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Is this a stupid letter to MIL? - Page 2

post #21 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by LilyGrace View Post
I would skip the quotes around education and curriculum - they aren't needed and it almost seems as though you're making fun of the words. I know that's not your intent, but I think your MIL might see it as an attack on traditional schooling.
Good point - I agree - people often read a certain tone of voice into something that has quotation marks around it, because so much of the time, that's exactly what they're meant to convey. I'd really sit on anything you think about sending - and meanwhile try reading different tones of voice into it to see how things may be taken wrong. I'd actually much prefer to think of you and your husband casually and cheerfully and diplomatically bringing it up in person during a pleasant afternoon together. But you'll have an easier time of it after you read Guterson. Lillian
post #22 of 53
"I am definitely not an expert on school, especially outside the home. (That's what I have YOU for!) I don't have a degree. I am not always going to have the answers, but I do have my instincts, and I feel called to homeschool. Some days I wish I didn't! I would rather send my kids to school -- it would be easier on me, but most days when I just admit to myself that God is calling me to homeschool, I feel at peace. I can't argue with it anymore. I am excited to come to that realization. I talked to Matt about it, and he said he trusts my instincts and we could give it a try. I am so thankful for the support he has given me. Do you know what an awesome person you raised?

Since we don't actually have to report to the state on progress until first grade, I am not sure what we will decide about kindergarten. (We may or may not follow a specific curriculum for kindergarten.) Matt and I have not had an in-depth conversation about this matter yet. We have a lot of learning to do about laws, curricula, et cetera. "


I would really reconsider several portions of this. Why mention you are not an expert, that you don't have a degree? Why mention any reservations you have about homeschooling? And heavens, think carefully before you tell your MIL that you and your DH have not finished your in-depth conversatons or done a ton of research regarding laws.

Before telling her, I would read this and several other books. Research all the laws, and find some other homeschoolers in your area. Know some stats. Search the homeschool board here. Practice the "pass the dip" lines. Come up with an initial curriculum (or non-curriculum) plan. Something like "We plan to tailor our curriculum to address his individual strengths and weaknesses and to address both long and short term educational goals." I'm sure others could suggest better quotes.

Though you seem certain about your decision, reviewing these might help with comebacks when or if she argues.

http://www.accelerated-achievement.com/reasons.htm

http://www.natural-learning.net/000149.html


Good luck!
post #23 of 53
nakking and posting my reply before I read others.....

That is suck a wonderful, kind, sweet letter you wrote. Your mil is very lucky to have you.

I would not send it.

"Finish" (are you ever finished!) your research, know the laws FIRM (memorize them!), have the arguments in your head - you know, the socialization, why do you want to do it, it's childabuse... practice your comebacks so they roll off you tongue.

You sound like a nice person. I don't want to "see" you get stepped on. I'm assuming she's an educator? Well, I'm one too.... and I can talk circles around people. It's not nice. I swear, the only graduate with honors the biggest bsers. (like me!)

Get your ducks in a row, then go to her. Invite her in, she'll end up loving it.

Good luck
post #24 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by LilyGrace View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by transformed View Post
My concern on waiting till she finds out is that she is she is always expressing what delight she has that ds will be attending school next year and giving me tips on how to get him ready...:
What about a firm "thanks, but we're planning to homeschool" when she brings it up? Repeat as often as necessary.
: I would go with just mentioning it when it comes up naturally. I always try to remind myself that I can try to *inform* my friends and family about homeschooling (if I want to) but I'm under no obligation to *convince* them that my choice is right (or even a valid choice). She's free to think that you're totally wacky, and you're free to not give a <something> that she thinks that. You have to accept that you don't need her approval for this to work, but that's the truth in any case.
post #25 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by momto l&a View Post
I don't understand why you'd even be telling your MIL all this.

When she finds out she finds out, but dont go out of your way to tell her.

