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ljswriter
08-21-2013, 08:31 AM
Okay, I'd REALLY value some advice on a sticky issue I'll be addressing after I get some sleep.

My DH takes DD to work with him at the school where she takes Tae Kwon Do lessons. His boss (DD's instructor) started harping yesterday about us homeschooling, saying how it's "too hard" and that DD should be bringing "homework" to do while she's there. FYI she brings books, her iPad, crayons, etc., but when she tries to use them he interrupts and tells her to go jump rope or do something physical.

DH tried explaining she's learning all the time and we're happy with our homeschool plan, but it wasn't getting through. Since it isn't the guy's business anyway, DH just let it go. Then after class the boss introduces this parent with a Masters in education, and in very broken English the two of them launch this plan about this woman teaching math to DD for free. "Because sometimes DD does things and sometimes she doesn't." Whatever that means. Politely declining the offer took several tries, and while the woman finally got it when DH kept saying "my wife handles the homeschool and we have a plan already in place", the boss was still on his soapbox until DH finally just left.

Now, this guy might honestly think he's helping, but I feel he overstepped his bounds by going around us without permission to discuss our DD's imagined shortcomings with a total stranger. I was also bothered that he said all this in front of DD, so she's now aware he apparently thinks of her as dumb/improperly educated and talks about her to other parents. I feel we need to let him know any future discussion should come to us and not other parents at the dojo, but since there's a paycheck involved I'm leery about how to approach it. I don't want to cause more problems than I solve. I'll be the one doing the talking since the boss doesn't listen to DH and I was touted as "Thee Homeschool Planner". How can I broach this so it's simple (language barrier), direct, and won't result in grief for DH? :confused:

zette
08-21-2013, 09:47 AM
Not sure I've got this right -- I take it your DH works for the Tae Kwon Do school, your daughter takes Tae Kwon Do lessons from his boss, and also has some time where she is not actually in a class while DH is teaching a different class? I'm guessing there may also be a cultural thing here where in the boss's native culture it's normal for a boss or teacher to have a special authority that gives him the right to meddle? It seems to me that you may not be able to discuss this head-on, but might need to shut it down with maneuvering and ultra-politeness. I'd ask for advice from a friend from that culture.

farrarwilliams
08-21-2013, 10:24 AM
Yeah, I had the same questions as Zette... And you guys are in the US? But the boss has another language as his first language, yes?

I mean, if it was just her Tae Kwon Do teacher, I'd say find another Tae Kwon Do teacher. But if he's your dh's boss... oy. That's tricky. I mean, obviously it's none of his business and you guys need get him clear about that, but you can't do it as rudely as is really warranted by his rudeness. How safe is your dh's job?

Mum
08-21-2013, 11:18 AM
Ugh. That's a sticky mess. Why some people feel the need to stick their nose in like that is beyond my comprehension...

Is it an option to simply NOT have her there when she's not taking a class? That would be the easiest way to avoid the issue without more tension mounting between your husband and his boss.

Otherwise, I'd recommend sending her with an agenda of things to do when she's there. That sucks, because she should be free to do whatever she wants if you and hubs are ok with it. But to keep down the friction between DH and Boss, she might have to come with prepared "work".

Good luck.

Jeni
08-21-2013, 11:51 AM
Why is she hanging out with dad at work? I've heard of that when a parent has an office where their kid is out of sight, but this sort of sounds unprofessional. Is there a way you can just pick her up after class so she's not spending more time there then necessary? From what you're saying, it seems that your daughter is spending too much time with the boss who I'm going to assume has no kids. I guess it comes down to your work schedules and what you value most.

I agree, if you can't pick her up, which would be your best option, then send her with school work.

CatInTheSun
08-21-2013, 12:16 PM
I think it is up to dh to say something like, "Kyo/Sa Bum Nim, inside the dojang you are my boss and instruct myself and daughter in TKD. I appreciate your concern and care for my family, but I ask that we no longer discuss homeschooling inside the dojang. Please respect my decision as head of my family to homeschool. That is a decision outside of the dojang. Let us leave it there. I ask you with greatest respect, Kyo/Sa Bum Nim."

melissa
08-21-2013, 12:33 PM
I agree that it is a culture thing. My neighbor is from Liberia and he thinks we are "spoiling" ds by homeschooling him. If this had been said by ANY one else, I'd be ticked off big time. He just doesn't "get" the concept of homeschooling. I just let it go. BUT, my ds isn't around this man very much, in your case your dd has to hear this from someone she sees regularly. I agree with the above posters, either get her out of there when she's not in class, or load her up with some "schooly" things to occupy her while there. Either way, good luck.

jess
08-21-2013, 12:42 PM
I agree that it is a culture thing. My neighbor is from Liberia and he thinks we are "spoiling" ds by homeschooling him. If this had been said by ANY one else, I'd be ticked off big time. He just doesn't "get" the concept of homeschooling. I just let it go. BUT, my ds isn't around this man very much, in your case your dd has to hear this from someone she sees regularly. I agree with the above posters, either get her out of there when she's not in class, or load her up with some "schooly" things to occupy her while there. Either way, good luck.

