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.
See, I take that as a compliment! My 10yo dd would not do well in school either, she uses her own mind way too much for the masses! But, that's why she doesn't go to school. The only way I've ever thought of for a person to be successful in school is to do what they're told. I want my children to use their minds & think & be curious & ask lots of questions. School does not value those things & for that reason, I'm soooooo glad my children are "unfit for school."
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.
I won't lie - it is hard on me being w/ my children 24/7. If I had a better system of getting time to myself, it'd be good, but I don't. I'm not good at all w/ self care & it honestly worries me some because I really would like my daughter to be better at taking care of herself. But, the answer isn't sending them to school, that's for sure!
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.
Oh, yeah, I don't get that either. Especially from people who were close to their kids when they're young - like who nurse, co-sleep, etc.. Why would you want to raise these wonderful people to have them go off for hours & hours to be all wonderful w/other people? I met a woman once who said she wouldn't homeschool, my memory is a bit foggy, but something along the lines of she wouldn't keep her kids out because their smart & then all that'd be left behind wouldn't be smart?!?! Something like that. Weird. School is so deeply ingrained in people. It makes me sad for the children & for what the family is missing. But, I don't spend much time/energy on it.
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
That would be the ultimate - told you so! not that I say that to people. But, wow, you wouldn't have to!
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.
I think that, generally, this kind of talk is really envy. These people envy the time children have to actually be children! They didn't get it themselves, their children aren't getting it, they don't want other children to, etc. This is also fear: people do not believe it is possible to learn things like how to stand in line, how to sit for a class, etc., without school. When people talk about "socialization" what they really mean is learning to be a drone. People are challenged by those who think & do outside the box & a lot of homeschoolers & unschoolers are not in-the-box people!
As to the OPs question, what bothers me isn't what people say to me about my family & myself; it's what people say about thier kids & what they make their kids do. I get very bothered by parents attempting to control their children & what they learn (this is coming from school-at-homers). I am pretty sure it's because I was controlled thorough fear as a child so it really gets my dander up when I hear about others trying and sometimes succeeding in doing it to their children. I'm working to make it so my issues do not become my children's issues & it's sad to me when I hear of others repeating the same to their children.
My 2 cents :-).