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Museling
04-03-2010, 03:41 AM
So, I haven't started homeschooling and officially, I am only entertaining the idea for the summer to try it out, a 'dipping of one's toes in the water' so to speak. I have been excited about this idea, this new concept of opportunities, but I'm still guarded about my own limitations, my son's limitations. There are millions of children in public school and a good lot of them turn out okay so why couldn't Logan do the same? I'm for many of the reasons to go to public school as I am for the reasons to homeschool and I don't think my desire to see what works best for us, for him, is a wrong one to pursue.....is it?

Now that I've let the cat out of the bag, that we're, "Going to be looking into this as a alternative to a system we're not wholly satisfied with," as a blanket statement -I've been told I'm going to do a disservice, I'm going to undermine and ultimately, I'm going to damage my son. WHA?! Nobody told me I was damaging my child by teaching him to walk instead of handing it over to a trained professional....maybe I should have known better.

Sorry for this bounce around ravings of a mad woman, but I just had a conversation with my brother in law, who, due to his nerd status and imploring wish to be understood in general (he tells dead baby jokes for crying out loud! you have to 'understand' him) I thought would be at the very least open and understanding to my desire of wanting to explore this and his brother's desire to give it a chance. He was worse than his mother! All that I said about damaging and undermining were direct quotes from him! Really? Well, buddy, you wife isn't breast feeding your baby so she's going to be a disconnected child who will never understand love....you like hearing that??? UGH! (I don't believe that, by the way, but I've heard it as an argument for breastfeeding)

I hope that no matter what I do, I will not teach my son to be so judgmental and unforgiving -for standing up that one institution is better than another, what a way to bring the fly's to the honey. I never realized how much this could polarize people. *directed at brother in law* Did you forget what you went through and because you interpret my desire as a threat to your situation I should subject my son to this travesty of a school 'system' just to make you feel better about yourself? Sorry, but your understanding badge has been revoked! :mad:

Riceball_Mommy
04-03-2010, 07:51 AM
I'm sorry your experiencing that kind of opposition. I've had some pretty negative reactions myself to our decision to homeschool. I didn't think people would react so strongly, to a decision I was making about my child.
I think it may just be that some people feel that you are in a way judging the choices that were made by them for their children or their parents. When really it's not saying in general that public schools are bad, you are just saying that public schools aren't the best choice for your family right now. Also I think they get the idea stuck in their head of homeschoolers that are alone, not social at all and involved in nothing and just don't want to believe that the child they know would be suited for that kind of solitary life. I suppose those will be the first people to ask about socialization as well.

Snoopy
04-03-2010, 09:23 AM
(((HUGS)))

I totally agree with Riceball_Mommy's assessment of the situation. Museling, I think that trying to garner support from people who don't know the first thing about homeschooling might be a waste of time. Personally, I would not broach the discussion with them (as I consider it MY decision and I couldn't care less what other people who don't have a say in my kid's education think) and if they tried to discuss it with me, I would tell them to mind their own business. Like it or not, the vast majority of people who choose to send their kids to p.s. school think homeschoolers are weird, unsocialized, and a threat to them for the reasons Riceball_Mommy noted.

If you haven't already done so, next time your BIL expresses those thoughts without you asking him for feedback, tell him what you just told us. While you shouldn't care about what he thinks, there is no reason to let him entertain thoughts of any type of superiority. And I really like your repartee :)

Yarngoddess
04-03-2010, 10:05 AM
I too have started encountering Family Stress over our homeschool decision. We decided to homeschool BEFORE we had kids. Seriously- I've known for 10years that my kids would be homeschooled. ALL of our family has known our decision to homeschool our 4 kids. Now, my 8yr old son has been in school here for 2 years, and I'm very impressed with his progress. My 6yr old daughter starts school this new year, and ALL of my Husband's side of the family has decided that because my Daughter is so SMART and SOCIAL and PRETTY (exact words) that she should be in public school. They feel that she has a "Right to a PUBLIC EDUCATION" (again their words). I have tried to be open, honest. To answer their questions, to seek feedback from them and have adult conversations about our decision. NOTHING works. NOTHING helps them to understand my position that Homeschool is what WORKS for our family.

