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help me to be discouraging


Melissa in Australia

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HI,

I have a relative coming to visit me next week who wants to pull some of her children out of school and start homeschooling them. It will be for year 7 and beyond ( High school here).

there are many reasons why I do not think it is a good idea for her to homeschool. I am not going to list them all here, but she will shortly have 6 children, many of them have health issues, they have been removed from her for neglect in the past. She has very complex mental and physical health issues, .. the list goes on.

She is the type of person that can be reasoned with logically IF it doesn't seem that someone is telling her what to do.

 

 

So far the only thing I can think of, apart from encouraging her to look at correspondence school as an alternative, is to try and bamboozle her with information.

 

 

 



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I think a better approach is to ask her lots of open-ended questions to help her really think this through. She'll be a lot more receptive to conclusions she reaches on her own (with the help of your questions), rather than feeling that you're trying to actively discourage her.

 

Given her situation you might ask:

- How will you juggle the medical needs/appointments/etc. of all the kids if they're all home with you (assuming that having some of them in school makes juggling this kind of thing easier)?

- How will you prevent a recurrence of XYZ issues that led to the kids being removed from home in the past?

- What is your plan for teaching across X number of grade levels?

- etc.

 

With the right questions, you can guide her towards a better understanding of how difficult this may really become for her. That will also provide a more natural opening for the other information and possible alternatives you want to share with her.

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My first thoughts on logic: What does the relative want her dc to be able to consider for post secondary. If it's university what are the admissions requirements. Can she provide the depth of work to complete those course credits and pass admissions exams. What would she have to do to make that opportunity a possibility. What are the requirements for other options.

 

If her kids are in high school, what do they think. Do they know what they want to do with their education and their life. Can they be self directed and complete these requirements without the help of their mom. Does mom understand that if a teen is not interested in following her direction, completing her assignments, there is nothing she can do to make that teen do the work.

 

I would really emphasize the intensity level of the work she will have to teach.

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Could you show her very expensive curriculum in catalogs or on websites? Talk about everything she will need to get started? Show her online classes and their prices. I've discouraged (not intentionally) a few people when they figured out that homeschooling isn't cheap.

 

HTH,

 

Elise in NC

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I agree with previous poster. Being supportive in the form of asking lots of questions and helping her think through her options will probably get her further. I would probably prepare a list of topics to discuss/review with questions for each and help her outline her plans.

 

I.e.

 

Curriculum (what subjects will be individual , combined, online, will she use co-ops or outside classes, etc)

Scheduling - what does she want her day to look like, how much focused time with each child, etc.

Transcripts - what are the post-high school education plans? What course work is required for each child.

Household logistics - what is your plan for handling the housekeeping responsibilities.

Is she a stay at home now or does she have income considerations?

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I think the concept that it is a full time job can be helpful for people who are considering the switch. I talk about it with people who I don't want to discourage, but who I do want to consider how full their plate would be if they went for it.

 

Also, again, not to particularly discourage people from choosing homeschooling, but as a negative aspect they should consider - how will they be able to take care of themself and their own needs in the new (homeschooling) situation? I know that for me, it has been hard to figure out how to take care of myself and the things I need to do to be healthy while parenting a baby and homeschooling.

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Melissa, here, if you are on welfare, you have to actively looking for ways to get OFF welfare. A mother without an infant/toddler (it is age 2 or 3, not sure) would be required to spend X amount of time in classes, job searching, etc if she didn't have a job. They set these people up with workers at the unemployment office to help them. Do they do that sort of thing there? So how is she going to fulfill those requirements and teach her children full time?

 

I agree that being clear about the committment in terms of time, effort, money is good.

Fact is that a LOT of people have no business homeschooling.

 

BTW, I completely agree with asking questions to help her see the issue.

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Stay at home on welfare.

 

 

Although I know it's possible to homeschool free or at least very cheap, that seems like it would take a lot of work to find all the resources that each child will need. She may not realize just how hard she's going to be working.

 

Show her the state homeschool rules.

 

Ask her what does she hope her children will gain by being home, and what does she hope for their future. She'll need a plan for graduation and beyond.

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Perhaps pointing out that she won't have any time to herself and that no matter how much she has to do, she will have to stop everything to teach the children in order to meet the time requirements. Discussing how much time and effort goes into just planning what to teach. When talking to her try to picture in your mind the parts that you were not fond of so that as you discuss this your tone will reflect belief in what you are saying.

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Thank you so much for all your advice.

Here is my plan of action.

I will show her my curriculum, dwelling on how rigorous it needs to be from year 7 up

Explain to her that she will need to think of spending between $700 to &1000 per year on curriculum

Explain to her that she needs to have a education goal for her children and a plan so they can achieve it

Tell her that a teen cannot be forced to complete their work and she needs to think on how she will handle that.

 

 

I will also be telling her that I will not be offering her any support and will not get involved in any of her drama ( but I will think of a very nice , polite way to say this) This person is the relative from hell. she is toxic, she is a master manipulator. I am not smart enough to be in a semi close relationship with her so I avoid her.

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Elise, what a great idea. she seems to think she will be saving money by homeschooling

 

That is a great idea. Get a Sonlight or Winter Promise catalog and pretend to be excited over showing her the options. Then tell her that each kid needs their own of EVERYTHING. $7000 later....

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Well I guess I wasn't very discouraging at all. I told her a list of things to think about, and tried to bamboozle her with ALL the recommendations in WTM for year 7. I even had the complete reading list plus optional extras stacked up on the table. :bored:

But she wasn't discouraged at all.

I did however get her to seriously think about using a correspondence school.

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Does the school her children now attend have a free lunch/breakfast program? If it does, that could be a huge consideration. 10 meals per week x 5 children would make an impact on anyone's budget. Still, if you can collect welfare for homeschooling, there may be no deterring her. Is there any sort of oversight or testing she needs to prepare for?

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Well apparently I am more persuasive than I thought. My mother just rang me and told me that she had rang her and told her that there is no way she could spend 4 hours plus a day in actively teaching. and that what I was using looked extremely rigorous. She has practically decided to send her child to high school next year and if it doesn't work out, re-look at homeschooling. ( high school in Aus starts at year 7, there is no middle school).

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Does the school her children now attend have a free lunch/breakfast program? If it does, that could be a huge consideration. 10 meals per week x 5 children would make an impact on anyone's budget. Still, if you can collect welfare for homeschooling, there may be no deterring her. Is there any sort of oversight or testing she needs to prepare for?

 

 

Schools don't provide lunches in Australia. Schools mostly have a tuck shop where you can buy food though I know she doesn't use them , as it is cheaper to send lunch with the children.

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