DH's Therapist trying to convince him homeschooling is bad! - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 56 Old 05-28-2009, 04:52 PM
 
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You talk about kids you knew with a tendency toward social anxiety, who became more wary and unsure as a result of lack of social interaction. So presumably for them, a school setting would have helped. .
No, that isn't what I was saying. What I was saying is that a parent with challenges in this area (social anxiety, depression, Asperger's) is in a particularly vulnerable position especially given their kids also may have some genetic risks as well. As I stated in my previous post: "Be mindful of this need for your children and have a plan of how you will handle the places where that hits up against your own challenges. These are reasonable matters to discuss in your home as you begin this adventure."

In other words, take the need of children for social contact seriously and if it is something that is hard for you to do for whatever reason be mindful of the need to make some plans to deal with this. Make a commitment to find friends and to get out of the house. Make sure your kids have other meaningful relationships in their lives. If that is not something you feel in a position to be able to do then honestly assess if that is good for your kids.

If the choice is: parent with mental illness or challenge that is not particularly well addressed or public school. Then, yes, in many of those situations school is a preferred choice though I'm sure often a less than ideal choice. Kids deserve to have time spent with adults who are able to care for them in the ways they need cared for.

Ultimately, I don't understand why the doctor's advice is so threatening here. He didn't say no one should ever homeschool. He said, he's seen difficult situations result from kids denied appropriate social contact. I have seen the same. I know homeschoolers don't like to entertain this reality but there are people who use homeschooling as a cover to neglect their kids. Be careful and make plans (especially given the parents have mental health problems) seems to be very appropriate and sound advice.
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#32 of 56 Old 05-28-2009, 06:29 PM
 
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Ultimately, I don't understand why the doctor's advice is so threatening h[ere. He didn't say no one should ever homeschool. He said, he's seen difficult situations result from kids denied appropriate social contact. I have seen the same.

No, she first gave OP's DH a "dirty look," then said she's seen many former homeschoolers who have developed "severe social anxiety." This statement is a lot stronger than simply stating "be careful, difficult situations can arise with homeschooling." This is saying "homeschooling is weird (implication of dirty look, IMO) and it can cause severe problems." OP's DH may be completely misreading situation, of course, but all we can go on as posters is what OP wrote, hence the negative feelings people have about this situation. A doctor's opinion often carries more weight than the average person's (whether right or not), which is why they need to be very careful about how they say things. If the OP's DH is to be believed, than the therapist conveyed much too strong an opinion (and that's all it really is) for a position of authority such as hers. At least she did in the opinions of many posters on here.


I know homeschoolers don't like to entertain this reality but there are people who use homeschooling as a cover to neglect their kids. Be careful and make plans (especially given the parents have mental health problems) seems to be very appropriate and sound advice.

That may be true, but it still doesn't mean that homeschooling is to blame, which is what the therapist's opinion seems to convey, IMO. She's not simply saying "be careful and make plans." She's saying "be careful, or you'll do serious damage to your child." Which is basically leading her patients to the conclusion that homeschooling is not worth the risk, whether she states that or not.
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#33 of 56 Old 05-28-2009, 06:46 PM
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Isn't there a book on this topic, like "The Socialization Question" or "BUt what about socialization?" that supposedly addresses this aspect of HSing really well? I would assume it would have the studies on this in it. I know I saw it on Amazon and it had fabulous reviews. I've been meaning to see if I can ILL order it.
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#34 of 56 Old 05-28-2009, 09:05 PM
 
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It seems like a stretch to get worried third hand about a "dirty look". That is subject to quite a bit of possibility of misinterpretation. It is quite possible that it tells us nothing more than dh has worries and they were reflected back to him.

For the original poster, I'd start from a place of knowing that some people will not agree with homeschooling, will not be well informed about it or may have worries about homeschooling in a family with parents with mental health concerns. I'd consider why exactly that is upsetting and drawing such a huge reaction. Does it hit on something you are already worried about as far as lack of socialization? Does it highlight that you and dh aren't on the same page yet? Does it bring up anything that is useful for you?

