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Dealing With Relatives

Posted: Sat Jan 06, 2007 1:50 pm
by WAHMBrenda
I'm wondering how you all deal with your relatives (especially your parents) who disagree with your decision to homeschool. Since I'm a single mom my parents are very involved in my daughter and I's life. However my dd would be allowed to go to K at the public school this year and my parents are both pressuring me to send her. This is especially true of my mom since my dad isn't as vocal as her. Compulsory age is 8 here and I'm already keeping accurate records according to state law. I plan to wait untill she's 8 and keep homeschooling "underground," so to speak, until then. I just don't know how to deal with my parents because I need their help but I've made up my mind and their disagreeing with me is just driving me nuts. Any help here would be great. Thanks!

Posted: Sat Jan 06, 2007 4:14 pm
by teacher22
Hi there! I can sympathize. I'm planning to start homeschooling in September and I'm dreading telling our relatives. I am a certified teacher and I come from a family of teachers and I know that I won't be supported in my decision. My suggestion (and this is what I'm going to try) is to give your parents one of the better homeschooling books so that they can read it and hopefully understand your point of view. Presenting them with some of the stats on homeschoolers and their success in life, univeristy, etc.. might help as well. Hope these ideas help. Good luck!


Posted: Sat Jan 06, 2007 4:36 pm
by WAHMBrenda
What book do you plan on giving them? I'm just wondering what you'd recommend. Thanks!

Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2007 11:18 am
by FLMom
My entire family was either supportive or indifferent about our decision to homeschool....except for my mother. She was very vocal and very against our decision.

I love my mother but I finally had to sit her down and let her know that this was our decision, not hers and that we did not welcome her negative input. I explained that if she still had concerns a year from now, she could bring those to my attention....ONCE; but that her negative input was affecting the kids and their confidence in their parent's decisions.

She shut up for about 3 months before she finally had to say something. Surprisingly, she retracted all statements and now is a big supporter of our homeschooling. She lives 2000 miles from us and still can see how much better what we are doing is than the local schools.

I wish you the best in dealing with your parents and hope that you don't have to get mean like I did; but sometimes nay-sayers need to know just how serious you are.

Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2007 7:19 pm
by WAHMBrenda
I have just been ignoring them but as a single mom it's hard. I'd like to have their support but I'm starting to think that that's just not realistic.

Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2007 8:11 pm
by momo3boys
It will take time, but when they start to see the benfits they may come around. My parents now love the idea that the boys can come and play even in the middle of the day on a weekday, and since they havecrazy work schedules they realy like this aspect. You may not know what will make them like the idea, but just keep pushing forward and do what you know is right.

Posted: Sat Jan 20, 2007 1:43 pm
by amandasangels
Hello! I'm new here and this is one of my main concerns about our homeschooling. I have a 6yo and a 2yo. My dh and I plan to let our 6yo finish first grade in public school and begin homeschooling in the fall. The problem is with my inlaws. So long as I've known them, they have been strongly opinionated and very outspoken people. My mil is also a very feminist kind of lady who believes in working outside the home and that daycare and school are the best place for children. So, I knew that they were going to disapprove before I even told them. About a month ago, I loosely mentioned that we were considering homeschooling and my mil was quick to let me know that I was not doing the right thing. I know that I cannot live to please them, but it would be so much easier if my dc, dh, and I wouldn't have to listen to their negative comments about it. It has been causing me a great deal of grief. Now I don't even want to tell them that we will definitely be starting in the fall. I know I will have to because they only live 30 minutes away from us and will realize it one way or the other. My question is for those of you who have had to deal with this kind of opposition. How in the world do you deal with this kind of thing without it resulting in terribly hurt feelings?
(: Amanda :) :oops: :cry:

Posted: Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:03 pm
by WAHMBrenda
Your situation sounds very much like mine. I don't know what to tell you. I'm dealing with a lot of grief but they've known I've been homeschooling dd for a while. It's just that now that it's time for my dd to register for K they're pushing me to do so. As a single mom this is even more difficult bc I really need my parents help. I guess I just want to let you know that I can empathize.

Posted: Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:44 pm
by amandasangels
Thank you so much for replying! I'm so sorry that your parents aren't more supportive. I know it has to be so much more difficult as a single mother. I'm so thankful that I am blessed with a wonderful husband, who through time and consideration decided to support me in my wishes to homeschool. My parents, thankfully, are not set against it either. I wouldn't say that they are so much supportive, but they keep any negative opinions they might have to themselves. You know, I have a friend that is a single mom of 3 that homeschools with very little support if any. I don't know all of the details as to why she is having to go it alone, but she is in a similar boat to yours. I don't know how knowing that will help you, but thought that it might be an encouragement. Maybe I could ask her to give me a list of tips to share with you.

