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albeto
03-25-2011, 01:29 AM
from mothers in law who think "homeschool" ought to look like 6 hours sitting at the kitchen table furiously writing in workbooks?

Um, we really don't do much in the way of formal education, which makes her feel very anxious and try to "help" by asking the kids to come and read to her, explain to her how to divide 5 into 20, who the first president was, stuff like that. My youngest son asked when she's coming - what time. "Then I have just a little more than 24 hours of freedom."

:(

I don't want him to feel this way about his Grandma!

She's getting quite old and frail and the last time she was here (just last month), every attempt to do something out of the house (like art museum) was thwarted in one way or another. Which means we're either home all day very obviously NOT writing in workbooks, or leave her home alone (which I won't do to her).

InstinctiveMom
03-25-2011, 01:36 AM
I can relate to the family members 'testing' the kids... it's annoying to see/hear then and come away with the feeling like they lack confidence in your ability to successfully educate your kid!

Do you have the kind of relationship where you can say, hey, I know you mean well, but... and just sort of address the issues (while conveying that you're *certain* that her questions come from a place of concern for your kiddo) and ask her to knock it off?
If you don't, could your partner step in and mediate the situation?
~h

Jeni
03-25-2011, 04:11 AM
Can you take a couple days off? That's what we did when MIL came to visit us for the first time a couple months ago. We showed her some of the schooling and things dd had done, but she wasn't interested.

If she's getting old, maybe just being with grandma (reading, talking, looking at family pictures, working on a family tree, listening to her stories, making a video diary) might be a more valuable use of everyone's time. Once she's gone, that's it and you can't get that time back and those stories are lost forever. We are facing that now with my grandma (86) and MIL (70), so it's on my mind an awful lot.

Aandwsmom
03-25-2011, 12:14 PM
I have both sides of the scale. My MIL totally ignores the homeschool part, never asks the kids about school, nobody in their town knows their grandkids are homeschooled, etc. My Mom is a retired teacher and she runs their writing program and is very involved despite being 6 hrs away.

But, that being said.... when family visits we do not homeschool. We never have people longer than a long weekend, so not sure how that would work if they came for a week, etc. but I still think we would just forgoe homeschool during their visit to avoid the whole interferring issue you have.

I like the idea of finding out more about family, etc. Maybe have a Family history/Family tree thing that is brought out JUST when Grandma is there. Have a special book for notes and stories or even a hand-held recorder to take down the stories on tape with Grandma's voice. In the long run, once Grandma is gone..... your kids would have spent some great time with her, heard lots of cool stories, seen some cool pics AND have a nice book of family history.

HUGS and I hope you can come up with a solution so your kids dont feel yuck about Grandma visiting.

albeto
03-25-2011, 12:52 PM
I can relate to the family members 'testing' the kids... it's annoying to see/hear then and come away with the feeling like they lack confidence in your ability to successfully educate your kid!

Do you have the kind of relationship where you can say, hey, I know you mean well, but... and just sort of address the issues (while conveying that you're *certain* that her questions come from a place of concern for your kiddo) and ask her to knock it off?
If you don't, could your partner step in and mediate the situation?
~h

Opening it up to discussion really results in opening it up to lecture. I could cut her off but I think that would crush her, so instead I try to change the subject, make a joke, thank her for her ideas, and try to move on. She isn't rude or inappropriate, just...uncomfortable. And it doesn't stop.

Teri
03-25-2011, 12:57 PM
Can you create a project for "school" that would involve her?
We actually have to approach that with my mom soon. My kids are studying the Civil Rights Era and they will have a project to interview someone who lived during the time. My mom's high school closed down for a year when she was a senior because of desegregation. We are doing a lot of primary source history this year. Maybe you could do something like that?
We are going to write interview questions and video the interview.

albeto
03-25-2011, 01:14 PM
Can you take a couple days off? That's what we did when MIL came to visit us for the first time a couple months ago. We showed her some of the schooling and things dd had done, but she wasn't interested.

