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  1. #1

    Default Struggling with a "teacher" friend issue

    I'm not sure if this is the right place for this post but here goes LOL

    I have a friend - not a good friend mind you but a casual friend - who was a teacher up until two years ago when she decided to stay home with her daughter. I strongly hesitated telling her about my intentions to home school because she always "knows best" on anything that comes along regarding education. Now, let me be clear, that she has given me some very helpful information over the years and I don't think she is unaware of her job by any means. That doesn't mean that we agree more than 1 in 10 of the topics - if that!

    Point of all this is that over this past weekend we finally told her that I was planning to homeschool next year. While I expected her to have issues with it as a whole, I was still somewhat taken aback and shocked at this level of her disdain. She told me that she couldn't think it was a good idea because "those kids are ALWAYS behind academically and socially" and they "never know how to act around other people". This from someone who was a classroom teacher for about 5 years so I'm curious how many previously homeschooled kids she could have possibly dealt with.

    I had expected my biggest opponents to be within the family but now I'm thinking it will be her and that she will be constantly measuring up my son against what she thinks he should be doing. Her husband is one of my husband's best friends and they live close so it's not realistic that we will avoid them all that much. Why is her scrutiny weighing on me so much?! Anyone else had this kind of situation? Family I can deal with - and they haven't even blinked! Of if they have, they haven't done it in our presence.
    Cheryl - looking to start homeschooling in August.
    Wife to Trey and mom to Lee - a 14 year old with ASD, ADHD and language difficulties who desperately wants to be "normal". Caretaker of 4 fish and one dog and the world's worst housekeeper short of those people who qualify to be on TV LOL

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  3. #2


    Honestly if she can't let it be a non-issue I'd have to avoid her. I mean, her initial reaction is fine, maybe a bit dramatic but she didn't see it coming so she was off guard. But if she hounds you in the future or seems to be testing you or your child then she may be someone you can just avoid. It's not worth the stress to have that kind of criticism IMO. Let some time pass and see how it goes, hopefully she will just focus on your commonalities!
    Alice, mom to

    Our Home School Blog

  4. #3


    Quote Originally Posted by leezmom View Post
    She told me that she couldn't think it was a good idea because "those kids are ALWAYS behind academically and socially" and they "never know how to act around other people". This from someone who was a classroom teacher for about 5 years so I'm curious how many previously homeschooled kids she could have possibly dealt with.

    Why is her scrutiny weighing on me so much?!
    I smell a know-it-all. I can't stand this type of person: they have strong convictions about every topic, based mostly on hearsay, and you should let their opinions go in one ear and out the other....BUT, for some reason, maybe because they seem soooo sure of themselves, we let it get to us.

    We haven't experienced this scrutiny yet with HSing, but have fallen victim to it on a number of other topics. All I can say is to keep telling yourself their opinion doesn't matter. Sooner or later, your voice should be louder than theirs.
    Dad to two: DD, 12 and DS, 8.5

  5. #4
    Senior Member Evolved Marmalade's Avatar
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    Mar 2010
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    I say let the proof be in the pudding. You are going to come across people like her and your son will be the evidence that they are wrong!

    I really wish sometimes that we could turn the tides on these people and when someone tells me that they enrolled their child in public school I could turn around and say "Those kids are always behind academically and socially!"
    Our style is mostly eclectic, child-led and extremely relaxed.
    Curriculum varies year by year and day by day.

    Girls: 17, 15, 2
    Boys: 12, 10, 4

  6. #5
    Senior Member Arrived dbmamaz's Avatar
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    I have one neighbor who is a kindergarten teacher who gave me a harder time about homeschooling than anyone else did. I dont see her much, but I try to stay off topic, Over time she has become more polite. I think once the shock wears off, most of them realize that its rude to keep harping on you.
    Cara, homeschooling one
    Raven, ds 10, all around intense kid
    Orion, floundering recent graduate
    22 yo dd, not at home
    Inactive blog at longsummer

  7. #6


    I don't want to say that I used to be that teacher, but I definately did not think it was a good idea. I had met kids that it did not work for. Of course, I met some kids that the school system was not working for either. I had a couple of people toy with the idea of doing it and, at the time, I brought out what I thought were negatives (socialization, etc), but I never was a know it all kind of person. Of course I have really changed my tune as I am about to do this. Interestingly, I have not mentioned it to too many teacher friends.

