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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am having MAJOR issues with family members "giving their input and expressing their concern" over us homeschooling. Im at the point where Im very hurt and angry at their supposition that I am not able to educate my child, and will shortchange him socially.
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Im thinking of sending a mass email, that is polite, thanking them that they love us enough that they are concerned....but at the same time telling them to lay off and also want to send them links on the benefits of homeschooling.

My son will be taking a few art classes, sports, and karate, upon his request....as well as socializing with other homeschoolers in a positive multi aged environment. But, for some reason, my son NEEDS to attend school to "learn" how to be social. Yes, this same 6yo son who tonight at Olive Garden had this following conversation with our waitress
"Excuse me, ma'am, could you hold my box for me so that when I get out of my chair I can push it back in"
Waitress "Sure I can"
My son "Thank you so much for helping me"

He is able to go to the librarian and ask for help locating a book, or ask what time the play center will be open...

But, for some reason...that isnt knowing social manners.
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My son needs to be homeschooled, I know that he will be shortchanged in school. He is challenging, will not take answers as good standing, and will question the answer he is given as well as rules to figure out why they even make sense....he is very intense, and if he already knows something he gets bored and finds trouble...or if he finds fault with what is said...he will correct the speaker. He once lectured the volunteer lady at the zoo (she had primate skulls) on the behavioral habits, and habitat of Orangutans. The woman was shocked at how much he knew.

Another issue, is my son, while extremely sociable, does not get many social cues. We feel he needs a bit more guidance, as well as positive situations to learn and understand them better. We are also looking into getting an evaluation done, because he displays symptoms of bipolar (which I am)

Anyway, I think I had to say all that here, because I know you all will understand, and I want to get it across to my family.

TOnight my mom called me to question me about his schooling. I think she spoke with my sister, whom I blew up with yesterday about this...my sister was very rude and condescending. When I told her that he would be in sports and karate she simply said "Good, because THEN he can learn discipline" Thanks mom. My son listens in situations that call for it, and truly I dont mind him questioning and seeking out why rules are rules, or trying to see if it is a rule. At any rate, Ive had so many comments thrown at me this past week from
"Maybe its all the drugs you did when you were 16 that he has issues" (8 yrs before he was born?)
"I really think you are shortchanging him, and it is not FAIR to him to be homeschooled"
Ad nauseum.

if you read this...any suggestions???? Im sure I wrote a book...sorry about that.
 

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Just wanted to let you know that I hear you. I think it can be frustrating when friends, family and even strangers have concerns/opinions about how you should/are parenting.

We cosleep, plan to child-led wean, ec, etc. We havn't decided about schooling yet (dd is 11 mos).

When others have offered raised eyebrows or opinions in a disrepectful way, I either smile and walk on or offer positive information about the topic. I have had a private conversation with my mom regarding the way I am choosing to parent. I've also had to tell her, that we're doing something different from the way she did it, but that this is what works for our family right now. I ask her respectfully to respect that it is my turn to make mistakes and that I need to make my own.

Don't know if this helps at all - of course you know you are not alone!
 

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If you have not read Teach Your Own by John Holt, I highly recommend it. Further, I recommend sharing it with your family. (This is what I plan to do when this comes up for my family.)

My key argument about socialization is that school actually inhibits this. Children do not learn socialization from each other; they primarily learn from us. If the goal is to teach them how to be competent adults (hopefully respectful, compassionate, etc.), they are probably not going to learn that from peers. They will learn that from watching how adults interact. Working with peers, IMO, actually creates situations where they are more likely to fail at these things because they and their peers have not reached that stage developmentally. (Two years olds do not learn sharing from each other, they learn it from us.)

HTH!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Alana
Im thinking of sending a mass email, that is polite, thanking them that they love us enough that they are concerned....but at the same time telling them to lay off and also want to send them links on the benefits of homeschooling.

You could do that. I guess it all depends on how receptive you think they'll be and how much energy you want to put into explaining.