For what it is worth, going through medical stuff with our child we heard some very positive and some very negative comments about homeschooling. I couldn't work up a head of steam either way because I don't feel anyone elses previous experience (good or bad) has much of anything to do with our homeschooling experience. I'm confident I've looked at all sides of this question with an open mind and that we've made the right choices for our family.
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#35 of 56 Old 05-29-2009, 09:13 AM
 
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Ultimately, I don't understand why the doctor's advice is so threatening here. He didn't say no one should ever homeschool. He said, he's seen difficult situations result from kids denied appropriate social contact. I have seen the same. I know homeschoolers don't like to entertain this reality but there are people who use homeschooling as a cover to neglect their kids. Be careful and make plans (especially given the parents have mental health problems) seems to be very appropriate and sound advice.
But it's still wrong for his therapist to refer to any of her other patients in any way due to privacy issues. The OP also didn't say that her husband asked the therapist for this advice, unless there is something the OP husband is not telling her. There is nothing wrong with a therapist giving advice to a patient if they want it - but simply saying that she has treated a bunch of home schooled people that have "issues" when all her DH said to her was that they plan to home school their child in the future doesn't warrant a response like the one given by his therapist.

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#36 of 56 Old 05-29-2009, 09:15 AM
 
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IMO the therapist should keep her bias against educational choices to herself...unless it has to do specifically with what your DH is seeking therapy for, it doesn't need to be discussed in his sessions, and he can tell her that if he doesn't want to hear more about it from her.
I agree. What if the OP husband had told her they plan to put their child in a public school? I bet she would have said nothing. And I assure you that the majority of this therapists patients attended a public school throughout their 12 years of education. In fact, I guarantee it. What about them? They have problems as well. :

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#37 of 56 Old 05-29-2009, 11:52 AM
 
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But it's still wrong for his therapist to refer to any of her other patients in any way due to privacy issues. The OP also didn't say that her husband asked the therapist for this advice, unless there is something the OP husband is not telling her. There is nothing wrong with a therapist giving advice to a patient if they want it - but simply saying that she has treated a bunch of home schooled people that have "issues" when all her DH said to her was that they plan to home school their child in the future doesn't warrant a response like the one given by his therapist.
Of course the therapist should not say "Jane Smith's kids are sure screwed up". But, it doesn't sound like he said anything of that sort. It is perfectly reasonable in my opinion for a therapist to say generally I've seen parents with similar challenges in this situation and there are real potential problems that it is good to be mindful about. It is not a violation of privacy to speak in general trends.

I would keep in mind we are hearing about this conversation third hand. We have no idea what advice the husband asked for or what their conversations about this matter were like. The poster noted he's already had concerns about social stuff with the kids.
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#38 of 56 Old 05-29-2009, 02:16 PM
 
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"The Well Adjusted Child:The Social Benefits of Homeschooling" by Gathercole

Very good book

eta: my mother has social anxiety and public school was pure torture for her. Being in ps isnt a cure for social anxiety nor does it guarnatee your kids will come out "normal". There are many misfits, outcasts etc in public school. I have a cousin whose fourth grade dd is miserable at school by girls who are picking on her unmercifully. PS is not the great equalizer that it is made out to be. In fact, I'd go as far as to say the "society" going on within the school is artificially created. In real life, ie, after highschool graduation and entry into the work force, you will never again been grouped togather with others based only on age. I dont pick my friends out of only other 40 year olds that I have nothing in common with, I pick friends of all ages whom I like and connect with. No matter if you child is hs or ps, you have to provide oppurtunities for them to make those types of connections.

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#39 of 56 Old 05-29-2009, 03:09 PM
 
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Of course the therapist should not say "Jane Smith's kids are sure screwed up". But, it doesn't sound like he said anything of that sort. [I]It is perfectly reasonable in my opinion for a therapist to say generally I've seen parents with similar challenges in this situation and there are real potential problems that it is good to be mindful about.[/I] It is not a violation of privacy to speak in general trends.

