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View Full Version : So, now I'm afraid to talk about HSing with my "friends"



bovinesituation
06-24-2011, 12:59 PM
This happened a few weeks ago and now that I've had time to reflect, I'm thinking HSing is going onto the list, along with being a registered Democrat and atheist, of things I just have to keep to myself.

Backstory - this woman and I both have 2 kids and her youngest is about the same age as my oldest, so I had sort of hoped they could be friends. We met for coffee a few times (just me and her) and we talked about all sorts of stuff. She knew about my beliefs and we had even talked about my homeschooling. She seemed on board and even entertained the idea of HSing her youngest (he's 3 btw, and in preschool) and she complained endlessly about her oldest kid's kindergarten (we finally got our kids together and she complained to just about every mom on the playground about the end of year tests, etc.)

So anyway, I don't bash PS because I went to PS and it's not like I can guarantee that we'll HS our kids thru high school. I NEVER said anything bad about PS and listened to her gripe about the testing, how early she had to get up to get her DD to the bus stop, how much homework her kindergartner had, etc.

I posted something on my blog about a book I'd read on unschooling and mentioned how I agreed with a lot of the ideas. I have my blog set to post on facebook and holy moly... I wish y'all could read the things she wrote. It got way out of hand and to the point where I had to email my friends and tell them to stop replying to her on FB because her replies just got crazier as the day went on.

She said such hurtful things about me and my kids that there was just no taking them back or blaming it on a bad day or whatever. I unfriended her, so then she emailed me to attack me one last time. I didn't reply because, just wow.

I'd like to be able to blog about HSing philosophies and such but after that, I'm afraid to say anything much about it (other than on here, of course).

Anyone else lose friends over your decision to homeschool?

(My ILs, or least my FIL, read my blog and they haven't said a word ;)

bovinesituation
06-24-2011, 01:02 PM
Oh, I meant to mention I was surprised she didn't rip my DS a new one for being shy at the park (you know, being unsocialized and all!) because he wasn't interested in being friends with her son after all. But interestingly (no, really, I don't mean to be mean or anything, just making an observation), her socialized preschool kid spent most of the playdate pouting under different trees. She kept having to go fetch him.

MarkInMD
06-24-2011, 01:15 PM
I wouldn't say I've lost friends over it (in fact I'd say I've gained way more than I've lost thanks to places like this forum), but I have noticed a cooling from some of my friends who are educators. I'm always very careful to say I don't blame teachers (both my parents taught elementary school) -- I blame the way the system is set up, and teachers are handcuffed in their approaches to instruction. Still, I think some of them assume that we feel like we're somehow better than them, which is absolutely not the case. None of them has come right out and said anything, and perhaps I'm reading too much into nonverbals, but I can't help but feel like something's different.

Ultimately, though, I can't care about that. The people whom I care about the most are supportive, or at least if they're not, they haven't changed the way they treat us or the kids. That's really all I could ask for. I'm sorry that this situation turned out so badly for you, but you have to be who you are.

bovinesituation
06-24-2011, 01:18 PM
Yeah, I have to think at least with her, I hit a nerve. I don't think I'm better than anyone else, but she must not be secure with her decision to PS or something?

Mark, you are correct. I have gained more friends than I've lost, but this one really hurt because I really liked her. :(

eilla05
06-24-2011, 01:18 PM
Keep on blogging...it will weed out your true friends and make the rest go away ;)

bovinesituation
06-24-2011, 01:21 PM
Keep on blogging...it will weed out your true friends and make the rest go away ;)

Exactly! lol

hockeymom
06-24-2011, 01:21 PM
Oh yuck! What a horrible thing to have to go through. I just do.not.understand why some people get so defensive about other people's decisions.

