View Full Version : Starting K in a couple weeks w/an unhappy Grandma

08-09-2010, 07:41 PM
Hello everyone my name is Toni. My husband and I have two girls, 4 and 2. My husband is the one who brought up the idea of HSing when our oldest was just a baby. I had never even thought of it before because I always loved school. But the more I though about how much I enjoy spending time with my children the more HSing made sense. And the state of schools these days is very scary.

We live in Illinois and in our area a child needs to be 5 before September 1st to start school that year. Our dd won't be 5 until October but she is very interested in starting school. So I decided that we would begin K this year with the help of "What Your Kindergartener Needs to Know." My thought is that if things don't work out then nothing has been lost, only gained.

I haven't spoke to anyone about our plans for fear of judgement. Today the girls and I met my mother for lunch and she starts with..."your husband said something to me the other day that really has me mad...he said your are thinking of HSing Leta." She went on to tell me what a "stupid" idea it was and that "she needs to learn how to sit at school." ( In my head I'm thinking "how to sit at school" isn't that a stupid idea?!) Is this what my mom is worried about, her sitting skills? Then I hear "she needs friends, her own little friends from school." And of course I say "mom, she already has friends at the library and the YMCA, and her best friend Madeline (my best friends daughter.) She also reminds me how much I loved school to which I respond that school is different today.

But what has me so upset is that she has me second guessing myself. That is the reason for this post, I guess I'm in need of reassuring. I found this site a few weeks ago and have been reading and getting ideas but I haven't posted until this upsetting encounter with my VERY judgemental mom. Maybe I'm just nervous about this whole endeavor and I'm letting her get to me more than she normally does. Thanks for giving me a forum to vent! Toni

08-09-2010, 08:19 PM
Hello, Toni! And welcome to the group, whether you decide to homeschool or not. Yours is a tough (but, sadly, common enough) problem, regarding family members who do not support (or are outright hostile to) one's decision to homeschool. The best I can advise is to remember that these are your children. Your mom had her chance to mother you. Now it is your turn to parent your daughter. As uncomfortable as it can be to feel pressured into second guessing yourself, it can nonetheless be the catalyst that pushes one to think more fully about why they choose to homeschool. (Even if it is such an "enjoyable" process that slamming one's head into a concrete wall seems more fun!) Good luck with whatever you choose, but, of course, if it is homeschooling, you know the terrific people on this site will be there for you!! :) (Good luck too with your judgmental mom. Those seem to pop up a lot more than you would think, unfortunately!) Cheers!

08-09-2010, 09:25 PM
We started homeschooling last year with Pre-K, and now we've been doing Kindergarten for about a month. I've also heard some negative comments from family. There is nothing wrong with just trying things out for this year (that's what we did last year). We found that we really enjoyed the whole process. So now it's even easier for me to dismiss the negative comments or even argue against them more effectively.
I think just giving things a go for this year is a good idea and just try to tell your mom that nothing is official yet, and hopefully she'll back of at least for a little while.

08-09-2010, 09:26 PM
I agree totally with Deanna ! She gave you wonderful advice. You need to do what you feel is best, you can re-evaluate that every year if need be. So that you continue to do what is best for your family. Many family members come around after a while, although some never do.


08-09-2010, 09:26 PM
Welcome to the forums! I'm sorry that your first post was prompted by something unpleasant, but now that you're involved, I hope you decide to stick around ;)

One of the things that I've found to be interesting when dealing with family's criticisms is that it can sometimes stem from their fear of being judged - they sometimes feel that your desire to make different choices with your children is a comment on their ability as a parent, or that you're saying that they didn't do a good job/make a good choice when raising you. It can help stem the criticisms to have a heart to heart where you explain that your different decisions are just what you think will work for your family based on the information yo have and what your circumstances allow. Reassure them that they did a great job and that you value their input, while at the same time gently letting them know that this is your child and like Deanna said, now it's your turn to parent your daughter.

I think your idea of giving it a trial run this year is a good one - but keep in mind, too that K is still such fun - don;t try to cram too much academic excellence into her head :)
Welcome, again!!

08-09-2010, 09:32 PM
Is your mom the type to respond to a researched, well-thought-out response to each of her concerns about homeschooling? (I mean, will appealing to her logic over her emotion work?) Sometimes that works to help ease your insecurities and her fears (yes, we all feel insecure when we start! I totally still have panic moments, even almost a successful year later,lol!)

If not, maybe you can reassure her that your DD would not be starting Kinder this year anyhow and that you are just following your DDs lead; her interest in all things school related. Maybe find a way to involve her as you "test the waters" to see if homeschooling might work for your family?

Regardless, only you and your husband can decide if hsing is right for you. And it just might be right this year and not right next year. Sometimes you just have to try to find out!

