Defending yourself is tiring??

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iamnettie
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Defending yourself is tiring??

Postby iamnettie » Wed Jul 11, 2007 10:05 am

Am I the only person who finds having to defend our families choice to home school to others is tiring? Both my husband's family and my family are pro homeschooling, even though we are the first people in our family to home school. Everyone sees the benefits academical through our children. It is others, mainly people on other on-line communities, who seem to have the biggest issue. I have been a part of these communities for years, some 6+ years, and I am tired of dealing with the constant put downs and feeling like I have to defend our families choice 24/7. I don't want to give up these "friendship" but is it really worth my time, energy, and stress to deal with them?

Am I the only person who ever feels this way??

frogguruami
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Postby frogguruami » Wed Jul 11, 2007 2:22 pm

It can be very frustrating.

I have adopted the "That's nice, how's the weather where you are?" approach. I simply refuse to debate my decision with anyone, family or otherwise. I am happy to answer questions but I will not defend my choice! I used to feel the need to but it got too old and I have better things to do! LOL
AM, homeschooling mom to Drake and Kyllian
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Sunnymom
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Postby Sunnymom » Wed Jul 11, 2007 3:10 pm

When I first started HSing, I would defend homeschooling, especially with those who were asking questions because they were interested or curious. Those who asked questions or made comments to be obnoxious I would generally ignore, and, as frog suggested, change the course of the conversation.

Lately I have started going on the offensive. There are enough unacceptable things going on in PS that it isn't difficult to turn the tables and question parents who would send their kids to inefficient and under-performing schools in decrepit buildings being taught by the lowest common denominator.

I find that I am not tired at all. :lol:

If dealing with people is stressful, then don't. Don't go to forums or message boards where people are allowed to post personal attacks. Find a forum that is unapologetically pro-homeschooling, and get the encouragement that you need to keep going. This is about your family and kids, not pacifying or debating the nimrods that can't find their behinds with both hands and a flashlight. :wink:

Lily
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Postby Lily » Wed Jul 11, 2007 5:51 pm

I don't defend facts. "Yep, we do it; yep, it works for us. If you're genuinely interested, I don't mind talking and answering questions."

Although if I am feeling a bit feisty I don't mind a good fight every now and then. :wink: :lol:
"The greatest sign of success for a teacher... is to be able to say, "The children are now working as if I did not exist."
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Calla_Dragon
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Postby Calla_Dragon » Thu Jul 12, 2007 8:12 am

There's a big difference between informing and defending. Informing is talking to people who are genuinely curious about homeschooling. Defending is having to put up with people who want to bash homeschooling rather than learn anything about it.

Whether I defend it or not depends on the day and what kind of mood I'm in. More often than not, an uninformed, purposefully malicious comment/opion will cause me to refute it with the facts. I always try to inform well-meaning, but uninformed people about homeschooling.

To date, I've had mostly positive reactions to the fact that I'm homeschooling (as I don't hide the fact that I homeschool - kinda hard when you're hauling two kids, one of which is obviously school aged, through the store). I find that elderly people have been really receptive to the fact that I homeschool saying things like "oh bless you! you're doing the best thing for your kids" or "good for you!". The not so positive reactions come from people with school age kids and I think that's more them feeling threatened more than anything else. I've heard it all from those moms "oh, I could NEVER homeschool", "I couldn't be around my kids that much", "I don't know how you guys do it", "Wow, you must be like supermom or something" :roll:
To be idle is a short road to death and to be diligent is a way of life; foolish people are idle, wise people are diligent.

Sunnymom
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Postby Sunnymom » Thu Jul 12, 2007 9:09 am

My favorite incident was when the bagboy at the local grocery store, who had to be at least 30 yo, started giving my kids a pop quiz in the check-out line. I asked him what he was hoping to accomplish, and he said something about making sure the kids were being properly educated. I told him that if and when I wanted to have my kids tested, I'd be having it done by someone other than a grocery store bagboy.:!:

I was not a nice person that day, but give me a break- I could almost tolerate my doctor or some other professional taking an interest in my kids' education, but someone whose greatest accomplishment in life is bagging groceries? My mouth engaged before my civility did, for sure.

Lily
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Postby Lily » Thu Jul 12, 2007 9:43 am

Sunnymom wrote:I was not a nice person that day, but give me a break- I could almost tolerate my doctor or some other professional taking an interest in my kids' education, but someone whose greatest accomplishment in life is bagging groceries? My mouth engaged before my civility did, for sure.


Ouch. So if this person was working at his other job - a teacher, grad student, etc. you would give him more respect?
Glad to see you took the time to encourage your children to judge others by their station in life.
He shouldn't have said what he did, but you were equally as rude.
"The greatest sign of success for a teacher... is to be able to say, "The children are now working as if I did not exist."

- M. Montessori

Proud non-member of the HSLDA

Sunnymom
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Postby Sunnymom » Thu Jul 12, 2007 9:47 am

I think I acknowledged that I was out of line- do you want me to go stand in the corner now?

Lily
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Postby Lily » Thu Jul 12, 2007 3:35 pm

Sunnymom wrote:I think I acknowledged that I was out of line- do you want me to go stand in the corner now?


