Mother of daughter's friend is anti-homeschooling? - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 18 Old 03-01-2011, 06:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
Lisa1970's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 2,604
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

My daughter (14 yrs old) has had this friend, who is a guy, who is also 14 yrs old, for a year and a half now. The mother is obviously anti-homeschooling. She is not even big on private schools and thinks the local schools are so great. I have always been polite and nice to her. But I used to work in this school district, and my sister still works here, and I have some friends who work here. This district has so many endless problems it is insane. Fortunately, after some heavy campaigning last spring, we did overturn half the school board and it seems maybe things will be looking up, which is very good. There have already been some good changes, but not enough that I would go back and send my children to these schools. My sister won't allow her children to attend here either even though she works here.

 

So everytime I have to see this mom, as our children are in some activities together, somehow, she has to bring up how much she loves the local public schools. This past year, apparently, her husband did not want their son in the public school so he has been in private. This mother is discussing things with her husband and trying to get him to let them return the boy to public school. That is her current issue. Thing is, she is really clueless about so many things that have gone on here. She also seems to think if the schools ever had a problem, it would be in the news (some things have been, but yet, she was clueless about even that stuff, only a couple things I have commented on). We live in a major metropolitan area. I do not think that every single thing going on in the public schools is going to be big news. She grew up in a smaller town area (so did I) so I don't think she gets that in an area like this, the local schools and their problems are not exactly big news. She does not even have a clue as to some of the issues being worked on at school board meetings or such. 

 

I do not have any desire to argue with her about schools. I don't generally discuss my school choices with other people. BUT, I don't know how to respond to her. I want to keep things on the nice, especially since my daughter and this boy are friends. But I just feel so awkward. I am thinking I should not tell her anything else about the problems at the local school (all I mentioned to her tonight was that the high school principal was fired and he was so bad that in 3 years, he had 100% turn over of the GT teachers and 50% turnover of the teachers at the high school over all). If she had kept up with the school board meetings, which are open to the public, she would have known that. But instead, she tried to tell me if that were true, it would have been in the news. Next time she brings this sort of stuff up, should I just be polite and make excuse to walk away? Or should I suggest to her she start attending school board meetings? (very few people attend even though we have about 55,000 kids in the district). 

 

I want to keep things nice, without me having to walk away feeling stomped on. Any suggestions?

Lisa1970 is offline  
#2 of 18 Old 03-01-2011, 11:09 PM
 
moominmamma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: In the middle of nowhere, at the centre of everything.
Posts: 5,588
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 33 Post(s)

Yikes, don't discuss public schools with this woman! That's a minefield you're walking into, and her opinions on the public schools are none of your business. Just stay serene. If she's praising the public schools to you, just smile and nod looking vaguely interested in what she's saying, then change the topic. If she asks about your choices just say "Homeschooling is working really well for us right now." 

 

Miranda


Mountain mama to three great kids and one great grown-up

moominmamma is online now  
#3 of 18 Old 03-02-2011, 07:10 AM
 
Max'sMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Iowa
Posts: 1,806
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I agree with Miranda.  It strikes me as though she is trying to validate her decision to not homeschool by extolling the virtues of the public school system.  

 

 


Mama crochetsmilie.gifto Max blahblah.gif9, Neva hearts.gif 7, & Esme fairy.gif4 and Julius guitar.gif 2.

 
 
 

Max'sMama is offline  
#4 of 18 Old 03-02-2011, 07:20 AM
 
wirthaa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 6
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Change the subject! It has nothing to do with you. She's just projecting her own anxieties.
wirthaa is offline  
#5 of 18 Old 03-02-2011, 08:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
Lisa1970's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 2,604
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

She started the conversation last night by asking about DD and where she will be at school next year. I just did not really answer her and tried to talk around it. (dd will probably be home schooled, but she did apply for private school, but now I am worried about making it financially at the private school and with dd's extra curriculars). It just seemed as if no matter what I said, she tried to turn it in to something bad about home schooling. For example, when DD was in public school last year, half her schedule was electives because they did not have any math for her. The mom started in on me that that was my own fault for having home schooled her and having her get ahead in math. Duh! It is not that hard to get ahead of the local public schools in math. But most school districts I know of at least have a gifted math  program, which ours does not. A district as big as ours should have a gifted math program. As a result, DD tested out of all the math they had to offer at 100%. I did not say duh back to the mom, I just kept trying to be nice about it. But it was stuff like that the entire time.

Lisa1970 is offline  
#6 of 18 Old 03-02-2011, 09:17 AM
 
moominmamma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: In the middle of nowhere, at the centre of everything.
Posts: 5,588
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 33 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa1970 View Post

She started the conversation last night by asking about DD and where she will be at school next year. I just did not really answer her and tried to talk around it. (dd will probably be home schooled, but she did apply for private school, but now I am worried about making it financially at the private school and with dd's extra curriculars). It just seemed as if no matter what I said, she tried to turn it in to something bad about home schooling. For example, when DD was in public school last year, half her schedule was electives because they did not have any math for her. The mom started in on me that that was my own fault for having home schooled her and having her get ahead in math. Duh! It is not that hard to get ahead of the local public schools in math. But most school districts I know of at least have a gifted math  program, which ours does not. A district as big as ours should have a gifted math program. As a result, DD tested out of all the math they had to offer at 100%. I did not say duh back to the mom, I just kept trying to be nice about it. But it was stuff like that the entire time.


