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The "I don't have the patience to homeschool" argument - Page 7

post #121 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by karina5 View Post
I'm just saying that if/when I've heard people say that comment I don't read into it to be a bad thing, but try to give the benefit of the doubt and take it as an opportunity to be positive about homeschooling. You know...open up the lines of communication and all that....

CUz then the conversation could actually turn out to be quite nice.
I agree.

I find it sad that in a conversation where so many thoughtful mamas, both homeschooling and not, have weighed in, some people are still coming out with, "Yep, they're just making excuses when they say they don't have the patience."

Back on the first page of this discussion, a few HSing mothers contended that personally, they didn't have the patience to send their kids to school. That "regular" school was by far the more difficult proposition.

Now, I send my kids to PS. But was I offended by those statements? No, I was not. I was intrigued, fascinated, curious.

It didn't occur to me for a minute to think to myself - much less say - Oh, those homeschooling mothers just don't want to send their kids to school. But they don't want to think about why, so they're just tossing out the "patience" thing as an excuse

Instead, I took their statements at face value. Why on earth wouldn't I? And I asked them to explain what they meant. I was genuinely curious about how sending kids to school - so easy to me - could be seen as difficult and something they didn't have the patience for.

Jenelle, kathymuggle and zeldamomma weighed in on my question. I learned about their night owl kids who would be exhausted in the mornings, making getting ready to leave the house incredibly stressful. I read about being worried about kids in difficult situations in bad schools. I put myself in the place of someone struggling to get out the door with two younger kids and of trying afternoons, attempting to get a stressed-out, hungry child to do homework. And about how very much easier and calm their lives were once all that stopped and homeschooling started.

After reading that, I totally understood why a person would say that sending their particular kids to school required more patience than homeschooling. (And I appreciate that those mamas took the time to help me understand.)

So, like karina5 said, a comment like "I don't have the patience to homeschool" really need not be taken as a slam against homeschooling or an excuse, but more as an opportunity to get to know another mama and what makes her world tick.
post #122 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinemama View Post
I agree.

I find it sad that in a conversation where so many thoughtful mamas, both homeschooling and not, have weighed in, some people are still coming out with, "Yep, they're just making excuses when they say they don't have the patience."

Back on the first page of this discussion, a few HSing mothers contended that personally, they didn't have the patience to send their kids to school. That "regular" school was by far the more difficult proposition.

Now, I send my kids to PS. But was I offended by those statements? No, I was not. I was intrigued, fascinated, curious.

It didn't occur to me for a minute to think to myself - much less say - Oh, those homeschooling mothers just don't want to send their kids to school. But they don't want to think about why, so they're just tossing out the "patience" thing as an excuse

Instead, I took their statements at face value. Why on earth wouldn't I? And I asked them to explain what they meant. I was genuinely curious about how sending kids to school - so easy to me - could be seen as difficult and something they didn't have the patience for.

Jenelle, kathymuggle and zeldamomma weighed in on my question. I learned about their night owl kids who would be exhausted in the mornings, making getting ready to leave the house incredibly stressful. I read about being worried about kids in difficult situations in bad schools. I put myself in the place of someone struggling to get out the door with two younger kids and of trying afternoons, attempting to get a stressed-out, hungry child to do homework. And about how very much easier and calm their lives were once all that stopped and homeschooling started.

After reading that, I totally understood why a person would say that sending their particular kids to school required more patience than homeschooling. (And I appreciate that those mamas took the time to help me understand.)

So, like karina5 said, a comment like "I don't have the patience to homeschool" really need not be taken as a slam against homeschooling or an excuse, but more as an opportunity to get to know another mama and what makes her world tick.
Even if I felt like I didn't have the patience to send my children to school, I would NEVER say that to another parent who sends their child to public school. There are too many weird implications and too many ways that it could be interpreted and misinterpreted. Also, my ultimate schooling choice is not about ME, but about what would be best for our child and our family. The patience comment implies that just by not possessing the virtue of "patience", it takes homeschooling off of the table for people as a viable educational option. Goddess forbid the main reason why I choose not to place my child in public school was my "lack of patience", the concept of that being a major determinant in schooling choices is incredibly bizarre.

