Conversations with family over the holidays - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-27-2006, 03:28 PM
 
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Noordinaryspider,
Wow. The only thing I have to add to what has already been said has to do with Alzheimers specifically. My grandmother had severe dementia by the time she died, but a lot of the early signs were only apparent to us in retrospect. She had a difficult personality, bossy and didn't listen well. She loved and was loved by little kids, but she couldn't really handle adults or children asserting themselves. There were many awkward moments, when she would swear at strangers, or be incredibly rude, yell out of car windows and such, before we really knew what was going on. It was awful! She had no edit mechanism; that was the first thing to go. Clearly Grandpa has lost his privacy privileges with your son, because this is what is going on in his head and he has no way of mediating it. Nonetheless, this may be a phase that will pass (on to much worse things, in our case). I guess I just want to shout out because this was the most tramautic part of Gram's transition, for me, and it trashed what was left of our relationship. By the time she died, I hadn't had a personal relationship with her, outside of the obligatory one, for years. Whoa, I am on a tangent. Sorry. Anyway, I hope that offers some insight.
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Old 12-27-2006, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by noordinaryspider View Post
I found this in my son's email on Christmas Eve and it would be positively hilarious if Grampa didn't have other signs of early Alzheimer's disease:



I don't normally intrude on my ds's private email conversations, but he was understandably upset by this.
All that I can say is that obviously Grandpa is not the best advertisement for the virtues of public school. The misspelled words (and other problems) are highlighted below. Please feel free to share with any family member you want.
***********************
Children have limited rights, but one of them is the right to a proper
education. You have that right [needs comma] and your mother would have a hard time
proving you are adequately schooled because she has thumbed her nose at
the approved state curicular and has done her own thing, thus
forfitting 8,000 to 10,000 in state funds for schooling each of her children.
That's 16,000 to 20,000 [needs dollar signs] a year so your mother could do her own thing in
regards to your education. The state requires that their curiculum be
used for a very good reason. People's financial situations change and
it is not always possible for one parent to stay home to home school.
Often both parents must work to support the family [needs comma] and no matter what
the "rathers" are [needs comma] the children must then attend public school. This has
happened in part. Your grandmothe[COLOR="red" needs apostrophe] rs[/COLOR] investments have not prospered
because of the economy [needs comma] and her income has consequently been seriously
reduced.

It makes sense to keep the home schooled children in step with what is
taught in the public schools, particularly since the public schools
teach the changing skills needed to prepare students for the changing job
market. [Note: BWAHAHAHAHA!!!] Then home schooled children can make a smooth change over [no space needed between the preceding two words] to
public school or college.

If you look in the government listing of the telephone book probably
under California State Government [needs quote marks] you should see a listing of [should be "for"] Human
Resources Department and under that you should see something like Family and
Children Services.COLOR="red"][needs quote marks][/COLOR]

You can go and talk to these people and they will see to it that you
get a proper education in a proper school, but they will probably take
you away from your mother and put you in a foster home [needs comma] which would
devastate your mother and might be highly unpleasant -- from the frying pan
into the fire. In a sitution [misspelled] like this, the State of California spends
upward of $60,000 a year on each child, providing them with tutors
where needed [needs comma] etc. That's a lot of money and a lot of assistance. There
was a ditty on 20/20 on TV about it. [Note: a "ditty" is a song, and 20/20 needs to be italicized].

Oh, and by the way, I would cut off all communication with Grandpa...after sending him back his "graded" email.
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Old 12-27-2006, 05:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by folkypoet View Post
My grandmother, 95, asked me about the magazine. I told her it was going well, growing all the time. She said, "I'm so glad you're doing this. I'll bet you're helping a lot of people."
She's right; you are. Thanks for that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by noordinaryspider View Post
I don't normally intrude on my ds's private email conversations, but he was understandably upset by this.
Oh, I'm so sorry that happened to your DS. I hope you were able to reassure him and he's feeling better.