    The thing about your aquaintence is that those may be the only kids she has come in contact with (as did I). Maybe the parents felt the kids were behind and put them back in public school. It doesn't mean all hs kids are that way. I've really realized in the past few months from reading and researching that ps may not be right for all kids and maybe hs is not right for all kids. There can't be a blanket statement either way. Every teacher, parent, child, and situation is different.

    And believe me,I have seen my share of kids who can not deal with a group of classmates and they have always been in ps. They are absolutely not socially well adjusted. Same with academics. Plenty of kids not up to speed. Not everyone can be an academic star, either at home or at school.
    Jessica (Me 46), Chris (husband, 46), Maddy (daughter 10,) Owen (son 8)

    I'm finally blogging! A Woman's Pause

  8. #7
    Senior Member Evolved jess's Avatar
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    Feb 2010


    Quote Originally Posted by jessica14 View Post
    I don't want to say that I used to be that teacher, but I definately did not think it was a good idea. I had met kids that it did not work for. Of course, I met some kids that the school system was not working for either.
    I think the thing that has to be remembered is that, if a homeschooled child returns to public school, something wasn't working.

    This thing may be something unrelated to academics (or not directly related, at least) - a change in family circumstances, for example. But some portion of the time it's because the family realized that homeschooling wasn't working for them. And those kids are likely to be behind, but they're not necessarily representative of homeschoolers as a whole.
    DS 6/03, DD1 9/06, DD2 10/10, DD3 4/14

  9. #8


    I have a very good friend who had all sorts of mixed feelings about homeschooling. She was a teacher. She was fine with it, until she got some students in her class who were "homeschooled" however those kids were also removed from their home by the state.

    You shouldn't have to justify yourself as an adult and a parent when it comes to raising your child. It's not like you are breaking the law or abusing or neglecting your kid.

    As for homeschooled kids not knowing how to act around PS kids? Well it does take some adjustment when entering into the world of the Lord of Flies.

  10. #9


    Generally, my "friends" who had issues with our homeschooling were either not very good friends and we've drifted apart, or we've agreed to disagree and the topic doesn't come up. Over the years of homeschooling we've found who the true friends are, and those include both homeschooling families and public school families.

    I guess my point is that if you value her friendship, maybe you can work it out. If it's not that important to you, somehow call a truce. Let her know that your children are YOUR responsibility, not hers. You'll do what's right for your family.
    Last edited by inmom; 07-08-2011 at 05:19 PM.

    Homeschooled two kids for 11 years, now trying to pay it forward

    Daughter -- a University of Iowa graduate: BA in English with Creative Writing, BA in Journalism, and a minor in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies

    Son -- a Purdue University senior majoring in Computer Science, minoring in math, geology, anthropology, and history

  11. #10


    We have a friend who is a teacher. I get the feeling that she disapproves, but she is a nice enough person not to say anything negative to me. Most of our friends have been pretty open minded/curious or just figure it doesn't matter what they think as they are our kids. I would ask two questions, "Oh, how many hsed children do you know?" and "How much of the research about hs children's achievement have you looked at?", because I have read it ALL and met a lot of families who hs. I know that most people don't even think about it, let alone really do any research about it. Some of them just feel free to share their kneejerk reaction like it means something. We also have a friend who had read some of the research and was very much, "Wow! that's great." I also think that for many families it is not an option because of two demanding careers and so why would they want to find out that it might be better or hear anything bad about ps.

    Also, I was thinking that it is probably good in this regard that hs kids here can and do participate in some ps programs (band and sports for example). It hopefully gives a more balanced perspective about hs to teachers who work with them. My dd will be taking some classes at the high school and she tends to make a very good impression on teachers.
    Last edited by Accidental Homeschooler; 07-08-2011 at 05:52 PM.

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Struggling with a "teacher" friend issue