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How do you get people to respect your HS time?


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I turn off the phone. People accuse me of screening calls, but I just tell them it's off while I'm working. They seem to understand the situation better if I call it "work." I also placed the doorbell inside the front closet, so you can only hear it from the front room.

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You are going to get a variety of answers on this from turn off the ringer to embrace the calls.

 

Here is what we did. When the calls came in I would say hello and briefly hear the purpose of the call and then say we were schooling and that I would call them back.

 

After a few times, people would stop calling unless it was an emergency. I would also mention as casually as I could at another time that I hoped they would call if they really needed us.

 

One of the lessons i want my kids to learn is that we are available to our friends who truly need us. If one of our friends truly needs us, we will drop everything to help - it's happened about 3 times over the years. I want my kids to see that in action.

 

Now I check our caller id, and if it is someone we know, we answer, because it's rare, and it is usually very important.

 

It just takes time. Good luck!

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this is an issue I have been dealing with for years with my in-laws. I have had them come over to have coffee and sit through one of our lessons while giving the kids their opinion on the subject (FIL) or ask to borrow something, or I just wanted to see how you are doing, or can you watch the kids for a few min. etc. This year I have decided to make a nice little door hanger out of wood and paint it...then write School is in session, please come back later. The phone one is easy.....just don't answer the phone. I think the worst part is when everyone thinks because you are home you must have nothing to do so therefore could you give them a ride, pick up there kids, do them a favor. :glare::glare:

 

oh and my answering machine use to say....."Hello you have reached the Jaure family, we are doing school right now, we usually finish around 4 o'clock so if you leave a message I will try to call you back after 4. Thank you"

Edited by hsm6kids
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I don't answer the phone. However, we have voice mail, so at an appropriate time (perhaps even during our school time), I check for messages and, if it's important, I call back. "During our school time" might be a short break before starting the next class, or a *nature* break, or a snack, etc. - you get the idea! Before long, people realize that school time is school time and school is important and they will not call unless their reason is very important.

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I really like Amy's answer. What a good point! Basically what I do is have my phone on vibrate, and when it buzzes I check to see who it is. By now, most people realize we're busy with school and leave a message. I wait until we come to a good place to pause, check the message and take appropriate action from there. That way I am not ignoring an emergency if there is one.

 

And if you are on FB, just start posting things on your status about how you and the kids are doing with school, etc. Pretty soon your circle of friends and family will see that you are focused on this and that you shouldn't be interrupted.

 

Blessings,

Lucinda

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Eaglei - that is what I do as well.

The only person I will answer the phone for is my DH. If I KNOW I am waiting for a call back from a doctor, I will answer for numbers that could be something like that as well. I do listen the the messages throughout the day - and I have had to call people back - but there is nothing saying we have to be so connected to our phones all the time. I kinda miss the days when leaving the house meant no one could get ahold of me :)

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I don't answer the phone unless it is dh. :) ETA: I like the door sign idea. We've gotten a fair number of sales people interrupting our school time.

 

for those I would put up a no solicitors sign. Trust me, they'll think they are the exception to your don't interupt school sign. They'll still try to act like they didn't see my sign which is right above the door bell and is NEON green.:glare: I do check the door when someone rings. It could be a package. :D

 

I don't answer the phone either except from my DH, my parents, and one of the dear friends who is also a homeschooler. She only calls if it is important. Otherwise she'll text or send an email. I'm the same way when it comes to communicating with her. We do a lot of texting. LOL!

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I do check the door when someone rings. It could be a package. :D

 

 

 

This is me! I always have books arriving! Thankfully they usually come later in the afternoon here, so I don't have to worry about school interruptions.

 

ETA: I'm always amazed at the other homeschoolers who don't respect our school time. Blows me away.

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Guest janainaz

I would not take it personally, I just would not answer the phone.

 

Some people just don't think about it. But after several attempts at calling during the day, eventually, when you remind them that you just don't answer the phone, they get it.

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We turn the ringer off on the home phone and put the "SCHOOL IS IN SESSION" sign on the door. Right below it is the "CRANKY CHILDREN FINALLY SLEEPING. KNOCK OR RING DOORBELL AT YOUR OWN RISK". We've only had one interruption in the past 2 years of the school and cranky children sign. Evidently the screams of children woken up too early from naps can be heard through the front door. :D

 

(Personally, I think it's the cranky children sign that has more weight so it's now laminated. Some days it stays up until we go to bed.)