If it was ME, I think I'd put some space between myself and family, if only temporarily. Let things cool down a bit. Then, when the subject comes up, stonewall.

"Thanks for your concern." then change the subject.

"I'll take that into consideration." then change the subject.

"That's an interesting point." then change the subject.

My take would be that if someone is truely interested, or curious, about how hsing will work, then I'd be happy to discuss it with them. But I don't need to explain, defend or justify my decision to anyone--even family.

You've thought it through and made your choice. You're a grown-up, you don't need their approval.

Having family be supportive would be nice, but it's not a requirement--especially if they'll only support you if you do things their way. It sounds like the situation you're in is one where they do the questioning and you defend yourself. You can choose not to participate in that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I dont want their approval...I really dont need it. I think I just want to be heard!
I am second youngest, and as my mom puts it "the free spirit" and for years I have just sat back, heard their comments, and never said anything...just "ok, I hear your point of view" Yesterday when my sister was going on and on about how detrimental homeschooling will be...I actually said (and mind you, i never swear, and I dont blow up at people) "We will do whatever the hell we want and think is best for our children. This conversation is really pissing me off, Im going now, goodbye" and I hung up.
 

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"My son needs to be homeschooled, I know that he will be shortchanged in school. He is challenging, will not take answers as good standing, and will question the answer he is given as well as rules to figure out why they even make sense....he is very intense, and if he already knows something he gets bored and finds trouble...or if he finds fault with what is said...he will correct the speaker"

This is my son too..You're not alone here. I have the same issues with family too. I've sent the e-mails and shown the articles and of course talked til I was blue..but the ones that don't agree with it are quiet for a while and then every now and then make their opinion known "again". One in particular will hassle me and I'll end up in a long disscusion finding myself defending myself and my choice. Not fun! I think from now on I'm just going to say look this is my decision and I know you don't agree,but its what I think is best for us right now. Thanks for your concern. Maybe that would be good for your relatives too?? Its hard..I hope it gets better for you.

RayRay
 

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could be wrong here, but I believe that often when family members criticize a parenting choice so vehemently and 'violently' as your family has done, it is because somewhere, somehow, it challenges within them the choices they themselves have made. If what you are doing is really wonderful, good and right, then what about what they are doing or did?

in other words, the deep level of anger and venom they seem to be spewing comes not from their belief that you are wrong,
but from their belief that you are somehow making them wrong.

not that this will help in any way (sorry!
), It just always strikes me when I think something more is really going on on a deeper level.

the truth is, if they were GENUINELY concerned, would they be spewing 'venom,' or would they really be expressing concern ? not that if they were concerned that they would just change their minds and start thinking what youre doing is great, but they wouldnt feel the need to attack you about it. something else seems to be going on.

here is their message: dont be different. it makes us look wrong.

just my thought when I read your post. I think that is a really tough battle, one that you would be better off letting them fight with themselves, and just staying out of if you can. it really has very little to do with you, ultimately, (if any of my thougts are correct!....I know.....big 'if!')

good luck!!
 

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I start to get a little snarky when people get rude about my kids and telling me/them that they are missing out because I won't let them do things that are bad for them like watching R rated films and attending public school.

For the one you're talking about I explain that if the public school system managed to get my kids to graduate (and point out the stats for public schools in my area) that they still are unlikely to get them ready for college (and then point out the miserable fact that 70 percent of local kids who even bother to go to college have to take remedial classes before they are ready for college course work). I go off about the behavioral problems that I know are taking place in public schools (and I know of several situations personally) and tell them that I have no more wish to put my kids in a situation where people are actively working to turn them into idiots, than I want them to learn how to interact from juvenile delinquents. I let them know that I am really concerned about their kids in ps and go off on how they are putting their kids at a disadvantage in getting to a decent college later since homeschool kids are more actively recruited by the better schools and not giving them the professional, social and academic edge that hs gives. I make them defend their choice instead of the other way around. I know it's a little aggressive, but I tried to play nice and they didn't get the hint. It only took a couple times and they don't bring it up unless it is a legitimate question.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Joan
You could do that. I guess it all depends on how receptive you think they'll be and how much energy you want to put into explaining.

