View Full Version : Not proud to homeschool?

04-13-2012, 09:03 PM
I don't know if anyone else has this issue, but dd seems ashamed or embarrassed about being homeschooled. She's made comments about how she doesn't think it's "real" school. I just don't get what she doesn't get about it. It seems no amount of explaining that it is real school, she does real work, takes real tests. When people ask what school she goes to, she either doesn't respond or more recently just says, "I'm homeschooled" in a quiet voice. She's shy to begin with so maybe that's all it is?

We've talked to her about just telling people her school name. They'll think it's a private school and most likely drop it. I was thinking about getting her and her brother some shirts with the school name on it. I had started a yearbook for them before our computer was taken, but that was also a possibility later on.

I'm just not sure what else to do. She had a Kindergarten graduation, full cap and gown, pictures, party just like all her other little friends. She's been HSed since the beginning, she loves her classes and friends who hs. I just don't know how I can make it any more real for her. And I don't know how to get her to take some pride in her school.

04-13-2012, 09:36 PM
Wish I had some advice for you. My oldest is only 5 and doesn't really grasp that homeschooling isn't mainstream yet. I'd love to hear other families' advice on this though.

04-13-2012, 09:54 PM
I don't know either, except that my ds's anti-intellectual attitude can be irritating as well. Tonight we looked at the stars, thought we saw a few planets, and he was excitedly talking about it. Then he interrupted himself, looked sort of.. chagrined, and said, "that's really nerdy." arg. And my dh refers to our schoolwork as 'homework'. Technically, it is I suppose, but not like he makes it sound. ACK.

Ah well.

04-13-2012, 10:11 PM
My gut reaction is that doing things to make it like public school is sending her the message that public school is real school and what you're doing is just an imitation.

The private school thing might work if you're in an urban area. Can't see it working where I am - everyone would be all up in our business about this new school they'd never heard of :)

I wonder if keeping a portfolio would help her better see what all she is learning and doing, and the progress she's making. Beyond that, I don't know. I wouldn't say my kids react proudly to being homeschooled, but they aren't shy about it either. Just kind of matter-of-fact.

04-13-2012, 10:45 PM
Sounds like someone (family member/friend/stranger/anther kid) has put a bee in her bonnet and gave her some negative advice about homeschooling.

I'd start getting her around other kids who are super happy to homeschool! Or school kids that hate mainstream school. ;)

Sounds like she feels like she wants to belong.

04-13-2012, 11:41 PM
I was going to ask if you talk about anti-homeschooling things like articles you may have read or if she reads books or watches TV shows that depict school in a more mainstream way? If so, she may just have the idea that what you are doing is different and she may not feel comfortable with that. Even if it is just with a spouse or a friend, if your child overhears it might have an impact on their perceptions.

04-14-2012, 12:07 AM
I was going to ask if you talk about anti-homeschooling things like articles you may have read or if she reads books or watches TV shows that depict school in a more mainstream way? If so, she may just have the idea that what you are doing is different and she may not feel comfortable with that. Even if it is just with a spouse or a friend, if your child overhears it might have an impact on their perceptions.

I totally get caught by my eagle ear kids saying things I don't think they would be affected by.

Some of the most innocent conversations have evolved into very confusing and upsetting situations for my children. It's hard to know when we say something that might be confusing, taken wrong or out of context for them. Little minds work differently for sure! :/

04-14-2012, 01:00 AM
Let's face it, we home schoolers are a minority. She may not be feeling "up-to-par" with her peers who are in traditional school. She may not have role-models she can look up to. Try this book (http://www.amazon.com/Homeschoolers-Success-Stories-Adults-Homeschooling/dp/0761522557). It helps when she can see well-known people who were also home schoolers.
Try setting her up with an older home schooled student who she can talk to when she has concerns. Older kids are a great resource when us parent just won't do.
Maybe you can try hosting a "school pride" party for her and her homeschooled friends. In my hsing group we host a "not-back-to-school" picnic every September to celebrate the "beginning" of another home school year and "feel sad" for the other kids who don't get to stay home like we do. It really makes the kids feel special and lucky.
Good Luck and I hope it all works out for you.

04-14-2012, 07:04 AM
I agree with trying to tighten bonds with other kids who homeschool or who school in other alternative ways (Montessori, Waldorf, Catholic and so on). I also agree that trying to make it "seem" like public school isn't giving full justice to what homeschooling is all about. She's old enough that she should be able to give you some solid insight into what doesn't feel like "real" school to her. Hopefully you can draw some some good information out of her that you can work with. At this age, homeschooling needs to be a partnership and if she isn't totally on board, you need to figure out why.

Good luck!

04-14-2012, 09:44 AM
We have a huge portfolio of everything both of them do. Not school work really but everything else from field trips to birthday parties to community service.