I would keep in mind we are hearing about this conversation third hand. We have no idea what advice the husband asked for or what their conversations about this matter were like. The poster noted he's already had concerns about social stuff with the kids.
Blue mine.

I am not sure that is what transpired (and you have a point about this being third hand info!)

Quote OP:

"be careful" because she has "many patients who were homeschooled and now have severe social anxiety."

If this is how it went down, I do not think the therapist is acting in an appropriate manner.

Imagine if she said "be careful about sending him to school - many schooled kids end up with severe social anxiety". Would that be OK?

It probably wouldn't.

It would be much more appropriate to suggest that Dh does research on HSing and its outcomes - rather than giving her opinion (which is not fact) on a subject he is struggling with.

As a general rule I do not have problems with people giving opinions (particualrly if asked) but a therapist is a little different. She is in a position of power and influence, somewhat, and should be careful.

I do think it is OK to say : "there are many pros and cons to HS and brick and mortar schooling. One of things peple who have social anxiety need to watch out for is that they create/support enough opportunities for kids to socialise. Some people can do this - and some cannot - in which case school may be the way to go".

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#40 of 56 Old 05-29-2009, 04:50 PM
 
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Of course the therapist should not say "Jane Smith's kids are sure screwed up". But, it doesn't sound like he said anything of that sort. It is perfectly reasonable in my opinion for a therapist to say generally I've seen parents with similar challenges in this situation and there are real potential problems that it is good to be mindful about. It is not a violation of privacy to speak in general trends.

I would keep in mind we are hearing about this conversation third hand. We have no idea what advice the husband asked for or what their conversations about this matter were like. The poster noted he's already had concerns about social stuff with the kids.
You have a point that this is third hand info. But it's still not right for the therapist to comment that way unless asked for her opinion. Let's say 10% of her patients were home schooled, then that would mean the other 90% must have gone to a public/private school...right? Does she refer to those patients when she has a patient come in to see her that has a child in public school? I doubt it. Lots of people have problems that warrant going to a therapist, that doesn't make them worse off than anyone else IMO. She had no reason to say what she did, that's the point I guess I was trying to make.

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#41 of 56 Old 05-29-2009, 05:56 PM
 
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Again we have no idea if an opinion was asked for. But, pretending for a minute that it wasn't - I have no idea where or why people have the idea that it is against the rules for therapists to offer opinions unless specifically asked to do so. I would be hesitant to work with any therapist who was going to withhold information from me that could be helpful.

I'm still just not clear about what is so threatening about the observation that a parent with social anxiety homeschooling may be real problematic unless there is a clear plan to deal with these issues. I'd have a real concern about teachers in school having unresolved issues with social anxiety too. It seems a fairly common sense notion to me that kids deserve to be cared for by people who are capable of addressing the range of their needs including social.
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#42 of 56 Old 05-29-2009, 07:39 PM
 
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Again we have no idea if an opinion was asked for. But, pretending for a minute that it wasn't - I have no idea where or why people have the idea that it is against the rules for therapists to offer opinions unless specifically asked to do so. I would be hesitant to work with any therapist who was going to withhold information from me that could be helpful.

I'm still just not clear about what is so threatening about the observation that a parent with social anxiety homeschooling may be real problematic unless there is a clear plan to deal with these issues. I'd have a real concern about teachers in school having unresolved issues with social anxiety too. It seems a fairly common sense notion to me that kids deserve to be cared for by people who are capable of addressing the range of their needs including social.

I'm sorry, but you seem to be inferring an awful lot from what the therapist said. I see nowhere in the original post that the therapist's opinion was "that a parent with social anxiety homeschooling may be real problematic unless there is a clear plan to deal with these issues." All I see is a warning that homeschooling often leads to serious social issues. Why would the therapist comment on parents with social anxiety? Does OP's DH have social anxiety? I didn't see that in the original post, but maybe she said it later on. I see that she said that she (meaning OP) has social anxiety, but I don't think the therapist should be commenting on OP's capacity to homeschool without problems, because she doesn't even know her. But again, nowhere in the post does it say that the therapist was warning the OP's DH about problems for homeschoolers with parents who have social anxiety. Just serious social problems with homeschoolers period.