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I use caller ID -- and decide if it is a call that MUST be taken. Usually it is not.

 

I have a 'please do not ring bell or knock on door' sign - unless I am waiting for a delivery that has to be signed for - I allow for those contingencies.

 

A couple of houses ago, I had a 'do not ring bell we are doing school' sign taped over the bell. When THAT didn't work, we disconnected the door bell. Then we put a 'do not knock, we are doing school sign' up.

 

NONE of it worked.

 

I finally just ignored it, and for the short time we were in that house, I made our classroom in a place where we would not hear the knocking........we had a nice schoolroom there and I would close the door to the room and have a box fan turned up high outside the school room door. That would block out just about anything.

 

In this house now, when the construction on the lower level is finished, the school room will have tons of windows, and I will be able to see if it is UPS or a delivery or something that I must stop for......but those breaks just take a couple of minutes.

 

We are not in a neighborhood with sidewalks and kids so that is no longer a problem. 'No Trespassing/No Soliciting' signs have taken of those interruptions.

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I've never done this before, but I am thinking of a message that goes something along the lines of....'school is again in session, so if you need to speak to mom or one of the girls, please call back after 4:00 PM. I have to leave the phone because dh is home and gets calls, so turning off the ringer is not an option.

 

In the past I've not answered the phone, only to have the phone ringing every half hour. Plus, there are some people out there who just don't get homeschooling is for real, not play time, and still call during the day - even after 15 years of telling them "I'm teaching".

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I have tried to accommodate folks over the years, but it isn't working for me. They simply don't realize how disruptive their quick visits are (especially church members). This year I'm blocking out 8am-3pm and saying no to visits during that time. Okay, one exception is my oldest. She struggles with being a young mom. She comes over once a week usually after lunch time. It's a mental health thing, so I've accepted it and am trying to work around it.

 

We have caller id, so the phone calls aren't as much of a problem. If it is DH I take the call otherwise I let the answering machine take it.

 

We also have a school sign that I put over our doorbell button by the front door. I had to make that when we started having visits from missionaries in the neighborhood.

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I turn off the phone or set it to go straight to voicemail & I don't return calls until we're done.

 

I do have a cell which stays on but only a tiny handful of people know that # & when it rings, I know it's important. I guard that ph# carefully. Everyone else gets the regular # which I pretty much never answer.

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I think it starts with you respecting the school time, as others have said. If I answer the phone and agree to chit-chat, that doesn't show that *I* am wanting to set limits.

I answer if my dh calls (rare) or if I am available to chit-chat. Most times I just let vm pick up and return the call later. However, now all of the dc are learning how to answer the how properly, and so the ringer might have to go off on the house phone during the day for a while. ;)

 

As far as visitors, we don't have that issue.

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when school is in session, I *only* pick up for dh or for the local school, since I have some kids in it. Otherwise, if it's important, the person calling will leave a voicemail. If you don't have caller ID, get it.

 

If you have people come to the door, leave a note saying "School In Session," and don't open the door.

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I turn off the phone or set it to go straight to voicemail & I don't return calls until we're done.

 

I do have a cell which stays on but only a tiny handful of people know that # & when it rings, I know it's important. I guard that ph# carefully. Everyone else gets the regular # which I pretty much never answer.

 

That's me -- I pretty much never answer the regular # - in fact, I think I only have it for.........well, I'm not really sure. Very few people have my cell # - DH, dd30, dd31, and one or two others.

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Eaglei - that is what I do as well.

The only person I will answer the phone for is my DH. If I KNOW I am waiting for a call back from a doctor, I will answer for numbers that could be something like that as well. I do listen the the messages throughout the day - and I have had to call people back - but there is nothing saying we have to be so connected to our phones all the time. I kinda miss the days when leaving the house meant no one could get ahold of me :)

 

SailorMom - Good points!

I forgot to mention that I, too, answer Dh's calls, and also if I'm expecting a call from a doctor. When the grandparents were alive, they were respectful of our school time and waited till we were finished to call. They knew, however, that if it was important, to call back immediately and I would answer. Only they had these instructions (and of course Dh knew this) so if the phone rang four rings, quit, rang again, then I answered it.

