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Posted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 2:42 pm
You know, it seems to me that most of the "nay" sayers are from the "old school" and really need to learn about homeschooling before they say their piece. I gave my parents a copy of my ebook to read and it's helped some I think. I would suggest using this approach and giving your relatives some information to read, even if it means being sly and just leaving it lay at their house after a visit sometime.
Posted: Tue Jan 23, 2007 10:57 am
I just joined the boards last night *waves* but I wanted to chime in here as well. My MIL is extremely opposed to our homeschooling our two boys, 3 and 6. She's been a teacher for 30 years and thinks the only way to get a proper education and proper socialization is to put them in public school. Not private school, not montessori, not one of the other numerious type of schools out there, but public school. She took it so far as to say that if we were going to homeschool, that they wouldn't be able to watch our kids for us anymore (they're pretty much our sole babysitters). My wonderful DH came through and told her that we understand and respect her concerns about homeschooling and that these are our kids and we will raise them the way we choose to. She had her chance to raise her child and he turned out to be a very successful, well adjusted person. Now it was our turn to do the same. If she felt that she couldn't be around the kids because they are homeschooled, that was her decision and she needed to do what she felt was right, but we were also going to do what we felt was right. When that didn't work, she started in with fear tactics about our kids being social misfits (and in the next sentence saying how proud of them she was for how well behaved and polite they are) and guilt tactics saying that we were depriving our kids of a normal childhood and to think of all the things our kids are missing out on (all said with a quivering voice on the verge of tears). I didn't say it this time but I will if she pushes the issue, but what about the opportunities that my kids will have that public school kids don't. There are a ton of experiences in life and you can't experience them all - you gotta choose what you believe is best for you and go with it. You can only do the best you can with you have at the moment - and right now we believe the set of experiences and the type of childhood that homeschooling gives a kid is what's right for us.
In the end, I don't feel her arguements are based in any sort of fact. I feel they're based on her feeling threatened that we've "rejected" the career that she's put the last few decades of her life into. I think it also has a lot to do with the fact that we reject the public school system in general and don't believe in it as able to give a child a quality, personalized education that strenghthens a child's strengths, supports them through their weaknesses and does it in the way the child learns best.
Underneath this all is the fact that my kids don't want to go to school. My 6 year has had some horrible, horrible experiences in our local public school system and wants no part of it. He sees school kids in a school setting several times a week for community ed classes that are held as an after school type program and he still wants no part of it. That fact totally gets disregarded and I'm sorry, I do allow my child input into his education and he tells me he's very happy and likes going to school at home. He's well aware of what he's "missing" and likes what he has now instead of pining after what school kids have.
Posted: Tue Jan 23, 2007 2:14 pm
Thanks to everyone has responded here! I guess I just need to try and get up the guts to have a talk with my mil and explain to her that we have made up our minds to homeschool and that we would appreciate as much encouragement and support from her/them as possible. Maybe if I go about it that way (if I can get all of it out before she interrupts) she will actually feel the fact that we need that encouragement and support. If I know her though, she'll stop me clean short with all of the remarks like, "You can't protect them from the world," or "Kid's need to be around other kids," or "What if something happens to Chad (dh) and you have to go back to work," etc., etc. She's full of "good" reasons not to homeschool and it is very discouraging. So, thank you all for your encouragement as it really may be the only encouragement I will be receiving.
Posted: Tue Jan 23, 2007 2:35 pm
Amanda, I guess my perspective on the subject is that anyone can what if anything to death. What if, what if, what if...If you live your life by what ifs, you'll drive yourself crazy. Maybe something happens to DH and you have to go back to work, that's a bridge to cross when/if you come to it. Nobody can possibly anticipate all the what-ifs that could happen and living your life that way is a good way to miss what IS. Very few decisions are set in stone. Say you start homeschooling and something happens that makes it impossible to homeschool any longer. There is nothing in stone saying that once you've started, that's your only option. Lots of people HS and then put their child into a school setting for whatever reason and vice versa.
"You can't protect your kids from the world"....Well, in my opinion, our kids are better equipped to deal with the world because they're actually out in it. Homeschoolers aren't shut up in their homes chained to the dining room table with stacks of books and worksheets. They're out in the world experiencing things, interacting with people, doing stuff most other kids don't have time for since the majority of their day is spent in school. IMO, it's the public school kids that are being protected from the world. They're shut in school all day behind loads of security precautions. They're comings and goings are monitored. They must ask permission for something as simple as a bathroom break. They're generally only exposed to kids their own ages and while there can be a wide variety of ethnicities in a public school, there are areas that don't have that.
"Kids need to be around kids" - I couldn't agree more! HS kids aren't shut away from other kids. My 6 year old has a social calendar that rivaled mine in high school and college....seriously. What kind of socialization is it when the only socialization kids get in school is at recess or between classes (both of which are largely unmonitored by adults) and the rest of the time are scolded and penalized for visiting with their neighbor or passing notes?
Posted: Tue Jan 23, 2007 5:32 pm
I totally agree, but telling that to my mil is like talking to a tree. Thanks for sharing all of that though. I'm thinking that when the confrontation takes place (and trust me it will), this is the kind of information I need to use to defend myself. Even if I am talking to a tree! Lol!
Posted: Tue Jan 23, 2007 6:26 pm
Well, I got the information from the local school district today so that I can do even better at explaining myself. I'm going to read and memorize it for everyone's sake here LOL
Posted: Tue Jan 23, 2007 7:11 pm
amandasangels wrote:I totally agree, but telling that to my mil is like talking to a tree. Thanks for sharing all of that though. I'm thinking that when the confrontation takes place (and trust me it will), this is the kind of information I need to use to defend myself. Even if I am talking to a tree! Lol!
I know and I sympathize. I state my peace once and will hear her side once and then the topic is off limits for discussion and I make that known. It isn't her decision so her thoughts on the matter are really irrelavant, but I hear her side out of courtesy to her. If she abuses that, I will end that courtesy. But that's just how I handle my MIL.