I do agree that third hand information is problematic at best. We really don't know what was said, and because of this, none of us is really in a position to give accurate advice/opinions (for lack of a better term). All we can do is take OP's account of her DH's account at face value, and offer advice on that. But I do second pp who have cautioned OP about trusting that her DH relayed the conversation with the therapist accurately. Not that I'm suggesting he's intentionally misinterpreting things, but if he is already concerned, than he might be interpreting the therapist's comments from a perspective that's looking for validation for his opinion.

As for why therapists shouldn't give opinions, it's because of the inherent authority they carry. People in positions like that are often seen as speaking fact, when all they're really speaking is opinion. They need to be mindful of this. If a therapist, doctor etc. gives an opinion, often people will assume it's a proven fact, when really it's nothing more than an opinion. It may be backed up by their own experiences, but that's still just an opinion. If people are making decisions based on the opinions of therapists and other authority figures, thinking of these opinions as fact, then that's a problem. I think that's what most people on here have a problem with. At least that's what I have a problem with.

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#43 of 56 Old 05-29-2009, 08:54 PM
 
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Why would the therapist comment on parents with social anxiety? Does OP's DH have social anxiety? I didn't see that in the original post, but maybe she said it later on. ...Just serious social problems with homeschoolers period.
The quote was not "period" but "be careful."

Of course we weren't there and can't really know what was said, but to move this for a minute just into the realm of logic and reason. Does it not make sense to say that there are reasons to "be careful" when a parent with social anxiety is homeschooling? I'm trying to understand why we are just glossing over that it is a reasonable concern. Why is the dad not allowed to have an opinion about the best environment for his kids' education? If he's already felt concerned about lack of playdates doesn't it make sense that he would think about the long term and want some assurance that kids will get adequate social contact while homeschooling?

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If a therapist, doctor etc. gives an opinion, often people will assume it's a proven fact, when really it's nothing more than an opinion.... If people are making decisions based on the opinions of therapists and other authority figures, thinking of these opinions as fact, then that's a problem. I think that's what most people on here have a problem with. At least that's what I have a problem with.
I can't imagine anyone was suggesting therapists should tell patients to jump off a cliff and the patient should jump. Rather, that part of a trusting therapeutic relationship is honesty and open two way communication. Taking therapist's comments as mandates would not be a good example of open two way communication. If DH's husband is operating on this level of simply accepting any opinion that is expressed as a mandate for his behavior then the concerns are clearly bigger than homeschooling.
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#44 of 56 Old 05-29-2009, 11:23 PM
 
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The quote was not "period" but "be careful."
I didn't mean that the therapist said "period." I just meant that the sentiment of the therapist (as conveyed in the OP) was simply that many former homeschoolers in her practice ended up with serious social anxiety. Nowhere that I can see in the OP, is the sentiment that the therapist is concerned because of the fact that one of the homeschooling parents has social anxiety. To suggest more would be to infer the therapist's meaning, IMO, and that makes a big difference to how OP should view this. I agree with you that there's nothing wrong with cautioning a patient with respect to the difficulties faced by parents with social anxiety, or any disorder for that manner. But, as I said before, if taken at face value, that's NOT what the therapist did. The therapist cautioned against homeschooling, as if homeschooling by itself presents a problem. Which it doesn't. No more so than any other form of education.

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Of course we weren't there and can't really know what was said, but to move this for a minute just into the realm of logic and reason. Does it not make sense to say that there are reasons to "be careful" when a parent with social anxiety is homeschooling? I'm trying to understand why we are just glossing over that it is a reasonable concern. Why is the dad not allowed to have an opinion about the best environment for his kids' education? If he's already felt concerned about lack of playdates doesn't it make sense that he would think about the long term and want some assurance that kids will get adequate social contact while homeschooling?
Again, I didn't get the sense that this was the dad saying he's concerned, and asking the therapist's opinion. Maybe that is what happened. My interpretation was that the therapist volunteered her opinion of homeschooling, and suggested that homeschooling leads to problems. There was no mention of her opinion being about homeschooling in situations where the parents have social anxiety.