Forgive me, from the sound of your post it seemed like this sentiment:

I could almost tolerate my doctor or some other professional taking an interest in my kids' education, but someone whose greatest accomplishment in life is bagging groceries?

is one you still believe to be a righteous judgement. I was merely pointing out that quite a few baggers have other accomplishments and jobs and don't count their extra paycheck as their "greatest accomplishment".
"The greatest sign of success for a teacher... is to be able to say, "The children are now working as if I did not exist."

- M. Montessori

Proud non-member of the HSLDA

StellarStory
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Postby StellarStory » Thu Jul 12, 2007 11:56 pm

I don't defend myself in choosing to home school except that I always make it clear the kids asked me too so they know I'm not some zealot keeping my kids from socializing or experiencing the world.

Outside of my kids and a few friends, NO ONE wanted me to home school.

However the atmosphere around here is overall pretty pro home school. I get a lot of comments, like "Oh I admire anyone who can do that!" and, "I wish I had / could do that" from people.
Last edited by StellarStory on Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Sunnymom
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Postby Sunnymom » Fri Jul 13, 2007 7:39 am

Lily wrote:
Sunnymom wrote:I think I acknowledged that I was out of line- do you want me to go stand in the corner now?


Forgive me, from the sound of your post it seemed like this sentiment:

I could almost tolerate my doctor or some other professional taking an interest in my kids' education, but someone whose greatest accomplishment in life is bagging groceries?

is one you still believe to be a righteous judgement. I was merely pointing out that quite a few baggers have other accomplishments and jobs and don't count their extra paycheck as their "greatest accomplishment".


I have shopped at this particular store for 6 years, and know enough about this guy to know that his greatest accomplishment in life is bagging groceries. Not that this isn't a noble vocation- but his attitude about questioning my kids set me off big time, and my kids have had enough hostile people approach them that they were becoming afraid to go out in public. The mother bear in me comes out sometimes, and I am sure you know how it feels when you perceive that your children are being attacked. Right or wrong, sometimes the claws come out.

I also said that I can understand someone who considers themselves a professional caregiver to feel it necessary to question my kids- although I wouldn't allow that either, but I could at least see why they felt they were a proper judge of a child's progress. If the guy was taking college courses or had an interest in education, I could understand his questions too. This is, however, not the case for this particular person.

It can become difficult at times to not respond to hostility with hostility. When we lived in a particular small town a few years ago, we were literally accosted several times in parking lots and stores. Once I was at a hairdresser, and when she asked me why I had my son with me, and I told her I was HSing, she lit into me like I was a child abuser. So I am sitting there being loudly lectured by a woman with scissors. How fun. A person can get sick and tired of that kind of thing, so I understand when an HSer loses it occasionally.

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seekingmyLord
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Postby seekingmyLord » Sat Jul 14, 2007 8:55 am

Well, much of how I handle the situation depends on the situation. If it is a situation where I feel I might be able to educate an person, I will take the time. If someone is just there trying to tear homeschooling down as a sport in general, I remind myself that in defending homeschooling that I would be acknowledging that his/her argument has validity....

Then I just laugh out loud and walk away shaking my head. Works for me! 8)

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Why is it even neccessary

Postby ibkellyb » Thu Sep 13, 2007 5:04 am

I guess I just don't even see why anyone feels it is neccessary to defend themselves. Last time I checked I was the one that gave birth to my children and my husband and I are the ones that raise them and so I don't feel it neccessary to defend my decision to anyone. That is the problem with people, everyone thinks they have the right to say or question anything they want and everyone else thinks they have to defend their right. I guess I just don't get it.

ScottHughes
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Postby ScottHughes » Thu Sep 13, 2007 5:58 pm

Maybe you could write a standard letter or essay about why you feel homeschooling is better than public school. Then when anyone asks about it you can just give them that letter. Also, you could make a FAQ.

I know a lot of homeschoolers have personal blogs. Maybe that would help since you could point them to your blog.

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Morgan
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Postby Morgan » Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:05 pm

Like StellarStory said, my reaction depends on the situation...

When I first began homeschooling, my grandmother was very... shall I say ... concerned. She was completely anti-homeschool, and she made it out like this was a temporary deal. Every time her and my mother spoke on the phone, she would ask something a bit like this: "So, when will Morgan be going back to school?" And the first time I heard about this, I was shocked. Did she really, truly, believe that homeschooling was temporary? I confronted her (not directly) about it, and I found that she believed it was strictly a social issue and that homeschooling was just a way of me getting away from whatever was bothering me at school. I'd tried, and my mom tried, to get my grandmother to understand that this was permanent, that this was real, and that this had nothing to do with any kind of social issue. It took a while to get her to understand, but finally after a year, she hasn't said anything about it. However, she still challenges that fact that we are getting an adequate education.

If the situation arises where someone is directly challenging whether or not I am getting a fit education, my first instinct is to say something like "I am in pursuit of knowledge, rather than knowledge being in pursuit of me." and quote some famous homeschooler, but instead I laugh it off and think "Are you serious?". I leave the talking up to my mother. :D

But, to the point, I do not tire of defending myself. I am feisty when people get in my way and challenge my beliefs. And yes, I would enjoy greatly, beyond a doubt, making a point to these kind of people in such a way that would permanently turn their point of view around.
"What we want to see is the child in pursuit of knowledge, not knowledge in pursuit of the child."
- George Bernard Shaw


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