But IMO by writing this letter your asking for her permission which you obviously don't need.
:
post #26 of 53
you really seem like a very kind-hearted person, and i think it's wonderful that you want to keep things smooth between you and MIL. i understand that.

imo, i would change your letter though to be more..."hey-here's what we've decided". period. because your current draft sounds uncertain, i think your MIL is going to challenge you and DH hard. you don't need to mention that you don't have a degree to her...that's irrelevant. i have a B.S. in social work, and i'm as clueless as you resources are equally available to all of us. you have everything you need (including the desire and abilities) to give your dc a wonderful and rich education. you are not asking for MIL's approval (are you?) so in your letter, let it be a statement and not a request, yk? don't mention to her about being confused, it's irrelevant to her imo. that's between you and dh only.....and us at MDC!

in the end, be gentle (as i see that is your nature ) but don't be afraid to BE FIRM. these are your kiddos - so stand your ground and follow your heart.

hugs mama!!!
post #27 of 53
There are things I would leave out. This comes as a result of dealing with my wackjob shrew (FIL's girlfriend) who thinks she's the be all and end all of education and who has made it clear she's going to be a pain about me homeschooling my boys (even if I did finally get her to say "OH, you have a degree in education? Well, I guess it's okay then...") - and we were NEVER vague with her. It's also influenced by other relatives that have, as a homeschooling reference, children who they knew who were socially backwards and WAY far behind their age mates when they were enrolled in public school (something about how "it's not just ANYONE who can teach children!").

Things to leave out:

Quote:
I am definitely not an expert on school, especially outside the home. (That's what I have YOU for!) I don't have a degree.
A - this gives the impression that she IS an expert. granted, you are indicating that she's an expert on school outside the home, but you don't need to reinforce the idea that she knows more than you and can therefore be in a constant state of critiquing and "advising" you on how you school your child. B - Don't remind her that you don't have a degree. It's more fuel for her fire, potentially. She'll be developing this list in her head: you don't have a degree, you don't know anything about educating children, etc.... It's a door you don't want to open.

Quote:
I would rather send my kids to school -- it would be easier on me, but most days when I just admit to myself that God is calling me to homeschool, I feel at peace.
Again, you're giving her fuel. Letting her know you'd rather send them to school? And adding faith/religion to it? Will that encourage her to use that tack when she tries to change your mind?

Quote:
we could give it a try.
Don't describe it as trying. Something more like 'this is the decision we've made for junior's early education' might be better? I know that spending 10+ years around my Shrew has really made me once bitten twice shy about what i say, and maybe you don't have those concerns, but if i said "we've decided to try homeschooling" and then we later decided to enroll the boys in school, she'd remember that one phrase, and I'd hear it as "well, you tried...." with the condescending implied pat on the head, and the idea that she knew all along I'd fail, and I should've just left this to the professionals.

Quote:
Since we don't actually have to report to the state on progress until first grade, I am not sure what we will decide about kindergarten. (We may or may not follow a specific curriculum for kindergarten.) Matt and I have not had an in-depth conversation about this matter yet. We have a lot of learning to do about laws, curricula, et cetera. "
This immediately puts flares up for people. You're going to Homeschool and you dont have to REPORT to anyone??? Doesn't a teacher have to review your work????
YOu can be intentionally vague "we've read up on the state regulations and are making decisions about our plans for Junior for Kindergarten." Don't tell her you and Matt haven't had an indepth convo about it - she may think this is something she can negotiate with him.
I tell my shrew that i don't have to do anything with the boys until they're 8 BECAUSE I know it will tork her off (and with the crap of hers I listen to, sometimes I need to sling an arrow) - but I honestly don't care what she thinks about it. And, FIL thinks it's great :

I say all of this, because I've had to treat conversations wtih my shrew like a chess match - know what's going to happen three moves ahead based on what I say at any one time. I plan for several worst case scenarios. I tend to come close.

I really agree wtih Captivated Life

And, does Matt think you need to send her something?
post #28 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by raleigh_mom View Post
I would really reconsider several portions of this. Why mention you are not an expert, that you don't have a degree? Why mention any reservations you have about homeschooling? And heavens, think carefully before you tell your MIL that you and your DH have not finished your in-depth conversatons or done a ton of research regarding laws.

Before telling her, I would read this and several other books. Research all the laws, and find some other homeschoolers in your area. Know some stats. Search the homeschool board here. Practice the "pass the dip" lines. Come up with an initial curriculum (or non-curriculum) plan. Something like "We plan to tailor our curriculum to address his individual strengths and weaknesses and to address both long and short term educational goals."
Very good points. - Lillian
post #29 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by momto l&a View Post
I don't understand why you'd even be telling your MIL all this.