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I can't imagine anyone was suggesting therapists should tell patients to jump off a cliff and the patient should jump. Rather, that part of a trusting therapeutic relationship is honesty and open two way communication. Taking therapist's comments as mandates would not be a good example of open two way communication. If DH's husband is operating on this level of simply accepting any opinion that is expressed as a mandate for his behavior then the concerns are clearly bigger than homeschooling.
I'll be honest, I'm really not sure what you're trying to say here. I wasn't suggesting that patients should take their therapist's opinion as fact, I'm suggesting that they do. It's a bias many people have regarding authority figures. They see authority figures as more knowledgeable, period. Regardless of whether the topic of discussion is within the authority figures area of expertise. I'm thinking there's a name for this bias, but it's not coming to me. It's the reason pharmaceutical ads will often feature "doctors," because the general public is more likely to believe the claim if it comes from someone in a position of authority.

So my point was, the therapist, any therapist, needs to be mindful of this bias, and be very careful about the opinions they share. I don't think it necessarily indicates a bigger problem than homeschooling for OP's DH, just that he's human. Humans do this. Not all, maybe, but many.

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#45 of 56 Old 05-30-2009, 01:01 AM
 
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But, as I said before, if taken at face value, that's NOT what the therapist did. The therapist cautioned against homeschooling, as if homeschooling by itself presents a problem. Which it doesn't. No more so than any other form of education.
It involves a different set of risks and I believe we should be honest about that. It is a dangerous thing for kids to be isolated at home if they parent they are being cared for has untreated mental health problems. Clearly the therapist has seen the end product of that. I have too and it is unfortunate. I am comfortable with acknowledging the reality that not all people should homeschool and that it doesn't always work out. "Be careful" is a basic place where we should all start.

And again, if it gets to the point where simply hearing another opinion is this threatening I see it as time for the original poster to step back for a minute and ask why this is so upsetting. Is it cutting close to something she's already been worried about or that she thinks dh is already worried about? We've heard stuff like this from folks and I just see it as simply nothing more than they've had a different experience and perhaps in time as they get to know us it'll change.

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Again, I didn't get the sense that this was the dad saying he's concerned, and asking the therapist's opinion. Maybe that is what happened. My interpretation was that the therapist volunteered her opinion of homeschooling, and suggested that homeschooling leads to problems.
We have one bit of information in the original post and that is that the dad is already concerned that the kids don't have playdates. Also, he chose to relate the therapist's comments which may suggest trying to start a conversation. While sure this therapist may be some kind of evil antihomeschooling zealot to me the more logical guess is that it came up in context of the dad's concerns as that's the way advice typically comes out in therapy.

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I wasn't suggesting that patients should take their therapist's opinion as fact, I'm suggesting that they do. It's a bias many people have regarding authority figures. They see authority figures as more knowledgeable, period. Regardless of whether the topic of discussion is within the authority figures area of expertise. I'm thinking there's a name for this bias, but it's not coming to me. It's the reason pharmaceutical ads will often feature "doctors," because the general public is more likely to believe the claim if it comes from someone in a position of authority.
If the state of their therapeutic relationship is that the patient views it like a doctor on TV dispensing truth then yes, you've got a valid point. That seems to suggest a rather low opinion of the dh's abilities and of the quality of the therapist when there isn't really evidence for either one of those positions.

Thinking we've hashed through that one enough. The thing that puzzles me is why homeschoolers can't be honest - there is nothing magically perfect about it. Some people homeschooling are hurting their kids in ways that go beyond what would happen if the kids went to school. Some people who are homeschooling have no business doing so and the result can be bad.
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I think if HSing is going to be a big part of your lives, your DH might want to look for a homeschool-friendly therapist.

