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What do you say to parents of public schoolers when they ask why you're homeschooling? - Page 2

post #21 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by pigpokey View Post

A lot of people, if they are asking they want to hear it, you know?


I used to think that...and I can usually tell if they're really interested or not so much. I've answered in very polite ways too many times only to get 1. mocked 2. yelled at    to think that a lot of people are just honestly interested.

 

As for the "will you EVER" questions...I just always ask if they know what they plan on doing in five or ten years. This is our THIRD state we lived in...I can't see the future. If you had told me 2.5 years ago, I'd be living in the desert, I would have laughed. Who knows WHAT the future holds or what the kids will want/need when they are 15?

 

Usually when I give that answer, it helps people realize that hey, we really are kind of normal and we're just trying to do our best.

 

post #22 of 32

You could ask them why they are public schooling and have them answer first.

post #23 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by MommaCrystal View Post

My answer... "This just works really well for my family."


Pretty much.  You can usually tell what side of the fence they're on, and answer accordingly from that if they ask another question.  If they want more detail, I may share some of the experiences my immediate family has had, other various things that have happened in our school district and my concerns about NCLB (um, is there anybody out there that thinks this program is a *good* thing?) among other things.

Or if they get concerned about the lack of the institution, I turn it onto us - that my kids would be hanging from the light fixtures and I'd be in the principal's office at least once a week and blah blah blah.  I'm sure their child is a perfect angel and never challenges authority and is a morning person and all that jazz - my family is far from perfect.  ;)

 

post #24 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa1970 View Post

You could ask them why they are public schooling and have them answer first.



As a public schooling mom, I'd answer, "I'd rather they be homeschooling. However,  DH is concerned that he would not have the time or patience to teach our children and get what he needs to get done and I'm at work 9-10 hours per day.  Plus, DS is autistic and DH is concerned that we cannot do "as good a job" with him as his school (which is pretty p**** poor, IMO, if you know what I mean)."

 

I look at home-schooling and stay-at-home moms the same way:  "I'd  tried to plan my life to be one of 'you'"

 

Plus, it would be really nice to take vacations in the off seasons...


Edited by 2lilsweetfoxes - 6/10/11 at 10:28am
post #25 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2lilsweetfoxes View Post





As a public schooling mom, I'd answer, "I'd rather they be homeschooling. However,  DH is concerned that he would not have the time or patience to teach our children and get what he needs to get done and I'm at work 9-10 hours per day.  Plus, DS is autistic and DH is concerned that we cannot do "as good a job" with him as his school (which is pretty p**** poor, IMO, if you know what I mean)."

 

I look at home-schooling and stay-at-home moms the same way:  "I'd  tried to plan my life to be one of 'you'"

 

Plus, it would be really nice to take vacations in the off seasons...


Well, if you'd rather be homeschooling, it's not like you'd ask a new acquaintance why she homeschools. You already know why. orngbiggrin.gif

 

post #26 of 32

Instead of just saying "yes", you could just say that "he will begin kindergarten this year".  It is true, but evasive.  However, often the follow up question is "where".  Then, I would just smile and say at home.  After that, there are a couple typical responses:  1.  "oh, really"--- your response= "yes, we are really excited about it".  2.  "good for you" -- you say "thanks!"  3.  "I could never do that" -- you say, "oh, well we think it will be fun"  4.  "why" -- now you get to decide how much to share.  For most people, you might just say that you aren't happy with the public schools and since you have the luxury of being able to homeschool. . . well, why not give it a shot.  

 

With friends and family, you may want to be a bit more detailed, but it isn't necessary.  My family understood "why" I wanted to, but still failed to see "why" I would anyways.  My mom really thinks I should get to have "time without the kids" more often.  For her, I simply said that we were going one year at a time and that the public school wasn't going anywhere.  We could re-enroll if it wasn't working out like I hoped.

 

Amy

post #27 of 32

I used to answer this question somewhat evasively, but I stopped doing so.  Most of the time this question was asked in front of my 7yo DD, and I realized that if I didn't address that question directly it was somehow implying to her that I was "ashamed" of homeschooling in some way.  So now when someone asks why we are homeschooling I say something like, "DD is just so bright and creative, I love being able to tailor her education to her interests and abilities!"  People seem to react pretty positively to that, they usually say something like, "Wow, that's so cool.".  If they ask me how long we plan to homeschool, I usually just say that I don't know, that we are taking one year at a time.  The pushiest have asked my DD directly, "Bust don't you want to go to school?"  She has always promptly responded,, "No.  I went to school.  I was bored.  I love homeschooling!" 

 

Mind you, my DD has a fairly significant medical condition which factored heavily into our decision to homeschool, but I don't say that either.  I don't want DD to feel like we are only homeschooling because there is something "wrong" with her.  We are homeschooling because it is the best choice for her at this time, both medically *and* educationally.  But we focus on the educational benefits with her because it is a more positive approach. 

post #28 of 32

I guess it depends on your area and who you're talking to, but I think that homeschooling is something that was once fringe, but is now really moving into the mainstream.  I was homeschooled for a year when I was a child, and I was the only kid I ever met who was homeschooled, until I was an adult!  Now I know several families that are homeschooling or interested in homeschooling.  And so many people read "mom blogs" written by people who homeschool, and seem to have these amazingly ordered and beautiful lives.  I think that piques a lot of people's interest, especially if you look "normal," LOL.