It sounds like you're making your explanations about homeschooling have to do with negatives pertaining to the school system. That may indeed be your reasoning, but if that's the case, keep it to yourself. It will only invite defensiveness by anyone who is passionate about public schooling. If she asks what your dd is doing for school next year, just say "Likely homeschooling. It's working well for us right now." Your answer doesn't need to have anything to do with math classes at the public school. No matter what she asks, just say "Homeschooling is working well for us." 

 

(From her prespective she's probably thinking "There's this friend of my son's who is homeschooled, and any time I ask her mom anything about education, she comes down hard on the public school system.")

 

Miranda


Mountain mama to three great kids and one great grown-up

moominmamma is online now  
#7 of 18 Old 03-02-2011, 02:52 PM
 
heatherdeg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Everywhere... thanks, technology!
Posts: 4,888
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)

I have to agree--she's really trying to validate herself.  And actually, I agree with Miranda's thought about how she may be seeing you.  :/  

 

I've been in your shoes and realized that I was seriously NEVER going to get through--so I just stopped.  And part of that was realizing that when I gave all of that information, I was essentially telling that person that they were doing the worst possible thing for their child.  So instead, when asked now, I focus on the positives of homeschooling rather than the negatives of the classroom environment.  Even now, when some of the people who are bent on me "giving in" ask if I'll hs my currently-2yo, I tell them that I follow the child's needs and I will do what works best for her--which remains to be seen.

 

Essentially, I'm not engaging in a conversation about the opposition.  Instead, I'm talking about my domain in a positive manner.  Does that make sense?


Heather - Wife , Mommy  & Health & Wellness Educator, Speaker & Consultant 
 
Dairy, soy & corn free with limited gluten... yes, really. And journeying towards peace.  Blogging about both.
 
Let me guide you to find the food and lifestyle choices...
heatherdeg is offline  
#8 of 18 Old 03-02-2011, 03:48 PM
 
Ravin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Atenveldt
Posts: 5,928
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I think I'd have stopped making nice and called her on her ignorance the first time she called me a liar to my face. (Which she was by denying what you said with the defense that if it were true it would have been in the news). Passing the bean dip is the best I could manage with someone like that. I'd simply refuse to discuss the schools as long as she remained so ignorant about what goes on in them, and likely I'd tell her so directly. Just because my kid is friends with someone doesn't mean I have to be THAT friendly with their parents. Oy.


breastfeeding, babywearing, homeschooling Heathen parent to my little Wanderer, 7 1/2 , and baby Elf-stone, 3/11!

Ravin is offline  
#9 of 18 Old 03-02-2011, 09:40 PM
 
sapphire_chan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 27,779
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Nothing here cause I would already have made her never speak to me again by openly mocking her small-town attitudes about news stories.

 

I wouldn't have TRIED to be mean, but she's clearly the sort of absurdly sensitive person who'd get offended at gentle laughter. "Oh yeah, you come from a tiny town where there's room in the news for that kind of story. Around here, you have to follow the school board meetings to find out anything about what's going on with the schools. It's just not on the radar for the news teams. I have the school board schedule if you need it. And if you want to read about the issues I've been telling you about you can get copies of the meeting minutes by etc"

sapphire_chan is offline  
#10 of 18 Old 03-03-2011, 04:43 AM
 
elizawill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: right here
Posts: 5,321
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

 

i agree with some others. i wouldn't bad mouth the public schools at all (regardless if it's all true).  she obviously loves the public school system, or wants you to think she loves it.... so, if/when she brings it up, i'd simply say "it's great that it is working so well for your family".  then i would just leave it alone.  if she ask about your daughter's plans for next year or at anytime, i would be vague & not answer with an open ended invitation for a response.  


homeschooling mama to DD 10 & DS 7 blogging.jpg

elizawill is offline  
#11 of 18 Old 03-03-2011, 11:00 AM
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 4,722
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I would not discuss her school choice,and would tell her that HER comments on homeschooling are NOT appreciated.

 

 Let the children talk if they want too. . Take a book and look busy if you don't want to put this woman in her proper place. If you say anything you will upset her,and I don't think it is fair for you to have to listen to her.

mattemma04 is offline  
#12 of 18 Old 03-03-2011, 01:26 PM
 
sapphire_chan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 27,779
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by elizawill View Post

 

i agree with some others. i wouldn't bad mouth the public schools at all (regardless if it's all true).  she obviously loves the public school system, or wants you to think she loves it.... so, if/when she brings it up, i'd simply say "it's great that it is working so well for your family".  then i would just leave it alone.  if she ask about your daughter's plans for next year or at anytime, i would be vague & not answer with an open ended invitation for a response.  

