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#31 of 53 Old 08-13-2007, 06:54 AM
 
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I agree that you should spell check but I'm concentrating on content. I would totally rewrite the letter. The letter you wrote is too weak and apologetic IMO.

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

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

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

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

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

The end.



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

Good luck.

Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

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#32 of 53 Old 08-13-2007, 07:24 AM
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An article (speech) from a teacher´s point of view, John Taylor Gatto:
http://www.naturalchild.org/guest/john_gatto.html

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

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

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


Good luck!
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#33 of 53 Old 08-13-2007, 09:22 AM
 
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I do not think you need to justify yourself to your MIL.........I like the "Thanks, but we are homeschooling," answer.

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

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

I hope your MIL comes around

gl!

  homeschooling, earth loving Mama to 3 crazy, wonderful boys, ages 10 & 7, & 3 mos.,3 spirit babies                                Inch by inch, row by row.  Gonna make this garden grow  
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#34 of 53 Old 08-13-2007, 10:46 AM
 
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FWIW, I would let dh handle his Mom. But if you feel like it needs to be you, I would also think long and hard about what I was hoping to get from sending the letter, and how likely that was going to actually happen. Some people get a lot of power by withholding approval, and something about your letter and the way you've talked about your MIL makes me wonder if that's the relationship you two have going.

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

ZM
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#35 of 53 Old 08-13-2007, 11:47 AM
 
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Both of my parents (and sister, and my aunt and a few of my uncles) are teachers, so I understand how it feels like a big deal to be planning to homeschool when the family is getting so excited about the kids entering the school system. It weighed very heavily on me, but I waited until the conversation came up again. I didn't want to invite in their opinions or give them the impression that it was up for debate or that I needed their permission to do this. When it came up with my parents I just said, "oh, well, actually, we have decided to homeschool Amelia." And then we had a discussion about how long I would homeschool (I told them I would take it year by year, but my intention right now is to go all the way through), what the laws require in my state, how I would socialize her, what sort of structure I would use, etc.

My parents don't agree with my decision. They have tried to talk to my DH to see if we can be talked out of it, they took my oldest inside the local school to see if they could get her excited about going, they make plenty of little digs here and there about it..... so I am not saying that it went perfectly. But, at least they knew that I wasn't asking for their permission and I wasn't asking for their expertise. I am the parent, I make the decisions for my kids and I won't apologize to other people for doing what I feel is right.

Erika, mama to three beautiful kids (plus one gestating), and wife to one fantastic man.

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#36 of 53 Old 08-13-2007, 12:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onlyzombiecat View Post
I agree that you should spell check but I'm concentrating on content. I would totally rewrite the letter. The letter you wrote is too weak and apologetic IMO.

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

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

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

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

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

The end.



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

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

You should hire yourself out!
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#37 of 53 Old 08-13-2007, 01:59 PM
 
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I also feel that sending a letter is not a good choice. I feel that important conversations should be had in person. I think sending a letter is open for misinterpretation both about your intent and also your message (are you trying to set up a distant relationship? are you too scared to speak in person? why is the letter from just you and not her son?) I would be upset if someone that I cared about felt they needed to have important conversations by letter.

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

Good luck. I think by keeping open communication and respect you may be surprised that in the future your MIL may become your strongest ally. I know that has been the case for my educator parents.
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#38 of 53 Old 08-13-2007, 03:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by momto l&a View Post
I don't understand why you'd even be telling your MIL all this.

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

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

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

When it comes up about where will Jr be going to school, tell her where. be confident and sure. answer any questions she has this way. don't answer questions she hasn't asked. you are just inviting challenge. You don't need her approval or permission or opinion. don't let her think that you do.

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#39 of 53 Old 08-14-2007, 07:13 AM
 
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If I felt the need to send any letter, it would be the Red one.
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#40 of 53 Old 08-14-2007, 07:30 AM
 
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It's not that the letter is "stupid", I think I really know where you are coming from, I was there 3 years ago when my DS was supposed to start school. But I definitely agree with all the others that you shouldn't send it and you need to be matter-of-fact about homeschooling if you want to avoid too many problems with your MIL.