 

I'm sure that some people are out to judge you, and some people will judge you, but I also think that a lot of people are genuinely interested in this (insert crazy radio announcer voice) new trend sweeping the nation (end voice) that they've been hearing about... and now here's someone who is actually going to do it!  Do you live on a compound?  Are you a super organized crafty person with a really picturesque house, like on all those blogs?  Or are you some sort of normal mother, like they are?

 

I don't think you need to go into some long explanation.  I'd just say "It seems like it would be really fun.  We'll see how it goes."

post #29 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by MommaCrystal View Post

My answer... "This just works really well for my family."



that's all i say too.

post #30 of 32

I say "We tried both, public school for a year and then homeschooling for a year, and we really enjoyed homeschooling a little more." It's not saying the public school is bad; and I have answered lots of follow ups, bc the public school we did for a year is one of the perceived "best in the city" ones. And it's not a bad school. I can say things I didn't like there (teachers changed on 4 year olds over and over bc of administrative stuff), but I usually don't. I say that it's a great school, DD loved her teacher and classmates, but we really love doing the amazing classes offered for homeschoolers, and we just enjoy it so much.

 

If it's a longer conversation, I say that I wasn't fond of the attendance policy being as rigid as it was (I usually relay that I remember doing overseas trips as a kid when my dad went on business trips that were very educational for me, and the public school would send along homework, do make up tests, etc. but that public schools can't do that now for political and funding reasons. That's not about the school itself, it's about politics. 

 

I also feel it was great for me to say that it was an experiment the first year to try it out. It kept me from getting as many "future plans" questions or "what about socialization" questions when I wasn't prepared to answer them. Everything was "I guess I'll find out this year!" or "I've thought about socialization, and what I hear is that it's not difficult to find peer groups for homeschoolers here because it's such a big group... but we'll see how it goes this year! blah blah blah"

post #31 of 32

I haven't been asked by a stranger for a long time why we homeschool. I think most assume dd is school age so must be in school.  I think you will really only need an answer for strangers for  a couple of years.

 

I think you can say that you are homeschooling. I don't think you need to lie or hedge. I would just say the things you love about homeschooling or things you think you will like instead of saying the things you dislike about public school.

 

Avoid being defensive or talking about ps and just focus on positive statements. If you haven't thought about the positives yet sit down and make a list. It'll probably make you feel better too to have that as a reminder.

 

Don't give more of an answer than you need to. Unless the person really seems interested in homeschooling saying, "After doing research into all of our options we feel this will work best for ds right now." is enough.

 

 

 

post #32 of 32

I think, in some cases, especially in areas where homeschooling isn't "common", there are the following issues:  (not all these are *me*, but they are true to *someone*)

 

1)  surprise at seeing a school-aged child out and about in town during school hours.  I used to live in an area where truancy was an issue.  Many local stores and businesses actually had signs up stating that children from 7-17 were not allowed in there between 8 am and 3 pm Monday through Friday unless accompanied by a parent.  (7 was the start age for mandatory education).  If a child was waiting outside the bathroom for mommy, and security saw her, then they might start agressively questioning her as to why she isn't at school. Some parents just did not care whether their child was at school or not.  A lot of kids had a habit of cutting school.

2)  the local public school is so great, why don't you put your child in it?  My child was reading before the end of the first semester of kindergarten.  They get to do all kinds of stuff at school.  --the town DH is from.  One school.  Many awards on all kinds of things-sports and academics.  Children left kindy reading.  Everyone attends.  People in nearby towns try to get their kids in there--to the point the principal can pick and choose who gets in. 

3)  I'd go bat-crazy if I had my kids at home all day.  --parent/child personality fit?  introverted low-energy parent with extroverted chatterbox whirlwind child?

4)  I'm looking forward to putting my kids in school so I get time to myself ("free daycare"  whoo-hoo!)  --I can get stuff done without someone undoing it just as fast...

5)  Homeschooling--all the options and such, just confuses me.  I'll put my kids in the local public school so I don't have to think about it.

6)  I work.  My partner works.  We don't live near family and don't have friends that can take our kids during the day while we work.  All we can find are before-and-after school programs, not all-day care after preschool age.  Opposite shifts are not an option in our career fields and we cannot cut out one income--it takes both to live.

7)  Some believe that you are only homeschooling because the public schools are bad and you can't afford private (look at #2, especially if you live in an area with a good public school)

 

Rather than jumping all defensive, assuming the public schooling mom is dissing on your choice, ask her 'What do you mean by that?'  I honestly think both sides "reasoning" for what they do can sound "defensive" or "hostile".

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