We don't really know very many people where we live so I haven't had any horrible backlash yet, but I do have a "friend" (mom of my son's good buddy here) who visibly hates that we homeschool. She also hates that I stay at home instead of playing the martyr like she does, but whatever. She invited DS to stay at their camp tonight for an "end of the school year" party for her son, even though she knows we'll be schooling through most of the summer. ?? I gracefully declined. :)

You were definitely right to defriend this crazy woman. Toxic relationships just aren't worth it, IMO. I do hope you keep blogging about whatever makes you happy, though--don't let one bad experience ruin what should be a positive thing in your life.

Hope you have a better weekend!

Greenmother
06-24-2011, 01:55 PM
That is the problem with blogging or posting anything online where others can see who you are. On one hand you get the ability to have discussions with people you might never meet due to different schedules or geography and on the other hand, people you thought knew you pretty well are suddenly shocked and surprised about your positions on politics, religion, child rearing, economics, or the weather.

I have a facebook account, I haven't used it in a while. I use an entirely different identity there and I do not fill out the forms properly to identify myself and my actual location. I do this for a reason. You never know who is going to go wacko on you, online and use whatever it is against you in a kangaroo court of your peers. Ask me how I know this? :P

I am only getting one side of the story here, but it sounds to me like when you two are together, she has her *selective listening device engaged. Because the only thing that surprises you is the fact that she seems shocked by positions you indicate you have expressed already in her physical presence. That says a lot right there.

If I were you, I would delete her nasty comments. If there are some that are cogent to the discussion that aren't ad hominen attacks, you can leave those up, but delete the others. You might want to save them with a screen shot first, so if she ever denies trolling you on facebook or your blog, you have some evidence of some kind.

When I have been trolled on my blog, this is the statement I make:

This is my blog. That means that in this small space in virtual reality, I am allowed to express my thoughts however they may arise. If I have said something that upsets you greatly, blogger, word press and others allow you to express yourself on any subject you choose on your very own blog. While civilized discourse is always welcome here, and that includes discourse in the form of disagreements and counterpoints, rude, threatening and unlawful comments, or spam will not be tolerated. I reserve the right to delete any comments I find inappropriate for my blog or that deviate from the discussion.

I am sorry that you had to go through this. Do be careful about what you write when associated with your legal name. It can come back to haunt you when you or even your spouse is hunting for job or competing for a raise or promotion. And honestly some parents form highschool-cliques that are just as ugly as anything any of us might have witnessed in the 11th grade. So watch your back.

As for not disrespecting public school. I have a lot of mixed feelings on that. I knew a couple of great teachers. I was bullied by other not-so-great teachers. Both groups of *teachers had a profound impact on my education and my development. Some I still work hard to forgive every day. I agree that some good and great teachers are handcuffed to an ailling system. But there are other bad actors who seem perfectly happy to be a leech in a stagnant pond.

bovinesituation
06-24-2011, 02:07 PM
I agree with you pretty much on everything Greenmother.

I am careful on my blog, though it's easy enough to find if you google my name. I have written with that in mind though because I don't have contact with my family. I don't post pics of my kids, etc. because I don't want my family to know what they look like and so on. They know DS's name and I think they know DD's. I am known to vent and swear on my blog but with a name as rare as mine, I don't write anything I wouldn't say to someone's face ;)

I hadn't thought to screenshot the discussion. I don't think she's the stalking sort, but I have been careful not to mention the incident on my blog or again on fb.

As to bashing PS, I try really hard to at least not voice my judgements of other parents (same with circumcision, etc.) I may have an opinion but I try to keep it to myself when it doesn't directly affect me, as with her choice to send her kids to public school. ;)

bovinesituation
06-24-2011, 02:20 PM
Alright, so I went back to find the whole thing on fb and I'm sort of cracking up over the things she said. Oy.

Marmalade
06-24-2011, 02:38 PM
I know the whole ordeal kind of sucked but at least you know for sure that you don't need this woman in your life!