I usually say stuff like "oh, that's great, I'm so glad that Xyz School is working out for your family, I've heard people say very nice things about that school." to moms that are sending their kids to school, why isn't that reciprocated? I've had people say strange things to me when I mention the H-word, things that I would never say to ANYONE regarding their schooling choices, whatever they may be.

People bringing it back to themselves and talking about a personal trait pertaining to their schooling choice for their child does show that there is a level of defensiveness about it, however conscious or unconscious it may be. Because if they were feeling totally secure with their choice, and also open and kind about others making different choices, they wouldn't say such a thing.
post #123 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by karina5 View Post
I'm just saying that if/when I've heard people say that comment I don't read into it to be a bad thing, but try to give the benefit of the doubt and take it as an opportunity to be positive about homeschooling. You know...open up the lines of communication and all that....
My take on it too is that I'd rather someone politely make a comment like that than to put down homeschooling. Even if internally they think I'm off my rocker for homeschooling, they are trying to be polite to me and not put down my choice for my family.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kidspiration View Post
People bringing it back to themselves and talking about a personal trait pertaining to their schooling choice for their child does show that there is a level of defensiveness about it, however conscious or unconscious it may be. Because if they were feeling totally secure with their choice, and also open and kind about others making different choices, they wouldn't say such a thing.
I disagree. I used to make the patience comment before I started hs'ing because I truly didn't think I would have the patience. I thought I needed that break from my kids or I'd go bonkers, even though I had been with them all day every day for 4 yrs. by the time they were school-age. Sure, looking back it doesn't really make sense, but at the time, when I made the patience comment I truly meant exactly what I said and nothing more, no hidden meanings, defensiveness or agendas behind it.
post #124 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidspiration View Post
People bringing it back to themselves and talking about a personal trait pertaining to their schooling choice for their child does show that there is a level of defensiveness about it, however conscious or unconscious it may be. Because if they were feeling totally secure with their choice, and also open and kind about others making different choices, they wouldn't say such a thing.
How can you say this, when so many homeschooling mothers on this thread have said that they themselves don't have the patience to send their kids to school - thus making it about a personal trait pertaining to their schooling choice?

Are you contending that these women don't feel totally secure with their decision to homeschool? That there is a level of defensiveness when they make that statement?

I don't see it that way. I see it as individual families doing what works best for their particular children and situations. Why the need to generalize about everyone?
post #125 of 158
Seeing how homeschooling can be challenging (like many things in life), I don't see why someone who doesn't know about it might be concerned about their level of patience and whether they would be good at it.

I tell you - I used to be very anti- homeschooling. The only people I knew who homeschooled are 2 of my cousins, and frankly, one of them should (IMHO) be rethinking it for multiple reasons.

But I've met a bunch of homeschooling people in the last few years. My coworker - who I respect and adore - homeschools her 5 kids, and I've learned a lot from her. I've become so much more open-minded about it that I'm even considering doing it myself! And I have people that have helped open my eyes about it to thank.

Honestly, I just think that people don't know what to say. Is it an awkward thing to say? SUre. Could people make "better" comments? Of course.

But again...I don't think the intent is bad in the majority of people who are saying "oh my goodness, I don't have the patience to homeschool."
post #126 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinemama View Post
How can you say this, when so many homeschooling mothers on this thread have said that they themselves don't have the patience to send their kids to school - thus making it about a personal trait pertaining to their schooling choice?

Are you contending that these women don't feel totally secure with their decision to homeschool? That there is a level of defensiveness when they make that statement?

I don't see it that way. I see it as individual families doing what works best for their particular children and situations. Why the need to generalize about everyone?
Hmmm....as one of the mothesr who did say I don't have the patience to send kids to PS, I will chime in.