Everyone we know personally is super supportive. They would never say anything to her. The only person I've heard say anything is the doctor (my other post) and she seemed to already have some issues.

I wish she would give me insight, it would make all this so much clearer.

I will talk to some of her friends parents and see if she can start hanging out with them or something. I am not up for a party at the moment, but maybe closer to the start of next year.

04-14-2012, 11:19 AM
you might want to just take the rest of the year off and "HAVE FUN" (with a few comments here and there about how this FUN wouldn't happen in mainstream school. And how lucky we are that we can do this) :) You can also ask her what she'd like to do and make up a week schedule so that she has some control over her days. My kids always have loads of ideas they want me to do for/with them immediately and I never can do that, but if they set up a schedule and get their ideas on the calendar I can make them happen and they are always happy about that. Not to mention it teaches them that some things are worth waiting for. AKA Patience! :)

Best of Luck! :)

04-14-2012, 11:46 AM
Just a few random thoughts to toss around, may or may not fit:

she might be hitting that pre-puberty drama mama phase and in those times she may need you to support her more then normal which is tough when you have a new baby and are post pardum.

she might think that you won't have time to teach her now that there is a baby in the house.

she might think you simply won't have time for her now, maybe some special time would help if it's that.

she might think that SHE is doing YOU a favor by begging to go to school so that you have a lighter load.

she may feel she needs to belong to a group.

she might be saying things that don't sound too clear to you, because you have a LOT going on in your mind at the current moment.

The pre-puberty and post pardum hormones all living in the same house make things more clouded and less clear.

a friend of mine has a 9 year old daughter that has mood swings that are very PMS-ish. She will SCREAM OUT some drama comment towards her mother and in the next breath is a shy quiet little girl. Recently she was TERRIFIED to leave her mom's side (had to see a doctor and work thru it over the course of several months) because of a comment her mom made.

My friend was out for a hike with her daughter's class. While going up a hill, my friend made the comment "this hill is going to be the death of me" to another chaparone. Her daughter heard the comment & developed massive anxiety that her mom would die. From that time on, she had anxiety any time she had to leave her mom's side (like go to class every day!) The daughter was having massive sweat filled shaking elevated heart rate panic attacks when her mom would go somewhere without her and the daughter couldn't go.

Luckily they got her therapy and that helped her a LOT. However, it goes to show how developmentally strange things start happening around age 9 (and pre-puberty) as well as how easily an otherwise harmless comment could start a massive family problem.

Parenting is NOT EASY. You are doing a great job and it will work out in the long run. Keeping you in my thoughts! :)

04-14-2012, 06:55 PM
My two cents..... This just isn't that deep. Because she's never been in school, she can't see the similarities in learning or the differences in quality. All she knows is most kids "go" to school. It's a place.. It's different than where your family sleeps and eats dinner. ..

I don't think that without having experienced school in some form that she will be able to appreciate the way positive differences that homeschooling brings. So, I don't think this has anything to do with what you are doing, she just doesn't know and wants to be like the other kids.

Can she enroll in a summer school or something so she can see what school is actually like? may role play school for a couple of lessons. (ok, sit quietly and wait for everyone to get the books open to page 229. Johnny, is there something you want to share with the class? Suzy, go sit by Peter and pay attention to me not Jerry.)

04-14-2012, 09:23 PM
You may want to ask her more about her feelings on the topic. My daughter, 7, is also very shy in general. I recently found out that a girl in her evening gymnastics class was giving her a hard time about being homeschooled. My daughter at first told me about it and that she believed this other girl just didn't understand homeschooling. Over a week or so she (surprisingly!) decided to educate this girl on homeschooling and informed her that there was no homework and you could learn about whatever you wanted, etc. Who knows what may be triggering your child right now - is it her own feelings or is she reflecting comments received from others?

Accidental Homeschooler
04-14-2012, 11:11 PM
My older dd doesn't want to talk about it either. I think it is just dealing with other people's reactions, she would rather not. I did hear one of her friends refer to her leaving junior high as getting kicked out and she responded, "I didn't get kicked out, I walked out!" My younger dd, when someone asks, just says, "I don't go to school" and then I say we home school. Then she laughs.

04-15-2012, 09:09 AM
There's something of an innate human instinct to want to belong -- it's how societies and religions and all of those things are formed. As much as we tell our kids to be themselves, most will yearn to be seen as part of what's "normal" and feel uncomfortable when they see (or are told) they're not. As adults, we can afford to take more of a who-cares attitude, but at that age, it's not as easy. My guess would be that's a lot of what's going on, not so much in how you yourself are providing the education.

Night Owl
04-15-2012, 04:42 PM
My son went to kindergarten at a private school. When we first started home schooling, he would respond to peoples' questions in a very quiet voice. I'm not sure if it was age or being different from other kids, but three years later he is very matter of fact about it. He usually says, "I'm home schooled," and either politely answers a few questions or bores them to death with details of what he is learning in science. He's never enthusiastic about saying he is home schooled, but he is very enthusiastic about most of what he is learning.