Accidental Homeschooler
06-24-2011, 03:16 PM
We started hsing our 5yo first and I think our friends were surprised but there was nothing negative in their reactions. They knew about the problems she was having in school. When we started hsing our 13yo the reaction was more shock. We did not "need" to hs our older dd and there were just a lot of "why" questions and questions about socialization and math. I am not a math wiz but I can manage Algebra and we had some thoughtful discussions about socialization and school. I have had negative reactions from people I know who are not exactly friends but more like friendly aquaintances, who clearly think we are crazy. But I don't really care what they think. And they are atleast polite enough not to be offensive about it (unlike your friend!). I have also had some "good for you" comments. The range of reactions has been interesting. The most negative reaction has been from family.

bovinesituation
06-24-2011, 03:19 PM
We started hsing our 5yo first and I think our friends were surprised but there was nothing negative in their reactions. They knew about the problems she was having in school. When we started hsing our 13yo the reaction was more shock. We did not "need" to hs our older dd and there were just a lot of "why" questions and questions about socialization and math. I am not a math wiz but I can manage Algebra and we had some thoughtful discussions about socialization and school. I have had negative reactions from people I know who are not exactly friends but more like friendly aquaintances, who clearly think we are crazy. But I don't really care what they think. And they are atleast polite enough not to be offensive about it (unlike your friend!). I have also had some "good for you" comments. The range of reactions has been interesting. The most negative reaction has been from family.

:( I'm sorry. I worry about what DH's family will have to say about it, but TBO is only 4 so it hasn't really come up yet. Then again, they didn't say much about us pulling him out of the preschool after he was only there 2 months so who knows?

I'm half tempted to post some of her comments on here just so y'all could get a chuckle from them. Or maybe you should just friend me on Facebook so you can see the whole thing ;)

kristinabrooke
06-24-2011, 03:47 PM
I actually had my mother (an I use that term lightly because I chose to cut off all contact with her) tell me that I would ruin my daughter forever because we choose to homeschool. The funny thing is that she homeschooled me until the 5th grade! I guess she thinks she ruined me. I find that when people say hurtful things it speaks more about their insecurities then it says about your choices. I love your blog, btw, and keep blogging and doing what you know in your heart is right.

Hampchick
06-24-2011, 04:20 PM
Wow, what an ordeal. Sorry you went though that but as someone else said, at least you know what she REALLY thinks now. I haven't lost any friends but we don't know many people here yet. Of all the people we've told in our neighborhood, I received a vibe from one father that he disapproved but he never actually said anything and my kids play with his all the time. Most of my family has stayed completely neutral to my face at least ;) my mom and one sister are supportive, thankfully. Like you I try really hard not to dis the public school system. Actually, excepting NCLB which I think is terrible, my opinion is that the system is not any worse and maybe better than when I was in school 30 odd years ago (that doesn't mean it's great either). I usually just say that I wanted a less traditional education for the boys and private school is out of the question.

I have to admit that I would love to read the thread on your wall. :p Feel free to friend me, (http://www.facebook.com/dawn.a.kim) if you want.


I find that when people say hurtful things it speaks more about their insecurities then it says about your choices.

Yes, yes and YES!

Stella M
06-24-2011, 05:22 PM
1.People are idiots.
2. I'm going to check your blog out now :)
3. I would totally be your facebook friend and never harrass you about unschoolish tendencies...but I'm not on Facebook.

laundrycrisis
06-24-2011, 05:27 PM
Keep on blogging...it will weed out your true friends and make the rest go away ;)

Exactly. The people who freak out and get hostile about it aren't good friends anyway. People who aren't interested will just not read it, and still be friends.

JinxieFox
06-24-2011, 06:04 PM
Oh wow! Sorry that happened to you. That seems pretty extreme on her part.

I had a friend who always behaved as though homeschooling was a ridiculous idea, but our friendship never ended over it. We ultimately lost touch because of our moves. Still, it was annoying at times to listen to her give all the usual anti-homeschooling arguments. However, it never got to the point of being a problem.