I did say that, I beleive that, but I would never say it it to a stranger IRL or open a conversation with it. It would put peoples hackels up and there is no point in doing that. I was writing in response to the "I don't have patience to HS comment".

Really, though, I just think it is a minor conversational faux pas. I have heard worse things in life, lol.
post #127 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinemama View Post
Are you contending that these women don't feel totally secure with their decision to homeschool? That there is a level of defensiveness when they make that statement?
I think that a lot of homeschool moms go through times when they aren't totally secure with their decision (mostly because I read these boards!) and that often when they talk to others they feel defensive.

It's bad when it is combined -- the feeling of defending not just your choice for your family but the whole homeschooling movement on a day when you really wish your kids were pretty much any where but with you and you really would like a money back guarantee that they they really are learning everything they need to.

(And if you've never had a day like that, just keep homeschooling )

The notion that someone is being rude if they say they don't have the patience to homeschool and you don't know what to say back seems silly to me. The reality is, if saying something that leaves the other person not sure what to say is rude, then often times we are being rude when we tell people we homeschool because they haven't a clue what to say back.

A conversation is a like a friendly game a tennis, you just try to hit the ball in such a way that they other person can easily return it, and soon as the word "homeschooling" enters the conversation, it's like hitting a tough ball and the other person is scrambling to say something, anything really. They are often just doing the best they can and trying not to say anything rude, even if they don't know anything about homeschooling and are as surprised to meet a homeschooler as they would be a Martian.
post #128 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
Really, though, I just think it is a minor conversational faux pas.
Exactly, I don't really understand what is wrong with pointing out that it isn't a very thoughtful thing to say and that it sometimes makes people uncomfortable. There is a difference between saying something with an intent to harm and saying something that has an implication. People often say things without realizing the implication. I don't think there is anything wrong with pointing it out so hopefully others could use more thoughtful wording. I'm sure most everyone here is still polite when they get that statement. We just wish people would speak a little more thougtfully.
post #129 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by EviesMom View Post
Yeah, I don't think it's polite either. It feels very much like the people who, upon learning DH is vegetarian, tell him how they tried that once but they missed meat so much. In either situation, what can you really say besides some version of "Huh, I haven't had that problem. It works for me."? If they find that fact rude, it's because they're really insecure with their own decision IMO.
I generally say "Yeah, I couldn't be vegetarian if I liked meat, I really admire the people who like meat but don't eat it for ethical reasons, that must be really hard."

For the homeschooling patience argument, I plan on telling people, truthfully, that not having the patience to deal with the administrative BS in the schools is a major reason for homeschooling. There are 2 people in the world with classrooms I'd allow Lina in, and that's because I trust them 100% to either protect the kids from bad policies or to inform me in advance about the bad policies.

I also get this about ECing, but fortunately most people who've tried ECing are other AP moms and just remark conversationally that they're glad it's working for us.
post #130 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinemama View Post
How can you say this, when so many homeschooling mothers on this thread have said that they themselves don't have the patience to send their kids to school - thus making it about a personal trait pertaining to their schooling choice?

Are you contending that these women don't feel totally secure with their decision to homeschool? That there is a level of defensiveness when they make that statement?

I don't see it that way. I see it as individual families doing what works best for their particular children and situations. Why the need to generalize about everyone?
It's all on context to the conversation. I doubt any one of the moms who said here on this thread that they didn't have the patience to send their kids to public school would answer in a conversation that they're doing so because they're not patient. They're revealing this here in this thread because we're really talking about it and dissecting this statement. Anyone correct me if I'm wrong...has any homeschooling mom here cited "patience" as their first and main reason not to send their child to a public school during a conversation with a stranger or acquaintance?
post #131 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2bluefish View Post
Exactly, I don't really understand what is wrong with pointing out that it isn't a very thoughtful thing to say and that it sometimes makes people uncomfortable.
:

One of the things I really and truly love about MDC is figuring out all of the ways I've put my foot in my mouth in the past so I can avoid doing it again. I like reading threads where people vent about the stupid/overused/not-thought-out comments they get from people and why these comments come across as rude or are hurtful. I'm somewhat socially inept and I need all the help I can get. When I point out whether & why a comment bugs me, I'm not trying to say that everyone who says it is an insensitive jerk; it's more like a PSA.
post #132 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by runes View Post
It's all on context to the conversation. I doubt any one of the moms who said here on this thread that they didn't have the patience to send their kids to public school would answer in a conversation that they're doing so because they're not patient. They're revealing this here in this thread because we're really talking about it and dissecting this statement. Anyone correct me if I'm wrong...has any homeschooling mom here cited "patience" as their first and main reason not to send their child to a public school during a conversation with a stranger or acquaintance?
Nope but part of me REALLY wants to the next time I am asked why we homeschool.
post #133 of 158
zinemama -- I think part of the issue is the context in which the "patience" line is offered. It's usually delivered in direct response to someone mentioning that they homeschool, or interjected by a third party into a conversation between two or more homeschoolers talking about how they homeschool, or some similar scenario. Not with a homeschooler asking a schooler why they don't homeschool, just talking about their own lives.

I totally understand that some people might feel that they may not have the patience to parent in certain ways (whether that be homeschooling, schooling, or whatever).

But directly responding to someone mentioning that they homeschool (or send their kids to school, or are vegetarian, or what have you) with an unsolicited, "Oh, I could never do that!" really isn't the nicest or most complimentary thing to say, eh? And that's basically what the patience comment, when made in that context, implies. Regardless of if a person feels they could/should homeschool or not, why interject that in a discussion about someone else making that choice? Regardless of if I would ever send our children to school or not, for whatever reasons, I wouldn't reply to someone telling me "We send our children to such-and-such school" with some version of "Oh, I could never do that!"
post #134 of 158
I skimmed, but wasn't able to read the whole thread.

I get this all the time.

To me it is a very similar energy to the, "wow, your so brave for homebirthing."
Somehow it echoes the same sentiment and I'm always a bit befuddled on where to go with the conversation. Do you want me to talk you up?

"Oh, I bet you could homeschool if you wanted! I'm not patient either."

Do you want me to tell you that I am a really patient person and that homeschooling parents have special super person qualities?

My experience is that *most* of the time it is coming from a defensiveness rather than a straightforward honest place.
post #135 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by Milakais View Post
... I wouldn't reply to someone telling me "We send our children to such-and-such school" with some version of "Oh, I could never do that!"
Exactly!
post #136 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by Milakais View Post
But directly responding to someone mentioning that they homeschool (or send their kids to school, or are vegetarian, or what have you) with an unsolicited, "Oh, I could never do that!" really isn't the nicest or most complimentary thing to say, eh?

Regardless of if I would ever send our children to school or not, for whatever reasons, I wouldn't reply to someone telling me "We send our children to such-and-such school" with some version of "Oh, I could never do that!"
Quote:
Originally Posted by flowers View Post
To me it is a very similar energy to the, "wow, your so brave for homebirthing."
.
Exactly!

I don't mind honest questions about homeschooling (or homebirth) but the blanket statement "I could never" is just a conversation killer. It implies a judgement. "Well, why the heck would you want to do THAT?"
post #137 of 158
NVC response?

Well, about halfway through reading this thread, I started to wonder, WWMRD? (What Would Marshall Rosenberg Do?) So I pulled out my trusty copy of Nonviolent Communication and found:

"When someone gives us a negative message, whether verbally or nonverbally, we have four options as to how to receive it. One is to take it personally by hearing blame and criticism... A second option is to fault the speaker.... our third option would be to shine the light of consciousness on our own feelings and needs.... Finally, a fourth option in receiving a negative message is to shine the light of consciousness on the other person's feelings and needs as they are currently expressed."