I don't take any real pride in saying where I work, but I love my job and I'm sure people hear that when I talk about what I do, just now where I do it.

04-17-2012, 11:05 AM
I don't take any real pride in saying where I work, but I love my job and I'm sure people hear that when I talk about what I do, just now where I do it.

That's a good point. Dh loves his job but you won't hear him talking about it unless he's asked a direct question. It's mostly a safety issue, he doesn't like people knowing he's a police officer, but it's the same idea I guess.

She just finished science for the year and was super excited about that. She's off fishing and doing her math at the same time with daddy. I told him to gently remind her that she's super lucky to be able to do something so different and cool, not everyone gets to do stuff like that.

Crabby Lioness
04-17-2012, 11:45 AM
What do the other kids around her think? We've always been surrounded by kids who think homeschooling is the coolest thing ever, especially if they're not homeschooled themselves.

04-18-2012, 07:07 PM
What do the other kids around her think? We've always been surrounded by kids who think homeschooling is the coolest thing ever, especially if they're not homeschooled themselves.

I'm not sure any other kids know. The homeschool kids obviously don't care, it's normal to them. I sit at Girl Scouts and while her leaders know, I've never heard the girls say anything about it. I don't know about her sports. We don't live in a neighborhood where you can walk around, so school kids are not an issue. I recently met the neighbor a couple houses down and she homeschools. They are the only kids around, but their parents are separated, mom and kids moved to grandma's house, so our kids haven't seen them in a couple months.

04-26-2012, 10:33 AM
We have been through this too, with our daughter. Kids pick up quickly that schooled kids size up everyone else according to age, what school they go to or what grade they are in, and clothes. And what movies, music, and stuff they are into, after all that initial assessment.

My daughter gets a lot of guff from even the neighbor friends we hang out with, but who go to school, and had a hard time choking down the unfairness of it, that they are told all the time by their parents, that they have to go to school or else they can't learn anything. They in turn, tell my daughter how she can't be learning anything because she's not in school, or else how great school is and how much she's missing by not going.

I've talked with her about it a lot, and made sure to get some homeschool-centric books for kids, and also get her around other homeschooled kids often enough. Then again, my daughter was never in school, though she did have a 4-hour-a-week pleasant preschool experience, that my son is now having. But being around schooled kids who in the same breath hate school, yet always try to sell it to her, has been an education in itself.

I did point out that the neighbor girl who says school is so great and that Hope should go (always in private, never in front of me), also complains bitterly if she has to go to the school in summer, when her family goes to another country in summer. I pointed out that if school were really as wonderful as the girl said, she wouldn't be so horrified at having to go in summer, too.

We're not even doing school-at-home, but unschooling.

She's right here, and just had this to say: "I'm scared to tell people that I'm homeschooled, even though I do, because when I tell them, they're just gonna saw 'ew' and not play with me after that. Some of the nice ones will play with me, but most of them just run away. But even if I don't tell them I'm homeschooled, a few nice kids will play me, and the rest just won't. But they do that to everyone else too, the mean ones. So I don't really want to play with mean kids anyway, because they are no fun even if they will play, because they play meanly."

She added "I'm still nervous about admitting I'm a homeschooler to school kids, because they don't understand, and it weirds them out."

Fair enough.

There's an online virtual world / edutainment site, your daughter might enjoy, if she and you don't mind being surrounded by mostly religious types (some quite evangelical, some not) which is always-icecream.com and another one that is more new age/pagan/feminist is NewMoonGirls, both the magazine and the website. We have Always Icecream, and she likes it, but it does seem like she is almost the only secular one there. But they are almost all homeschoolers, and a lot of them are really cool.

It's hard, being different, but in the case of our family, we're already so different in so many ways, that homeschooling (or unschooling, because we don't try to emulate school at home much, though I did help her with pencil position and paper position for ergonomic handwriting skills) is a drop in the bucket.

I do try to explain to her my conscious reasons for being different in this way or that, and that it's natural to want to blend in and be one of the group, and it hurts to be an outsider, so we have to find our own group. We're still investigating how to do that, when we don't fit in anywhere. We have to be content with finding people we can connect with despite this difference or that, and it has to be enough, because we don't want to live in sleepwalking mode, making decisions by whatever unconscious process floats us along passively. I haven't met other women in real life I can totally be myself around without making them kind of uncomfortable, and trying to fit in with them makes me feel kind of uncomfortable... but that was true even as a girl in public school. I had 2 "bosom friends" in the whole 12 years, both in elementary, both from other countries with vastly different cultures (not Anglo-European) and they were the only girls who seemed "real" to me, and I them, and I will never forget that...but I dare say my daughter has a more bountiful social life as a homeschooler, than I did as a public schooler.

Hope that helps any!