However, because the relationship is between him and the therapist, ultimately there isn't going to be a lot that you can do. I guess when he talks about the therapist behaving like that you can say "interesting, what do you think about that?" LOL As a pp said it might open some interesting avenues of conversation for the two of you that could lead to a more equal partnership in this area.
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The thing that puzzles me is why homeschoolers can't be honest - there is nothing magically perfect about it. Some people homeschooling are hurting their kids in ways that go beyond what would happen if the kids went to school. Some people who are homeschooling have no business doing so and the result can be bad.
I agree with this comment. I worry all the time whether we've made the best decision to home school our children. Although when I see them thriving and loving life and living it to the fullest it usually assures me I am doing the right thing, but that's only because I have public school to compare it to since my children have also attended PS and didn't do so well there. It was turning them in to stressed out, unhappy children. But I do constantly worry about home schooling and wonder if it's the right choice even when things are going good. I consider public school every year at about this time.

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#48 of 56 Old 05-30-2009, 12:06 PM
 
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The thing that puzzles me is why homeschoolers can't be honest - there is nothing magically perfect about it. Some people homeschooling are hurting their kids in ways that go beyond what would happen if the kids went to school. Some people who are homeschooling have no business doing so and the result can be bad.

Yes. This is true. And some people who send their kids to public school have no business doing so, because the result can be bad. There is also nothing magically perfect about public school, and certainly nothing about it that makes it a good place for children to learn healthy social interactions, IMO.

My point in all of this is that the therapist's comments seem to unfairly blame homeschooling as the reason for her patients' social anxiety disorders. What you appear to be saying is that this is true in the context of parents with social anxiety disorder themselves. That's not homeschooling that's to blame in those instances, though, and sending a child to public will not guarantee that the child will get what they can't get at home (i.e.- appropriate social interaction and guidance).

In fact, I'd venture to say just the opposite would be true. The lack of guidance and chances for social interaction resulting from a parent who has social anxiety would leave the child without the proper tools to navigate the very difficult, often harsh reality of public school life. To me, it's akin to throwing a child in a lake, along with 30 other children (who may or may not know how to swim) and only one swim coach, and expecting the child to learn how to swim. There's a good chance they'll drown, although they may figure things out, and certainly it's no guarantee that they'll be better off than if they just remained ashore with their parents who can't swim. Children who have already been taught at home by their parents will do just fine, most likely, but those who haven't been taught will be in serious trouble.

Again, my point is simply that homeschooling is not to blame. The parents' existing social anxieties might be, but not homeschooling. Children of parents with these issues will likely have problems regardless of how they are educated. So yes, caution these parents about being mindful of how their children will learn appropriate social interaction, but don't associate it with homeschooling, thus unfairly tainting homeschooling.

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#49 of 56 Old 05-30-2009, 06:02 PM
 
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I'm currently working towards a degree in counseling.As a student we are warned repeatedly about the " gray" area of self disclosure; offering opinions based on personal feelings. Telling a client to be careful regarding hs is a personal opinion.The therapist was out of line.
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#50 of 56 Old 05-30-2009, 09:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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JesiLynne HS kid here, and no social disorders at all. Report therapist and get a new one. :
I wish that was an option, but for one thing, this is the only therapist DH can go to for insurance reasons, and for another (more important) reason, DH didn't see something hugely wrong with the comment...so he doesn't feel a need to object or question what she's said.

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Originally Posted by Anglyn View Post
"The Well Adjusted Child:The Social Benefits of Homeschooling" by Gathercole

Very good book
I'd love to check this out. However, DH is not willing to read books by people who homeschool just like he won't read books by people who attachment parent. If I could find a book by someone who thought homeschooling was a bad idea, and *then* saw the benefits while doing research and wrote a book about their findings, then he would read it. But he feels like b/c most authors already were *for* what they're writing about that he's being "brain-washed" reading their info.

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Originally Posted by Roar View Post
Again we have no idea if an opinion was asked for.
He says he mentioned it in passing and then paused and then the therapist brought it up.

While I personally do not care for my therapist being silent and not giving opinions/advice, I also think this kind of very unsolicited advice, because DH did not mention that he is worried or upset about homeschooling, was uncalled for.