The only comment we got over the holidays was DH's grandmother asking if DS (2.5) is in a preschool program yet. I told her no, that he's at home with me, and he's learning a lot. Then my MIL explained to her that school (Jr. Kindergarten) doesn't start here until children are 4 years old, to which I replied something along the lines of, "Yeah, that's the minimum age; it depends on the family though." We haven't told most of our family that we'll be homeschooling yet (a couple of my siblings know, but we haven't announced it to my parents or my in-laws), so we're mostly able to avoid having to deal with any potential criticisms about it for now.
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Old 12-27-2006, 07:23 PM
 
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My grandmother, who doesn't say anything to my face, bitches to my mom about it instead. Socialization, socialization, socialization. Now, this annoys me for several reasons. First of all, my kids are always the best behaved at family get-togethers (I'm not the type of parent who expects perfect behavior, but I've noticed that they do, in fact, behave better than the best of the group). Second, one of my ps'ed cousins is constantly in trouble partly because of the group she runs in at school (she's in the 4th grade) and another is constantly in trouble because he's ADD and the school doesn't have a good system in place to help those kids.

Finally, it's just damn nosey.

My mom started by telling her that we have a lot of friends, that we're involved in a hs group, and that socialization isn't a concern. Finally when Granny kept pushing it my mom said, "You know what?! I'd rather them stay at home than 'socialize' with some kid who is going to bring a gun to school and shoot it up."



The only thing that anyone said to me about it this weekend was when my uncle asked how homeschooling was 'going'. I told him it was fine and he asked if we did "capital punishment". I'm not sure if he meant corporal punishment (we don't) but I replied that yes, they're on death row.

Homesteading Mama to homeschoolin' kiddos London (10) ; Alexander (8) :; Holden (5) :; and Sergei born at home 8/18/08
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Old 12-27-2006, 09:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The only thing that anyone said to me about it this weekend was when my uncle asked how homeschooling was 'going'. I told him it was fine and he asked if we did "capital punishment". I'm not sure if he meant corporal punishment (we don't) but I replied that yes, they're on death row.
LOL! :

Bookworm mom to three wonderful children. homeschool.gif
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Old 12-27-2006, 10:01 PM
 
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That was funny!

~Joan, Happy mom to 2 beautiful kiddos, one new puppy and 2 lovely felines
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Old 12-27-2006, 11:28 PM
 
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Thank you so, so much for all of your supportive and affirming posts.



I cross posted the entire email on the Poor Parental Relationships support thread in the Personal Growth. forum, but that was only one of reams and reams of venom I found in my son's email account, most of it unbelievably misogynistic, petty, and cruel. I work nights as an attendant to a quadriplegic in order to support and homeschool my son and my ex husband is a recovered cocaine and recovering alcohol addict who lives in a homeless shelter and has ben unable to pay child support for a number of years.

My problems with my parents are ongoing. I left home when I was the age ds is now. There is a long, long history of this kind of emotional abuse in my family and sometimes I just desparately need what you gave me here: a mirror and an affirmation that I saw what I saw and that it really is as crazy as it is and that I am an okay person and that I have a right to protect myself and my son.

I hesitate to post much in this section because I feel that I might scare off younger homeschoolers who expect me to have things more together than I do with the homschool graduate and the high schooler.

I only now checked back on the thread because I tend to be a threadkiller and I am just so, so overwhelmed by the fact that when I needed you guys and asked for your help and cameraderie you gave it so freely and so graciously.

Thank you.
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Old 12-28-2006, 12:17 AM
 
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No body said anything about it but a few family members were anxious to sit at the kids table during Christmas dinner. There was a bunch of us so we had to sit at three different tables. I looked over a few times and my two kids were the biggest chatter boxes and I noticed everyone laughed so I took that as a good sign.
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Old 12-28-2006, 01:08 AM
 
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Our only child is just 20 months, so we're not into any of this yet. I have mentioned to a few family members that we're "thinking seriously about homeschooling" but "have a lot of time to make up our minds." To my surprise, the response has been uniformly positive.

My brother: "Yes, but what about socialization? After all, if it weren't for school, I never would have learned about [insert description of a minor, but unpleasant, physical torment that boys at our elementary school did to each other]." (Hee.)

My father: "I think homeschooling can be ideal for a younger child." The only thing he worries about is whether we would find that other homeschoolers are too religiously and politically conservative for us to be comfortable working and socializing with them. (Awww. I love my dad.)

Even my horrendous SMIL, who disapproves of everything about our family, sounded pretty neutral about it. She asked some silly questions, like if the Department of Education would provide us with textbooks and tell us exactly what to do, but it turns out that her godmother the nun has provided extra lessons to a group of homeschooled kids... so obviously, it's respectable. (I think the key with her would be to tell her nothing about what our actual methods.)

