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Really the questions are starting already?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Backstory: We have told the "younger" generation of my family our plans to homeschool since ds was born. I freely mention it on my blog but we never talk to my parents about it out right. We live 1800 miles from my family and they all spent the holiday weekend together.

So yesterday I'm talking to my cousin and she asks if we're still planning to keep ds (who will be 4 next week) home. I say yes and she asks for how long and I tell her college, or when things change. It gets left alone. We go back to talking about her life.

Today I am talking to my father on the phone and he mentions that he was at some event with all these people who had 3 and 4 year olds who were loving going to Montessori School and other nursery schools. He asks us if we have thought about it. I tell him that it's not how we are doing things here. He asks if we know any kids who go to preschool and I tell him about the one girl we do know (she happens to not like it). I just calmly repeat that we are doing things different here.

Is this really the beginning of the process of breaking it to our families that we are homeschooling?
post #2 of 23
Actually, I'm surprised you've made it to 4yo without your parents asking about preschool before. My mom asked me about how we were going to educate our kids before I was even pregnant... though since ds was hsed, the idea was kind of out there, so I can see why she would bring it up early.

I know these conversations can be awkward and even unpleasant, but my experience has been that after an initial adjustment period my family is fine with hsing. My mom was at first not too wild about the idea. She's not especially pro-hs now, but it's no longer an issue, and we can chat about what we're doing in school, etc. without it being awkward or weird.

So all in all I am glad we got the awkward and disapproving stage out of the way early. My kids never had to sense friction between me and my family over the issue - by the time they were old enough to notice such things, everyone was accustomed to the idea of hs and it wasn't an issue.

I guess what I'm saying is, you have to break it to them sometime, it might as well be now. Give them time, give them good info on hsing, and they will probably be fine with it, eventually.,
post #3 of 23
we are still getting questions going into the second year. they aren't pestering me after the initial questions anymore though, lol.
post #4 of 23
We have certain friends and family members that ask all the time..they know , but still ask to see if anything has changed.

Instead of loathing the questions or comments I turn it around by showing excitement about what we are doing..no debate..just extreme excitement I have found this approach to work for us so far. I will mention our group lessons, favorite lessons, or outings. Then I let the kids tell them the details and they are not going to slam my kids enthusiasm either.

My ds's are well behaved and mannered and this really shines that our hs is a positive thing. They are not behaving a certain way because they are in school and have to stand in line..they are learning how their interactions and reactions affect others. Huge difference in my op.

I think that people will want to think that whatever they are doing with their kids is the best..ps, hs, summer camp, music lessons, sports, bible studies, ect. They will speak highly about why it is good, they believe they are doing the right thing ect. Praise the accomplishments ect.

Maybe your family hears these people praising what they are doing and believe what they are saying because they are so happy with it. They don't see the daily benefits of hs since they are not there doing it. Kinda like " I drive a Honda and its the best!" Maybe next year I will get a Toyota and say the same thing about it.

I wouldn't let it become a sore subject or something that turns ugly when brought up..if you try to keep it positive they will be more open about asking about it and learn how hs can be a good thing.
post #5 of 23
For us, big process. My family is very, I don't know. They think ALL children belong in school with the professionals (I think they need to step back and define professional and then compare that to what we have running our schools). They have no clue what is going on. They are still on the mindset that parents should not be involved in a child's upbringing. They also feel siblings should be kept separate and "independent." It does not dawn on them that all children will lean on someone and look up to someone. It is just a matter of whether it is their own family or strangers.

Sure, if we lived back in the good ole days, my children might be in school. You know those days, where your child's teacher has a lot of training, loves all children, and probably was born in the same nursery as you and your own parents grew up with your child's teacher's parents. Oh, and subjects were simply taught, not political loaded with constantly changing experiments in how to teach children. That all thrown in with a list off all the things a child is supposed to know, things being added each year with nothing taken out until everything they do learn is so watered down that it means nothing. Not to mention the part where they kill the spirit of the children.

OK..so..everytime I turn around it seems I hear some stupid agenda filled excuse as to why my children "belong" at public school. Again...define "belong" anywhere. Maybe the people butting in to my business "belong" out of my business.

