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My best friend is lambasting me over homeschooling my child

 
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kennys_mommy
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Joined: 20 May 2008
Posts: 29
Location: near a really big college in illinois

PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:58 am    Post subject: My best friend is lambasting me over homeschooling my child Reply with quote

My best friend and I have been so for over 31 years. We met in the summer between elementary and junior high and have been together since.

I married late at 40, she married at 20 and had 2 children immediately. They're all grown up now and out of the house. I'm step-mom to a 7 year old whom I homeschool.

She is so totally against home-schooling, but she never actually yells at me about it or anything, so perhaps lambasting is a bad choice of words... but she just digs at me all the time, he's lonely, he's lonely, he's going to be mal-adjusted, he's going to be weird... I love my best friend with every fiber of my being and can't imagine my life without her but today it's just gotten too much.

Quote:
The bad part is he has no outlet. There is no time away from you unless it's with his grandma and that's really not a good thing. Don't you ever wonder if he feels isolated from things


I wrote her a LONG letter. But I'm afraid to send it, because I can't stand the thought of losing her friendship.

Here it is, and mind you, I'm a bit self-deprecating so you'll have to excuse that in my words.

Quote:
OK I’m prefacing this by saying I am not yelling at you or arguing with you or trying to convince you otherwise, and I totally, absolutely love that you and I can talk and have differing opinions about things and it doesn’t cloud our friendship,
but you know, I know you hate that we homeschool, and no, it’s not what I really wanted for him to begin with, but, I feel like he’s actually getting an education and not just 5 hours of play time with an hour of school work. That’s what it was all about at ---. Play time, I never heard that he did anything but play time or art time (and that’s probably what he’d remember the most being a little child and all) and he couldn’t spell anymore or write anymore after he’d been in there for 6 months. In all that time he only brought home about 50 school papers, tons and tons of artwork and games they played, most of them having nothing to do with the 3 R’s. Maybe since I’ve been out of touch on parenting, that’s all they would have done. If I hadn’t been working, perhaps I could have gone and been an aide in class once in awhile and see what they did all day. But that just doesn’t seem like school to me, and again, it was only first grade, but I seem to remember working really hard in first grade. That’s not what I want for him. And I know it was just first grade, but that’s when their little minds are open books and it really bothered me that he couldn’t spell or write anymore after being in “real” school.

He plays with neighbor children here, he reads to me at night, I read to him, we watch a lot of educational TV together. He goes with Mom 2 or 3 nights a week and goes to the park and plays with kids, he goes to church and has interaction with kids. Only once has he ever mentioned to me that he wished he was able to be in class with other kids, and that was when they were playing a game. He is soooooooooooo eager to learn. How many kids today are happy to go to school? He tossed a fit last night because he had worked hard in school and had hoped it was over, and forgot that there was homework time after school was over and just did not want to do it right then. I KNOW it will only get worse as he gets older, and I’m prepared for it. I can be as mean as mean can be I’ve found out.

When he was in k-garten w/mom & grandma – he could write in cursive already, could read well beyond first grade books and spell wonderfully. When I asked at the school about his loss of abilities, she said that “elementary education doesn’t focus as much on “these” things anymore, it’s more about making well adjusted happy children blah blah blah.” Well, this is just not right at all.

I don’t think he feels isolated at all, he and I talk about this a lot. He doesn’t know what isolated means per se, but he knows what lonely is and he says he’s not lonely. The one thing that just bugs the crap out of me right now is the fact that none of us have immune systems anymore it seems. If I end up going back to work, he’ll go to a school, albeit probably a Christian school. There are plenty of good Christian schools in ---… and I’ve also joined a group of Mom’s in ---/---/--- that homeschool and there are play days and field trips etc to be had.

OK well, there, you aren’t required to answer or anything. But, it’s my weird circular thoughts all spilled out, because I know you worry about us and that you are irritated with this whole situation, which is probably because I (*^*%*(&% and moan too much about other parts of our home life. I’ll stop.
[/b][/i]


Thoughts, comment, questions, additions, subtractions?

I'm distraught a bit.
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easyhomeschooling
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Joined: 03 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 12:51 pm    Post subject: Congrats! Reply with quote

Very Happy Love the letter! It is great, and probably should have been said long ago! And who needs the world's idea of IMMUNE SYSTEMS! lol. You ARE sheltered from the world and that's a GOOD thing!
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Ophelia
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Joined: 20 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Honestly, if she was really your best friend I think that she would be more supportive of your decision. No, homeschooling is not for everyone, but even my friends that send their children to public school are very supportive of my homeschooling my children and think it's great that I have the time and the patience to do so.