Alexandra 4.11.05 and Colin 2.9.09. Click on my name to visit my homeschooling blog.
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Old 12-28-2006, 01:29 AM
 
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I am always up for a good debate, especially now in our 3rd year of HS My son has given me all the confidence I need. I like the come back " I really think that Children don't benifit from being in the same room all the time with children of the same age. Most Children are socially challenged that I know and feel like they can only "socialize" with children that are their same age. My son likes children and adults of all ages.

Kiya- Mama to 3 growing Son's. Waldorf joy.gifDoula  hug.gif  Making Recycled Woolens and Trainers every spare moment.
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Old 12-28-2006, 03:02 AM
 
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We're in our 5th year of hsing now, so we really don't get much from family. Like a few others have posted, my family seems totally disinterested in hsing, now that we've proven that ds is flourishing in nearly every single way (so, natch, they usually bug him on his weight, sigh)

The only comment or question I got from family this season was my 18 yo niece, who was competely fascinated by how close ds and I are, even though he's 13. She and her mom (my sister) are not getting along well right now, I think she's either wishing she were closer to her parents, or baffled by the whole idea of liking your mom.

Friends, otoh, are constantly asking questions about hsing, and telling me about positive articles, or good experiences with hsing families. I've met very few people who are totally against the idea of hsing.

Noordinaryspider, just wanted to say how sorry I am that you and your son have had to put up with this kind of stuff from your father. My dad moved to another continent when I was a teenager, and we've never gotten on better, lol. I left home at an early age too, had a lot of conflict with my father. I've always found hsing to be a healing and rebuilding experience for me, especially now that ds is a teen, since I'm getting to go through a normal and sane childhood through my son. I'm also a single, working mom, I know how hard it can be to keep on top of what's going on in ds's life when I'm not at home all the time, but we've weathered every storm so far, and hsing has been incredibly helpful to us in maintaining that strong relationship. Teens are pretty good at seeing through selfish behavior, how has your ds reacted to this stuff?


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Old 12-28-2006, 03:30 AM
 
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My MIL turned to her and said, "M---- tell G---- what you think of homeschooled kids." To which SIL didn't skip a beat "Oh they're social retards! And prattled on and on about how they couldn't relate to anybody and it was so awful for their soicalization, etc.
Well, thank God you got an expert opinion... I'm sure you'll change your whole approach now. : : Then, maybe your children can grow up and call free-thinking individuals "social retards"!! Wow... she pretty much broke down my whole socialization comeback in that one comment!! Thanks, but I'd rather my children didn't behave like "well socialized" children in our society.

As a side note, I'd rather be in Portland too!!

Noordinaryspider - to you and your son!! Bless your hearts. If Grampa's comments weren't so sad/scary, it would have been almost amusing. Public schools are now preparing kids for the job market? Gee, guess we'd all better ship off our kids after New Years, or they'll be unemployable! Shake it off, sounds like you're doing great job!!


lizzie

It's such a relief to finally trust yourself.
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Old 12-28-2006, 05:42 AM
 
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I am just waiting for the inquisition tomorrow when my entire family is together. They all know that I march to the beat of my own drummer but this is the first time that we'll all be together IRL since we pulled dd from school last month.
I am nervous b/c we are still deschooling (and loving it!) but haven't really gotten into it IFKWIM...
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Old 12-28-2006, 12:18 PM
 
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We didn't do any visiting with family. Dd1 spoke with the in-laws on the phone though. I heard her side of the conversation with grandpa:

"School?...What do you mean, school?...Oh. No, mama hasn't been doing that with me lately."
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Old 12-28-2006, 01:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am just waiting for the inquisition tomorrow when my entire family is together. They all know that I march to the beat of my own drummer but this is the first time that we'll all be together IRL since we pulled dd from school last month.
I am nervous b/c we are still deschooling (and loving it!) but haven't really gotten into it IFKWIM...
I know how you feel about the deschooling thing. As if it's not hard enough sometimes to explain to people why you chose to take your child out of public school, then you have to explain deschooling...everybody in my family, even the ones who are really supportive, keep asking my daughter "So how is homeschooling going? What kind of stuff are you doing? What have you learned?" We're deschooling the month of December, so I have to keep saying over and over again "We're not doing any actual lessons until January."

If my daughter answers then she says "Oh you know, I've been watching tv, playing on the computer, playing outside, doing some crafts..." I feel the need to tell the person then that our lessons start in January, because the way my daughter describes it homeschooling is just lazing around, and I don't want people to think that that's all I have planned! It's kind of hard to explain deschooling though, especially to people whose kids are still in public school. It's difficult to say "I want to give her a chance to de-stress from her school experience, and to have her natural curiosity be reborn" without soundind like you're bashing public school.