Now, I have no idea how to translate all that into a response to a passing acquaintance. Any ideas?

I guess I really just like the idea that no matter how rude someone is to me (intentionally or not), I don't have to get all upset about it. I can instead choose to think about how I need more understanding and respect and thus refocus. Or, if they seem to feel threatened, say something reassuring. If I want. Or say something I like about homeschooling to give them something new to think about. Or keep the conversation superficial and move on with my life.

Although, when someone makes the "brave to homebirth comment" my response is always "Oh? I think it's so brave to give birth in a hospital! All those germs and sick people!!"
post #138 of 158
You don't know everyone's situation. My dh works extremely long hours and is rarely home. My dsd has an attachment disorder and dealing with her can be extremely draining. I'm also chronically ill, so my energy is limited.

Dsd and ds bicker constantly.

School is the only break I get. We commute to a better school now and it's worth every bit of hassle. If I tried to homeschool I'd go right over the edge. I also know I often don't feel good enough to maintain social contacts, so at least my dcs have the opportunity to make friends through school. We don't go to church and I wouldn't know where to begin to meet people. I've lived here over 2 years and the only people I know are a few parents from school and the people I pay for services, such as haircuts, water delivery, etc. My dcs don't need to be isolated just because I am.

They also would not be learning anything because the whole day would be spent breaking up their petty arguments.

So not worth it at this point.

I'm a firm believer in homeschooling, but it truly does not work for me at this point in my life, and I have no doubt my dcs are getting a better education right now because we searched for a good school. I think it's a lot better to recognize your own limitations than to drive yourself to the brink of insanity with unrealistic expectations.
post #139 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by rockportmama View Post
NVC response?

Well, about halfway through reading this thread, I started to wonder, WWMRD? (What Would Marshall Rosenberg Do?) So I pulled out my trusty copy of Nonviolent Communication and found:

"When someone gives us a negative message, whether verbally or nonverbally, we have four options as to how to receive it. One is to take it personally by hearing blame and criticism... A second option is to fault the speaker.... our third option would be to shine the light of consciousness on our own feelings and needs.... Finally, a fourth option in receiving a negative message is to shine the light of consciousness on the other person's feelings and needs as they are currently expressed."

Now, I have no idea how to translate all that into a response to a passing acquaintance. Any ideas?

I guess I really just like the idea that no matter how rude someone is to me (intentionally or not), I don't have to get all upset about it. I can instead choose to think about how I need more understanding and respect and thus refocus. Or, if they seem to feel threatened, say something reassuring. If I want. Or say something I like about homeschooling to give them something new to think about. Or keep the conversation superficial and move on with my life.

Although, when someone makes the "brave to homebirth comment" my response is always "Oh? I think it's so brave to give birth in a hospital! All those germs and sick people!!"
Great food for thought!

I think what peeves me the most is that it's ok for people to make those sorts of comments but if one of us HSers were to say something equally as negative we're viewed as preachy, rude, pushy, etc. I need to just get over that but I just wish everyone was expected to be, well, nice.
post #140 of 158
I have not read many of the posts, but I know for a fact that I don't have the patience to homeschool, teach in a public school, or any other learning environment. Some people are excellent at taking the time to explain concepts and introduce new materials and ideas. I am not one of those. I spent some time as a corporate trainer and I had to constantly keep from telling people to figure it out for themselves.

Even when DS asks me something that phrase comes to the front of my mind. I don't ask people for help when I need it, because I am better at teaching myself. In fact when I explain things to others I often end up confused and frustrated.


All of my friends who want to homeschool and are making plans to do so in the next two to three years have either taught or are in school for teacher education. They know that "I could never do that", because I say it, but they also know that I support them 100% in their decisions. If I did not want foreign language immersion for my son, I would truly find a way to contirubute to their co-op so that they could teach DS.
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