Will Homeschooling Strain or Strengthen (or both) my relationship with my DCs? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 9 Old 06-22-2011, 11:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
SaveTheWild's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: With the love of my life
Posts: 746
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I plan to begin hs for kinder next year and am trying to work through all my major concerns.

 

I know that I know my dd best and will be able to accomodate her learning style, ability, etc. better than a teacher in a classroom, at least in these early years.

 

But, I also want to maintain as strong, loving and happy relationship as possible with her.  I do not want to become a "teacher" or "task master" in her mind.  I want to be mommy.  How have others walked this line? (success stories or failure stories are both welcome).  I want to be the warm light, the loving arms, the one my DCs will want to go to to talk about their feeling, etc.  I don't want to become an enforcer, nagger, etc.

 

How can I successfully stay "mom" but also be responsible for all the schooling tasks?  

 

thanks for your thoughts!

SaveTheWild is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 of 9 Old 06-23-2011, 04:02 AM
 
pigpokey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Decatur, GA
Posts: 3,067
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

You don't have a choice (unless you unschool).

 

The parents I know who send their kids to school --

--have to either enforce bedtime or wake their kids out of sleep or often both (one of my friends has to put her kids to bed at 6pm for public school)

--have to maintain a tight and inflexible morning schedule

--have to enforce homework -- which these days can be significant at an earlier age than you would think, and often OBVIOUSLY require parental help, such as complex presentation projects for 1st graders 

--find themselves the parents of a child in a competitive arena at a disturbingly low age, and have to decide how to engage in that situation.  E.g., a friend of mine started sending her kids to Kumon when they were rising PreK and rising 2nd because her oldest was just average in math and the winner of the 2nd grade math competition at her children's school was a Kumon kid

 

[My kids do compete at things, but it's special interest activities, and is not a situation where a large number of kids from the community are just rounded up, are judged and ranked in math or reading, which strikes me as educational disservice.]

 

As opposed to:

My kids go to bed about 9:30 unless they are tired.  I only have to wake them 1 or 2 times a year.

We start lessons about 9am.  They can still be in their PJs for all I care.  They often have some significant free time before lessons, unless somebody's body needed a sleep-in.

When they have completed their work for the day -- which even if they goof around, should be by noon, they are done.  I am not fussing with them at bedtime about whether they did their homework.  (Where are the child labor laws when it comes to elementary kids and homework?)

 

pigpokey is offline  
#3 of 9 Old 06-23-2011, 09:22 AM
 
onlyzombiecat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Northeast Kansas
Posts: 7,237
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by SaveTheWild View Post

I plan to begin hs for kinder next year and am trying to work through all my major concerns.

 

I know that I know my dd best and will be able to accomodate her learning style, ability, etc. better than a teacher in a classroom, at least in these early years.

 

But, I also want to maintain as strong, loving and happy relationship as possible with her.  I do not want to become a "teacher" or "task master" in her mind.  I want to be mommy.  How have others walked this line? (success stories or failure stories are both welcome).  I want to be the warm light, the loving arms, the one my DCs will want to go to to talk about their feeling, etc.  I don't want to become an enforcer, nagger, etc.

 

How can I successfully stay "mom" but also be responsible for all the schooling tasks?  

 

thanks for your thoughts!

 

Dd is 11 and has never been in school.  I try to find things that are interesting for her and go at her pace. We don't sit at a desk or table. We don't just read textbooks. I don't stand in front of her and lecture. We don't do tests or grades. I ask for her input and feedback in our curriculum choices and schedule.

I don't think she thinks of me as anything other than mom. Homeschooling is just part of our day. I wouldn't worry about it changing your relationship anymore than asking your child to put away dishes or pick up their socks will make her think you are a nagging taskmaster.

Sometimes dd thinks I tell her what to do too much and sometimes she doesn't want to do what I think she should do. I'm the parent and she is the child and that is just the way it is sometimes. I'm still the one she talks to about her thoughts and feelings.


 

 


Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

onlyzombiecat is offline  
#4 of 9 Old 06-23-2011, 11:10 AM
 
briansmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Magical PNW
Posts: 643
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Most parents we know who send their kids to school become "task masters" simply because they have to enforce hours of homework, often beginning in the younger grades. Many also have to enforce extra academic programs to keep up, such as Kumon, beginning as early as Kindy.

 

The amount of time we spend on focused academic work in our homeschool is less than the neighborhood kids spend doing homework.

 

I also find it helpful to consider myself a "facilitator" of my dc's education, as opposed to a "teacher." I never wanted to become a teacher, however, I love homeschooling my kids! The two are very different (at least for us).

 

HTH!

briansmama is offline  
#5 of 9 Old 06-23-2011, 12:41 PM
AAK
 
AAK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Eastern Washington
Posts: 3,086
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)

Since I've pulled my kids out of ps our relationship has only strengthened.  I didn't think it was bad before, but now it is much better.  Like others have said, I don't "teach" like a teacher does in a school.  My kids do assignments, but they have purpose--there isn't mindless busy work.  We read together, work together, play together.  I ask my kids about what they are interested in and I let them help decide curriculum and learning plans.  So, I think they think of me a a "partner in learning" vs a "strict teacher".  We have a relaxed, eclectic style here.  And, like a pp said--I don't wake my kids up, we start around 9, and sometimes we are still in jammies!  Last year, we were talking to a family with a child in 4th grade.  The amount of homework he had PER NIGHT was almost the same amount of school work we did per day.  Anna was like, wow mom--they could just homeschool and get 6 hours a free time each day.  