If it was ME, I think I'd put some space between myself and family, if only temporarily. Let things cool down a bit. Then, when the subject comes up, stonewall.

"Thanks for your concern." then change the subject.

"I'll take that into consideration." then change the subject.

"That's an interesting point." then change the subject.

My take would be that if someone is truely interested, or curious, about how hsing will work, then I'd be happy to discuss it with them. But I don't need to explain, defend or justify my decision to anyone--even family.

You've thought it through and made your choice. You're a grown-up, you don't need their approval.

Having family be supportive would be nice, but it's not a requirement--especially if they'll only support you if you do things their way. It sounds like the situation you're in is one where they do the questioning and you defend yourself. You can choose not to participate in that.
Yeah, this is so true


I understand you're wanting to be heard. Maybe they just arent ready to listen right now. So, stick with us, reach down deep inside and follow your heart and hopefuly they'll come around. If not, well you're doing right by your son and your self


(Personaly, i think the next person who questions my kids socialization is going to hear: " HA! What? The kind they'd recieve at our local public school?- Sorry no thanks)
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by LuvMyLittles
I start to get a little snarky when people get rude about my kids and telling me/them that they are missing out because I won't let them do things that are bad for them like watching R rated films and attending public school.

For the one you're talking about I explain that if the public school system managed to get my kids to graduate (and point out the stats for public schools in my area) that they still are unlikely to get them ready for college (and then point out the miserable fact that 70 percent of local kids who even bother to go to college have to take remedial classes before they are ready for college course work). I go off about the behavioral problems that I know are taking place in public schools (and I know of several situations personally) and tell them that I have no more wish to put my kids in a situation where people are actively working to turn them into idiots, than I want them to learn how to interact from juvenile delinquents. I let them know that I am really concerned about their kids in ps and go off on how they are putting their kids at a disadvantage in getting to a decent college later since homeschool kids are more actively recruited by the better schools and not giving them the professional, social and academic edge that hs gives. I make them defend their choice instead of the other way around. I know it's a little aggressive, but I tried to play nice and they didn't get the hint. It only took a couple times and they don't bring it up unless it is a legitimate question.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Alana
I'm thinking of sending a mass email, that is polite, thanking them that they love us enough that they are concerned....but at the same time telling them to lay off and also want to send them links on the benefits of homeschooling.
If you decide to do that, you can find good links in the stickie above:
non-religious articles in defense of homeschooling

Also browse through my site (see the link below), and look in both the left hand column of links to articles in other sites and the larger section of articles in the site itself. You'll find some really good ones.

You might also want to check out this page:
Homeschooling your gifted child

Mostly, I think I'd try to avoid discussing it at this point - sounds like they're not going to listen, no matter what you have to say. They obviously don't understand what makes him tick, and they think someone needs to train him
. And they're probably experienced at finding your buttons, whether they're consciously trying to do so or not - so maybe not letting your buttons respond to being pushed would be a good focus to take. I'd recommend some good books to give your mom - like Family Matters, by David Guterson, but it really sounds as if their issue is about their take on his behavior rather than about the usual things people worry about. Hang in there - you're doing the right thing.
Lillian
 

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Everyone else has made very good points in the previous posts. I would support a clear email like you stated. It is *your* choice how to raise your ds. Thank them for thier concern and hope they'll let it go. I get grief from my SIL, and she stirs the pot with the whole family. IMO a person who isn't for hs won't read a whole book on the subject. Good luck, and if you need space from non supporters, that's your right.
 

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Quote:
"We will do whatever the hell we want and think is best for our children. This conversation is really pissing me off, Im going now, goodbye" and I hung up.
: You go girl! That might have been just what she needed to hear!
 

