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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
DH and I are both ministers but I have been staying home with the girls full time. We are all getting to the place (DD's are 3.5YO and 16 months) that we are ready to share the load a bit more fully. So we have been looking for a copastorate where we can share one full time job and then share parenting more equally, and then homeschooling when the time comes (well, of course, they are already learning but you know what I mean).<br><br>
We found a place that we really like and they like us. We met with them after they told us that they would like us to come there and we talked about all the fun stuff - money, vacation, etc. I decided to mention that we were going to homeschool. Some people are weird about it and if it was going to be an issue for the church I would rather know now than later. So I told them that we were planning to homeschool and wanted to make sure that wasn't going to cause people to question our community involvement or anything.<br><br>
The three people we were talking to (a mom of a 11YO & 16YO, a dad of a 5YO, 11YO, & 17YO, and a 16YO) immediately started reacting about hsing. I like these people very much, but I felt like they were almost defensive. How good the schools were, how well their kids have all done, the importance of being social and not "weird". They weren't attacking us, it was like they felt defensive. In all that they did say that it wasn't really a big deal as far as the church went but they did all seem to want to put in their $.02.<br><br>
It was frustrating to me that they assumed they knew my motives for wanting to homeschool and then tried to debate. They also did seem defensive and that was frustrating. I look forward to educating them (haha) about our choice. But what is up with the reactions? I guess I am just looking to process and I realize that they may not know anyone who homeschools. Or if they do they know people who homeschool a certain way, or for a certain reason and assume that's why all people do. It was just sort of a rude (although they were not) awakening.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>sunnylady303</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8220009"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">they did all seem to want to put in their $.02.</div>
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I'd say you hit the nail on the head right there. You brought it up, so they assumed it was open for discussion. Had you not brought it up and just done it, I'm sure there would have been very little discussion (although I understand why you wanted to bring it up).<br><br>
IMO, their less-than-perfect response to the idea of homeschooling in the future shouldn't be a deal-breaker.<br><br>
dm
 

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I have just started experiencing this same reaction myself. People feel the need to defend themselves. I find that interesting in and of itself. And of course they have all sorts of weird, misinformed, notions about what homeschooling looks like and what it is. And you can't start saying things like "well, I'd rather my children remain as unique individuals than be molded by their peers to fit into peer culture"...because then of course you are basically insinuating that their poor kids are suffering like that.<br><br>
It's like AP and all the rest, the minute you let people know you are making choices they didn't, they feel the need to defend why what they are doing is better.
 

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my husband is a full-time worship pastor and has worked at a few different churches. as i'm sure you have experienced - not all churches are created alike (by any means!). i believe it is so important to find a church that you would not only work at -- but genuinely want to join and be a part of. i could be totally wrong, but their reaction could be a red flag.
 

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I don't know what kind of church this was, but I wonder if they had some stereotypical ideas about the type of Christians who homeschool, and when you mentioned it, they wondered if you were too conservative or fundamentalist or whatever for their church? A lot of people hear "homeschooler" and think of a family like the Duggars (in other words, lots of kids, denim jumpers, flag on the wall and Bible study at the kitchen table). If this was a more liberal denomination, that image might make them think you're not a good fit for their congregation.
 

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I agree with Piglet68. I think people are more prone to be sensitive and defensive to things they are insecure about. I have noticed a subtle shift in the reactions I have been getting to homeschooling lately. Either because of bad press the schools around here have been getting, or good things about homeschooling that have been in the news, people tend to be jumping to defend their children's schools, or go overboard to explain how great their kid's teacher is. It's as if by saying "we homeschool" I am somehow making a judgement about them and their schooling choices. Which of course I am not! I know how that feels, and I try very hard not to do the same.
 

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And, your kids are young so I think people assume you are still undecided...or worried about leaving them at school and just want reassurance.<br><br>
Some people seem to think you'll change your mind when your kids are 5.<br><br>
That's one reason we didn't really discuss homeschooling with people until my dd was very clsoe to "school age".
 