 

On another note, I am still in those days of being able to leave home and no one can reach me - - - Dh refuses to get cell phones . . . I would like for each of us to have one for emergency-use only - Dh says no. Maybe someday he'll change his mind - one can always hope. In the meantime, I do enjoy not being on a phone leash when I go out! :D

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I am new to this and am AMAZED that even though we are homeschooling and people know it, they continue to call during the day! Do you think we aren't doing something? :glare:What do you do to protect your time?

 

I don't answer the phone, and my husband and mother know to take messages during school hours. After awhile, people get the point.

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I am new to this and am AMAZED that even though we are homeschooling and people know it, they continue to call during the day! Do you think we aren't doing something? :glare:What do you do to protect your time?

 

I do answer the phone. We live overseas and before noon is late evening back in the US, so it is the best time for our family to call. But they only call about once a week, so it isn't a huge interuption.

 

What does lead me astray is being available for calls about scouting. I need to learn to answer the phone, say that we are busy and then GET OFF THE PHONE. I'm thinking that the phrase, "Now is a bad time, can you send an email or call back at 2 pm?" will be what I use this fall.

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I don't answer the phone. The ringer is turned off in the kitchen. The calls go directly to the answering machine in my bedroom. I check it every now and then. If it is an emergency, my family knows to call my cell phone.

 

We also do not answer the front door in the mornings unless I've made an appointment with a tradesmen.

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I have trained most of our family not to call during school hours unless it is important. MIL tends not to take the schooling as seriously and thinks I should change the kids' schedule or skip co op because the other grandkids are out of school and she wants my kids to join in for a playdate. I just stand my ground that this is a school day for us. Previously, I had more flexibility in our schedule and could allow some leeway, but this year we are scheduled very tightly and there is very little wiggle room. People will need to learn this. I don't really care how they feel about it.:tongue_smilie:

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Thanks to caller ID I totally screen my calls. Unless I am expecting a really important call - I won't even look at my phone.

If Dh or family has an emergency - they will keep calling until I answer. I missed a call from the Speech pathologist last week, 3 days in a row actally. By the time I'd be free to call her back, she was usually done for the day. By the end of the week, I got a hold of her and took care of scheduling DS's eval. Did the few days of phone tag make a difference in the grand scheme of things - nope!

 

And it is teaching DS that school is important and top priority. That he is top priority. :D And it is easier to keep him focused if I am totally focused.

We also have a rule of no electronics or media during school hours - unless I decide that we are watching a Discovery movie on Netflix (which he begs for daily now LOL).

 

While I probably would answer my door, it is rare that anyone stops by - but if stop popped over for a visit, I would tell them no, sorry come back later. I like the come back later sign - we did this when DS was first born (Mama and baby are sleeping, please don't ring the bell! Call us later so we can plan your visit while baby is awake!) and while it pissed some people off, it worked well for us.

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This is our fifth year and we have finally found a groove for protecting our time. First of all, everyone in our new neighborhood knows that we homeschool and that we follow a more year round schedule. When my kids go outside we are free to play. We have an unlisted home number that we don't answer during school; I use my cell phone more anyway. If we receive a delivery in the middle of a math lesson, for example, I leave the box outside until we are on a break. We also try to maintain flexibility in that we can't control everything that happens and must go with the flow. Last week we had gutters installed and the guy really needed to talk or something and we took a much longer morning break than intended. I forgot to add that we do most of our schoolwork downstairs now with a good view of the front of the house, very easy for me to see at a glance who it is.

Edited by iquilt
forgot something
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You are going to get a variety of answers on this from turn off the ringer to embrace the calls.

 

Here is what we did. When the calls came in I would say hello and briefly hear the purpose of the call and then say we were schooling and that I would call them back.

 

After a few times, people would stop calling unless it was an emergency. I would also mention as casually as I could at another time that I hoped they would call if they really needed us.

 

One of the lessons i want my kids to learn is that we are available to our friends who truly need us. If one of our friends truly needs us, we will drop everything to help - it's happened about 3 times over the years. I want my kids to see that in action.

 

Now I check our caller id, and if it is someone we know, we answer, because it's rare, and it is usually very important.

 

It just takes time. Good luck!

 

:iagree:

same goals here and same approach.