I started homeschooling because extreme bullying was going on where we live. But I was only homeschooling one and the other remained in school. It did not take long to start noticing how bad the schools were. They were ranked top in the state, yet, they were bad. I tried to bring up with certain people, asking if they realized the local district had given up teaching spelling, handwriting, grammar. And they were using calculators for math and the children were spending much of their days on computer. And then there is the fitness initiative time. The children would walk on a track, in a circle, for 20 minutes each day. It looked like it was right out of a prison movie, it was awful. While those kids were quietly walking on the track, slowly because it was a small track and crowded, my children were running, jumping, playing, and maybe taking various classes depending on the year and day. We tried ice skating, swimming, gymnastics, dance, soccer, rock climbing, hiking, etc. While the kids at the school were copying down exact copies of the teachers art project, my children were creating their own. And my children could create every day if they wanted, not just from 1-1:30 on Tuesdays. And when my children had to go to the bathroom, they could. They did not spend large parts of their days standing in lines and waiting for bathrooms, specials, lunch, classes, etc. But most of all, while the kids at school were spending 2 hrs a day for a week, mindlessly copying a story off the board (with spelling errors I must add as the teacher was not that great of a speller) my children were reading stories, creating stories, and interacting with their environment. And if my children did any copywork, I made sure the spelling was correct. While the children at the public schools were mindlessly punching in numbers on calculators, mine were learning how to do actual math and even learned their math facts (which is not that hard to do once you commit to it). Oh, did I mention that the state adopted math curriculum had children talking about how they felt about their problems? And how they contributed to their community...in math class? For honors geometry, my son had to make a poster sized greeting card, which, btw, was arbitrarily graded. For honors algebra, he had to make a monster out of card stock, they spent a couple weeks of class time on that.

Anyway, I could go on and on, but...ok...I need to end this.

The point is, I cannot figure out why anyone would want their children in the public school once they see what I see, and many other homeschoolers see. And the criticizers see all this, yet, complain about homeschooling. I stupidly put my children back in public school this past fall, for the fall only. It was hell. It was an academic black hole. Everyone here loves the local public schools and think they are so great. When I post, people assume if I say the local schools are bad, that it means I live in the innercity or have low ranked schools. I do not. I live in Blue Ribbon schools' zones. All the schools I am zoned for are exemplary. I am also in what is considered a high income area. Doesn't matter, the schools still do not meet with my standards.

Did I mention the part where students were having sex in the bathrooms and doing drugs in the classrooms?

SO...my mother and siblings are very upset my son won't be in public school this fall, again. They claim he needs to learn social skills. I say he has been there since 1997, if they were going to teach him social skills, they would have done it already. They insist his low social skills is the reason he needs to be there, but my child who homeschooled all along doesn't have social problems at all, she is very socially adept. They say this is just because they are different kids and you cannot compare. And on that note, since she IS so great socially, she needs to be in public school where she can really shine. OK..so, one child belongs there because despite being in public school since 3 yrs old (public preschool) he has social issues and they believe the public schools teach social skills and the next child belongs there because after being homeschooled for several years, she is very socially adept and she would do better there? The logic completely fails me. My daughter (the younger one) is far ahead academically and my son (the older one) has been falling. But, my son was far ahead of my daughter long ago and tests higher on Cogat (cognitive skills test) but he has a hard time even passing a class. My daughter was in special ed when she was in public school and my son in the gifted program. Now my son has serious academic issues while my daughter is the one who is way ahead. They use that as an excuse too. They tell me she will do so well so she needs to be there and that my son needs to be there because he has problems he needs to fix.

Once someone has an agenda in the head, it sometimes moves to the point where you have to lay down the law and ignore them. I am sorry.

Boy, I was long winded!!
post #6 of 23


My personal feeling was that when I hid it (even by omission) that meant I was uncomfortable with my choice. I never wanted to feel like I was hiding it because I certainly wasn't doing anything wrong! I freely explained to everyone, not long after our decision, that we were homeschooling the kids.

Not everyone was happy. I certainly was nervous about opening that can of worms. As a new mother I was hyper sensitive to how people saw me and my kids - always wanting to prove I was doing things "right". Leaping into a lifestyle that I knew would be contentious was scary. I see the person I am now (4 years into hs'ing) and wish I could have been then as eloquent as I am now. My arguments are much more succinct and less emotional. A few years in and the kids are fine, I know lots of people doing something similar and my own insecurities have dwindled away. I make a much better case for myself now .

I wouldn't change the timing though. I am more of a hit the nail head on kind of gal. Best to get these things out of the way and over with. As others have mentioned, questions here about education started in toddlerhood. I wouldn't have been able to fend them off until ds was 4. People who are unhappy with your choices will usually remain so until they see something that shows them otherwise. Pass them the bean dip and move along.
post #7 of 23

Hey stacey

hey stacey, yeah...i totally hear you. My mother is really supportive of us homeschooling, but shes about the only one. Everyone else gives us the 'but what about socialization?', or my new favorite 'but you both went to school and turned out OK!' And my 95 year old Nanny (grandmother, the kids great grandmother) was staying with us for the past few weeks while her caregivers were on vacation, and mind you, she has dementia and short term memory loss...but she kept asking clyde 'so when are you starting school?' to which he would answer 'never, im not going to school nanny'. Five minutes later she would ask 'so are you excited about going on the big yellow bus to go to school soon?' And he would say, 'nanny, im never going to school'
She fixated on this for weeks, even though i kept telling her we were going to homeschool. After a few weeks of this, when she would ask him 'clyde, are you excited about going to school?' he would just scream 'NANNY, IM NEVER EVER GOING TO SCHOOL....NEVER EVER!!! NOT EVER!'
ummmmm...that was fun. she went home yesterday.
its a great big adventure doing things your own way isnt it?
I hope you guys found great community out there, we are still working on finding ours...and miss you guys! - Lisa
post #8 of 23
Yep. The cogs have started turning.