Last time she was here (last month - she's visiting family on the west coast) I said we don't generally "do school" with visitors because it's tough on the kids and she said maybe she shouldn't come back. Maybe she shouldn't visit us again. Now, you have to understand, she's really not a manipulative person so I was stunned. I don't think for a moment she said this to be manipulative, I think she said this because she's truly worried about her grandkids.

[insert long, boring, specific reasons why]


If she's getting old, maybe just being with grandma (reading, talking, looking at family pictures, working on a family tree, listening to her stories, making a video diary) might be a more valuable use of everyone's time. Once she's gone, that's it and you can't get that time back and those stories are lost forever. We are facing that now with my grandma (86) and MIL (70), so it's on my mind an awful lot.

Oh, that is a brilliant idea!!!

albeto
03-25-2011, 01:26 PM
I have both sides of the scale. My MIL totally ignores the homeschool part, never asks the kids about school, nobody in their town knows their grandkids are homeschooled, etc. My Mom is a retired teacher and she runs their writing program and is very involved despite being 6 hrs away.

Interesting dynamic. My mom just left and she couldn't stop comparing my home to my sister's home. My sister homeschools using a Christian unit study where each unit revolves around a characteristic ("obedience" explores feudal system/history, light and optics/science, government, etc). So everything she does is plugged into a characteristic. I think that sounds pretty neat for her but it's not how I do things here. We're more "unschooly" around here and so while my mom was here, we did things like combed out ds' dreadlocks while watching the news, comparing PBS to NBC Nightly News, focusing on the adjectives used. That doesn't plug into anything we're doing but it was an opportunity that came up as opposed to an opportunity I set up. No lectures there, just observations. And lots of hair balls getting cut out finally.


But, that being said.... when family visits we do not homeschool. We never have people longer than a long weekend, so not sure how that would work if they came for a week, etc. but I still think we would just forgoe homeschool during their visit to avoid the whole interferring issue you have.

Wow, just a weekend!

:rolleyes: <----- me imagining the possibilities


I like the idea of finding out more about family, etc. Maybe have a Family history/Family tree thing that is brought out JUST when Grandma is there. Have a special book for notes and stories or even a hand-held recorder to take down the stories on tape with Grandma's voice. In the long run, once Grandma is gone..... your kids would have spent some great time with her, heard lots of cool stories, seen some cool pics AND have a nice book of family history.

I like it too! Grandma is online so making a blog she can show her friends back home would be pretty fun for everyone, I think.


HUGS and I hope you can come up with a solution so your kids dont feel yuck about Grandma visiting.

Thanks. It's the idea that my kids are dreading her visit that bothers me the most. I can handle being the black sheep of the family, I can handle her warning me about all the things I'm doing will ruin the kids' opportunity to live the American Dream (not really my goal for them thankyouverymuch). I just don't want them to be bummed out over spending a week with their grandmother. She loves them dearly and wants the best for them and wants to share herself with them. She has no idea they feel this way, neither does dh.

albeto
03-25-2011, 01:27 PM
Can you create a project for "school" that would involve her?
We actually have to approach that with my mom soon. My kids are studying the Civil Rights Era and they will have a project to interview someone who lived during the time. My mom's high school closed down for a year when she was a senior because of desegregation. We are doing a lot of primary source history this year. Maybe you could do something like that?
We are going to write interview questions and video the interview.

Yeah, I really like this idea. I think something like a "Day in Grandma's Life When She Was My Age" kind of idea might be interesting. My daughter likes history but mostly social dynamics (so friends, school, dances, dating, things like that ought to interest her). My son likes engineering so I'm sure he'd love to explore the machinery that was common when she was a kid. Creating a blog should look productive enough for her, I hope.

Keep fingers crossed that my kids like this idea, or come up with one of their own!

Teri
03-25-2011, 05:41 PM
We just watched The Autiobiography of Miss Jane Pittman on Netflix streaming. That would be a perfect intro to the kids about interviewing someone about history.