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  #1  
May 20th, 2007, 04:11 PM
~hsingtreehouse~
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My mother in law is a retired teacher for the public school system. She came in and went out long before kids carried guns to school and sold crack and meth in the hallways. When telling her that I wanted to homeschool, she immediately went on the defensive and talked down to me as if I was doing my son some sort of injustice. "Well, how will you socalize him?" she said. Well, I told her, I will enroll him in a monthly homeschooling mom's group, I will let him play on our local Christian sports league, and I will make playdates with his friends. Okay, so why is "public school not good enough for one child, but okay for the other." And that is such a hard question to answer. Mostly, my oldest son started school before I had any desire to homeschool...and secondly, pulling him out now is something I would do with him kicking and screaming. And not to mention, he is halfway through elementary school and I am just learning how to homeschool. I would much rather be versed and learn on my younger child who has two years before being REQUIRED to even go to school at all.

So my question is, how do you handle the insane amount of criticism and those nasty looks you get when you tell people you homeschool. "Oh, you are one of THOSE mothers...." I am assuming "ignore them" is one method, but I am so excited about my choice and it is such a bummer when people are so negative about it! Especially family!!!
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  #2  
May 20th, 2007, 04:21 PM
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I wish I had some advice.. we have a lot of people who are against us HSing.. the biggest one being my MIL.. it's hard and it can totally wear you down. I just know we are doing what's right and I chose to just ignore them now.
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  #3  
May 20th, 2007, 04:56 PM
Butter's Avatar Heather the Mama Duk
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"Please pass the bean dip." In other words, ignore them and change the subject. Homeschooling is really foreign to a lot of people, especially those who are or were involved in the public school system. They often see it as a slap in the face to them and the job they did/do. Just say this is the decision you have made for your child and are happy with it and move on. In time she will very likely see homeschooling is not at all what she thinks it is and may even come to be one of your best supporters.
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  #4  
May 20th, 2007, 05:02 PM
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Well I would say ignore them too but that is so hard for me to do- I would research and have most of your answers well thought out so when someone asks you know what to say and you sound intelligent about it- then....ignore them!
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  #5  
May 20th, 2007, 05:27 PM
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For me it is the oppisite situation... we tried to give the "public" school a chance and they failed us with both of my children. I am just this yr at a point of being able to homeschool due to our financial situation and other situation incliding a child who had health concerns (passed away and changed my outlook on life).. my dd learned more in the 5mos I had her home than the last 3yrs in school.. Only wish I could have done this sooner. Even my dd's teacher when i pulled her out said she thought we were making the right choice because shelby was continueing to fall behind!
sue

Quote:
My mother in law is a retired teacher for the public school system. She came in and went out long before kids carried guns to school and sold crack and meth in the hallways. When telling her that I wanted to homeschool, she immediately went on the defensive and talked down to me as if I was doing my son some sort of injustice. "Well, how will you socalize him?" she said. Well, I told her, I will enroll him in a monthly homeschooling mom's group, I will let him play on our local Christian sports league, and I will make playdates with his friends. Okay, so why is "public school not good enough for one child, but okay for the other." And that is such a hard question to answer. Mostly, my oldest son started school before I had any desire to homeschool...and secondly, pulling him out now is something I would do with him kicking and screaming. And not to mention, he is halfway through elementary school and I am just learning how to homeschool. I would much rather be versed and learn on my younger child who has two years before being REQUIRED to even go to school at all.

So my question is, how do you handle the insane amount of criticism and those nasty looks you get when you tell people you homeschool. "Oh, you are one of THOSE mothers...." I am assuming "ignore them" is one method, but I am so excited about my choice and it is such a bummer when people are so negative about it! Especially family!!![/b]
Opps almost forgot... About the socialization Now I get to choose the kids and types of parents to those kids I want my child around.. and My child is more involved and has more friends, play dates, and after school activities than she ever did in public school... We have the time for it now and I put forth a stronger effert i guess!
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  #6  
May 20th, 2007, 05:48 PM
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With the "Why is it good for one child and not the other?" Explain that you make educational choices based on the individual need and learning style of each of your children. At this present time your youngest son has a learning style that is best accommodated by the one on one of home school. While your other son is thriving in school and you think it would be more disruptive then benifical to pull him out of school both for your family and him.

As for how I deal with criticism is I tell them that I couldn't do X (insert thing they love) if he was in school. I ignore strangers.
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  #7  
May 20th, 2007, 06:15 PM
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Quote:
With the "Why is it good for one child and not the other?" Explain that you make educational choices based on the individual need and learning style of each of your children. At this present time your youngest son has a learning style that is best accommodated by the one on one of home school. While your other son is thriving in school and you think it would be more disruptive then benifical to pull him out of school both for your family and him.[/b]
Right. Children are not all the same. So what is great for one child may not be for another.

