View Full Version : Husband almost onboard!!

04-20-2011, 08:14 AM
I'm a newbie, so forgive me if I ask a million questions.

I talked to my husband last night, showing him all the reasons, research and plans for curriculum I had put together to start HS in September. He is almost there, but he has some concerns.
1. The biggest one is the S-word (of course). Daughter is a social butterfly and he's worried if she can't interact with lots of kids everyday. I have some activities in place but I understand his concern.
2. He's feels that they will have no autonomy to make their own decisions away from us if they are with me all of the time. I think that there is more opportunity for decision making, but he feels they need to be away from us for a significant time.
3. The last is what if it doesn't work and there is just too much togetherness and I implode somewhere mid year. I told him that we will need to work it out. My son has some behavior problem that stem from frustration at school (at least that's some of the issue). He throws tantrums when asked to do HW. I actually think that this will eliminate a lot of the issues. He's concerned it will just be worse. I said that it could at the beginning, but it would work out.

I'm commited to this for a year. I will be probably be teaching eclectically-more formal and structured in the mornings, more real life experiences at other times, plus asking them what they want to learn and working with that as well.

Thanks for any help! I can't beleive this might actually be a "go" and we will be done with traditional school in just a couple of months!

04-20-2011, 08:41 AM
Husbands are sometimes harder to win over than in-laws and friends! Socialization occurs daily, no matter what. Socialization does not include just a child's peer group, but people of all ages. When they go to work, they won't be placed only among others the same age as them, as they are in school. They will work with people who are young and old. Of course, getting out to the park and for playdates is always nice, as it gives you a bit of a break and time for your *own* socialization with other parents. ;)

Ah, decision-making. I try to give my son choices, but I know that your husband means for your children to be on their own and to make certain decisions, to choose between right and wrong, etc. Even though he is with me 24/7 during the months he lives with me, my son still has plenty of opportunities to make his own decisions. I am not hovering over him, supervising his every interaction or solitary play time. I've seen him decide to punch a child for grabbing and shaking him (LOL) and I've seen him stand up for other children when they are bullied. I have never intervened when that happens, unless things look like they might become dangerous. So, yup, plenty of decision-making on his part.

Hm, and what if it doesn't work? Well, that happens. But we can't succeed if we don't try in the first place. Trust yourself, trust your children to let you know what they need, and go for it. :D

04-20-2011, 09:28 AM
I think the socialization one will work itself out. This is just so not an issue, unless you live in a remote location and have no vehicle. :p Being in NY, I can't see this being a problem for you at all.

Once the socialization thing is not an issue, I think that you will find that the decision making one will go with it. Does he mean impulse kind of decision making? Really, he will have to control himself in more areas that just a classroom full of peers. He may have more opportunities that are more important (like being in a theater, museum or other field trip location).
If he means life changing decision, I think a homeschooler has more of those opportunities. If my children were in public school, I feel pretty certain that my youngest daughter would not have the time to do Chinese school once a week or it would be in competition with other activities that peers were involved in (soccer, cheer, etc.). Joseph probably would not have time to pursue teaching himself html.
There will probably be bumps in the road. I have them frequently with my middle child (who is dyslexic and tends to be very reactive and explosive).The great thing about homeschooling is that you can change what you are doing to accommodate the child.
Since you are a teacher, I would like to caution you on over planning what they are going to do on a daily basis. Don't place a time requirement on it and don't have it written in stone what you want to do for that day. ;)

04-20-2011, 09:57 AM
How exciting! Who can argue with a year trial? Then, actually homeschooling for a year may put some of his concerns to rest.

04-20-2011, 10:47 AM
1. The "issue" of socialization and HSing has been studied to death since the 1980s and bottom line, it's a myth. If you Google it, you can find copies of the studies and DH should read them if he is concerned. Also, he should understand what socialization actually is: it does NOT mean running amuck with same aged peers. :P It means learning the social behaviors necessary and desired for adulthood (becoming a "full member" of one's society). Most social "skills" learned in school have to be unlearned before one joins the work force. :D As to the social butterfly, I think they are the ones who benefit MOST from HSing. Sure, you should provide plenty of positive social interactions, but what is your dh's ultimate goal for dd? Do you want her to be the most popular girl bagging groceries (or a husband to support her) out of High school? Social butterflies (esp girls) IMO tend to be most sensitive to bullying and peer pressure and most likely to chuck long term goals for the sake of popularity. I'm watching that play out with a niece right now. PS is a lousy place for the social 12-18yo girl.

ETA: may help to remind him that the current ps model is very new to the human experience. Most kids around the world today are still educated as they have been for tens of thousands of years: at home. If you were born to a wealthy family you might have a tutor...at home. As a social animal, we're designed to learn to socialize in the boundaries of our family and small groups, not 1000 student schools grouped by age.

2 and 3: Does dh works a lot and perhaps time with the kids is what happens after tv/sports? Unless a father is very involved in the day to day, they tend to become detached from their kids, which seems to be the norm in our society. Maybe that's not your situation at all, and I'm not talking about whether a guy LOVES his kids, it's just an attitude thing. I mention this just because if it IS your situation, building the bond by involving dh in some of the fun aspects of homeschooling may be key to his getting on board.

In any case, unless you are an extreme authoritarian parent, kids who hs tend to be MORE autonomous than their ps peers. PS teaches a very top-down power structure. Kids learn to conform, at least when adults are around. They also learn they have zero control over their day to day activities, what they learn, or pace. HSing encourages kids to participate in their own education and take ownership of it. Because the pace and content is customized to each child, they have more freedom to do it on their own, suggest topics of interest or projects. Studies have shown they tend to interact more confidently with a wide variety of ages, including adults, because they aren't taught systematically to defer to adults. And because of the fun/love/learn/authority mix unique to parents, most kids who school at home are more independent. I've noticed that my kids' ps friends learn very early on to keep track of where the adults are (often so they can misbehave I guess out of sight), we notice lots of furtive distrustful glances at us "adults" (makes us feel like the inmates are keeping track of the guards! lol). In contrast, our kids are used to us being around and behave the same whether we are in ear shot or not.