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I' a Christian and here's my take...I think maybe it makes other Christians feel judged because maybe you might think you are "holier" because you homeschool. I even feel this way sometimes when I find out someone is ultra conservative and I wonder if they consider themselves "more Christian" than we are. Silly, huh? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
Also, I think parents with older kids might feel defensive b/c of what they are going thru with their teens. I am dealing with some stuff with mine right now that makes me feel ashamed. Add to that he is in PS, which I feel other people are judging me, thinking, "why do you allow the boy to go to PS?"<br><br>
Just a few off the top of my head thoughts...<br><br><br>
I know I feel sad that my oldest is not homeschooled. I miss the days when he was.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
This didn't in any way change how we felt about the church or the people and their reactions weren't really over the top - it was just a little strange and new to me. I can generally understand the defensiveness I guess - we've run into the same things with food choices (whole food usually) and no TV which is why we don't talk about them any more. The more I think about it, the more I think that they made assumptions based on news stories or other people they have known. There are all kinds of reasons to homeschool and they don't know ours, but they (I'm guessing) don't have enough experience with homeschoolers to know other reasons. It was just uncomfortable, especially in the context of a job/church situation. I still don't know if I was right to mention it.
 

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Kirsten, we are the only family in our church who homeschools. We get precisely the same reactions from the other members. Everyone at my church believes that going to school is the best thing for mother and child. I get the same things you described about once a month, sometimes more, by some people. Other people with older kids wish they had thought of it themselves. Its another one of those things that I feel almost like we are setting an example for other's to see.<br><br>
As far as whether it was right to mention it... I personally think that is a personal family choice which has no bearing on your employment. I personally wouldnt mention it to any other potential 'employers'. Its nothing to do with them. I would get in there, homeschool when the time comes as if its the most normal, natural thing to do and educate some about it. This is how I handle it.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>genifer</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8226040"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Kirsten, we are the only family in our church who homeschools. We get precisely the same reactions from the other members. Everyone at my church believes that going to school is the best thing for mother and child. I get the same things you described about once a month, sometimes more, by some people. Other people with older kids wish they had thought of it themselves. Its another one of those things that I feel almost like we are setting an example for other's to see.<br></div>
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We are in a similar situation. We belong to a very small UU church. I have noticed a bit of an anti-HSing vibe before, but wasn't sure how many members actually felt this way. There are actually quite a lot of members who are teachers and professors, so I get the feeling there would definitely be those who are against HSing or at least feel defensive about the idea that HSing could possibly be, "as good" as, "real school." There is one particular speaker who has repeatedly said very negative things about HSing. I haven't gathered up the guts to confront him yet.<br><br>
I had only mentioned to one other person that we would be HSing, she was cool with it, but I've been on the look out for other HSing families. Well... I finally found one! In fact they have been right under our noses! They are a family, who also have young children and we actually know them well compared to other members, it's been over a yr since we've known them, but the topic of school has never come up. They are very crunchy in some ways, but never mentioned HSing. I asked her what grade her oldest child was in, and she said she was HSing. I was soooo happy. I said, "I can't believe it, I have been trying to figure out if anyone here HS and all of this time you have been HSing and I didn't realize it!" She was also very surprised (and happy) when she found out we plan to HS, although she had some reservations ("are you just thinking about it, or are you SURE?"). I told her, "I'm SURE! I just got my Oak Meadow curriculum two days ago!" I think it was such a relief for both of us to, "find" one another. There are lots of HSers in our area, but so far she has been the only other secular HSer that I know of, and she told me she noticed the same thing too and has also been worried about finding an inclusive HSing group (basically there isn't one, they are all Christian and make you do some sort of oath to JC).<br><br>
As far as setting an example, we pretty much have the youngest kids in our congregation. I do have to say that I think we have set the std for AP in our church. I think many are very surprised I am still BFing my 22 mo old (although, one member is a former LLL leader, so she is of course is not surprised), I got a LOT of comments when I stopped using my sling (around 14 mo... he started walking and didn't want to be worn). Stuff like, "oh, we were starting to think that you'd NEVER stop using your carrier." I was a little annoyed with that one, but brushed it off. Our congregation is made up of mostly 55+ yr olds who have hippy leanings, but aren't necessarily crunchy. I think that I am throwing them for a loop. In fact, when we first attended, I assumed there would be a lot more crunchier types there, but actually we are pretty high in the crunch meter there, so that was a surprise. In a larger UU church, I am sure there would be many other AP familes like us. We kind of stick out at our church for being unconventional.
 
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