My dh step mom questioned me this time around. They have not said much to us about homeschooling over these last 6 yrs! DH step mom is a former teacher now principal for many yrs. Dh dad was both also but now retired. She is over an elementary school.
She asked what I was going to do when I got to Chemistry and Biology and such. I told her I would learn w/ the boys and if I needed help I would ask. That there were many different kinds/types of curriculum available also. As for math, my dh is a college math teacher so he will be doing that! 🙂
Then she said that her school has had some homeschoolers enroll and that they were behind in some subjects. I pointed out that even kids in PS are behind in some subjects. Some excel in one area while others excel in another. Kids learn differently and soon they will catch up. She agreed..but was still concerned. She mentioned that the homeschoolers had to catch up to PS kids. That may be so but homeschoolers know other things that PS kids don’t know. KWIM? I think she is putting them all in box! Learn this at this age and then proceed…Next please! LOL
I mentioned how that even though we do teach history and science and such that I am more concerned at math, reading, and writing at this age. That they need a good foundation to excel in other areas throughout the yrs. I was trying not to get defensive. She is truly a nice lady. But, has been in PS system since she graduated and is somewhat near retirement age. Her grandchildren go to her school too. And she mentioned how smart they were. But she does say that our boys are smart too.
Anyways, did you get questioned over Christmas? And how did you react? What do you say to PS teachers?
oh I forgot, she did say that the parents of the homeschoolers said, “He/She doesn’t like that subject so they didn’t push them”. I never asked how many kids are we talking about? And are everyone of them that behind?
Thanks in advance for any words of advice or stories 🙂simple homeMember
To be fair, she is right in a way. Many homeschoolers do allow the gifted areas to excell and not push other weaker areas. It’s a great advantage, but also a problem if you ever decide to enroll them in a school or college and have to play by their rules and learning how to work the system. It’s not a fun fact to face, but it’s reality. 🙁
This year, I have my ds13 enrolled part time at a private school for some areas that needed pushing. It was a decision my dh and I thought to be wise for his possible college future. It has proved challenging for my son, but he has truly learned in so many ways. He has really stepped up to the plate and performed like I’ve never seen at home. I know this is not true for some, but it’s been a good thing for us.
It is so frustrating when anyone puts labels and boxes around certain groups of people who educate differently. Every child is different and has different needs. I think it’s ok to be clear in humbly explaining this to a person who wants to judge.
My husband’s stepmom asked (again) about the homeschooling. She seems to ask every time we get together, and it always catches me off guard! Like your stepmom, she has been in the educational system a loooong time. It is unnerving to her that the states we have lived in do not require us to use this or that curriculum or check up on us. I was amused at this, considering the fact that earlier in the day she said that not every child was capable of understanding multiplication…oh, really?
I have explained to her in the past that in states where agriculture and farming were the primary industries (like Texas and Oklahoma, where we have lived) many children have historically been educated at home, particularly during the busy harvest season of the year. That is why these states give parents more freedom in the education of their children. My own dad grew up on a farm in the 50’s and was taken out of school 8 weeks of the year to help pick cotton….He made a straight 4.0 GPA through high school, college, and law school so I am pretty sure the impact was minimal – if not beneficial!
I have also explained that we feel it is our God given duty and responsibility to educate and disciple our children, not the duty of society or the state. She still just flat doesn’t like it.
This time she said, “So, how does homeschooling work? Tell me what you do exactly”. Basically, I was in the precarious position of outlining our day to day life and submitting it for her approval. Thankfully, about 10 minutes into the conversation someone else came to the house and I got a repreive!
I used to get really defensive, but all you can do is speak the truth in love as respectfully as possible. It makes me uncomfortable and nervous to have to explain my choices this way, but there are always going to people who really just don’t understand. Hopefully, we are able to explain it in a way that opens their eyes to parental rights and the awesome priveleges of educating our children at home.nerakrParticipant
Two years ago a cousin asked ds what grade he was in. He told her and said he was homeschooled. She must hvae forgotten, b/c last year she asked again. Neither time did she judge. She thought it was great, she had a friend who homeschooled, and said she wished she could. She thinks she can’t afford to quit her job, especially since her oldest is nearing college age. This year she remembered and asked if he was still homeschooled. That was all she said. An aunt, a former college professor, gave him a workbook and flash cards for math. My extended family seems to realize it’s none of their business or they support my decision even if they don’t necessarily agree with it. Of course, we usually only see them once a year or so.
My immediate family, on the other hand–that’s a different story. I try not to share my struggles with ds or my concerns about dd with them. Their response is always the same–“If you don’t know what to do, put them in school.” My sister, an elementary educatiom major, must be under the impression ds is behind in everything, b/c she still reads easy stuff to him (Berenstain Bears, Clifford, that sort of thing) and fusses at me when I tell him to read something harder. If she is babysitting and takes them to the library, she lets him get twaddle instead of encouraging him to get harder stuff. AARGH!
OK, I may have gotten a little off topic. But basically, any mention of homeschooling over the holidays was positive or neutral.