But IMO by writing this letter your asking for her permission which you obviously don't need.
I agree.
post #30 of 53
The letter sounds to me like you are apologizing, that you are not clear for your own reasons to homeschool, and that you and your husband are not on the same page. In addition, the last paragraph of the letter seems to suggest that the MIL has some kind of say in your decisions regarding your child.

My dh and I were not on the same page at the beginning either, but I didn't broadcast that to everyone, especially my inlaws.

If you did decide to homeschool and the MIL was alienated, then what? You don't want her to be but you have no control over her feelings. Would you send your child to school because of MIL's feelings?
post #31 of 53
I agree that you should spell check but I'm concentrating on content. I would totally rewrite the letter. The letter you wrote is too weak and apologetic IMO.

My re-write:
Hi Mil,
Matt and I have been doing a lot of thinking/praying/researching about dc's educational options for next year. After all of that, I feel a strong calling to homeschooling. I know that might be surprising since we haven't brought it up before now. I've talked it over with Matt in depth and we've agreed to give it a trial. He has been really supportive. I'm sure this path will have challenges but I feel at peace with what God is calling us to do. I am also very excited to come to that realization.

The law in our state says we do not report until first grade. We are going ahead with homeschooling kindergarten. We are exploring our options right now. There are some excellent choices available. I've also found some great resources that I'd like to share with you if you are interested.

I am reading a great book called Family Matters, why homeschooling makes sense. It comes highly recommended. If you want to read it I know the library has it or I can lend you my copy.

There is an article from a website I frequently visit and it fully describes what my WHOLE heart believes in terms of "What a 4 year old should know." I thought you might like to know my perspective. :-)
Here is a link: http://www.magicalchildhood.com/articles/4yo.htm

Matt and I hope we can rely on your input and presence in this journey as you are a very important person to us and the littles.

The end.



Before sending the letter, I also feel you should:
know the law of your state,
have your in depth conversation with your dh,
have an idea of the direction that you will be going in (full curriculum, no curriculum, partial curriculum),
actually get and read the book you are recommending to MIL,
possibly find a support group,
have an answer to common questions like "what about socialization?" and "can homeschool kids get into college?"

Good luck.
post #32 of 53
An article (speech) from a teacher´s point of view, John Taylor Gatto:
http://www.naturalchild.org/guest/john_gatto.html

Maybe this can give you some ideas on how to broach the subject to your mil.

Also, what are her worries? Is it the socialising part or the learning - or something else?
I agree with pp that you should not be apologizing for your decision to hs.
That aside, you have lots of great advice here.

Have you read "John Holt, Common Objections to Homeschooling"? Helped me a lot.
http://www.naturalchild.org/common_objections/


Good luck!
post #33 of 53
I do not think you need to justify yourself to your MIL.........I like the "Thanks, but we are homeschooling," answer.

Also, ya know, with people that raise their eyebrows and whatnot, the approach I take is to show my complete enthusiasm and excitement, and also my passion for teaching my dc at home. Hoping that a bit of the positive energy will rub off on them Kinda the "kill em with kindness" approach.

I really think that your MIL needs some boundaries or you will have a long long road ahead with her. It is your child and your decision, I know how it feel to feel like you have to explain everything to everyone, but you dont! Your dh is with ya, that is really all that matters.

I hope your MIL comes around

gl!
post #34 of 53
FWIW, I would let dh handle his Mom. But if you feel like it needs to be you, I would also think long and hard about what I was hoping to get from sending the letter, and how likely that was going to actually happen. Some people get a lot of power by withholding approval, and something about your letter and the way you've talked about your MIL makes me wonder if that's the relationship you two have going.

I also agree that I wouldn't open this can of worms with her until you feel like you have all your ducks in a row, unless you want her input. Do your research and when you're feeling confident, you can let her know your plans.

ZM
post #35 of 53
Both of my parents (and sister, and my aunt and a few of my uncles) are teachers, so I understand how it feels like a big deal to be planning to homeschool when the family is getting so excited about the kids entering the school system. It weighed very heavily on me, but I waited until the conversation came up again. I didn't want to invite in their opinions or give them the impression that it was up for debate or that I needed their permission to do this. When it came up with my parents I just said, "oh, well, actually, we have decided to homeschool Amelia." And then we had a discussion about how long I would homeschool (I told them I would take it year by year, but my intention right now is to go all the way through), what the laws require in my state, how I would socialize her, what sort of structure I would use, etc.

