I can't take off any more weeks. I don't want to haul things there...they won't work the same with all the distractions. Heck, we can barely do school when she visiting here!

 

I have no answers. Ironically my dad assumes we bring school everywhere we go....even on vacations, lol!!

 

Stand your ground. Tell her that she probably wouldn't pull her kids out of school just any old time to travel and so you can't either. Yes, you have flexibility but right now you have used up all your free play days ;-)

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My mil is retired and is a dear friend to me. For the beginning of this year, she and I would go out shopping or to lunch or to a movie every couple of weeks in the morning while my fil watched the kids. Then (theoretically), I would homeschool the kids in the afternoon.

 

It just wasn't working for us. The kids couldn't settle down to learn in the afternoon after the excitement of being at their grandparents' house.

 

I've told my mil that we can only go out together if it's after the homeschooling is done for the day--around 2 pm. She doesn't seem to quite get it. She keeps asking for us to do things and when I say, "Well, ok, but it has to be after 2," she'll say, "Oh! That's too late. We won't be able to do it then."

 

My mil isn't being difficult or mean. We just really enjoy our time together and she wants to be doing things with me. I think she's hoping I'll change my mind and start going out again in the mornings.

 

Now that I've typed this, I think I might need to come up with a plan. Maybe I'll set aside one day a month for my mil and save the fun homeschooling projects for that afternoon. Instead of coming home and doing math and reading, we'll do the history or science projects that day.

 

I could have my cake and eat it, too that way.

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I think you are correct that she is not imagining it correctly. And no, I didn't spell it out like I should have.

 

When I mentioned the conversation to dh late last night, he just rolled his eyes and said, "You realize that you were talking to M, right?" This is the cousin who gets an idea in her head about what someone should do, and nothing can sway her from it. Before I had kids (when I had been told that I couldn't have kids for medical reasons) she hounded me with advice on what I should do in the bedroom etc. in order to fulfill her command that I have kids. Nothing I could say about Drs. etc. could sway her. So I will keep your words in mind for other people who don't understand, but in her case, I think it was best that I changed the subject!

 

:tongue_smilie: Glad you arrived at the solution that suited the audience: pass the bean dip!

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Three cheers for the supportive dh in the case !

 

Other people know that our homeschooling "is real" because. . .

 

. . . I do not answer the telephone during school hours unless I detect something really important is afoot.

 

. . . We schedule appointments for outside of school hours, with the exception of music lessons (because the teacher is more available during school hours).

 

. . . Our house overflows with books.

 

. . . Dd spontaneously talks about what she is learning. (as did her now-graduated siblings before her)

 

. . . I often cannot engage in an impromptu social event because I "am working" (lesson prep).

 

. . . Everybody knows that I don't fib, and that since homeschooling is a full-time job, I never would make up so preposterous an excuse not to drop everything and go have fun with my friends !

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I find this attitude is also true of just being a SAHM. They think you are available to do their errands. My mother was always asking me to meet the cable guy, pick her up at the airport, run something across town. I had napping babies at the time and was pregnant. Even now DH wants me to do the running around during the week. Last month he had me pay the electric bill, it was a 45 minute round trip- when he drives by it every day-just 30 minutes before they open GRRRRRR

 

Lara

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We aim for 40 weeks of homeschool, although we take our breaks every 5th week. I'd probably try to say something like that "We need to do 40 weeks of school to get through out curriculum, and we can't fit in any breaks right now".

 

Overall though, I have to say, I can't even convince my student that this is "real school", so what hope do I have with anyone else?

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Cousin: "But they aren't going to school. Why can't you come?"

 

 

"Learning is work and requires discipline, and we have found a routine is required to make sure they get the education they deserve and need. Wouldn't want me to let them down, would you?" Repeat as needed.

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Good responses here!

 

I am dealing with this week too-dh's very elderly (89) aunt died (they live 2 hours away) and the kids and I are not going to the funeral due to 1. them being too young and 2. need to do school-dd has been very ill with chronic Lyme and we need to keep plugging to make up for time lost when she was at her sickest.

 

Unfortunately, I will not be able to stick up for myself because dh's family doesn't confront-just talks behind one's back! At least you're able to defend yourself! :)

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"Learning is work and requires discipline, and we have found a routine is required to make sure they get the education they deserve and need. Wouldn't want me to let them down, would you?" Repeat as needed.

 

:iagree:

 

This is the very best response I have heard, ever. I'm filing this one away for the future.

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We aim for 40 weeks of homeschool, although we take our breaks every 5th week. I'd probably try to say something like that "We need to do 40 weeks of school to get through out curriculum, and we can't fit in any breaks right now".

 

Overall though, I have to say, I can't even convince my student that this is "real school", so what hope do I have with anyone else?

 

"Learning is work and requires discipline, and we have found a routine is required to make sure they get the education they deserve and need. Wouldn't want me to let them down, would you?" Repeat as needed.

 

I like both of these!

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My MIL is just like this as well. She is constantly wanting to take our kids to her house to spend the night with her (which she always wants to stretch into the entire week) she doesn't understand that we have school. She always says we can send their work with them and she will do it with them. We did that once, they come home with nothing done. She didn't have time to get around to it and figured we could just do it next week. UUUUGGGHHH! And she doesn't get that this is why we don't allow this.

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