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Why would you homeschool??

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 

This question was posed to me. But it wasn't from a point of understanding, but one of judgement. I'm sure the more experienced HSers on here are used to that. So, how do you answer it? Especially without completely attacking public school?

post #2 of 37

I would probably say something like "It works for us." and then develop a need to be someplace else.  Either that or ask her to pass the bean dip (basically, change the subject-- do not worry about being subtle.) http://growing-fruit.blogspot.com/2009/12/pass-bean-dip.html

post #3 of 37

If I didn't want to say anything bad about public school or imply anything bad about people who send their kids there, I would just talk about how homeschooling provides a more individualized education.  It lets kids work at whatever level they're ready for, even if that's different in different subjects, and it can be geared toward their particular interests and learning styles.  (I guess you could see that as an implied criticism of public school, since you're saying public school can't provide as individualized an education.  But that's such an obvious truth it's hard to see anyone being offended by your mentioning it.)

post #4 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Treece View Post

This question was posed to me. But it wasn't from a point of understanding, but one of judgement. I'm sure the more experienced HSers on here are used to that. So, how do you answer it? Especially without completely attacking public school?

 

If you feel this question is coming from a place of judgement rather than seeking understanding then I would keep my answer to "This is what is right for our child/family. We love it! It think it is so awesome that there are many educational options these days so we can each choose what is best for our own families. " Then I would change the subject.

I would not get defensive or discuss the topic at length with someone who just wants a fight. Anything you say they will respond negatively, IME, and it does not go well.

post #5 of 37

I basically have three different versions of the answer, which I think of as "mild," "medium," and "hot."  I choose my answer based on what I know of the person and what I think might be his or her reasons for asking.


Edited by Luckiestgirl - 5/26/12 at 6:38pm
post #6 of 37

My stock answer to that question:  "It works for us at this time."
 

We have used public school, home school, charter school home/school combination, independent study, community college with high school, Montessori elementary school, under the table home school.  We've even done preschool and daycare.  There is no one size fits all.

post #7 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by onlyzombiecat View Post

 

If you feel this question is coming from a place of judgement rather than seeking understanding then I would keep my answer to "This is what is right for our child/family. We love it! It think it is so awesome that there are many educational options these days so we can each choose what is best for our own families. " Then I would change the subject.

I would not get defensive or discuss the topic at length with someone who just wants a fight. Anything you say they will respond negatively, IME, and it does not go well.

I agree, people who ask that type of question just want to start bashing homeschoolers.

post #8 of 37

Smile warmly and say "I need to keep the kids around during the day so they can help sacrifice the goats"; then pass the bean dip.

post #9 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daffodil View Post

If I didn't want to say anything bad about public school or imply anything bad about people who send their kids there, I would just talk about how homeschooling provides a more individualized education.  It lets kids work at whatever level they're ready for, even if that's different in different subjects, and it can be geared toward their particular interests and learning styles.  (I guess you could see that as an implied criticism of public school, since you're saying public school can't provide as individualized an education.  But that's such an obvious truth it's hard to see anyone being offended by your mentioning it.)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post

Smile warmly and say "I need to keep the kids around during the day so they can help sacrifice the goats"; then pass the bean dip.

Both of these answers are ones I might give, or secretly want to give.

post #10 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post

Smile warmly and say "I need to keep the kids around during the day so they can help sacrifice the goats"; then pass the bean dip.

 

 

What a great answer!!!! LOL I love it!!!! I think I will stick with "It works for us" but let's throw this kink in: I'm a single mom..... Once I get a little more stable, I plan to be a WAHM.

post #11 of 37

It doesn't matter what you say.  What matters is that you don't feel the need to justify.  If someone genuinely wants your opinion on why you chose homeschool, then you wouldn't feel attacked and would simply be able to mention your reasons.  I struggle with this.  I can read from someones body language and tone if they "dissaprove" of homeschooling.  Every time I roll into the

 

 

"Homeschooling is mainstream now, there are charter schools, my kids aren't isolated, the public school system (fill in the blank), I like to use child directed learning, the state standards are too rigorous in the lower grades, I don't like one size fits all learning, I want to be with my kids and have a more flexible schedule within our family, or if I could afford to send them to (expensive private school) I would".... (which is not necessarily true) ....

 

 

I end up feeling emotionally drained because what I am doing is ARGUING my point of view to someone who disagrees.  It doesn't seem like arguing when they ask the question, but when you answer them with "JUSTIFICATION" then you are trying to CONVINCE them that it is "okay" to homeschool.  How draining. 

 

I personally am going to adopt a new method, where unless the person genuinely wants to know my specific mindset on "why" I chose to homeschool, then I will answer a question with a question.

 

"Why do you choose public school for your kids?"

"Why did you choose to attend community college?"

"Why did you choose to be a pediatrician?"

"Why do you choose to work for the state?"

"Why, are you considering homeschooling?"

 

How passive aggressive of me!

post #12 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by onlyzombiecat View Post

If you feel this question is coming from a place of judgement rather than seeking understanding then I would keep my answer to "This is what is right for our child/family. We love it! It think it is so awesome that there are many educational options these days so we can each choose what is best for our own families. " Then I would change the subject.
I would not get defensive or discuss the topic at length with someone who just wants a fight. Anything you say they will respond negatively, IME, and it does not go well.