My new position, the stance my husband and I have been forced to take is this. We are Homeschooling our children. WE make the decisions about our kids, and NO it's not up for debate. If someone wants to argue, make themselves look so smart or right- we don't discuss PERSONAL and PRIVATE family decisions that WE-mom and dad have made. Period.
I have learned to set FIRM boundaries with ALL extended family members, as well as our extensive friends that are really family members, lol. I realize and accept that people have opinions about HOW school should look and feel and WHEN kids should be educated and WHO should be their teachers. I aknowledge that they all have their opinions, and encourage them to send THEIR kids to whatever school they choose.

Snoopy
04-03-2010, 10:34 AM
My 6yr old daughter starts school this new year, and ALL of my Husband's side of the family has decided that because my Daughter is so SMART and SOCIAL and PRETTY (exact words) that she should be in public school.

Welcome to the group, Yarngoddess! My, my, she's "too pretty" to be homeschooled? Yeah, that's an argument in favor of public education right there... Good grief people can be morons. Maybe you should start sending them all the articles that we keep on seeing about students being victimized by teachers for their, uh "beauty", both female and male. Just this week we had a couple of them here, father and son team, father a 2nd grade teacher (the wife is the principal of an elementary school), the adult son, I'm not sure, but both of them with child pornography on their computers. While the vast majority of p.s. teachers aren't pedophiles (at least, I hope not!), maybe using beauty as a reason why a child should be homeschooled isn't the best criteria to send her to p.s. So glad for you that you decided to tell them all to back off.

Museling
04-03-2010, 10:53 AM
Thank you everyone, I do tend to be one that invites opposition in because I like understanding the other side of the coin. Information will always put you in a better position to act, decide, and or emotionally compensate....whether you use it or not is another issue. But now I know better. Remembering back to when we first had Logan and talking about breastfeeding, and what diaper to use, sleeping routines was nowhere near as hot-button as this.

If he, or any of those who have voiced their opposition to even trying this, thankfully I have enough 'ammo' to remind them they haven't made the most popular decisions and look how they turned out. Everyone else, I'm just going to nunyabizniss them.

CroppinMom
04-03-2010, 07:16 PM
Denise,

I love the nunyabizniss idea! That is a great way to look at it!

Yarngoddess,

Welcome to the site! I completely agree with your firm stance. We were ready to do that if necessary but it didn't come to that.

Shoe
04-03-2010, 10:09 PM
I'm sorry you're experiencing family issues. I'm surprised at the acceptance I've got from mine (except for a few skeptical comments from my father like "Is he learning anything?"). Home schooling is a big decision and shouldn't be made lightly-you need to be comfortable with the fact that it is the right thing to do for your child(ren) at this point in time. If you are certain of that, then frankly, it really doesn't matter what your extended family thinks-YOU are the one responsible for your kids, NOT them. As a parent, you are the one who knows what is best for your child...and that may vary at different points in time. But it is YOUR decision, not your extended family's.

Take some comfort in the fact that there are many, many homeschooling families out there that will support your decision (including a lot here, it seems), and try to slowly and surely counter any arguments your family may have, including by showing the results as you go along (since I am confident that a child who is home educated by a dedicated parent will perform at least as well as any publicly educated child).

If you are not sure home schooling is the right thing for your family at this point in time, I would humbly suggest that you keep researching and exploring all your options. If you're not comfortable with it, then it's no wonder your family isn't...and much harder to convince them when you yourself are not convinced.

Good luck. I've only been here a short time, but reading a lot of the posts from these forums has given me a lot of support and comfort. I hope it will do the same for you.