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

Luckily DH would give the appearance of us being a united front, but anything anyone said to him would make him doubt our choice. It was a rough summer. I think everyone responding to this thread just wants you to make it easier on yourself and not repeat some of the mistakes some of us have made!
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#41 of 53 Old 08-14-2007, 03:01 PM
 
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My MIL is a 1st grade teacher, so I kinda know what you are going thru. Last year I told her I was researching HSIng and asked about the curricula they use in the public school for comparison and to see they "style" that they use here. She just said she really hoped I changed my mind and then went into the social issues, ect. I don't think I would send any letter to her at all. If I want her opinion on a certain topic I can ask for it. I don't have to have her approval and I think that everyone knows by now that DH and I do what we think is best for our family. I certainly hope that mIL will help by lending us books, sharing ideas, ect. when the time comes. For now we are leaving it at "We are not sending DD to preschool and are doing preschooling at home" We do not know what next year holds (Look at my siggy, we are expecting twins!) so I cannot say for sure if we will send her or not, so why make it an issue now? I may not be able to HS for a while, we may send DD to K or 1st, then bring her home when the babies are bigger and I can HS all of them, or I may decide I just cannot send her and hope that mIL will help me by babysitting some. DH hopes that in the future MIL will retire and kind of co-school w/ me (we all live on a big farm, our houses are within walking distance of eachother) since we will have 4 kids that need schooling.

My take is don't send anything. Honestly right now you and your DH have not made any concrete plans, do not know the laws and need to keep this conversation/decision between the two of you before broadcasting it to those who will not support you. Have fun Preschooling!
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#42 of 53 Old 08-14-2007, 03:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by chaos_pie View Post
I also feel that sending a letter is not a good choice. I feel that important conversations should be had in person. I think sending a letter is open for misinterpretation both about your intent and also your message (are you trying to set up a distant relationship? are you too scared to speak in person? why is the letter from just you and not her son?) I would be upset if someone that I cared about felt they needed to have important conversations by letter.
I think that probably sums up the underlying feeling a lot of us were getting - there's something just not quite comfortable about having to convery a message in email. On the other hand, you m-i-l did when she sent the one about how she was finding out details for you from a fellow teacher about getting him ready for kindergarten - but maybe it's best to just let that go and move on to communicating more casually in person. Lillian

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#43 of 53 Old 08-14-2007, 03:37 PM
 
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DH hopes that in the future MIL will retire and kind of co-school w/ me (we all live on a big farm, our houses are within walking distance of eachother) since we will have 4 kids that need schooling
Oh dear, I hope he doesn't hope too hard, because it's usually pretty hard for a former teacher to scale down to what little formal teaching is required for children to learn when homeschooling. They're just used to having to think and operate in a very different way in a classroom with so many children. Lots of former teachers who went on to homeschooling - some around this forum - have expressed that very thing. But I'm sure it will all work out. Have fun! Lillian
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#44 of 53 Old 08-15-2007, 04:04 PM
 
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By the way, FWIW, I'm not sure I ever really told most of our family we are homeschooling. I just slapped a big ol' homeschooling bumpersticker on our car and they figured it out!
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#45 of 53 Old 08-15-2007, 04:41 PM
 
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By the way, FWIW, I'm not sure I ever really told most of our family we are homeschooling. I just slapped a big ol' homeschooling bumpersticker on our car and they figured it out!


awesome.
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#46 of 53 Old 08-16-2007, 04:08 AM
 