This. And I also have to point out that although it sounds judgemental, I've been in situations where this was said to me out of a place of "I love my own kids, but could not even fathom homeschooling them." Twice I've encountered this, and I think it is very honest- others who do not homeschool and never had really may not feel they could do it or like doing it. Some parents really do picture homeschooling as sitting at the table with their children from 8:30am until 3pm. Personally, I couldn't do that either!

We homeschoolers know that our day can be much more flexible than that. When I had a k-aged child and a toddler who was still napping, it was SO much easier for me to homeschool than it ever would have been sending my oldest to school. No waking up the little one to pick up the older one, no rushing out the door in the morning, and no worksheets to force him to do in the afternoons! But unless you're well-versed in the benefits of homeschooling, mainstream parents don't always get it.
post #13 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by geemom View Post


"Why do you choose public school for your kids?"
"Why did you choose to attend community college?"
"Why did you choose to be a pediatrician?"
"Why do you choose to work for the state?"
"Why, are you considering homeschooling?"

How passive aggressive of me!

Ok, never mind. I'd rather say this next time! love it!

I did have one mom tell me that she could never homeschool because she would worry that her "children would end up stupid."

It took ALL of my restraint not to respond with "wow, you have a lot more faith in the public school system than I do."

But really, I don't want to criticize anyone else's choice. Public school serves a real need, and there are plenty of people here on Mothering who are happy with their children's public school experience. There are some real gems out there! And I love the public charter school movement.

I just wish everyone would extend the same courtesy and respect. And educate themselves before speaking. Learning outside of institutionalized schooling makes so much sense to me that I honestly do not understand why anyone would criticize it or judge it. It is simply another choice, and one that every parent is free to make for their child and family.
post #14 of 37

I homeschool because it's in the best interest of my kids.  My aspie child attended a private montessori school until the end of 1st grade, was bullied mercilessly, fell 2 years behind when the teachers didn't help him, and he hated school so badly that he had massive anxiety all the time. He needed a different environment and more individualized attention.  And since we're homeschooling him, we homeschool his sisters too.  If/when it stops working, we'll stop doing it.

post #15 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by briansmama View Post



I did have one mom tell me that she could never homeschool because she would worry that her "children would end up stupid."
It took ALL of my restraint not to respond with "wow, you have a lot more faith in the public school system than I do."
 

I think when most parents say this, they are criticizing themselves.  They don't feel "book smart" themselves and feel their kids would end up stupid if they had her for a teacher.  I don't think the intent is criticizing homeschooling, usually.

 

One big reason we homeschool, besides being able to work at the level the girls are at, is because my husband is a professional gardener and work is seasonal.  By the time we would have a couple of days for camping, school would be started.  No, vacation time for us comes in September and October.

post #16 of 37
I agree that when parents say that they couldn't imagine homeschooling that it IS usually coming from a place of honesty. When someone is being genuine in regards to their own situation, it just doesn't feel like judgment casting, it seems like analytical conversation between two humans. I love this kind of dialogue, because it is respectful of another's opinion yet recognizes differences. We don't all have to be "twinsies" and friendships can cross educational barriers. It's odd, though, because I find all of my friends to be public school moms, just because they are old friends and Moving a couple times I havent been as successful at making new homeschool friends. I'm finding myself in a funny quandary with,

A. If I'm being honest, I (quietly, in my head) pass negative judgment about public school. Does this mean I am guilty of judging my friends as I wish to not be judged negatively for my choices? If this is true, then is the antedote to surround myself with likeminded individuals?

B. I started homeschooling on account of my daughters' social difficulties (anxiety and a dusting of aspie)- which has been an AWESOME choice, but every time she does anything socially awkward now (which is LESS because of homeschooling) People think it is BECAUSE I homeschool.
post #17 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by geemom View Post

I started homeschooling on account of my daughters' social difficulties (anxiety and a dusting of aspie)- which has been an AWESOME choice, but every time she does anything socially awkward now (which is LESS because of homeschooling) People think it is BECAUSE I homeschool.

Most people who go the route of public school haven't given the matter much thought, whereas HSers usually have had time to think on their decision *because it is so out of the norm*.  When we talk with people, their responses are likely to be off-the-cuff and first-thought responses-- not necessarily representative of how they would think if you sat down with them and talked about it for a bit.

 

Also, HSing is still relatively uncommon, and few have even met a single HSing family.  

post #18 of 37

My father had met an awkward man, someone he thought was a rather dull, unoriginal thinker, and he judged HSing based off this young man.  Yet, he didn't think to blame Yale because it churned out his most hated president since Nixon.  Just goes to show, even after 12 years of school plus university and a law degree, he still had trouble confusing *causation* with *correlation*.

post #19 of 37
Thread Starter 

The person I was talking to that asked this question has directed several day cares. So, I think that she is coming from instisutionalization.

 

I'm starting to think that some of my son's idiosynchrases (sp?) are due to what a PP calls a "dusting of Aspie." I look at charts of the symptoms and he has several. I haven't had a chance to chat with a ped about this, but I'm thinking that's what's going on with him. I already have one SN. I really don't know if I'd be able to handle another. :'( But i am planning to homeschool and trying to get involved in a homeschool group in a new city. It's difficult to say the least lol and it's summer lol lol lol

post #20 of 37

"It's a good fit for us."

 

And also, "Why do you ask?" 

 

Heather

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