I too am surprised they waited that long. I was getting questions like 'Why aren't they in "school"?' when mine were 2-3 years old. And they may be big for their age but they're not *that* big.
post #9 of 23
I really think it is more my business that they keep sending their children to public schools (I have to foot the bill via taxes) than it is their business that I educate my children myself. But I do not stick my opinion in to what they do. But recently, when being insulted, I did say something about how I do not think I should have to pay taxes to educate other people's children and other people need to start paying their own way and stop living off the government. I actually got zero response for that. Which was a step up from all the insults I listed in my previous post.
post #10 of 23
: That is good! Can I use that? lol

We are just about to start K- Gr 1 with our daughter. Most people we know are ok with it - but we do get the occasional question or roll of the eyes and the questions are starting too - the "when are you starting school" my dd used to answer quite forcefully " I'm NEVER going to school I'm school-homing!"
post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the encouragement. I think all of this would be easier if our economic situation wasn't so iffy. I mean it's one thing to say I am homeschooling my ds and we can pay all our bills and we don't have to borrow any money from you again. But right now we're still getting back on our feet and the P's and in-laws have been really helpful. Of course that help comes with emotional strings when your 36 years old.

The funny thing with my dad is that I think he would be for homeschooling, except that he thinks I should be out doing "more important things". Whenever my blog veers into homeschooling he talks how he wishes I could be a "lady of leisure" go figure.
post #12 of 23
Originally Posted by Stacey B View Post
Is this really the beginning of the process of breaking it to our families that we are homeschooling?

Yes, it's the beginning.

My mom asked me regularly then gave up for awhile. Then she started quizzing dd on letters, and numbers, then she freaked out because dd didn't learn to read as early as she thought she should. Each time I just told her it was fine, dd was fine. BTW, dd became a bookworm but didn't read fluently until she was about 7ish. Then she asked if we were still going to HS for Jr High. Then she became horrified when dd hit high school age and we were still HSing. Because you know, she would miss the prom

So now dd is an adult and was HS'd the whole way. My mom finally admitted I was a good parent. Although I know she still thinks dd should have gone to school.

I never even mentioned USing to my mom, I didn't want to give her a heart attack. Of course it helped that she didn't live locally.
post #13 of 23
Yup, it's normal for the questions to be starting. With our extended families, they knew we were going to homeschool when our oldest was a toddler, because I knew then that we wanted to homeschool.
post #14 of 23
Yeah, I'm surprised you haven't been grilled about it before. Heck, I have a "well meaning" neighbor and her retired-teacher mom and my MIL that take it upon themselves to make it test time for my poor 6yo when they visit. To make sure he's actually learning. Sigh.

He held his own with Grandma the other day though. She asked him if he knew the alphabet. He said yes, and walked off (that's my boy!). He came back several minutes later with the entire alphabet written on a big piece of paper to give to Grandma, then got back to work playing with trains.
Now it's just a matter of time before they start harping on the "but he can't read yet?!?" mantra. Because we're letting him go at his own pace figuring out the crazy way letters and words go together - it'll all click soon enough.
post #15 of 23
Originally Posted by accidental_hs'er View Post
My personal feeling was that when I hid it (even by omission) that meant I was uncomfortable with my choice. I never wanted to feel like I was hiding it because I certainly wasn't doing anything wrong!

my apprach to life, if i can't be loud and proud, have i made the best choice??
post #16 of 23
Originally Posted by lmonter View Post
He held his own with Grandma the other day though. .......
and it will never really end.

I've taught my 5 oldest to read. My rising senior got a 720 on her verbal portion of her SAT. All of them read well above reading level, even the one with LD's.
STILL my mother is harping because my 6 1/2 year old son isn't reading independently. it is all clicking for him but in his own time. i was THRILLED when I came home from the hospital with my last baby and had a note that said:

wecum hm mom nd max. i lov u

she'll critique his spelling
post #17 of 23
Originally Posted by Momma Aimee View Post

my apprach to life, if i can't be loud and proud, have i made the best choice??
Or maybe they just don't have to have the same moronic question and answer session for the millionth time. Not everyone feels the need to proselytize or announce their life choices to the world. It doesn't mean we aren't confident in our choices.
post #18 of 23
Originally Posted by Arduinna View Post
Or maybe they just don't have to have the same moronic question and answer session for the millionth time. Not everyone feels the need to proselytize or announce their life choices to the world. It doesn't mean we aren't confident in our choices.

Also I find that often the ones who boast the most are the ones who are the least secure in their choices. IMHO If one is secure in their chocies there is not need to be "loud and proud".
post #19 of 23
gotta lotta love the love around here.

uhhh we are here to support each other -- supposed to be us vs them not us vs us ....

just saying
post #20 of 23
No, there is no us vs them or us vs us for that matter. We are all individuals and as such agreement in one area, IE HSing doesn't mean that we agree in every area.
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