I'm wondering if she is against your homeschooling and concerned about the child's "loneliness" because she is actually concerned about HER loneliness. You said that her children were all grown, so perhaps she is really annoyed that you are tied up playing homeschool Mom rather than out shopping and having lunch with her instead.

Just a thought.
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kennys_mommy
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Joined: 20 May 2008
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Location: near a really big college in illinois

PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The bad part about losing our immunity is that every stray germ that comes blowing by puts us all down for longer than normal.

My DH is a work-at-home guy too.

So, it's OK then? Did anything contradict itself? I can do that when I'm doing a stream of consciousness typing thing.
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easyhomeschooling
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 12:59 pm    Post subject: ok Reply with quote

I don't see a thing wrong with the letter. IMHO
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seekingmyLord
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Joined: 04 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally, I would just talk to her and it would start with this:

As my friend, I have talked to you about things that bother me, probably more than you would like at times. I have always appreciated how you have been there for me, but there is one thing I have not felt comfortable talking to you about. We have been friends for so long, it is difficult for me to think I do anything that displeases you--it actually hurts me. However, I have come to realize that there are some things that I am going to do differently in my life than you have done in yours, and you know me well enough to know that I don't do anything without a good deal of consideration. So, please understand that your opinions against my homeschooling are not going to change my mind and I don't expect my opinions on it to change yours. However, homeschooling is a part of my life just as you are a part of my life and I am feeling torn between the two right now.
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Minniewannabe
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Even if she's a best friend, it's none of her business. Personally, I'd tell her that while you appreciate her opinions, her discussing homeschooling with you has become an annoyance to the point you don't want to talk about it with her anymore. Refer her to a good homeschool site if she wants more information, but explain that you don't owe her an explanation and she has no right to continual criticism. Then suggest you talk about something "more fun" and leave homeschool discussion behind forever.

Personally, I think the letter you wrote puts you on the defensive, a position you don't have to be in. You and your DH are the decisions makers here, not her. But if it's therapeutic for you to send it, then so be it. Hopefully, the letter was therapeutic enough by just writing it.
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bippycorn
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to totally agree with you on home schooling. If I ever get married (and im 41), i would love the opportunity to homeschool my kids as i just dont think kids can get the same education in public schools these days that they can get through homeschooling where one or 2 parents can give their all teaching their kids. I just cant see some public school teacher teaching my child with the passion and love i would give to them. Its only natural as they would be my kids.
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4given
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Minniewannabe wrote:
Personally, I think the letter you wrote puts you on the defensive, a position you don't have to be in.


I got the same feeling as I read the letter. Maybe sleep on it. Did something happen in particular to get your emotions in high gear? Perhaps stepping back and reading that letter after the dust has settled will give you a fresh new look?

It sounds as if you are having very normal doubts and fears about homeschooling. Finding a sympathetic ear during these times may prove more encouraging.

As far as immune response... Public school germs do not magically create strong immune systems. You said that you guys get out for various activities and gatherings. The same germs are thriving all over the place. Ever wonder what little microscopic beings are living on your grocery cart handle? Besides, over-exposure to germs is not what creates strong immunity. A healthy lifestyle is the biggest defense.
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seekingmyLord
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 6:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally, I would see the letter as therapy and toss it. I did something like this once and I have been on the other end, too. From my experience, it is a sure way to end a friendship. Unless your relationship is one that has been by letter, you should be able to talk with your best friend about this.

The very first message this letter sends, once she gets the gist of the letter, is that you don't want to face her or talk to her, which is an insult between close friends and suggests the friendship is over. That immediately puts her in the wrong frame of mind to accept what you have written, so she will be looking for anything that even remotely is offensive to her so that she has a real reason to be offended.

If you want to keep the relationship, you really need to sit down face-to-face and have a talk friend-to-friend. If she cares enough about your feelings, she will back off. If not, you may need to be the one that does not respond to her opinion on homeschooling, and try using some good old fashioned etiquette: turn the course of the conversion with something obviously trivial like, "Have you noticed how nice the weather is today?" Eventually, she will realize that homeschooling is a dead subject between the two of you and will find something you both can enjoy discussing.
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