I agree. If sending her with DH is the only options, give her something that appears traditionally schoolish to do while she's there.

ljswriter
08-21-2013, 03:23 PM
Okay, thanks for the input!

To answer some questions:

Yes, we're in the US. My DD takes Tae Kwon Do classes at a studio where my husband took a part time job. She stays with him because I work full time and we do not choose to shuttle her off to a daycare arrangement. He took that particular job specifically because he was allowed to keep her with him. Even if she took classes elsewhere (which she can't because we're on a contract), she'd still be at this place.

I honestly don't see sending her with more "schoolish" things to do than the books, paper, and iPad she already takes. We aren't homeschooling to satisfy other people's views of education. We are relaxed unschoolers and I wouldn't force math drills and workbooks on her just because someone thinks it's a good idea. I quit a charter program for that reason.

Really, the question I asked is how to explain I don't want him talking "out of school" to other parents and trying to intervene. I don't want to make too big a deal, but we feel if nothing is said he'll keep on making my DD feel bad, pressuring my DH about bookwork, and bringing random strangers in on the issue. Maybe it's cultural, maybe back to school fever's got everyone in a tizzy, I don't know--I have no Korean friends to ask. I'm supposed to go over there in a little while to discuss it, but I'm not sure how best to approach it.

ljswriter
08-21-2013, 04:20 PM
I think it is up to dh to say something like, "Kyo/Sa Bum Nim, inside the dojang you are my boss and instruct myself and daughter in TKD...

Cat, thanks so much for that perspective. My initial instinct was also that DH should handle it, since he's the one working at the school and wrangling our DD while he's there. His issue is he doesn't feel his boss listens to him at all about anything, so it would be a waste of time. Maybe we'll talk that through again.

iris0110
08-21-2013, 06:40 PM
I think Cat's advice is the best. Dh instructs at the TKD dojo that we all attend, the difference is that he does it for free and our master is not present 90% of the time. It becomes a very long story to explain the whole thing but at this point the boys and I are not present if our master is, we do have the other instructor (and business partner) present most of the time. I have a bit of an attitude issue and if something like this had happened I would have said something, probably not particularly nice or helpful. But dh teaches for free and at this point our master is in a bit of a bind if dh walks. My boys used to do "homework" at the dojo but now they just read. I guess I'm saying our family is in a similar situation, I just don't have particularly helpful advice because as dh says my first reaction tends to be "burn it all."

lakshmi
08-22-2013, 12:25 AM
I'll answer this question with a story.

In China during my externship a classmate asked the Chinese doctor if we could do something.. I don't even remember what it was.. But I do remember her answer.

Yes.


We never did the thing. Just say yes and then never do it. Play along, make nice. FAke it. Yeah it's a lie, who cares, he doesn't as long as he feels heard. So. he oversteps.. big deal. if it keeps happening after awhile then deal with it. Sometimes things just have to take their own time.

CrazyCatWoman
08-22-2013, 01:20 AM
Lakshmi does make a good point. And if that doesn't work....see if you can hire a homeschooling teen from nearby to watch your daughter during the time that she is not in class. If possible, someone who can walk her to and from. Out of sight, out of mind.

Jeni
08-22-2013, 03:25 PM
I'll answer this question with a story.

In China during my externship a classmate asked the Chinese doctor if we could do something.. I don't even remember what it was.. But I do remember her answer.

Yes.


We never did the thing. Just say yes and then never do it. Play along, make nice. FAke it. Yeah it's a lie, who cares, he doesn't as long as he feels heard. So. he oversteps.. big deal. if it keeps happening after awhile then deal with it. Sometimes things just have to take their own time.


And at the end of the day, this is his place of business you're bringing your child to. If he wants to comment about her work, or lack thereof, to other parents he can. Unless he's really slandering her or your family, calling names, or something that constitutes harassment, there isn't much you can do other then ask him to stop.

Take it a step further and explain to your daughter about the cultural difference and that she will always face this, especially as an unschooler. People won't get it, they will make comments, and those who don't understand often think they know better and will try to change her. Use it as a lesson about standing up for one's self and being firm, but also being aware that people will disagree and sometimes you don't have the room to make a fuss because other things (like income) are at risk.

farrarwilliams
08-22-2013, 03:52 PM
And at the end of the day, this is his place of business you're bringing your child to. If he wants to comment about her work, or lack thereof, to other parents he can. Unless he's really slandering her or your family, calling names, or something that constitutes harassment, there isn't much you can do other then ask him to stop.