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I just refuse to talk about it with my ILs. They are against it but I don't care. My view is, once they have spent the time researching it that I have, or at least make an effort and read a few books (since I've spent years researching I'm not really expecting them to put in that kind of time but I use it as a defense mechanism) then I'll talk about it. As of now, I am not going to defend myself and explain everything to people who only want to parrot the basic "But how will they learn to SOCIALIZE???" questions at me. I just give answers that are neither here nor there and deflect them. At one point when I was first beginning researching hs I thought that I should send out an email to family so they'd know, just kind of get it out of the way. Luckily I rethought because that would've just made it seem like it was up for debate. The way I handle it now they know that they have no say and that the points they bring up are worthless to me. Honestly, who goes into hsing not thinking of where the children will socialize??? Do they think we just decide one day out of the blue to hs and then never think of it again? Anyway, that's my screwed up family in your case, if your MIL is one to get on your case about it, I wouldn't send a letter. Next time she says something about getting ready for school I'd just laugh and say, "Oh yeah, it is so great that we won't have to deal with that/buy that/go through that/etc. since we'll be homeschooling!" And follow it up with the greatest line ever (and one that I learned from this board) "Now, would you like some bean dip?"

Mama to two boys and a girl.
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#47 of 53 Old 08-16-2007, 04:10 AM
 
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By the way, FWIW, I'm not sure I ever really told most of our family we are homeschooling. I just slapped a big ol' homeschooling bumpersticker on our car and they figured it out!
I might have to use that idea to get the word out to the family who haven't found out yet!

Mama to two boys and a girl.
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#48 of 53 Old 08-16-2007, 05:44 AM
 
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By the way, FWIW, I'm not sure I ever really told most of our family we are homeschooling. I just slapped a big ol' homeschooling bumpersticker on our car and they figured it out!
OMG. If only you could see how hard I'm laughing.
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#49 of 53 Old 08-16-2007, 05:45 AM
 
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By the way, I'm with those who say you shouldn't send the letter...but I have to say, if I was your MIL, I would love you.
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#50 of 53 Old 08-16-2007, 02:06 PM
 
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Whatever you send, I'd make sure all of the words were spelled correctly and that all punctuation was correct. Fair or not, I think educators of any kind are held to a higher standard than the general public when it comes to their writing samples. I know if I received a letter from the person intending to educate someone I cared about, I'd be concerned if it was full of grammar mistakes and words spelled incorrectly. It should also flow well, but that's more difficult to accomplish, whereas the spelling and grammar are easy fixes.
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#51 of 53 Old 08-16-2007, 05:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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woah, I am tt catch up!!!!!:
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#52 of 53 Old 08-16-2007, 05:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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By the way, FWIW, I'm not sure I ever really told most of our family we are homeschooling. I just slapped a big ol' homeschooling bumpersticker on our car and they figured it out!

Great idea-I was thinking about the "Unsocialized Homeschoolers On Board" one.
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#53 of 53 Old 08-16-2007, 08:53 PM
 
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I think you shold skip the letter and next time they bring up school say something like...

"Yes we are so excited too! We've got an awesome super exclusive school and teacher lined up. Plus, can you believe this? The school moves the teacher on with the class each year!"

When they give you the puzzled look/questions you can continue "Yes, we've decided to homeschool and I'm so thrilled to have my ds home with me so I can share in everything he's learning and be there for all those priceless Aha! moments!"

Then if they start to ask more in depth questions you can follow up with how you truly feel this is your calling from God and that you are deep in research to make your final choices for this year. If she makes specific recommendations say "Interesting, I'll take that into consideration" or "Hmm, really?" Don't feel like you have to explain everything, just assure them that you've gotten it taken care of (even if you aren't sure yet). You want to project an air of confidence in yourself as a mom and a teacher.

You want mil to think you've gotten it so all together that you can handle anything. I agree, know your laws, pick a free curriculum that you could maybe use a little of and if she asks about what you are going to teach just confidently say "Well, we are starting with "5 in a Row" It's got so many great ideas and activities for every day and it's literature based..." and whatever else you think is great about it. Now you may only use it a couple times or you might love it and use it every day, but it shows that you have a plan and are excited about it.

Ok that ended up being really long, sorry. But I'm sure you get my idea. Just be confident, firm and excited. Don't question your excitement or commitment and don't let her do it either. If all else fails, smile, nod, and pass the bean dip! lol
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