Big hugs and best wishes...from someone who came to hsing kicking and screaming! :)

-Heather in TX

08-09-2010, 11:17 PM
Welcome to the group! Glad to have you here! Your situation sounds a lot like mine here! Any chance you are north of Chicago? LOL I am dieing for a HS friend in real life! We are starting this year with our daughter who will be 5 in January she is very ready for school and making her wait another year would just be crazy! My mom also sounds like yours! She told me that school is not just about learning it is also about socialization and structure... blah!

08-09-2010, 11:41 PM
Hi Toni, welcome to the group!
I had a similar experience with my mother-in-law. Try to remember to take all the negativity in stride (I still need practice, lol). Most people who are negative toward homeschooling are negative because they don't understand it and anything "new" is scary and considered not normal. Myself, I gathered all the information I could (both positive and negative) and talked very frankly with my mother-in-law. 3 years later, she's one of our biggest supporters AND actually apologized for being so harsh in the beginning.

Only you know what is right for your family. Homeschooling is a lifestyle and a never-ending journey. There are always going to be those people who throw negativity in your face. Unfortunately, that includes family. :( Keep your head up and enjoy spending time with your children and educating them! :)

08-09-2010, 11:47 PM
I am in the same situation age wise, and have simply stated -to those who I am not sure of support with- that I am doing home Pre-K ( regardless of the actual work we are doing and regardless of my plans to continue HSing next year). Nobody seems to criticize or question that.

In fact, my MIL watches DS twice a week, and once when hubby went to pick him up, she greeted hubby at the door with "Did you know he can read?"

No, Mom, we had no idea, how did that happen? lol

08-10-2010, 12:07 AM
Welcome to the group, Toni! I echo what others have already said. And of course, you have a whole year of informal HSing to see if it is a "fit" for your family, since your child still has another year to go before formal schooling could start. If it works well, then you have some reasons to discuss with your mother to continue, and if not, then no harm done and you can send her to public school. But it is YOUR family's decision, not your mothers.

I think you'll find this a very supportive and informative community. I just started homeschooling last year with my middle school son, but I wish I had started years ago with both of my kids.

08-10-2010, 01:08 AM
Welcome and you have received great advice. One point that may help alleivate some fears is to let your mum know that it is just for this year, there are no firm comittments and you will all reasses as a family at the end of the year. I think knowing that you are open to school (even if in your heart you don't end up feeling that way) it can help alleviate family members fears...well it did help for me anyway.

School is such a part of society that to go against that you are going against everything in some people's eyes. Including how you were parented, it really attacks and eats away at what the 'norm' believe to be right for our kids. I guess just like home birthing and non vaccinating, when you go against mainstream you are bound to come up against ridicule. When you feel comfortable and content in your decision it won't bother you any longer. It took me nearly 2 years to get to that stage and every now and then I do still feel small pangs of angst, but they quickly pass.

My MIL was very against it in the beginning (3 years ago) she is an early childhood teacher. Whilst I wouldn't say that she is now a biggest fan she has certainly come around in the past 3 years. It does take time and once they see the children growing and blossoming they quickly realise that they had nothing to worry about.

I am waiting for high school, when I am sure it will all start again, we have few years to go though!

Best of luck with it all.

08-10-2010, 05:37 AM
Welcome Toni! You've received so much excellent advice I have nothing more to offer, but I just wanted to say hi and welcome and hope it all works out for you. :)

08-10-2010, 11:05 AM
I haven't had time to go back and read everyone's responses-but if I know this group I know they are awesome and full of encouragement.

I did want to say that when I first told my mom about HSing she pretty much said all the same things-but within about 6 months she was on board-now she calls me to tell me stories of other people's kids in school and always ends with "I'm so glad you decided to homeschool"

as they say "The proof is in the pudding" don't let other people discourage you from doing this-just prove them all wrong!

08-10-2010, 04:35 PM
Thank you all for your kind words. I do feel this is right for our family. I want to be with them when they are learning new things. I remember with happiness their first smiles, steps, teeth, and so many other firsts that I want to be apart of their first schooling experiences.

Thank you Instinctive Mom, I will be sure to keep kindergartern fun! I'm just not sure if we need some structure or a loose schedule as I do work Wed - Sat evenings. Guess we will figure that out as we go.

Sarbare0704- Yes we are north of Chicago, actually we are just about 15 minutes from the Wisconsin border. We live in Loves Park.

Again I thank you all for the warm welcome and I look forward to finding more information and how to's in the forums. Toni

08-10-2010, 05:44 PM
Sarbare0704- Yes we are north of Chicago, actually we are just about 15 minutes from the Wisconsin border. We live in Loves Park.

Awesome! We are in Kenosha about an hour and a half away. Maybe at some point we could meet half way or something for a field trip :)
I am sure you will find tons of great info on here! This group is great!

08-10-2010, 06:26 PM
Sounds like a good idea Sara-we just went to the Madison zoo on Sunday. And we will go again soon. I will be sure to give you a heads up when we do.

08-10-2010, 07:30 PM
Oh we love that zoo! We usually prefer to go there even though Milwaukee is closer. It is just as nice and free! Who doesn't love that! Milwaukee costs a small fortune!