 

Amy


Mom to three very active girls Anna (14), Kayla (11), Maya (8). 
AAK is offline  
#6 of 9 Old 06-23-2011, 06:52 PM
 
Cyllya's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 538
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I personally feel like the fact that I went to school has had a negative impact on my relationship with my mom.

 

It seems like homeschooling wins the "fun" argument overall. Certainly there will be some kids who prefer school, and you have no way of knowing whether that will be your kid. But people who talk about enjoying their public school experiences often talk about student council, the school sports team, drama club, hanging out with friends, etc.... while people who talk about enjoying homeschooling/unschooling talk about being in a real theater troupe, regularly devoting hours per day to a beloved hobby, hiking in the alps, volunteering at a business because they would have fun working there but they're too young to be legally hired, interning on a farm in a rain forest in Belize, having friends of a variety of ages, etc.

Cyllya is offline  
#7 of 9 Old 06-23-2011, 10:26 PM
 
Savoir Faire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Nowhere near a shady tree.
Posts: 1,093
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

You kind of HAVE to become the teacher (of sorts) if you're doing anything besides unschooling. There's going to be times where your child is going to have to sit down, do work and not like it...and it's gonna be up to you to get her to do it.

 

We have those days....but I really don't find it that hard. As her mom and her teacher, I can tell the days when we need to keep it simple and the days we just need to trudge on through. I definitely say our days/time is less rushed (usually...not always) and that goes a long way.


Welcome to the Real World she said to me, condescendingly, take a seat. Take your life; plot it out in black and white.
Savoir Faire is offline  
#8 of 9 Old 06-24-2011, 05:21 AM
 
ameliabedelia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: where I am
Posts: 2,202
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

IME, homeschool strengthens the parent-child bond.  If anything, just through the increased time spent together.

 

And as others mentioned, if you child goes to school, you still need to be a task-master.


Homeschooling mom to 4 joy.gif

 

My Home Remedies Website treehugger.gif

ameliabedelia is offline  
#9 of 9 Old 06-24-2011, 08:52 AM
 
moominmamma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: In the middle of nowhere, at the centre of everything.
Posts: 5,801
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 95 Post(s)

I think it's important to recognize that institutional schooling represents a sort of contracting out of the academic education portion of the responsibility for raising a child, and that this is a relatively recent practice in the scope of human history. The idea of having separate roles for "teacher" and "parent" is a little artificial.

Imagine if you will that the government began providing universal free meals for children. Cafeterias would be set up in neighbourhoods and three times a day children would be delivered there to receive the meals cooked and served by trained nutritionists. These nutritionists attended special training in handling the cooking needs of large groups, and in managing the crowds of children, their table manners, their social behaviour during meals and so on. This quickly became the norm, with almost all children reporting to their nutritionists for their meals. If you as a parent decided to feed your children at home that would be allowed but considered a little unusual.

So if you decided to feed your kids at home, you would not say "It's important to be clear about my dual roles -- at certain times I'm their mom, and at certain times I need to act like their nutritionist. I need to learn how nutritionists act in order to successfully feed my kids at home."

A little silly, don't you think?

I see the distinction between "being a mom" and "being a homeschool teacher" in a similar light. They're not separate roles. We tend to see them as separate because culturally we have made an artificial separation, assigning the roles to different people. If they're not going to different people, they don't need to be different. If you stop thinking in terms of this dichotomy, I think you'll see less tension in your relationship with your homeschooled child.

 

Like others have suggested, there's potential conflict over the work of learning, chores, hygeine, and so on in the parent-child relationship whether or not the child goes to school. That's just the nature of raising kids: they are born immature and unknowledgeable and we have to nurture them along so that they gain maturity, wisdom and experience. Creating a warm, positive, empathic parent-child relationship has less to do with the daily issues you're grappling with than the philosophy and approach you use, and the energy and creativity you put into finding your path. The wonderful thing about homeschooling is that you have so much time and so many intimate arenas where you can use this energy -- and so few fixed requirements, mixed messages and conflicting values outside your home that can get in the way of that work.

 

For example, if you have a child balking at, say, timed math drill sheets and he's in school, you have to deal with the reality that those facts have to be learned based on someone else's agenda, regardless of your child's intellectual and emotional readiness. Your parenting will consist of enforcing something you don't really believe is optimal for your child and dealing with the emotional fallout of your child's frustration at school, without the power to change the expectations and requirements. If your child is balking at the same task and he's homeschooled, you have the chance to reframe the expectations, adapt the learning format, make a diversion into something else for a time, engage him creatively in a different manner, do the work at a different time of day, discuss with him how it would be more meaningful, and toss out the current approach if you think it's not serving him well. In short, a homeschooling taskmaster is empowered for creative problem-solving, whereas the parent of a schoolchild is a taskmaster with her hands at least partly tied. Almost all the homeschooling parents I know say that their relationship with their children has been strengthened because of homeschooling. There's simply much more opportunity to work the kinks out and build relationship when you are working side by side so much of the time.

 

Miranda

onlyzombiecat and Tjej like this.

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

moominmamma is online now  
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