 

-crystal

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Most of my friends either a) get it because they homeschool too, or b) are at work/busy as well, so they wouldn't call. A couple of times I've had friends call me the night before to ask if I could do them a favor during school time the next day, and generally I try to accommodate those requests. It doesn't happen often, and like some others have said, I want my kids to see that helping people when you can is a good thing to do. If I had a friend who consistently interrupted our school time, I would have to draw some lines, but that's never happened.

 

I keep my phone set to vibrate (we don't have a land-line anymore, so it's just the one phone in my pocket) and answer if it's DH, but he generally calls during our lunch break and texts if he thinks we'd be in the middle of something.

 

As for the people doing door-to-door sales who love to prey on the SAHM...I put up this cute little No Solicitors sign and thought that would take care of the problem, which it has, mostly. There are still, however, those few brave souls who believe deeply that those signs apply to everyone else but them and ring my doorbell anyway. I take that as license to (verbally, of course) flay the skin right off their sorry bones.

 

It actually happened just this last week. A young man selling reference books rang my doorbell in spite of the sign. I tried to just ignore him, but he knew we were home and just stood there... and stood there... and stood there, while the dog who schools with us (points to icon) was going BANANAS, running from one window to the other, barking the house down with her big, booming Labrador bark. Finally, I was just livid and snatched open the door, grabbing the dog's collar just in time to keep her from launching herself at him. He turned rather pale and jumped back a bit, making some little joke about how I had an attack dog. I answered, with a perfectly straight face, that we had trained her only to attack people who ignored our "no solicitors" sign and interrupted us while we were homeschooling.

 

You'd think that would have given him the message, but all he heard was "homeschooling" and his eyes lit up. He apologized for "not seeing my sign" (which is one inch from the doorbell) and then tried to go into his spiel about his reference books, which would revolutionize my children's education, blah, blah, blah. I interrupted him before he got going, and told him that under no circumstances would I do business with someone discourteous enough to ignore my sign, blatantly lie about it, AND continue interrupting my children's education once he knew that was what he was doing, and if he wanted to keep talking about it, I'd let the dog out and he could talk to her. She wouldn't really hurt him, of course - more like sniff him and then run off to chase the nearest squirrel - but he didn't seem to want to take the chance, so he took himself off in a huff at that point. I then got to go calm the dog (who was still barking) and redirect the ADD kid, who had long since forgotten what subject he was even on.

 

A day in the life...

 

SBP

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So what if your worst culprit is your DH? I've tried the "we're in the middle of school" and the "please don't call in the morning" and he just does. not. get. it. He persists in calling multiple times every morning. And if I don't answer, he calls my cell phone and then tries again on the home phone. Not sure how to get the point across to him that his phone calls are a huge disruption. Should I just ignore them until lunch time?

 

 

Okay, one exception is my oldest. She struggles with being a young mom. She comes over once a week usually after lunch time. It's a mental health thing, so I've accepted it and am trying to work around it.

 

 

Don't underestimate the gift you are giving your DD by doing this. I did the exact same thing when I had #2. I was going crazy and spent most of the summer at my mom's, MIL's or grandma's house. I was also suffering from PPD, so these visits were my life line.

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I treat it as my job and often don't answer the phone (depends if I am needed at that time by my teens, or if I feel like it!) or take visitors (not that I get many visitors, actually).

I tell people that I will be free after 2pm if I am needed for something.

It did take some time for everyone to "get it", but for me the worst of all was dh - and still sometimes is. And it must be hard- when I am sitting at my desk surfing the net but in the room with my teens and available to them....it must look like I am free for a cuppa or a shopping trip....but I am not, really, because if I leave, they stop focusing as much- mainly my ds14- and i cant jump in and mark his maths as soon as he is finished etc. Even thought it LOOKS like I am just visiting the WTM boards AGAIN. I am still on duty!

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I run our business from our home so I do *usually* answer the business line. If we are really engaged in something and I don't want to *lose* DS, I will let it go to voice mail and listen to it in 5-10 minutes when we hit a good spot for a break.

 

I screen personal calls. Calls from the doctor, DSS's high school, and other *officials* I typically answer. Calls from friends and family typically go to voice mail (unless there is some type of emergency/crisis situation at hand) and I listen to them at the next break and return them if important.