The same "closeness breeds codependence" myth has been disproven by studies looking at parental attachment, btw. Kids who are well attached to their parents become more independent as they age, presumably because they are able to more to independents at their own rate with confidence instead of fear.

Congrats on the (almost) approval. Keep educating your dh (gently) and enjoy those kiddos!

04-20-2011, 12:02 PM
was just thinkin' . . .the S word, why must we learn to act like a child when it is adults who expect children to behave like adults . . .just saying most HS kids I know have great manners, yet in peer relationship have no problem switching gears and playing!
This is something my husband had to understand as well.

04-20-2011, 12:04 PM
If the outside activities involve interacting with peers and adults (especially instructors), then you'll be fine. Martial arts classes, sports, music, and art groups are especially good for these things. "Unsocialized" homeschoolers would just be the shy or unruly kids in PS, anyway, IMO. It goes back to that old saying that was mentioned on here (and if you're the person who said or know who it was, please tell me because I've been using it liberally without being able to credit the "author" aside from saying it's not my original quote): "They are not that way because we homeschool. We homeschool because they are that way." If your daughter is social now, she'll be social as a homeschooler.

I would be up-front at first about the possibility that, because you're new at this, mistakes will likely be made and approaches altered. Nobody's perfect. He's not allowed to use that as a basis for homeschooling "not working." And I'd also advise you not to be hard on yourself if a particular approach doesn't work at first. We all have had to change something, often more than one thing, until we found out what worked. It's part of the process. Embrace it ahead of time, and you won't feel bad when it occurs. Heck, maybe you'll be the first to do it right from the start! :)

04-20-2011, 01:49 PM
Since bringing my girls home I have noticed them making MORE choices for themselves than they did in the past. My oldest spent a few months asking us if she could have a drink...i half expected her to raise her hand to go to the bathroom! Like CatInTheSun said-schools teach hierarchy-not how to make a decision. If that were true I wouldn't be so darn indecisive myself!

04-20-2011, 03:29 PM
Marmalade-We had a great moment at the table. My daughter raised her hand to ask her dad a question. We all started laughing and she sheepishly said, "I guess I was having a flashback or something."

04-21-2011, 05:12 PM
Thank you all for your replies and suggestions. My son also raises his hand at the dinner table!

I actualy feel the same way you all do and expect that exactly what you say will happen. I think my husband is just afraid that DD especially will end up in some cocoon of isolation and DS will end up just being "velcro boy" as he can be (it was worse before he started school). I've looked in to various things besides their gymnastics that include 4-H, library classes, and art classes specifically for homeschoolers. I also found a hs group that hopefully is inclusive, so this should reassure my husband that it will be ok. I also think the autonomy thing is not an issue as I have them make decisions for themselves all of the time on now there will be more opportunity to do so.

I also fully expect that a lot of changing and tweaking will be going on. I recognize the need for flexibility. I do tend to overplan, but I have to remember that unlike my days in ps, I'm not on a schedule. I have to remember that everything I have planned does not have to occur the first week, month, or even year.

Catinthesun, your insights are right on. My husband works long hours and then on weekend worries about what needs to get done around the house. I continually remind him that they are this age once and they are not going to care if the leaves are raked. He is much better than he was and is involved with them daily, but needs to be so more. He is a scientist, so I am hopeful he will help us with the science curriculum, though he already said he is hesitant because he feels without a teaching degree, he can't do it. I think he will be more involved once it is in place and realize that he can do it.

I appreciate all the input and I fully expect my kids to really flourish this coming school year. As my husband said last night, "You're already set on this aren't you?" I said yes. I think he will come around especially since my Mom is onboard which surprised us both. I think she's just seeing more time with the grandkids! We have two new memberships to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Natural History Museum in NYC, so she will now have an excuse to go into the City more often than she already does! Both places also offer classes for kids, so we are set there as well.

04-25-2011, 11:18 AM
I actualy feel the same way you all do and expect that exactly what you say will happen. I think my husband is just afraid that DD especially will end up in some cocoon of isolation and DS will end up just being "velcro boy" as he can be (it was worse before he started school). I've looked in to various things besides their gymnastics that include 4-H, library classes, and art classes specifically for homeschoolers.

My daughter is also a social butterfly and we have had some problems with this. Her best friend from school last year was a very bad influence so keeping in touch with her was not an option. We started a secular homeschool group and have had a lot of people join, but until recently the only girl for her to play with was a four year old and she was getting very lonely not having anyone near her age to play with. (There are a lot of 10-11 year old boys in our group that she plays with, but they just aren't the same. :) )
My son, who is not the social one, has lots of kids his age to play with. It has been very frustrating. Maddie is in the pre-team class in gymnastics which has been nice because it is twice a week and has been the same group of girls since Christmas. Before that every couple months the class would change and there would be all new girls. I am hoping once she joins the team in May, that she will get closer to some of the girls and can maybe meet with them outside of gymnastics.

Luckily a couple months ago a new family joined our homeschool group and they have a 10 year old girls that Maddie loves. She is so much happier now. Before this she had been starting to ask to go back to school because she was lonely for girls her age. It is such a relief that we founds some friends. :)

I think it will work out fine for you as long as you can find friends for your daughter. It was really hard for my daughter the first part of the year, but now that she has a friend she is so much happier! It sounds like you are on the right track with the activities you have looked into. Good luck!