As for criticism if our MIL is a Christian as well say: "We have prayed about this (if you have that is) and we are confident that we are making the right decision for our family." If you haven't prayed about it then just skip the first part and go straight to the we are confident part. Say it confidently and assertively. Not rude or unsure. Then pass the bean dip.
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  #8  
May 20th, 2007, 06:36 PM
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My MIL is our biggest critic as well, so I feel your pain. I think you definitely have to be confident in your decision and brush off the criticism. I am the type that I do what is right for MY family and it doesn't matter if it wrong in anyone else's family. I know that HSing is the best for my family for a number of reasons. My MIL has come up with every excuse in the book for why we shouldn't. The structure complaint is her biggest. She is a strict routine person. Neither one of my boys are routine kids. They go with the flow and that works for us. The structure of a PS is definitely not a selling point. I think once you start and she realizes how it is helping your child she will adjust.

Quote:
With the "Why is it good for one child and not the other?" Explain that you make educational choices based on the individual need and learning style of each of your children. At this present time your youngest son has a learning style that is best accommodated by the one on one of home school. While your other son is thriving in school and you think it would be more disruptive then benifical to pull him out of school both for your family and him.[/b]
I couldn't have said that any better!
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  #9  
May 20th, 2007, 07:51 PM
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I just tell them this is what feels right for my family at this time. Usually it changes at least changes their attitude.
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  #10  
May 20th, 2007, 08:19 PM
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My stock answers to "Why" is to smile and say "we (or dh and I) have done our research and this is what we have decided"
For someone like Mil maybe offer the name of some books so that she can go research homeschooling herself.
I would not start defending your choice by saying well with homeschool we can xyz. Some people will think that by defending your choice that you are not really confident with your choice and they will jump on that as an opportunity for further argument. Be confident and make it a joint decision of both yours and dh not just what you want.

With the big S question ""Well, how will you socalize him?" I again would not start defending/reeling off your plans. This opens again the opportunity for those to be shot down. I would say "We haven’t found that to be a problem" or "There are plenty of ways to go about that" When she says socialize does she really mean socialize as in learning good social graces or is she talking about opportunities to play with other kids.
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  #11  
May 20th, 2007, 08:29 PM
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Great advice! She is totally right too. I used to get defensive and try to argue my defense. Never helped, I not I made myself sound unsure of my own decision. Now that I give the simple answer above the discussions are much shorter and less intense, that is when one ensues, which it usually doesn't. ")
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  #12  
May 20th, 2007, 08:34 PM
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The criticism I get is "well, that's great until middle school, but then they really need to be in school."

Um...WHY? Middle school is the WORST time to be in school, IMO!

I've found with all of the odd decisions that I make, that the grandparents are usually a bit frustrated because I'm chooing to do things differently than they did. It's a slap in the face to them, but that is THEIR problem. I am NOT being offensive about my choices and I don't like being criticized for them. So I pass the bean dip. Until they deal with their issues (which will be evident in how they approach the subject with me), there's no reason to discuss the issue.

FYI, you can still share your excitement about things. Just because someone doesn't agree with what you're doing doesn't mean you should avoid the subject. It does mean that you should be in the practice of changing the subject when criticism comes up, though.
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  #13  
May 20th, 2007, 09:01 PM
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Quote:
FYI, you can still share your excitement about things. Just because someone doesn't agree with what you're doing doesn't mean you should avoid the subject. It does mean that you should be in the practice of changing the subject when criticism comes up, though.[/b]
I must add I have gotten quite good at this.
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  #14  
May 20th, 2007, 09:23 PM
~hsingtreehouse~
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Thank you all for your great advice! It really bothered my today when she made her comments, but I understand that she taught 20 years ago...not today. I think by "socialize" she means have him play with other kids...which to me, means squat. If I can't pick the parents and I can't oversee the play, what is the point?? My older child spends a good portion of his days worrying who is and is not his friend at school, who will give him marbles at the end of the day, why so and so is NOT his friend anymore...and he is only 7! It is a bunch of garbage at this age anyway. There are homeschooling groups here where the kids get together once a month for field trips, etc. There are also non-school sports. I am NOt worried at all that he will be unsocialized. Heck - if all else fails, he has a brother!

I agree with you 110% that middle school is the worst time time send a child to school. In the past year, I have taken Scotty to a babysitter one or two days a week because I had considered going back to work. During this time, I decided to substitute in the school system. I wanted to see what it was that my kids would be doing in middle and highschool. If anything, those experiences further encouraged me to homeschool. Middle school here is a nightmare. One day when I was subbing, a group broke out in a rap song - a nasty foul language ridden rap song about sex and the kids all joined in singing it until I forced them to stop. These are not things I want my son to be around and much less involved in!

In the highschool, I had the opportunity to be mistaken for a student and offered weed and meth! The school is full of kids wandering the halls high as a kite! I just can't believe what it has become. There are fist fights in the halls daily, kids selling drugs, cursing, guys and girls making out, groping each other in the hallway and in the classrooms. It is a horrible place to be and the thought of sending either of my children there makes me sick. If Bryce refuses to tolerate homeschooling, he will attend a private Christian school for those years just as I did. But public highschool these days, UGH! At least here it is UGH!
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  #15  
May 20th, 2007, 11:51 PM
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I feel your pain! My biggest critic is my MIL also. She and I have had heated discussions about it and have come to the point to agree to disagree. We are now just saying the whole, "This is what we feel right about for our family", thing whenever it is brought up. The problem is that MIL sometimes takes my Dh aside to talk about it with him since she thinks I am the one making him do this.