 

DSS served as a huge distraction last year so this year he is not allowed in the house during school time. He cannot seem to stop himself from making negative comments about DS's school or DS in general so he will need to find something to do between the hours of 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. He can go down the street to hang out at the IL's, go to the library to work on his independent study for his high school diploma, job shadow his dad or one of his dad's buddies, hang out with friends, or look for a job, but he can't be here.

 

DH and our techs (for the business) were my biggest issue last year. They would come in and out of our house (the workshop is our garage) and some of them are family friends and would want to chit chat with me and/or the kids. We now have a workshop off site so that should be better this year. Of course DH will still be a distraction (especially on days where work is slow and he plops in his lazyboy in full view of my kids) but that is life.

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We ignore the ringing phone (unless some true emergency is occurring). That's what answering machines are for. The phone is an optional communication device. Optional for either the caller to use or the callee to use.:)

 

Years ago, we politely communicated this to everyone, including relatives and Gramma/Grampa. They still sometimes call and leave messages. I get back to them when it is convenient for me.

 

Just think of the phone as someone walking up to you in person and tapping your shoulder when you are in the middle of something until you finally are forced to stop what you're doing. That's exactly what it's like!!

 

It is rude for people to expect you to drop what you're doing and pick up the phone when they call...even if you don't homeschool, or you are home alone!!

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So what if your worst culprit is your DH? I've tried the "we're in the middle of school" and the "please don't call in the morning" and he just does. not. get. it. He persists in calling multiple times every morning. And if I don't answer, he calls my cell phone and then tries again on the home phone. Not sure how to get the point across to him that his phone calls are a huge disruption. Should I just ignore them until lunch time?

 

Oh to have so much free time, to be able to phone anyone multiple times in a morning!! I am usually keen to encourage ppl to respect their dh, but on the other hand I don't think there is anything wrong with expressing how you feel about something. Maybe you could turn the ringer off on your phone or pull it right out, and switch your cell phone off? Perhaps that is a little drastic - and not respectful? :confused:

 

We ignore the phone - or turn the ringer off if I remember - whenever we are doing actual schoolwork (I have a slightly flexible schedule so this isn't always at the exact same time every day). People who I know well have my cell phone number and if I don't pick that up because we are too busy, they know to text me.

 

As for people knocking on the door.. we have a GSD who goes mental if she hears someone knocking or even the letterbox snapping shut. If it's a delivery I'll shut her in the house and answer the door. If it's a salesman she comes with me to the door :D and makes a heck of a noise.. 35kg of shaggy GSD barking for England usually puts people off :lol:

 

As for the people doing door-to-door sales who love to prey on the SAHM...I put up this cute little No Solicitors sign and thought that would take care of the problem, which it has, mostly. There are still, however, those few brave souls who believe deeply that those signs apply to everyone else but them and ring my doorbell anyway. I take that as license to (verbally, of course) flay the skin right off their sorry bones.

 

It actually happened just this last week. A young man selling reference books rang my doorbell in spite of the sign. I tried to just ignore him, but he knew we were home and just stood there... and stood there... and stood there, while the dog who schools with us (points to icon) was going BANANAS, running from one window to the other, barking the house down with her big, booming Labrador bark. Finally, I was just livid and snatched open the door, grabbing the dog's collar just in time to keep her from launching herself at him. He turned rather pale and jumped back a bit, making some little joke about how I had an attack dog. I answered, with a perfectly straight face, that we had trained her only to attack people who ignored our "no solicitors" sign and interrupted us while we were homeschooling.

 

You'd think that would have given him the message, but all he heard was "homeschooling" and his eyes lit up. He apologized for "not seeing my sign" (which is one inch from the doorbell) and then tried to go into his spiel about his reference books, which would revolutionize my children's education, blah, blah, blah. I interrupted him before he got going, and told him that under no circumstances would I do business with someone discourteous enough to ignore my sign, blatantly lie about it, AND continue interrupting my children's education once he knew that was what he was doing, and if he wanted to keep talking about it, I'd let the dog out and he could talk to her. She wouldn't really hurt him, of course - more like sniff him and then run off to chase the nearest squirrel - but he didn't seem to want to take the chance, so he took himself off in a huff at that point. I then got to go calm the dog (who was still barking) and redirect the ADD kid, who had long since forgotten what subject he was even on.

 

:lol::smilielol5:

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