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This thing about school inhibiting social skills is so true. I don't know how many times I have wondered why the 40 y/o people I work with act like they are still in junior high! I think all the time 'I left high school/junior high for a REASON! I hated it' I'm not sure how people think social skills are learned/taught in a classroom where you can't talk and have to raise your hand.
 

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I think the problem is that you want your family to understand your motives for homeschooling but they are not receptive to your ideas.

I think it's best not to try to justify your reasons to them because that puts you on the defensive.

Instead you ought to tell them that their rude (unsociable) remarks are hurtful and that you feel the need to protect your son from rude and condescending people. You are not trying to keep your son away from them, just that they need to speak with a bit more tact. Just because they are family doesn't give them the right to talk to you in rude and condescending ways.

In addition, I would tell them that the issue of homeschooling is not up for discussion. It is a choice that you have made and regardless of what they think about it, they do not have a vote in the matter. Period.
 

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I have said," I appreciate your concern,but now that you have had your say(one major blow out time) the matter is closed.If you feel to the need to talk about it then please talk to someone else,because otherwise I will have to stop visiting."

You can give a list of the pros/cons,but sometimes people will never *get it*.Some can not get past what they do to realise there is another choice.
 

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nancyw
I agree with you in that it's somehow "different" than what they'd do. Therefore, there's alot of "opinions" flying around.

Alana
I totally understand where you're coming from and how you feel! My mother continually tells me how I'm not doing things properly with my son (I homeschool him and my daughter is still in public school). And won't let it go that he'll be okay. I keep telling her it isn't up for discussion and she keeps giving me articles and finding more information and trying to tell me what I should be doing. I've tried to tell her we're not discussing it. She gives me information and I tell her I'm not reading it, I don't want it, and let it go... She can't seem to do that. And we argue about it regularly. I don't really have issues with the rest of our families...

I haven't figured out what to do about it really. My parents live across the pasture and I help keep an eye on my disabled father while she works. It's gotten to be rather complicated and some days I can't see my way out of it....some days, I know it's best to keep on trusting myself and going with the flow...

Blessings,
April
intuitive medium
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Alana
I dont want their approval...I really dont need it. I think I just want to be heard!
This I can relate to. I find myself feeling that way in some discussions here--I don't care if people don't agree with me, or if they disapprove, I just want to be understood. It can get very frustrating--but sometimes people just don't WANT to understand. The only thing I've found that "works" in that case, is to walk away. (From the conversation, I mean--I'm not advocating cutting ties with your family!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thank you all for your wonderful input. I dont think I will say anything further, and if they ask for more information, then I will give it to them. Im thinking though, of emailing my sister, apologizing for being so abrupt, thank her for her concern, but this is our decision for our child, the matter is closed, and we can agree to disagree. (I do better via email then the phone, I get too many thoughts going through my head, and stumble all over myself!)

My dh was very encouraging about it all. Last night he told me that people always have a hard time with leaders, they are probably offended we arent making the same choices they are, and that opposition will happen when you take a different course than everyone else.

I just really cant think of one thing that dh and I have done that hasnt been picked apart. We married at 19, and that caused a HUGE uproar....but now we have been married for 10.5 yrs, have an awesome marriage...and my sisters in that time frame have been in 3 and 2 marriages, respectively. They did apologize for that one on our 5th anniversary, and did say they were proud of us.

Partially too, I get so very upset when they comment on my son's "lack of discipline" We have standards...but I dont want robotic children. I was watching my sister "discipline" (she raised her voice, was rather mean, and grabbed her little cheeks) her 6yo daughter...who on the outside seems very compliant....BUT I looked at my niece's eyes, and saw quite a bit of resentment there. It was very sad.

At any rate, Im sick of being treated like the "village idiot" Im going to go and get that Boundaries book as well....
 

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Well the proof is in the puddin' ...just like your marriage....after some space, you can always say " We can revisit this conversation in about 18 years." I bet you get another apology!!!

HUGS, Sus
 
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