Since the woman's dd is currently attending private school and the woman is fighting with her husband to get her dd put in public school, that's not as neutral a response as it is in most cases.

 

Does bring up another point though. She's not only ignoring you, OP, she's also ignoring her dh. Why the heck is she trying to convince you that the public schools are great when he's the one she really cares about believing it? And it also seems pretty obvious that her argument with him is a big part of why she's refusing to consider evidence of the schools' problems.

 

Maybe next time she starts in on it, just tell her "I'm not your husband. He's the one you really want to convince. Let's talk about something else for once. Do you have any hobbies? Read a good book lately?"

 

sapphire_chan is offline  
#13 of 18 Old 03-03-2011, 04:38 PM
 
elizawill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: right here
Posts: 5,321
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

oh. i didn't see anything about a husband, i missed that somehow.  i would have never mentioned why public school was a bad fit in the first place, or the info about math placement issues & electives, or the school system's flaws, etc.. i think it just opens up a a dialogue that can create debate between two people that only have their children in common to begin with.  they're not really friends, or even acquaintances really for that matter.  that's all i meant.  i try to focus on common denominators only. when someone picks hot topics or i can feel they disapprove of our choices, i simply disengage.  it's just a headache for me otherwise.  i hope the OP finds resolution and peace.


homeschooling mama to DD 10 & DS 7 blogging.jpg

elizawill is offline  
#14 of 18 Old 03-03-2011, 04:46 PM
 
sapphire_chan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 27,779
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Sorry Elizawill, I just reread my post and the tone seems far more censorious than I had intended. I meant it more in a "your suggestion is good advice for most situations, but I think you missed this bit."  

 

But I am glad you took the time to expand on  your thinking, because your points about social dialogue make a lot of sense. notes2.gif

sapphire_chan is offline  
#15 of 18 Old 03-03-2011, 05:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
Lisa1970's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 2,604
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I tried to quote, but could not for some reason. But it dawned on me..maybe the reason she talks about this with me is because she is having troubles with her dh. She told me she does not want her son at the private school and is fighting with her husband over it. Maybe she is upset and stressed so she is trying to hash it out with me. I don't know, I just kept trying to move on to other subjects. But even when I tried to come up with nice things to say..like I told her my sister just pass her licensing exam for school counselor with flying colors so she will be doing that next year at the school she currently teaches at (same district). Then she said my sister won't be able to be a school counselor because of budget cuts and hiring freezes. I told her the current school counselor at that school is retiring and my sister was already offered the job, but then she acted doubtful and said we will see basically.

 

But back to the point, I think I will just assume the nicest and figure she is just stressed because of the stuff she is going through with her DH. PLUS, my dh and her DH are grads of basically the same school, which is where this boy is going (it is an all boys school) so perhaps she feels ganged up on, I don't know. I tried to throw in nice remarks, like that I went to public school and I thought my school was great. But, she was clearly not in a good mood. She complained her son was not making good enough grades. She went on to say how he likes to skate by with only 90's. Ummmm...well..if my son "skated by" with 90's, I would have a huge happy dance!

 

Anyway, I think in the future I will say a quick hello and then quickly smell the baby's bottom (my baby's!LOL) and say "whew! you need a clean dipey" and run off. LOL...it generally works!

Lisa1970 is offline  
#16 of 18 Old 03-04-2011, 04:44 PM
 
sapphire_chan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 27,779
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Oh, yuck. I'd stop trying to have conversations with her at all.


She takes facts and acts like they're your opinion just to tell you your opinion is wrong.

She complains to fish for compliments.

 

Have you ever even had a normal conversation with this woman?

sapphire_chan is offline  
#17 of 18 Old 03-06-2011, 01:25 PM
 
hippiemommaof4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: fort benning ga, just left alaska
Posts: 819
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

It sounds to me like she just wants to argue with you, she sounds like she is biased and everyone elses opinions and input do not matter. I always find it a tad humorous how defensive people get when you question public schools, truth is they choose not to know any better and they see what they want to see because it makes them feel better about their choices. I think I would probably tell the lady off eventually,  because that's who I am and I dont handle people like that very well after so long of putting up with their bad behavior ;-) and just hope for the best in the aftermath with your dd and her son, she's taking advantage of you because she can. Anyway whatever you do, good luck.


 Jess mom to 5!!! 3 boys 2 girls and another girl on the way edd jan 31st! I have a Disabled veteran husband
breastfeeding,cosleeping, non vax,no circ,and nature loving family!

hippiemommaof4 is offline  
#18 of 18 Old 03-07-2011, 12:33 PM
 
soapmakingmamma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I used to suggest to homeschooling parents that they get some brochures (or print up some) complete with facts regarding homeschooling and how it's vastly superior to public and private schools in many ways and conveniently leave them lying around their house for family and "friends" who seem to think their opinion about homeschooling is the only way to go.  Just toss a couple around the house where this woman seems to spend time--she'll probably pick it up and start reading.  If nothing else, she has at least seen some of the "why" aspect by reading the facts.  :)

soapmakingmamma is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off