Cheers.

Museling
04-03-2010, 10:34 PM
I think what got me was that his opposition to it was so ignorant, even to the fact that we have had such a horrible experience that why would we not think of pursuing an alternative to what we've been going through.

You are right though, about becoming sure that this is the right decision for us. I would be lying if I said that I was sure right now, but what is nice about this decision is that it's only set in stone if we make it so -the only rules that we adhere to are the ones we make for ourselves and I'm thankful for those people that I do have in real life and likely here too that wouldn't rub my nose in it. For right now, I'm convinced that trying it out over the summer, especially since the whole idea of summer break isn't one that Logan has had a chance to idealize yet, is the best decision and that three months of seeing what our family is capable of will give us the insight we need to quiet our own fears. Now that I've got part of my plan in action: A few ciriculums ordered and plans to turn the office into the 'learning room' where we can a place to work in that isn't around the household distractions I feel much more sure that this is right. Having Logan home this past week with a virus has allowed him to decompress from school and already I see really good changes not being in the environment- even while hacking a lung up! So each day that goes by and I get more and more accustomed to the idea, I'm feeling more sure :)

Thank you for the luck!

Snoopy
04-03-2010, 11:08 PM
Just want to pop in to say... don't get too hung up on a schooling room either. Be as flexible with that as you are with everything else. We started doing school in our playroom, moved to the living room the following year, moved to the kitchen last year when working at the coffee table no longer was comfortable, moved back into the playroom now reorganized somewhat as a tiny den/school space for Noah and I with our desks really close to one another's. But we move to the couch for reading books together and for history and science... we do our science experiments in the kitchen since I have a large table there. We've taken books and school work to the zoo, the park. We school in the car. We've schooled in the yard too but because it's often so hot and humid here in FL, we do the bulk of our schoolwork indoors. Anyway, as you consider whether homeschooling is a good fit for Logan and you this summer, remember that many of us are making constant adjustments to our methods, the resources we use, and even the places where the kids do their schoolwork... make sure you provide him with a place to do work if he wishes to (like a desk or a table), but be open to let him do his work wherever he's the most comfortable. It'll make your experience all the more enjoyable :)

Museling
04-04-2010, 01:23 PM
Snoopy: oh yes! definitely! My main plan for the room (other than having an excuse to clean it up) is to have it where big projects/papers/things can be put and left as is and not cleaned up because we need to cook dinner or eat. We don't have a small house, but it's definitely good that I have an only! Real estate within our own home comes at a big price! :) But that way, we can have school at home without home being full of school (I really hope I'm making sense!)

I think that is the one thing that I am sooooo excited about -that we can change, evolve, seek out new life and new civili- doh! wrong mission statement! :D But serious, we can search out what works for us, not for the school. ;)

Rose
04-27-2010, 01:37 AM
I've been fortunate to have very little, if any, negative response from our family. I never really thought about it before, but maybe they thought I was homeschooling for religious reasons and they were ok with that. ha ha!

For other people, and some family that don't really understand homeschooling, I don't offer any information about our homeschooling, at all.

I see that there are some people that may never understand homeschooling mostly because they can only relate to some kind of societal norm. I see those people as similar to conservatives christians. They are stuck on one idea and I'm not interested in wasting my time convincing them of anything different. I usually just give them very vague answers like when they ask if my kids are doing well in their school work, (we unschool too) I just tell them that they are doing great and their favorite subject is science! That seems normal to them and they shut up. Why offer them any more than that?

I also taught my kids to just change the subject a bit when their aunts and uncles ask them questions. If they asked them something specific, (why should any adult ask a kid to do a math problem when the kid is concentrating on playing with their cousins anyway?), they were to tell them something they DID know instead. Of course they blew them away with the kind of stuff they were learning from watching Discovery or History channel, for FUN!

