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What annoys you the most about what others say...

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 
...when you talk about homeschooling or unschooling?

For me, it's the doom and gloom predictions of my son's future. Now that I can see the person he is becoming, I can ignore it. When he was young, they made me worry, and I could have lived without them.

Another one is when folks who have never homeschooled talk about it as though they know all about it.

Anyone else have any to share?
post #2 of 46

Mostly it's when they respond to the reality of our family's homeschooling by defending their own choice to send their kids to school. I feel like grabbing their heads, pulling their faces close and saying "My family's educational choices are not about you, okay? It's just great that you send your kids to school, if that's working for you." 

 

Not really. It's been a lot of years since anyone has reacted at all to our homeschooling. But I do recall a couple of times way back in the early years when I felt a bit like that.

 

Miranda

post #3 of 46

hmmm. I dunno, not much bothers me really that others say. I think usually, people are either reacting to the fact that they've never known a homeschooler and its a freaky idea, or else they happen to have had a bad experience with a homeschooler. I've never had a negative comment about me and my kids, so its more about them than me really. Perhaps I've been lucky. I tend to try to see it as a way to give them a good impression of a homeschooling family. 

 

TBH all the really nasty comments that have stayed with me are from other homeschoolers, I think! Over the whole unschooling/structure business. That's been far more hurtful, if I am honest. I wish we were better at just accepting that we are all on a path, trying to do the best for our family. I've probably only had a handful of really judgmental comments over something like seven years of HEing, but they are harder to shake off, aren't they?

 

ETA: clarity


Edited by aderyn - 9/23/12 at 8:58am
post #4 of 46

Our pediatrician has recently started asking questions about our homeschooling that presume things like my kids aren't learning any math.  I was thrown the first couple times it happened, but I think I'm at a point where I can address the presumption instead of the question she wrapped it into and make it ok.  I can deal with most comments when they are presented in a straight forward way, but this was kind of backhanded, and it threw me.  

 

We live in a town with very few pediatricians, and we're trying to move, so I don't want to shop for a new ped. right now, and based on our family history, I feel like it's important to be bringing my kids in for check ups regularly.  

post #5 of 46

My girls have very bubbly and effusive public personalities, and it seems to preempt any comments people might make about our educational path.  The literally bounce up and down and jump and talk all at once about the caterpillar they brought home, the list of horse breeds the Farm is going to have, the video about Madagascar they watched a bazillion times, and any other little factoid they can share.  I've written before about how they will just shout out "mom! 3 fives is fifiteen!"  They still do this.  This last 2 weeks it has been almost non-stop.  They leave no room for doubt that what we are doing is working for them educationally, no doubt for me or anyone else getting caught up in their gravitational field.

 

I also have a talent for not letting others get a word in edgewise.  When I am asked about homeschooling and unschooling, I also give the impression that this is what is working for us for *now*.  "We are just riding the wave while it lasts" is something like what I would say.  

 

The only time I get annoyed is when I listen to parents and kids, and it seems like a strange parallel universe.  V-tech electronic toys so the kids can "start learning".  "I don't let her go over there because she starts exploring."  "He's so destructive.  He pulled every piece of clothing out of that bag and gave me that look.  Such a boy."  These are all comments I overheard yesterday at my grand-nephew's 1st birthday party, and the kids were very little and I was catching snippets of their lives in a couple of hours, but still-- completely different paradigm from mine.

post #6 of 46

We are sort of in the home stretch (the Dumplings are 16 & 17), so it is a little different. When someone says something derogatory, I gently slip in, "YoungSon plans to join the Marines when he's 18", or "BigGirl plans to work for women's rights in the Middle East - she is studying Arabic". Both of those paths are so far from the preconceived notions that unschooled kids would be unprepared to contribute to society that the criticisms disappear.

 

Years ago, people would ask questions that implied they really didn't get it - like "What curriculum are you using?" or "How do you have the time/patience/self-discipline to homeschool?" I never needed, wanted, or used any of those things. We really just got on with the business of life each morning, enjoyed being together, and somehow the kids learned. But I rarely tried to explain or defend how and why that worked for us.

 

In one state we lived in, the school district asked what curriculum we would be using (district requirement?). I glibly lied and said Oak Meadows. Glad no one checked into it. But I did not see that moment as a time to discuss my radical ideas on educational philosophy. Unless a friend is sincerely interested, I consider this a private issue, and avoid the whole subject.
 

post #7 of 46

I would get comments about my firstborn not reading at the kinder level. And that bothered me some, but I could see he was still learning, so I just let it ride. Now that people (read: family) see he taught himself to read at age 8, they are just waiting for my 6yo to start to read by that time. 

 

I don't get too many negative comments other than that, but it could be that I'm such a crazy mom anyway, so they don't know what to do about me. lol

 

(Contrary to every other sibling, I pumped fulltime for my boys, I don't vaccinate, I didn't circ, I homeschool, and am very outspoken about it all. They just aren't sure what to do with me.)  :)

post #8 of 46

Not much ruffles my feathers anymore.  Kiddo is 12 and has a path going for him.  