Take it a step further and explain to your daughter about the cultural difference and that she will always face this, especially as an unschooler. People won't get it, they will make comments, and those who don't understand often think they know better and will try to change her. Use it as a lesson about standing up for one's self and being firm, but also being aware that people will disagree and sometimes you don't have the room to make a fuss because other things (like income) are at risk.

Actually, I don't buy that. You own the business, so you can say *anything* you want to your employees or to anyone on the premises? I don't think so. He agreed when he hired the OP's dh that he could bring his dd while he worked. That doesn't give him the right to demean her education, which is what he's doing, or to take it upon himself to hire someone else to educate her. I think that IS harassment and name calling. And I think it's totally inappropriate for a child to have to stand up to an adult in this situation. Her father is there and should protect her from this sort of thing.

I mean, in the end, I think being firm and clear and polite and drawing boundaries will hopefully solve this problem. But I don't this the dd should have to solve it. And I don't think the OP's family should have to say, oh well, we just have to take it no matter what he says.

jess
08-22-2013, 04:44 PM
I honestly don't see sending her with more "schoolish" things to do than the books, paper, and iPad she already takes. We aren't homeschooling to satisfy other people's views of education. We are relaxed unschoolers and I wouldn't force math drills and workbooks on her just because someone thinks it's a good idea. I quit a charter program for that reason.

I understand what you're saying. However, since it doesn't sound like he's willing to accept explanation or parental autonomy, I guess it's a question of whether your ideals or the income is more important.

There's quite a difference between sending along something that appears more schoolish and forcing math drills. There are some workbooks and textbooks that are relatively engaging. Letting her choose what she wants to do from a range of choices is not the same as forcing specific lessons in a specific order from a specific curriculum.

The iPad may also be a mental sticking point for him. You and I know they can be great educational tools, but a lot of people look at them and assume it's just screen time. I'd imagine this to be especially true of an older martial arts instructor, who probably has to deal with kids who would rather be on their ipad (cellphone, etc.) than at class. If she's visible to people passing by or entering the studio, he may also be concerned about the image she sends. I don't know what books she's reading, but similar might apply if they appear to be "twaddle" (for lack of a better word) - and for someone raised in a culture where fiction is not valued (I'm not trying to say that Korea is that way - I frankly have no clue), that could be pretty much anything.

It might help, instead of saying "my wife is handling it" to be more specific and say "My wife formally teaches math, science, writing, grammar, history, etc, in the mornings and evenings. When we are here, we choose to have her focus on things that can be done independently so that I can focus on my job." Even if this isn't strictly true.


Actually, I don't buy that. You own the business, so you can say *anything* you want to your employees or to anyone on the premises? I don't think so. He agreed when he hired the OP's dh that he could bring his dd while he worked. That doesn't give him the right to demean her education, which is what he's doing, or to take it upon himself to hire someone else to educate her. I think that IS harassment and name calling. And I think it's totally inappropriate for a child to have to stand up to an adult in this situation. Her father is there and should protect her from this sort of thing.

I mean, in the end, I think being firm and clear and polite and drawing boundaries will hopefully solve this problem. But I don't this the dd should have to solve it. And I don't think the OP's family should have to say, oh well, we just have to take it no matter what he says.

I agree with you. He doesn't have a right to do or say anything he wants. However, as he is doing them a favor by allowing DH to bring DD, he does have a right to say that the situation isn't working out and insist the DH make other childcare arrangements or fire him entirely, which may limit what they are reasonably able to say if they want the situation to work out.

ljswriter
08-22-2013, 05:36 PM
Thanks to everyone for all this great input. I like viewing an issue from all angles before jumping on a decision.

After giving it some thought and chatting more with DH, we decided to let it go for the time being. Nothing more was said by the teacher yesterday (yet), and the bottom line is we don't honestly think the job is long for this world anyway. There are too many other unrelated issues (sounds like Iris can relate). We realize now that quitting will happen--it's just a matter of whether it comes before or when DD's class contract expires. Hopefully we'll have another income option in place if a departure comes sooner than later.

farrarwilliams
08-22-2013, 05:37 PM
Agreed on all points, Jess. What the boss is doing crosses a line, but practically speaking, the whole situation is so sticky that if they can't make him see that they're the parents and he needs to leave her alone, then they have to make a choice about what's more important.

jess
08-23-2013, 12:19 PM
By the way, if I sound unsympathetic, I'm not. Your description of this teacher is pushing my buttons from similar previous experience of my own with a martial arts teacher who refused to respect my boundaries. I'm sorry that it isn't working out well all around, and I hope your DH finds a better option soon!