Museling
04-27-2010, 09:02 AM
I also taught my kids to just change the subject a bit when their aunts and uncles ask them questions. If they asked them something specific, (why should any adult ask a kid to do a math problem when the kid is concentrating on playing with their cousins anyway?), they were to tell them something they DID know instead. Of course they blew them away with the kind of stuff they were learning from watching Discovery or History channel, for FUN!

Lol! Yeah, I think that might end up being my biggest issue with the family where because they are concerned now (....as opposed to when he first started school? really?) that he's not going to get a proper education (...in public school we trust...) and have had my mother-in-law say things like, "You know, I was trying to give him a lesson when we went to the zoo about the animals and he wouldn't listen to me! How do you expect him to listen to you everyday if he won't listen to me?" (....she called herself Grammy, after the award....did I mention I was a vessel that birthed my husbands clone? At least I did contribute a good nose to their gene pool) But to that question I told her that he's, believe it or not, different around his parents because we don't let the Golden Child run rampant or rule the roost.

I can't wait though, for the day when we tell them that it's official. Talking to Logan about it here and there, he's so excited that he gets to begin school at home. I'm so amazed by my little boy...I can tell he's put a lot of thought and consideration and this is what he thinks is the best thing for himself, and this is with me being more pragmatic and looming scary mommy who's going to take away all your toys if you don't work than, "Oh the fun!" So when they're told and they freak out, I can't wait to ask my mother in law, "Did you ask Logan what he wants to do?" because he'll pipe up with, "Grammy, I'm very serious! I want to do this because I will be able to learn more and I don't have to worry about Jordan or Alyssa messing with me and making me get in trouble. I'm very super serious and I'm going to work really hard and do a good job." (this was what he said when Daddy grilled him) How can you say this is a categorically bad idea at that?

Shoe
04-27-2010, 11:06 AM
I was just up in Canada visiting my parents and my brother. My parents are fairly accepting of our decision to home school, even if they are a bit dubious about our abilities. However, when I mentioned to my brother that we had been homeschooling my son and were going to homeschool both kids next year, he blew up and went into attack mode! (I get along with my brother very well, but most of our discussions get very heated...) He ranted on and on questioning my ability to be a good teacher and to offer a good academic program, questioning the socialization my kids will get, questioning the social values and general outlook they would get (any world view I might teach them in home schooling is probably the same one they would see me model every day anyway, no?), etc. He continued to rant that it should be illegal to homeschool, that the government should "do something" to stop it, and on and on...

It was actually quite humorous. Fortunately, as I have done my homework, I was able to counter most of his arguments and provide some solid justification for our decision (not that I need to justify it to family, but it often helps keep the peace, you know). Anyway, long story short...I may not have convinced him of the benefits of a home education, but at least he was willing to listen and was open to the possibility by the end of our conversation. Hopefully, I can change his attitude more as he sees the progress my kids make and he realizes that they aren't becoming socially inept, psychopathic recluses...

Snoopy
04-27-2010, 12:05 PM
Shoe, good for you to keep a level head through all of this!

Shoe
04-27-2010, 12:45 PM
Shoe, good for you to keep a level head through all of this!

Well, a few factors help with that:

1. He has no authority to prevent my home education, so his opinion is just that...not any kind of binding decision, and I can pretty much ignore him outside of the moment :D.
2. Although we are politically and philosophically almost diametrically opposed, I have a great love and respect for my younger brother and he respects me as well. Our conversations often turn into heated arguments about things, but it doesn't change our relationship at its core. He makes his opinions known (and he holds strong ones) but in the end, he usually respects my choices, even though he disagrees. A healthy, if unspoken, "agree to disagree" policy exists, but it doesn't preclude strong arguments and attempts to persuade the other of one's view.

reversemigration
04-27-2010, 01:03 PM
Well, a few factors help with that:

1. He has no authority to prevent my home education, so his opinion is just that...not any kind of binding decision, and I can pretty much ignore him outside of the moment :D.
2. Although we are politically and philosophically almost diametrically opposed, I have a great love and respect for my younger brother and he respects me as well. Our conversations often turn into heated arguments about things, but it doesn't change our relationship at its core. He makes his opinions known (and he holds strong ones) but in the end, he usually respects my choices, even though he disagrees. A healthy, if unspoken, "agree to disagree" policy exists, but it doesn't preclude strong arguments and attempts to persuade the other of one's view.