My parents don't agree with my decision. They have tried to talk to my DH to see if we can be talked out of it, they took my oldest inside the local school to see if they could get her excited about going, they make plenty of little digs here and there about it..... so I am not saying that it went perfectly. But, at least they knew that I wasn't asking for their permission and I wasn't asking for their expertise. I am the parent, I make the decisions for my kids and I won't apologize to other people for doing what I feel is right.
post #36 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by onlyzombiecat View Post
I agree that you should spell check but I'm concentrating on content. I would totally rewrite the letter. The letter you wrote is too weak and apologetic IMO.

My re-write:
Hi Mil,
Matt and I have been doing a lot of thinking/praying/researching about dc's educational options for next year. After all of that, I feel a strong calling to homeschooling. I know that might be surprising since we haven't brought it up before now. I've talked it over with Matt in depth and we've agreed to give it a trial. He has been really supportive. I'm sure this path will have challenges but I feel at peace with what God is calling us to do. I am also very excited to come to that realization.

The law in our state says we do not report until first grade. We are going ahead with homeschooling kindergarten. We are exploring our options right now. There are some excellent choices available. I've also found some great resources that I'd like to share with you if you are interested.

I am reading a great book called Family Matters, why homeschooling makes sense. It comes highly recommended. If you want to read it I know the library has it or I can lend you my copy.

There is an article from a website I frequently visit and it fully describes what my WHOLE heart believes in terms of "What a 4 year old should know." I thought you might like to know my perspective. :-)
Here is a link: http://www.magicalchildhood.com/articles/4yo.htm

Matt and I hope we can rely on your input and presence in this journey as you are a very important person to us and the littles.

The end.



Before sending the letter, I also feel you should:
know the law of your state,
have your in depth conversation with your dh,
have an idea of the direction that you will be going in (full curriculum, no curriculum, partial curriculum),
actually get and read the book you are recommending to MIL,
possibly find a support group,
have an answer to common questions like "what about socialization?" and "can homeschool kids get into college?"

Good luck.
OK, well wow. If a letter must be sent, this is a great one.

You should hire yourself out!
post #37 of 53
I also feel that sending a letter is not a good choice. I feel that important conversations should be had in person. I think sending a letter is open for misinterpretation both about your intent and also your message (are you trying to set up a distant relationship? are you too scared to speak in person? why is the letter from just you and not her son?) I would be upset if someone that I cared about felt they needed to have important conversations by letter.

If you feel that it is important to send a letter, I really like zombiecat's re-write. It seems less offensive (sorry, I know offensive was not your original intent, but the way you used quotes, and some of your phrasing seemed somewhat patronizing).

Good luck. I think by keeping open communication and respect you may be surprised that in the future your MIL may become your strongest ally. I know that has been the case for my educator parents.
post #38 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by momto l&a View Post
I don't understand why you'd even be telling your MIL all this.

When she finds out she finds out, but dont go out of your way to tell her.

But IMO by writing this letter your asking for her permission which you obviously don't need.
Amen.

by sending her a letter you are in effect asking for her approval or permission or at the very least her opinion.

When it comes up about where will Jr be going to school, tell her where. be confident and sure. answer any questions she has this way. don't answer questions she hasn't asked. you are just inviting challenge. You don't need her approval or permission or opinion. don't let her think that you do.
post #39 of 53
If I felt the need to send any letter, it would be the Red one.
post #40 of 53
It's not that the letter is "stupid", I think I really know where you are coming from, I was there 3 years ago when my DS was supposed to start school. But I definitely agree with all the others that you shouldn't send it and you need to be matter-of-fact about homeschooling if you want to avoid too many problems with your MIL.

I didn't quite expect the opposition I got from my in-laws. I really thought I could just explain it and all would be OK. I really opened the door for them to put a lot of pressure on us.
Just when I'd get DH to be OK with the idea, a member of his family would call and then we'd have all the tension again.

Luckily DH would give the appearance of us being a united front, but anything anyone said to him would make him doubt our choice. It was a rough summer. I think everyone responding to this thread just wants you to make it easier on yourself and not repeat some of the mistakes some of us have made!
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