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I had dinner with some neighborhood ladies tonight. I wouldn't say they are friends, just other moms. They were complaining about the schools in our town. The administrators just got raises, but teachers got laid off. One parent was saying that her daughter didn't learn anything new last year. They complained that the teachers don't teach science and social studies. One parent complained about the lack of technology in the classrooms. They complained about budget cuts, bullies, teachers...then two seconds later they say, "the schools here are so good," "I love the schools here," "I am happy with my child's education." I want to say, "What the heck are you all talking about???" I don't for a second assume that everyone should homeschool. But how can they complain about the schools, then turn around and say they are good? I use to teach, I know parents complain, but I see these moms are concerned that their children are not getting the best educations they can. One mom said the high school in town is good because some kids go to Ivy League schools after high school. Really? Because some kids are smart, that makes it a good school for everyone? And the high school test scores are really low. Like in the 20's and 30's. And probably only because of those kids that DO end up at the Ivy League schools. Anyway, what do you ladies think? Are they in denial? And it's not just here, the last place we lived was the same way. Except test scores weren't quite so low!
I think people always feel the need to defend their choices. So the second you say "Well why don't you homeschool?" they have to change their tune. Or even if you say nothing, I'm sure they know you homeschool and are sitting there representing another option.
I went to horrible schools as a kid. I'm not sure why my parents left me there honestly. In case I think I turned out alright. I went on to college and seem to be fairly normal, lol. I think all we can do is try our best to make the right choices for our kids. And then be thankful they are resilient!
Yes. Everyone instinctively wants to defend their choices. It's why debate from a classroom standpoint is so fun, because you're often assigned to side on something you wouldn't ordinarily side yourself on. It's very difficult to put yourself in someone else's shoes when you know it would require a total change of lifestyle... perhaps cutting the income in half, perhaps losing the "me" time, perhaps having to bear the weight of instructing someone when you've never done so before... who knows?
I agree with the others, I think it mostly comes down to defending their choices. Even if you weren't vocalizing that you homeschool I am assuming they know that you do so they felt they had to be on the defensive about it.
I agree with the others, it was probably a defensive reaction. Even if they aren't happy with their choice, they still feel like they have to defend their parenting because of it.
In 9th - 10th grade I went to a school with a reputation for being one of the best high schools in the state. That reputation was based almost entirely on their sports program and all the fancy extas they offered and yes... college acceptances. What they didn't pay attention to were the high drop out rates. At least 1/4 of my class didn't graduate from high school at all and the ones that did go to college, more than half of them didn't go back after their freshman year.
I think what it boils down to is that people see what they want to see. If they don't feel confident enough to fix something or don't know what to do about it, then they'll twist themselves into pretzels trying to convince themselves that what they have isn't so bad.
__________________ Audrey ~Daughter of the Most High King
~Wife to my Best Friend
~Mother of Miracles
That makes sense. They do know we homeschool and they have tried to talk me into putting Ady into the public school because they think it is so great. But then they complain about it. I understand they are defending their decisions, it's just hard for me to understand. I am the type of person that does something to change things if I know they are not working.
It sorta goes along with the defense mechanism thing, but sometimes accepting that what you've got may not be the best but certainly is not the worst either, is where many find themselves. Not because the necessarily want to defend their choices they more or less want to defend the fact that, in reality, they may not actually have any choices. Or perhaps they don't even realize they're defending them. It is a natural response/reaction after all.
Before anyone says "you always have choices", I will say that while this may be true, sometimes all of the choices you have kinda suck, so really, you're left with no optimum choice.
We see it all the time, even outside of things like ps vs hs, etc... The lesser of two evils is a game many have to play, and in some cases, quite often. Choosing the lesser doesn't magically make it great, but it does mean there's always something worse, too.
The schools here are terrible as far as education is concerned. Yet I sent my kids there. Why? Because we didn't have any option at the time. Now, we do, and obviously we've employed those options, lol. But there are worse schools out there than the ones here. In some aspects the schools really aren't that bad. Unfortunately for them, those aspects have very little, if anything, to do with education. My kids attend school for an education, not just the sprinkles that come with it. I want that education to be the best it can be too, and I'm kinda picky on what best actually means. So the schools here are the lesser of two evils. Doesn't mean children don't graduate out of this system every year with the best education they could have possibly gotten. I'm quite sure it happens for some kids. It just doesn't seem to be the case for everyone. I could defend these schools here to the death if I really wanted to, and I don't even like them. One can always find something positive in everything. Even if it's minor.
I really think that everyone does this too. You may not do it with schooling, or with some other parenting choices, but we all defend our choices. Even if it's only to ourselves. As much as we all play the lesser of two evils game, we also all compromise, all the time. We likely don't even realize it half(probably more)of the time.