I think that's a positive relationship, Shoe. It also helps you think about your decisions; not necessarily that you'll change, but in that you have to defend your position and thus have that knowledge at the ready. I know I'm better prepared to defend my actions when I think someone might challenge them.

My family is a little unsure, but they've been supportive thus far...we'll see how that lasts as next fall approaches.

elinnea
04-27-2010, 01:39 PM
My family has always been supportive. I think my Mom was a bit hesitant about certain aspects at first but she knows how crappy our school district is and that it isn't really an alternative for my kids. I think after the first year and seeing how the boys thrived have erased any uncertainties for her. From friends and acquaintances I've gotten all sorts of responses, mostly positive though. I don't really broadcast that we are homeschoolers. If people ask I say we are and that we like it and that's it. If they have questions I'll answer them but I don't let myself get drawn into a debate. My husband's family is German and homeschool is illegal and therefore virtually unknown there so they have been the most critical of our decision. I told them though that that was our decision and wasn't up for discussions. Period. If they have questions I'm happy to answer them but I don't feel I need to defend my choice at all. I know what is best for my kids and it's MY time that is being invested in homeschooling them so really it's not anyone else's business.

Museling
04-28-2010, 09:20 AM
It was actually quite humorous. Fortunately, as I have done my homework, I was able to counter most of his arguments and provide some solid justification for our decision (not that I need to justify it to family, but it often helps keep the peace, you know). Anyway, long story short...I may not have convinced him of the benefits of a home education, but at least he was willing to listen and was open to the possibility by the end of our conversation. Hopefully, I can change his attitude more as he sees the progress my kids make and he realizes that they aren't becoming socially inept, psychopathic recluses...

Wait....you mean this isn't for turning kids into socially inept, psychopathic recluses?! Well darn it! ;)

Shoe, it sounds like you have a similar relationship to the one my husband has with his (lol, did you use to threaten to spit skittle loogies at him when you were younger?). We saw his brother this weekend and Mike was going on and on about the R.E.A.L. life science curriculum to him and, I think his wife had a talk with him (I love that wives have that power) and he seems a bit more 'open' to the idea. I'm glad to hear your parents are coming around to the idea and being more supportive. It gives me hope that we'll eventually get there with my in laws.

Shoe
04-28-2010, 10:45 AM
Wait....you mean this isn't for turning kids into socially inept, psychopathic recluses?! Well darn it! ;)
Well, only if they want to...I can't force my own traits and habits onto my children..


Shoe, it sounds like you have a similar relationship to the one my husband has with his (lol, did you use to threaten to spit skittle loogies at him when you were younger?). We saw his brother this weekend and Mike was going on and on about the R.E.A.L. life science curriculum to him and, I think his wife had a talk with him (I love that wives have that power) and he seems a bit more 'open' to the idea. I'm glad to hear your parents are coming around to the idea and being more supportive. It gives me hope that we'll eventually get there with my in laws.Threaten to spit skittle loogies at him...no, threats just give him a warning of what is to come...I prefer an all out surprise attack. :D (ooops...I mean "gave" and "preferred"...I wouldn't do such things at my age...:p...yeah, that's it)

My mother was a teacher back at one time and social worker later, and she actually homeschooled us for a few months during a teachers' strike in the late 1970's. There wasn't much available for home education then, but as she sees what is out there now and how it is becoming more mainstream with a lot of supporting studies, she is not so opposed. My parents have about 9 university degrees between them, so education is really important to them (and me, for that matter) and they just want to ensure that their grandchildren have the opportunity to have access to a quality post-secondary education.