I really don't think anybody in my family understands why we're deschooling, although I've explained it many times. I'm looking forward to the future when my daughter can actually tell them what books she's read and whatnot. I know I shouldn't care what people think, but it will still be nice.

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Old 12-28-2006, 10:14 PM
 
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I had an interesting discussion at brunch this morning with my mother (who doesn't get and doesn't want to get homeschooling) and my aunt (who is very supportive and curious)

My 8 y/o ds was looking up something on the net and wanted to know how to spell school. I told him and off he went. My aunt asked me if I test my kids for things like spelling and math and I said that we weren't required to by the province and I didn't find the need. I know how he's doing by talking with him. I know which areas he could use more practise in (spelling being the big one ) . My mother jumped in with her comment that in her opinion testing should be manditory because in teaches kids fear.....

So I asked her how fear of taking tests helped her education. Did she learn more in preparation for the test and did she retain it? Nope - she couldn't come up with anything postive. I asked her how that 'skill' benefitted her in life. She couldn't come up with anything here either. I pointed out that she refuses to take a class of any sort - even on something she is interested in like wine tasting because she hates learning in that sort of environment yet she knows that she learns best by having someone show her something directly. IMO school and the self image she formed there - that she wasn't intelligent and needed just to get married to some man who will take care of her - has dramatically affected her entire life's path, but I didn't go there. I just told her and my aunt that imo tests are a skill kids need to learn for higher education - but that taking them as an 8 y/o isn't necessary for him to learn a skill he will need in 8 - 10 years for college or university.

We went on to talk a bit about learning content vs skills and how arbitrary the content part of education really is. It was a very interesting conversation despite my mother's rather silly pro testing argument.

Blessed partner to a great guy, and mama to 4 amazing kids. Unfortunate target of an irrationally angry IRL stalker.

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. ~ Buddha

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Old 12-29-2006, 11:50 AM
 
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Noone approaches me anymore about homeschooling...since I can speak intelligently on the topic...now they've resorted to quizzing the kids and then letting me know where they are "deficient"

And thanks Folky Poet....we're adapting the "letter to friends and family" and sending it out....in fact, considering getting the WHOLE family a subscription this year!!!

Sus
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Old 12-29-2006, 12:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Noone approaches me anymore about homeschooling...since I can speak intelligently on the topic...now they've resorted to quizzing the kids and then letting me know where they are "deficient"
OMG, if anyone ever did that to my daughter I would not be able to refrain from making some snarky remark. The gall of some people is just incredible.

Bookworm mom to three wonderful children. homeschool.gif
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Old 12-29-2006, 12:50 PM
 
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Yes, and that would be my MIL!!!! :

Luckily my DH and I totally agree on our lifestyle (AP, GREEN, ETC...) and he doens't have a problem with saying something to her...we're just waiting until he gets home from his deployment...because of course this happened at HIS family reunion and he was in KABUL!!!

Sus
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Old 12-29-2006, 03:53 PM
 
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Thank you, Lizzie; I really don't feel like I'm doing a very good job right now and your support means the world to me.
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Old 12-30-2006, 04:24 AM
 
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After my Dad saw my (just turned 7 years old) ds writing, he asked me if I was "teaching him a penmanship class?"

I had to argue the fact that, he's 7, first grade aged, and a boy, who, to be honest, it's rare to find a boy with beautiful penmanship. Ugh, he's 7! Penmanship?! He can write all the letters and numbers, and you can read it. For now, that's good enough.

Oh, and I tried to explain that we don't "do school" and the regular sense of what people think when you say "school" and mentioned that when my Mom stayed with us and I was laid up in bed (dental surgeries, major drugs, lots of time in bed), she had ds sitting at the table doing his "schoolwork" literally for hours. After I found out about that, I had a serious conversation with her about NEVER doing that again, that she was no longer allowed to make him do anything, she was here to strictly play with the kids.

My Dad (they're divorced, many years divorced) said he thought it was good she had him at the table. I said it was insane.

Ah, we always find something to argue about. I'm stubborn, and I say what I think to him.

~Rose~ 

Homeschooling Mom to Two Boys, 13 & 9. rainbow1284.gif Baby Girl Arriving April 2013!

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