What DOES get me going is my own family.  They keep offering to pay for 'private school tuition' but won't just give me X amount of money to spend how I want.  So say "Fancy school" is 12k a year, I just can't get a check for 12k to spend however I want.  My family can't understand why I keep walking away from 'such a good educational opportunity' for kiddo and I just can't understand why money comes with strings attached. 

post #9 of 46

It bothers me when I see others whose kids are floundering in school, or even asking to be homeschooled, and they refuse even to consider it because it would be too hard, or because of the dreaded "s" word (socialization). I even have one aquaintance who stopped hanging out with us when we decided not to do school because she didn't want her dd to even know that it existed as an option! Ack! 

post #10 of 46

We were on vacation this past week, and the owner of the ice cream shop was very chatty with us.  I got a strange vibe from him, and then he asked my ds what grade he was in.  eyesroll.gif  I was so proud of him.  He said, "Well, I would be in 2nd grade, but we homeschool."  Ice cream man then kept asking me questions, including, "What time do you start teaching them each morning?"  I mean, I know exactly where this is coming from, but to someone who has been de-schooling for the past decade, and deeply pondering learning, and combing through what I've been told vs. what I believe is true, the question was really unnerving.  I feel like I am facing someone who really has NO IDEA what I am about and what I am after for my children.  SO many people respond with something along the lines of, "I would homeschool too if I was in your school system."  I am not interested in giving up my children to any school, no matter where.  

 

I usually find it easy to be evasive but truthful, but ice cream man really bothered me.  At what time do I start teaching?  That question is so disconnected from facilitating a healthy, loving, whole, and deep education for my children.  Makes me sad!  I usually feel very misunderstood whenever I field homeschooling questions from non-homechooling people.  I grateful to have several friends in my shoes, and a very supportive husband who is on the same page.

post #11 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by I Fly View Post

...

Ice cream man then kept asking me questions, including, "What time do you start teaching them each morning?" 

...

 

"Oh, you know, when we get around to it. Like, I'm teaching my child right now how to respond politely to rude questions. It's amazing what we can learn just by living our lives. Thanks for the ice cream! Have a great day!"

 

LOL

post #12 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetSilver View Post  

 

The only time I get annoyed is when I listen to parents and kids, and it seems like a strange parallel universe.  V-tech electronic toys so the kids can "start learning".  "I don't let her go over there because she starts exploring."  "He's so destructive.  He pulled every piece of clothing out of that bag and gave me that look.  Such a boy."  These are all comments I overheard yesterday at my grand-nephew's 1st birthday party, and the kids were very little and I was catching snippets of their lives in a couple of hours, but still-- completely different paradigm from mine.

 

yeahthat.gif  DS is only 17 months, but this is where we are at!  Super common.  I'm proud DS is such an adventurous explorer and serious scientist.  But I get alot of "OMG I can't believe you let him do that!  How dangerous!  What a huge mess!  I would never..." (we are talking things like getting muddy while throwing rocks into puddles or pouring a box of old pasta on the floor to play with and sort or learning to feed himself yogurt with a spoon over a rug eyesroll.gif).  I often smile and reframe these activities as "experiments in gravity" or some such label which is actually quite true!  Life is learning and learning is life - it's all messy - if it's not, you're not really trying! orngbiggrin.gif

 

And who made v-tech the authority on brain development???  headscratch.gif  It is so strange (and frightening) who we let define, limit, and monopolize "learning."

Quote:

Originally Posted by I Fly View Post

 

SO many people respond with something along the lines of, "I would homeschool too if I was in your school system."  I am not interested in giving up my children to any school, no matter where.  

 

In the city, we get TONS of this, too - um, sooooo not the point!!!!  But honestly, if it makes some people swallow it easier, then so be it - I'll take it.

 

I usually find it easy to be evasive but truthful, but ice cream man really bothered me.  At what time do I start teaching?  That question is so disconnected from facilitating a healthy, loving, whole, and deep education for my children.  Makes me sad!  

 

I would be tempted to answer something mysteriously cryptic - like, "A quarter past always, but a half hour 'til never."  And vanish with a wave of my magical cloak, hahaha.  I'm sorry, but what he said sounds so much like a riddle to me...I'd have to respond in kind. smile.gif

 

I am glad you have strong support, I Fly.  I find DH is supportive most of the time, having had a hard time being bored in school, and wanting to let DS learn what he wants, how he wants, when he wants, for as long as he wants - yet sometimes when I re-explain it to him, he gets scared and decides it sounds impossible.  I gently remind him of all of DS' accomplishments to date - all things he did on his own with our support - and ask him if he really thinks that we need to change the current system??? winky.gif

post #13 of 46

PS - I am grateful for this experienced bunch for guidance and support.  People already think we are insane to be inclined to go this route, but I'm sure it will get weirder once DS is "school age" and becomes more real for them.  TIA, I suppose!

post #14 of 46

It bothers me when people say that they wouldn't want to spend that much time with their children.  greensad.gif

post #15 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Monkeygrrl View Post

"Oh, you know, when we get around to it. Like, I'm teaching my child right now how to respond politely to rude questions. It's amazing what we can learn just by living our lives. Thanks for the ice cream! Have a great day!"