Posted: Sat Jan 20, 2007 3:14 pm
by WAHMBrenda
Thanks for your reply. My dad, most of the time, does keep his negative thoughts to himselt. It's just my mon that airs everything she dislikes. I know I'm not alone but sometimes it's hard not to believe it LOL Thankfully I've made good friends with another homeschool mom in my area so I can talk to her. It'd just be so nice to know that my parents are supportive.

Re: Dealing With Relatives

Posted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 3:12 pm
by Ramona
WAHMBrenda wrote:I'm wondering how you all deal with your relatives (especially your parents) who disagree with your decision to homeschool. Any help here would be great. Thanks!

Let's see. My first tip is to live far, far away from them. We lived in MD for many years and my in-laws in CA. They couldn't bother us much.

My second tip is not to seek out interactions with them. I love my brother dearly and when he calls I talk to him, but I never call him. Almost every conversation ends up as a fight over homeschooling. It's a good thing we only talk about 3 times a year!

My third tip is to simply answer with facts any actual question that they ask and ignore the rest.

When we first started my dad wanted to know how we would know whether the kids were learning anything if we didn't do standardized tests (which I'm opposed to and always choose another option). I asked DS a bunch of questions about all his different subjects and let Grandpa hear his answers and see that he actually was learning a lot.

Soon after that MIL let us know that they were terribly afraid that we'd be caught breaking the law. (She had read in a local paper that homeschoolers were supposed to have teaching certificates in CA and she knew we didn't have them.) I sent her a copy of the MD homeschooling law and assured her that we were totally in compliance.

My next tip is to hold your head high and make your own decisions and just go forward. You're in charge of your child. The relatives really don't have a say in the matter. My brother is well aware of that now. :?

Next, let the kids' educations speak for themselves. As our kids have grown up they are smart, knowledgeable, talented, respectful, well-behaved, well-mannered, presentable and loving. The grandparents kind of almost respect the concept of homeschooling by now. (The oldest is going to finish in May.)

Finally, tell the relatives that certain comments won't be tolerated. My brother thinks that the reason DS is interested in a tech school instead of a liberal arts college is because he hasn't been well-prepared for college and that if he'd gone to public school he would be better-educated now. I told him he can have his opinion, but he's not to get on my son's case about his choice of higher education.

Flak from relatives is one that I certainly haven't got all figured out, but we've managed to persevere all these years somehow. :)


Posted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 3:36 pm
by Theodore
I'm rather insulted that someone would think tech school is easier than a liberal arts college. :) You won't see the liberal arts majors having to do Calculus II or III, Discrete Math, or Algorithms, any of which would probably be enough to leave them whimpering in the corner. Of course, that's somewhat offset by you being able to do projects rather than huge essays, but even so, I wouldn't say getting a technical degree is any easier than getting a liberal arts degree. It's just requires a different skill set.

Posted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 3:38 pm
by Ramona
One of the many reasons I think what my brother is saying is ridiculous. :roll:

He won't listen to reason, which is why I told him I won't tolerate him talking to DS about it at all.


Posted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 10:11 am
by WAHMBrenda
Ramona, it sounds like you have this more figured out than some of us do. I wish it’d be as easy as avoiding them but my family is so close/tight knit because of me being a single, handicap mother. I need their help and appreciate it whenever they offer to help. There are some things that I just can’t do (ie pick up heavy objects). I try to just ignore it when they get started. Of course, I never bring up the topic myself unless it’s just my dad and I because it’s mainly my mom that’s strong minded and set against homeschooling. When I bring it up with my dad it’s to tell him that we’re in compliance. Otherwise, I do let my daughter show my parents her work and let it speak for itself. Unfortunately they’re now on the “why can’t she sit stillâ€

Posted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 12:31 pm
by mdsmomct
I too am worried about this. My ds is only 2 and we are going to homeschool. My in-laws (who already dislike me due to my outspoken nature) have said we are ruining his life and he will be a social misfit and he will never be able to go to college. Mind you they have not said this to me- only to dh, because they don't like confrontation.

Dh handled them pretty well but if they keep it up I need to tell them something because I do not want ds to hear it and frankly they should lay off dh too!

And of course they have no knowledge of homeschooling - just the common misconceptions- he won't have any friends, he will be stupid.

I love the comment about living far away- we live far away from my parents and they honestly have no strong opinion. They say live and let live. The option of living far away from my in-laws isn't an option at this point, so how do I deal with them?

I do plan on telling them, if given the opportunity, that I don't judge their decision to use public schools so they have no right to judge our decision to homeschool. I will also tell them before they do judge at least get some facts on homeschooling instead of the old socialization argument!

It boggles my mind that people think they know how to raise your children better than you do! :)