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  1. #1

    Default How do you handle people being critical?

    Just having a very bad day here! We recently decided to homeschool our 14 year old daughter, who is the 9th grade. She has never been homeschooled before. She's an excellent student but has serious anxiety issues. In the last year she has walked out of class numerous times, just walked out and left, calling me to pick her up because she can't handle the pressure. She had to drop band, drama, FFA because of the pressure. All of her friends are big time activity nuts and I think she kept trying to fit in. But she is super smart, loves to learn and told me numerous times that when she went to school she felt nothing all, no motivation, no happiness, nothing, just numb. So I am happy we made this decision, which by the way was HER idea, not ours.

    So now I find out that all of her public school friends are being super critical of homeschooling, telling her in texts that she will be miserable, that her anxiety will get worse, that she will never want to leave the house, etc. I am so angry that instead of being supportive these kids (with their heads filled with garbage by their parents I am sure!) are being so damaging to her. I know they are worried about not seeing her as often, but we had planned for her to see them as much as possible, plus obviously they talk every day. Have any of you had to deal with this? How did you handle it?

    I would like her make some new friends who are also homeschooled, who will be more understanding. Would love to hear from others who have also dealt with these issues.

    Thanks!

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  3. #2

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    I am sorry, I don't have explicit ideas on how to deal with this, except that it doesn't sound like they are really her friends. She might consider blocking them on social media and her phone. (I always lean towards extremes, so others might have a more nuanced view of this specific situation.)

    But I do have suggestions on how to expand her world. In addition to other homeschool groups, she may want to consider extracurriculars that are not connected with the school. Maybe community theater or community music. She could volunteer at the library, animal shelter, or with the parks & rec department. Summer is coming up and their are lots of programs that have teens volunteer or have paid work to help with younger kids. She could check out programs at a local college that is open to teens. They have sports clinics and summer activities. Boys and Girls clubs sometimes have teen programs.

    While not all of these activities get her involved with teens her age, they might give her opportunities to spend time with people who would appreciate her work in an area she might find interesting, and give her some positive connections.
    A mama who teaches college writing, as well as help her 11-year-old in
    choosing his own life adventure. Using Global Village School to support our desire to develop a sense of social justice and global awareness.

  4. #3
    Senior Member Arrived Elly's Avatar
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    I deal with it badly, especially when it's my in-laws! One analogy I like to use is that of swimming. If a child is nervous about the water and not a strong swimmer - do they get better if we decided the best way to teach them was to throw them into a huge deep lake and let them work it out? I think most people would think that was ridiculous - we'd give them lessons, build confidence, work up bit by bit. I don't know why people seem to think social stuff somehow is different. Even people who learn social skills - I know I did - can't necessarily handle huge social expectations for huge lengths of time, just like some people can't run for hours and some people don't enjoy reading for pleasure.

    I know that's a bit ranty, and I'm sorry. I think if you can find homeschool activities in your area you will meet people and having smaller social groups is likely to be helpful. I know my son does better in smaller groups, and he's not at all socially anxious. I much prefer meeting people one on one. If you can find a local group, you could also try emailing and seeing if anyone would like to meet up. I met one of my best homeschool friends that way when we were starting out.

    Elly
    4th year of homeschooling DS, now 9!

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  6. #5

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    I think it's easy when it's your friends or family. Her friends doing it is a whole other cup of tea. You can't really do anything about it. She's 14. As long as they're not taking it to some new level where she needs to be isolated from them because it's gotten that unhealthy, then SHE has to respond.

    Do you feel like it's crossed the line into bullying? Have these friends been this critical in the past? What has she said to them so far? Does she want new friends that are homeschooled or do you just feel like that would help so you're trying to make it happen? Is there a solid enough homeschool community around you that there are homeschooled high schoolers? Are there activities she could do that might be not school centric - because I think those are often better for high schoolers making friends in general.

    I'm not sure what she's said to them so far, but I think if she's as bothered by this as you are that role playing out ways for her to advocate for herself and diffuse the situation would probably be helpful.
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  7. #6

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    Thank you to everyone for your warm responses, I am already loving this site, everyone has been so helpful!

  8. #7

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    I think there are people you can never, ever persuade or convince. Homeschooling is one of those things on which many have very strong opinions...people get hung up on the rightness of their choice of schooling and are blind or sometimes downright hostile to the very idea of home, public or private education. To anyone who in the immovable camp, I say "good for you, hope your choice works out for you." But nobody has been outright hostile to us. Curious, maybe. Relatives were doubtful at first. But nothing like what you're now going through.

    But your daughter's friends...if they understand her and know that this choice was a conscious one she made to help herself, then what they are doing is bullying, pure and simple. Not sure they're persuadable. And I agree with Farrar that it might not be your job to try; you will have to help your daughter navigate this.
    Eclectically homeschooling 8th grade dd, who likes science as much as art...

  9. #8
    Site Admin Arrived Topsy's Avatar
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    Beginning to make friends who are homeschooling will do wonders for her, even if they are only online. There is a secular homeschooling teens group on Facebook (if your daughter is on that network). https://www.facebook.com/groups/SHF.TeensOnly/ Even lurking there for a bit to see that other teens find the whole homeschooling thing completely normal might help some. One thing to remind her, too. The tables will soon be turned for her friends as she starts to share the amazing freedoms homeschoolers have. School in your pajamas? Check. Learning at any time of day? Check. The ability to learn at your own pace and without the stresses of timed tests/quizzes? Check. It won't take long for your daughter to be discovering all the perks, and it could be her friends that start begging THEIR parents to do homeschooling.


  10. #9

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    I would add, sleeping in, getting enough sleep for that matter, going to the beach on a school day, adjusting the schedule so that it suits her are some of the wonders of homeschooling.
    A mama who teaches college writing, as well as help her 11-year-old in
    choosing his own life adventure. Using Global Village School to support our desire to develop a sense of social justice and global awareness.

  11. #10

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    Lets not forget no routine packed lunches! Unless its a picnic and youre out on an outing!

    And yes, the whole sleep / teen thing!

    Plus all the added free time she will have, not having a full day of school and then homework!
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.

    Atheist.

    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

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How do you handle people being critical?