I'm glad you've found humor in it now! Ultimately, homeschooling friends who understand will come along. :)

Kylie
06-25-2011, 04:31 AM
Exactly. The people who freak out and get hostile about it aren't good friends anyway. People who aren't interested will just not read it, and still be friends.

Agreed! agreed! Agreed!

I have a blog follower that openly admits she is not going to homeschool her child, but does follow a lot of homeschool bloggers. She was recently offended with something on my blog about PS and apparently will be posting a rebuttal...if you follow a homeschoolers blog and have no intention to homeschool, than what do you expect?

Hang in there, I'm off to check out your blog :-)

CatInTheSun
06-25-2011, 11:34 AM
You might want to screenshoot the discussion...then delete it from your FB wall. Something therapeutic about purging crazy from your wall. :D

lilypoo
06-25-2011, 03:42 PM
I haven't read all the replies so forgive me if I repeat something, but if that happens again (hopefully it won't LOL) I'd suggest you just delete her posts on FB, so there's nothing to reply to...if people were responding to her that just pulls her into whatever argument she wants to have.

And for now, remember that if she would treat you like that for any reason, she wasn't a friend to begin with, nor would you want her as a friend! :)

I haven't had this happen but I tend to be very, very careful about who I share my views with. And my views aren't radical by any means...yet I am a registered democrat, AP & homeschool mom living in a red state, so I'm cautious. Unless I meet someone in my homeschool group, I think I'd have to know them REALLY well before I'd want to get that personal about my views/beliefs. Like I'd probably be afraid to link them to my blog. LOL I remember when I first joined the moms' group I'm in, one of the moms started grilling me about socialization, and this was at my first event with the club! I gave her my pat, "our experience has been very positive" and she huffed off...now she treats me like it never happened. LOL

Ariadne
06-25-2011, 04:28 PM
I actually had my mother (an I use that term lightly because I chose to cut off all contact with her) tell me that I would ruin my daughter forever because we choose to homeschool. The funny thing is that she homeschooled me until the 5th grade! I guess she thinks she ruined me. omgs that must have hurt. Yikes. I'm sorry. :(


I find that when people say hurtful things it speaks more about their insecurities then it says about your choices.Totally agree with this sentiment. So much of what any of us say tells us about the speaker, not the object.

Kylie
06-25-2011, 06:52 PM
I actually wonder if she would have said those things to you in real life? So much easier to hide behind a screen when one is being nasty isn't it!

Greenmother
06-26-2011, 08:36 PM
Very true Kylie! Very true.

MiraclesHappen
07-15-2011, 07:29 AM
I have yet to lose any friends yet, but I did decide to get off of facebook for a while! After posting our decision to homeschool, WOW... everyone seemed to think I would be ruining my 5 year old's life by keeping him home. I am a stay home Momma and a childcare provider, and have never heard anything but nice things about how I interact and care for my kids here... but sharing our decision to teach my son definitely brought out the opinions! I honestly don't know anyone that accepts that homeschool is good for kids. My husband is even iffy. Our families (only a few not included) think that it's a bad idea because my son needs socialization, and homeschooling is "weird". *Sigh* The ones that are supportive of it just don't understand why I am choosing to teach secular only lessons. (Because I don't need anyone pushing their opinions onto my child!) I have done months of research, I have planned out the first couple of months' activities, books and field trips... and now I am just completely discouraged by the lack of any support. I was so excited about all of it until I decided to share the news.
BTW, my son is the life of the party wherever we go. He wants to get to know everyone and he plays great with other kids. He has been home his whole life and has no problems socializing.
I am so sorry you had to lose a friend over this. It hurts when the people we trust are so opposed to something we believe in. I agree that maybe you should delete the comments, purge the bad.

Rachel_S
07-18-2011, 03:45 PM
I find that when people say hurtful things it speaks more about their insecurities then it says about your choices. I love your blog, btw, and keep blogging and doing what you know in your heart is right.

This is exactly what I was going to say too!