Thanks ladies for the advice and for sharing!TristanParticipant
We, too have had good and bad reactions from family and friends (and we’ve been at this since my oldest was preK, she’s 6th grade now). A few things I’ve realized over the years:
– There are some who ask questions out of love for your children. They may not understand how homeschooling can meet a child’s needs, push them, or equip them in upper level classes. But they are asking out of love for your child. Over time they hopefully can see that your children are learning and growing well at home.
– There are some who think it’s great. Love them, treasure them, hug them often.
– There are some who ask how things are going but don’t really want to know, they just want an opening to air their disapproval for homeschooling. These are the ones we refuse to engage. We state our reasons and move on.
– Some feel judged or threatened by your choice, like it is an indictment on their past or current parenting and educational choices. It’s a balancing act to share opening why you choose homeschooling without coming across that everyone should do it or they are not as good a parent.
I have one family member (my husband’s step mom) who literally has told me more than once to : Stop having babies (I’m on #8), put them in school and daycare, and go get a job so we can have more ‘things’. It’s not even that she thinks homeschooling is harmful to our children’s education but that we are not living up to her ‘standard of living’ because we are a one income family. Sigh.
We have one close friends family that does NOT homeschool and the husband is a teacher at the local public high school. We’re a few years ahead of them kid=wise with an 11yo oldest while their oldest starts Kindergarten next fall. So while the husband will not homeschool their children it has done AMAZING things for him to see our children’s learning, interests, strong areas, and struggling ones, plus how we work to strengthen those. We are a positive testimony that while he does not want his children homeschooled he is seeing that it can be a positive, successful learning environment. He is no longer antagonistic about homeschooling. Huge progress.
I think the most important thing is to be matter of fact about what you do, share how your children succeed and how you find ways to help them learn areas they struggle in as they come up, and assume that her comments are coming from her love of her grandchildren. She wants the best for them, just like you do. Over time she’ll see that homeschooling really can offer the best for them.
Thanks Tristan for the food for thought! Great info!
Congrats on #8 🙂SueinMNParticipant
Just remember that a public school is only going to see the homeschool kids that struggled. If it was going great then they would still be homeschooling. So they don’t usually see the millions who succeed at homeschooling.
It is the same way around for homeschooling. We see plenty of refugees from the public schools. The people who thought it was great there, are still there. So you can’t judge either group by those who left it.
Just concentrate on your reasons for homeschooling, smile at those who think differently, and do what you planned.curlywhirlyParticipant
Just please remember that how successful the kids are in school OR at home is in large part a matter of perception. For example….
I have 2 sets of kids- my older set are now both in their early 20s and my younger ones are 3 & 4 yo and I am preparing to start the home education journey over again with the littles. I did homeschool my older kids, but I didn’t know about CM, and I was a young single mother and strugged a lot both with educating the kids and making ends meet. At one point I felt I was just *not* succeeding well enough in either area and I placed my boys into a private Christian school when they were in grades 1 and 2. They started school the week before the anual state testing. Their scores the first year were average for their grade in all areas, with a couple on the low side but still average. A couple weeks later the school insisted on moving both kids back a grade (to K and 1st) because they were “so far behind from home schooling”. Remember this was nearly 20 years ago- attitudes were often much worse toward home education back then!
A year later they of course did the testing again and all scores across the board were lower, some of them dramatically lower. It was, of course, blamed on the job I did home educating, despite the fact they had been in their very successful school for a year at that point. Riiiiight!
Fortunately for my sons I got married at the end of that school year and my hubby supported home schooling all the way. We pulled them out and never looked back! We didn’t to the testing more than once or twice more (not required in my state), but scores were coming up. We also had some testing done on my son who had the hardest time and were able to document 6 major learning challenges in various areas including math, reading, writing and auditory processing. Perhaps those struggles he encountered had less to do with home education and more to do with the learning challenges he faced?
I home educated them both through high school. My son with the learning challenges is doing OK considering the challenges he faced although academics will never be his forte. My other son is about to get his degree and is in honor society and has a 3.6 gpa. Too bad the home schooling held them back, eh?SueParticipant
I have to admit, I’ve only scanned the first few posts here briefly, but one thought about being prepared to answer the homeschooling questions popped into my mind. We teach our children how to collect their thoughts about a subject and put them on paper in a logical, expressive manner; perhaps it would be a good exercise for us moms to do the same. It might be good to sit down over a couple of sessions and approach it as though we were writing an article explaining how and/or why we homeschool our children. I would then file the end result somewhere and reread it before any significant family gatherings. (Oh, let’s face it….it would be good for me to read it every time we venture out to the grocery store!)
It reminds me of 1 Peter 3:15, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear….”
I love each and every answer you all have provided!
Curlywhirly, that is so silly…you messed them up in K and 1st??!! Blame it on us dumb homeschoolers! LOL..congrats on your two older ones and best wishes to your upcoming littles 🙂
Great verse Sue! I do need to write out whys and hows!
Thanks to you all!
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