LOL

I love this! Can't stop laughing. It is too, too true!

I was thinking this morning about how my kids are critical thinking superstars. I am so proud of what they value enough to learn.

I always love to say to them, your dad and I never did our homework, and look what we got... A happy family! Lol.
post #16 of 46

I know I'm coming late to this thread, but just the other day I heard a comment, from a friend, no less, that made me sad. My girls were at her son's birthday party, and my 8 yo walked out (they were in a gymnastic facility) half way through, and said that it was too much like being in a class. We chatted a little, I encouraged her to go back, as she was there for the birthday boy, and eventually she went back in.

 

Later my friend told me that my 8 yo was turning to be just like my 10 yo, "unfit" for school, and that maybe it wasn't too late to change things for her. This really hurt my feelings. My 10 yo wouldn't do well in school, that's for sure--she is too independent, her thinking processes are very a-typical, she doesn't like academics at all. She's a stereotypical somewhat awkward homeschooler, who is valued and appreciated by adults--she feels at home with adults who don't behave like bratty 10 year olds. She's always been serious and mature, an over-thinker. However I consider most of this to be wonderful, and not a deficit (except for when I'm in my panic mode and we butt heads lol). The way my friend spoke sounded like she thought my girls were deficient.  

 

All I know that I wouldn't have liked the birthday party in a gym either--they kids were allowed to just run and roam for the first 10 minutes, and that was fun, but they they started games, and considering the birthday boy was 5, I wasn't surprised that DD felt over-structured and bored with the games geard to little kids. I reminded her of the purpose for being there, and she went back in. 

post #17 of 46
Quote:
and it seems like a strange parallel universe.  V-tech electronic toys so the kids can "start learning".  "I don't let her go over there because she starts exploring."  "He's so destructive.  He pulled every piece of clothing out of that bag and gave me that look.  Such a boy."  These are all comments I overheard yesterday at my grand-nephew's 1st birthday party, and the kids were very little and I was catching snippets of their lives in a couple of hours, but still-- completely different paradigm from mine.

 

 

Yeah, I have a hard time knowing how to respond when people "complain" about the things their kids do that I find quite fascinating.  I try, as casually as possible to say something positive like, she is very curious or, testing the laws of motion ... or something.  You never know how far to go though. 

 

One annoying comment I got was that it was okay for my daughter to do this but she couldn't take the risk because she had a son, and he would have to get a job, etc. 

post #18 of 46
The thing that drives me the craziest is my mother! She knows we're homeschooling our boys, the eldest is 3.5 yrs, that's it. Well, because she called when I was super frustrated she was like, he's nearly 4 and SHOULD be going to preschool for structure and learning how to be with kids that I haven't approved of. I was like, huh??? That makes no sense and no way. He learns far more at home and me being frustrated due to something else has nothing to do with it. Like seriously. Plus, why would I spend $$ on pre k when it's just glorified playtime when we do that here and everywhere else for free? Like seriously!! She just doesn't get it. She keeps referring to it as a "great time for me to get a break". From what, I have no idea.
post #19 of 46

It's not specific comments that really get to me anymore...it's the general mentality. I have trouble understanding how otherwise reasonable people, who really SEEM to love their children, could prefer to have them raised by a constantly rotating group of strangers. 

 

Ds has really developed a game plan for his life over the past few months, and I have to say I'm REALLY looking forward to the bragging rights of my eldest unschooler becoming a doctor. He could still decide on a different path, but I'm going to be unbearable if this sticks the way it seems like it will. Dh and I are hoping to start having more kids within the next few year (I'm almost healthy enough to start trying again!), hopefully lots of them...and they are going to benefit from the most over confident, outspoken, unschooling mom ever. lol

post #20 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by incorrigible View Post

 

Ds has really developed a game plan for his life over the past few months, and I have to say I'm REALLY looking forward to the bragging rights of my eldest unschooler becoming a doctor. He could still decide on a different path, but I'm going to be unbearable if this sticks the way it seems like it will. Dh and I are hoping to start having more kids within the next few year (I'm almost healthy enough to start trying again!), hopefully lots of them...and they are going to benefit from the most over confident, outspoken, unschooling mom ever. lol

 

I hope your Ds's plans workout for him.  Look forward to further reports and the bragging.

 

For me, I hate when people tell me how socially disadvantaged my kids will be because they didn't go to school.  Although deep inside of me, I really believe homeschooling/unschooling is the right choice for our family, the socialization issue always hits my vulnerable spot. A couple of weeks ago I had a conversation with a Principal where he basically said sure you can teach them at home but so much more learning happens in school than book studying and regardless of what you do, you will never be able to reproduce that at home.  And I felt... doubtful -- even though I KNEW I am providing my children enough social time.  Pretty much everyday I feel like I am providing my children a top of the line experience by allowing them to stay home and be free.  Once in a while though, someone says something about all the awkward homeschooled people they know and I fear.  I wish I didn't.  Maybe with experience I won't anymore and I look forward to that.

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