It is true that my Dh is nervous about homeschool, but definitely is seeing everything so terribly wrong with public school. He has told me he is scared about public school and sees homeschool as the better alternative, but is still nervous. Good thing he is finally coming to the convention with me this year. So it bugs me that she tries to pit my Dh against the idea, luckily I have a wonderful Dh who is always on the side of his wife and has tons of his own info in regards to the two options.

But my DD is only 3, she hasn't yet hit school age and though my MIL avoids this topic most of the time now, she does make comments about the future and once she is school age I see them increasing. Especially since my SIL has a little girl her age who will be attending public school and already she makes comments about my DD and preschool- which I don't believe in anyway. It will be a challenge if she makes it one. It is hard for me because I want to share my excitement with her too and can't because she doesn't even want to hear about it and I can't talk about it. Its hard because otherwise we get along well and I want her to share in the life of my children and this will be part of their lives. Anyway, wish I had advice for you since I am in the same boat, but we are just starting our battle and wonder how it will turn out. For now it is a subject we don't approach.
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  #16  
May 21st, 2007, 07:03 AM
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I know that must be so hard to deal with. I'm very fortunate. Both sides of my family (mine & my inlaws) are supportive of our decision to homeschool. It wasn't always this way though. My sister started homeschooling her kids before I had kids. She was the object of much criticism by our family for years. Even my MIL criticized my sister's decision to homeschool. But over the years, they have all realized the benefits to homeschooling over ps. By the time we decided to homeschool, everyone had changed their opinons on homeschooling and agree it's the best choice for our kids. My MIL was actually relieved when we pulled Jack out of ps to homeschool him. She has told me a few times "I'm so glad you're homeschooling him." I think the biggest selling point for her was seeing all the violence in schools from the news and hearing about different schools of other members of her family. As for strangers, we get the funny looks and comments about socialization. I just tell them I'm not worried about it and move on. I don't care what they think. They don't know my family so therefore they couldn't possibly know what's best for us. We've prayed about it (several times) and feel very much at peace with our decision.
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  #17  
May 21st, 2007, 08:03 AM
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HI! I SO want to get in on this discussion but I've got to go start school!! ARGH! I'll come back later!
I do have to say that what the other brilliant moms said is just brilliant!!
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  #18  
May 21st, 2007, 08:19 AM
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I really don't know how supportive our parents are of homeschooling. I am sure they imagine that we recreate the public school model at home. I think if they knew how much free and unstructured learning we engage it, they wouldn't recognize that as "real" learning. My mom is very big into formal education- she has still asked me on occasion when I am going to "finish my education" by taking college courses. His mom is currently a public school teacher. She is "supportive" in the sense that she gives us workbooks as she come across them (completely torturous and boring stuff) and quizzes the kids in math and geometry when she gets the chance.

Socialization is the biggest red herring, and really most of the time the person asking doesn't deserve an answer. If your MIL brings up socialization again, ask her what she means. What is her idea of socialization? Does she mean having friends? Homeschooled children still have friends! Does she mean learning manners and cooperation? Children should be learning this within their family, too! Does she mean learning the appropriate way to interact within the myriad of social situations your child will face as he grows? In that case, homeschooling, and not public schooling, is the idea!

Good luck with it!
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  #19  
May 21st, 2007, 10:25 AM
~hsingtreehouse~
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I so appreciate hearing that many of you have dealt with this. I have friends that I have had for YEARS telling me that my kids are going to be "weird" and "oh no, not you too!" It makes me angry. They obviously trusted my judgement prior, but all of a sudden, because I want to try something new and give my kids an opportunity I never had, I am a bad parent?!? There are so many things about homeschooling that I LOVE. The opportunity to teach my children about the world around them by showing them the WORLD AROUND THEM, the network of moms who homeschool, the freedom from strict, rigid public schooling, the ability to know who my children associate with, adding in the Christian element to our learning each day, just so many awesome things and I am so excited!!!!

As for DH, he is behind me 100% with this. He has met several Christian families who homeschool and become friends with the fathers. He has met their kids and immediately he can see a difference in those kids from the ps kids. I can see a difference in my oldest who spent time in daycare while I finished college and my youngest who has been home with me since birth. HUGE DIFFERENCE. I look forward to the day that his mom tries to pull him aside and talk to him about this choice. He will never interject when she is questioning me, but he will if she asks him directly. I can't wait until that day comes.

I also really look forward to meeting and connecting with homeschooling moms in my area!!
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  #20  
May 22nd, 2007, 09:15 AM
MissyPrincessEha's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I am just going to say again what has already been said.

Don't defend your choices.

But do allow your victories and joy about homeschooling shine.

Do not tell them about your hard days, they will use it to say I told you so. Find a homeschool mama that can listen and bring you back to reality. A good hug and some suggestions from those there is helpful in those times.

Do know that your child will show them all. I PROMISE THIS ONE! The proof is in the pudding so to speak.

I just had my family come around, it was GREAT!
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