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It involves a different set of risks and I believe we should be honest about that. It is a dangerous thing for kids to be isolated at home if they parent they are being cared for has untreated mental health problems. Clearly the therapist has seen the end product of that. I have too and it is unfortunate. I am comfortable with acknowledging the reality that not all people should homeschool and that it doesn't always work out. "Be careful" is a basic place where we should all start.
This is true...but...we should just as easily question the teachers we leave our children with in public school, private school, daycare, etc. Those people could have mental problems that are undiagnosed just as well as mamas can. Homeschooling doesn't always work out (maybe) but we shouldn't set ourselves up for failure. KWIM?

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#51 of 56 Old 06-01-2009, 12:21 AM
 
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It is a dangerous thing for kids to be isolated at home if they parent they are being cared for has untreated mental health problems. Clearly the therapist has seen the end product of that. I have too and it is unfortunate.
I don't see anywhere in the original post that the therapist said "I have lots of patients who were homeschooled BY PARENTS WITH SOCIAL ANXIETIES who now have severe social problems". Nowhere.

The therapist (reportedly) said "I have lots of patients WHO WERE HOMESCHOOLED who have severe social problems."

Nothing about their parents.

Your argument is entirely based on the idea that parents with social anxieties maybe be careful about the idea of homeschooling.

But what this thread is reacting to is DIFFERENT. What we hear the therapist saying is DIFFERENT. She was saying that homeschooling causes severe social problems. Period. Yes, period lol... She didn't say a THING about the role of parents' own social problems.

Why are we reacting so strongly to this? Because this happens ALL THE TIME and we are just SICK of it, and so annoyed by it. And it's even WORSE when someone in a position of authority, who we would expect to be intelligent, comes out with this garbage.

And yes, it is garbage.

Yes, there will be kids who are harmed by the way they are homeschooled. That does not mean that "be careful!!" is a necessary warning for ALL potential homeschoolers. Because the implication is that "unless you guard against all these potential problems, you will harm your child. The default when homeschooling is harm, and you have to be careful not to let that happen."

In fact, the default in homeschooling is "just fine"... the situations that cause problems are outside the norm.

Yes, parents with social problems themselves are probably the ones that do indeed need to "be careful". That's what you're talking about. That's not what the REST of us are talking about. We're talking about the apparent GENERALIZATION that homeschooling IN AND OF ITSELF causes severe social problems, REGARDLESS of the parents' mental health.

Quote:
I am comfortable with acknowledging the reality that not all people should homeschool and that it doesn't always work out. "Be careful" is a basic place where we should all start.
Replace "homeschool" with "public school" and I'll agree with you. While what you're saying is basically true, it carries a negative bias. The implication (which I know you didn't really intend, but it's there) is that if you're not homeschooling, you DON'T have to be careful. It's ONLY if you're homeschooling that this carefulness is necessary.

Whether homeschooling or sending our kids to public school, whether we as parents have our own mental issues or not, we ALL have to 'be careful' about our children's lives. A child of a parent with social issues is not NECESSARILY going to be better off in a public school, you need to 'be careful' there as well.

Making a default statement like "oh, you're homeschooling? you need to be careful" carries with it the implication that homeschooling is DANGEROUS unless done 'right', whereas public school is perfectly safe. It's true, sure, but it's not the WHOLE truth. The whole truth is that you have to 'be careful' about public school as well, and just the half-truth implies negative aspects to homeschooling.

There are pros and cons to homeschooling and to public schooling, and every parent should weigh them carefully when deciding what's right for their family. A warning like what this therapist reputedly said is not a factual and unbiased statement of a legitimate 'con' when deciding about homeschooling. If it was followed up by the parallel 'cons' of public schooling so they could be compared and contrasted, well THEN you'd have a good start for a discussion.

What it comes down to is that you would expect that a qualified professional therapist would realize that she's only going to see the "sick" people, and they will come from all walks of life. She should realize that the 98% (probably) of her patients were not homeschooled and they have problems too -- and that wherever their problems stem from, you shouldn't overgeneralize, because different people handle things differently. Just because a particular experience was negative for one of your patients doesn't mean you need to warn everyone else about it.