Museling
04-28-2010, 12:31 PM
Well, only if they want to...I can't force my own traits and habits onto my children..

Threaten to spit skittle loogies at him...no, threats just give him a warning of what is to come...I prefer an all out surprise attack. :D (ooops...I mean "gave" and "preferred"...I wouldn't do such things at my age...:p...yeah, that's it)

Lol! Mike and his brother are still at each other with stuff -and they're over 30! What's funny too is that Logan seems to be picking up with the energy that Daddy left and he goes after his ungle like a tazmanian devil -it's greatness!

Shoe
04-28-2010, 12:34 PM
Lol! Mike and his brother are still at each other with stuff -and they're over 30! What's funny too is that Logan seems to be picking up with the energy that Daddy left and he goes after his ungle like a tazmanian devil -it's greatness!

Yeah, my brother and I are 40 and 42...it just never gets old when you're family. My kids adore their uncle too and he's great with them. Too bad we only see him a couple of times a year.

collchris2003
05-13-2010, 08:45 AM
I was so glad to read your post, because it sounds a lot like our current situation. We also are not officially homeschooling (our daughter turns 4 this summer), and we are still looking into all options. We're leaning toward homeschooling for many reasons, but I must admit that we've spoken to very few people about it, mostly, at least on my part, because I'm nervous about the reactions we might get, and whehter it may ultimatley damage relationships. Don't get me wrong; if we decide HS is the way to go for our daughter, we'll deal with any negative feedback that comes along, but I must admit I kind of feel like we're "coming out"; I really just don't know what to expect.

Coming from our own educational situations growing up (I was advanced and bullied-great academically, awful socially-hubby was dyslexic with teachers who didn't give a hoot if he learned or not), I would hope that our families/friends would be understanding, and maybe we'll be pleasantly surprised, but I still do worry. I of course, also worry about my ability to even handle this whole endevour without turning my kid into either A: a socially inept misfit, B: an undereducated miscreant, or C: Swamp Thing!

I'm so sorry your BIL reacted the way he did-I guess all you can hope for is that he'll either realize later that your son is just fine, or he won't. If not, well, screw 'im! I guess we ultimately all make these decisions based on what works best for our kids and for us-I wish you the best of luck!

Museling
05-13-2010, 09:48 AM
collchris:

It definitely has been an ordeal, but the good news that I have to report is that BIL if coming around- if not to a positive outlook, to a nuetral.

My own resolve on telling people has been, and in order of importance.


This is our decision and we will decide what is best for our child(ren).
I value your opinion but as a friend, family member, but I ask that you remain positive and supportive in our decision.
My decision is in no way a reflection on your decision and do not wish to impose my view on you and ask the same respect from you.


The other thing that I told myself is that I'm not out to prove anything to anyone. And I do believe you have to find strength to help you in your decision, but you can't let that strength come from any outside source other than your family. And remember too, even though this is a big decision, it is not a only option path. The fact is that your exploring your options for educating your child and that alone will prepare them better initially than any thing else. Good luck! and use this group! They're good people!!

Shoe
05-13-2010, 10:13 AM
It definitely has been an ordeal, but the good news that I have to report is that BIL if coming around- if not to a positive outlook, to a nuetral.

My own resolve on telling people has been, and in order of importance.


This is our decision and we will decide what is best for our child(ren).
I value your opinion but as a friend, family member, but I ask that you remain positive and supportive in our decision.
My decision is in no way a reflection on your decision and do not wish to impose my view on you and ask the same respect from you.


and use this group! They're good people!!Great to hear your BIL is coming around. Those are wonderful points to make...you don't mind if I use them too, do you? :D

And collchris, I second the "Good luck! and use this group! They're good people!" comment. I've found this a great place to get support and information from a lot of really nice folks.