To the OP -- you might see if your DH will read "Hold on to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers". It is NOT a homeschooling book. It IS about social development in children and how excessive peer-orientation is perpetuated by the modern school system, and about the problems that causes in a child's socialization. I think it gives fleeting mention just once to homeschooling as a way that some families choose to deal with it, but all the rest is about how to ensure that your kid survives public school with his sense of self and balance of peer-vs-parent-orientation intact. Since it's not pro-homeschooling, he might read it, and it might help him realize that school is not ipso facto by default a better social experience for children, and that it carries its own set of problems that you have to "be careful" about.

Heather, mom to Caileigh 12/06 and aspie ADHD prodigy David 05/98 :intact lact
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#52 of 56 Old 06-01-2009, 12:40 AM
 
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Hmm. I haven't read every post in this thread in detail, so forgive me if I repeat/miss something.

I have dealt with severe social anxiety. I went to public school, then switched to private school for high school. Then begged and pleaded with my parents till they let me 'quit' altogether to homeschool and start taking community college classes at age 16.

And school was TORTURE. Seriously, Hell. I had been depressed and suicidal for years by the time I quit.

Did public school create my social anxiety? Probably not. But it sure didn't help it any, either. It made it worse. I began a long, gradual road to improvement when I started homeschooling.

Eventually I met a lot of other teen hs'ers. They were all well-adjusted people accept for two--whose parents were extremely religious and actively trying to shelter them from the world.

I do think it's a valid concern for hs kids to get social interaction. That's something that I will need to be conscious of for my daughter. As strongly as I feel about hs'ing her for a variety of reasons, I've agreed with dh that she should be put in school if my mental health deteriorates or starts holding her back in some way.

The bottom line is that, whether in school or hs'ing, parents need to be aware and proactive if their kid has difficulties socializing. The issue isn't limited to hs'ers. I was completely socially inept after being in school from prek to 10th grade. I have a very hard time believing that former hs'ers are running to psych doctors in droves... or any moreso than their ps counterparts.

OP: Understanding what it's like to be convincing a dh to homeschool... I feel for you that he heard this from an "expert". My dh would definitely take something like that and run with it. It helped my case when dh happened to meet a former hs'er who seemed "normal". Perhaps you could set up something like that, get your dh to meet a few people and see they're not... well, freaks (sorry, can't think of a good word)? Contact a homeschooling teen group if there's one in your area?
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#53 of 56 Old 06-01-2009, 01:13 AM
 
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Maybe have your dh read "Dumbing Us Down" by John Taylor Gatto
reviews about the book He was a public school teacher

and Family Matters: Why Homeschooling Makes Sense


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#54 of 56 Old 06-01-2009, 09:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by tankgirl73 View Post
To the OP -- you might see if your DH will read "Hold on to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers". It is NOT a homeschooling book. It IS about social development in children and how excessive peer-orientation is perpetuated by the modern school system, and about the problems that causes in a child's socialization. I think it gives fleeting mention just once to homeschooling as a way that some families choose to deal with it, but all the rest is about how to ensure that your kid survives public school with his sense of self and balance of peer-vs-parent-orientation intact. Since it's not pro-homeschooling, he might read it, and it might help him realize that school is not ipso facto by default a better social experience for children, and that it carries its own set of problems that you have to "be careful" about.
I *really* appreciate the recommendation...I will check it out right away!

Partnered mama with DD (01/04) and DD (08/09) and 8 critters, including a !
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#55 of 56 Old 06-01-2009, 09:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Maybe have your dh read "Dumbing Us Down" by John Taylor Gatto
reviews about the book He was a public school teacher

and Family Matters: Why Homeschooling Makes Sense

Thanks!!

Partnered mama with DD (01/04) and DD (08/09) and 8 critters, including a !
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#56 of 56 Old 06-01-2009, 01:52 PM
 
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Hi there- a post was removed from this discussion. Please be mindful of not posting in an adversarial, baiting or sarcastic manner, because this is against the User Agreement. Thank you for your cooperation.

Being right is not always fair, but being fair is always right
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