Tagged: Homeschool Reasons
This week I had the honor of someone asking my children what grade they were in. and what school? (specific school). My son gleafully said, “oh, we are homeschooled!? ( sigh of releif at the gleaful part).
To my dismay I got a very cold look of disgust! Then, a sort of repremand that I was sort of not sure what she said. I just told her my kids have allergies and it is better that are home. Then, I felt myself starting to tell her my schooling background because she annouced “She WAS A TEACHER”.
Wow, needless to say we didn’t talk much after that. The conversation was going great until she found out I homeschooled! UGH!!!
Then, if that wasn’t bad enough. I had another person talk to me about my kids being put back into public school. I told him why my kids weren’t in public school and he said, ” Things are going better at the school. I should run for the school board and tell them the changes that need to be made. ” UGH!!!
In the end after a lengthy discussion I concluded with:
” The only way my kids would be going back to school is if I am dead and there is no other option!”
School is gearing up and I am feeling the heat around here… He even said, ” We need to get enrollment up. More people are coming to the area from other schools.” I said, ” Well there can’t be that many more students because we lived in a depressed area and there are only so many that live here! “
They are really trying to pull strings to get us homeschoolers in the door. That is for sure!
Anyone else feeling the heat lately???
Chocodog, we’ve been queried at the grocery store and during other errands lately, too. Thus far, the conversations go a little like this:
“So, are you guys excited to start school?”
Child A or B answers, “We’re homeschooled and don’t take summers off.”
clerk – “Oh, that stinks. What’s up with that, mom?”
I answer, “It’s hot and we’re inside anyway. We’d rather take regular breaks each month and extended breaks in the fall and spring for traveling.”
Clerk – “That’s cool. So does the state/school board/insert entity here send you books and curriculum? How does it work?”
Me – “No, I teach what I want and how I want. The kids are required to show progress yearly and they always do a great job.”
Clerk – “How do you know what to do?”….
and on and on.
I am nice, but very direct. If someone asks my reasons for homeschooling, I tell them. If they feel my answer is a judgement on their choice, that is their problem or issue. They asked, I answered.
Oh, and hubby would hire a tutor if I died. We can’t envision ANY scenario that would have us put our kids into a ps where we live.
My DD is only 3 and I’ve been hounded repeatedly about why she’s not in preschool. I don’t ever go into detail about why not, I simply give “we homeschool” as the reason. People act like I’m stunting my child’s development and social skills, ask me what I “have against preschool” and have even quietly told DD to “ask Mommy and Daddy if you can come to preschool so you can play with the other kids.” It’s really frustrating. Especially since homeschooling is huge here! Yet those same people comment on how polite and friendly my DD is, and they comment on how bright she is (she can sound out 3-letter words, she can do very, very basic addition, etc.). I don’t understand why they don’t hear the contradictions they are spouting?
This is our 17th year of homeschooling and I find that I’m less patient with this. I don’t go up and ask total strangers, “Why in the WORLD would you put your children in PS?? Honey, wouldn’t you like to be at home with your mommy instead of a day prison all day?” So I’m very polite (unless they persist) and VERY direct. It’s none of their business just like it’s none of mine where they put their children.
RobinP — the “day prison” made me laugh, mostly because that’s what I think when I see all those little faces peering out the windows of the school bus at the real world. But I won’t tell any of my “real school” friends that I think that.:)
In over 20 years of homeschooling, I don’t think we’ve ever received a negative comment. We’ve received many positive ones, and some tightly closed lips. I have found it interesting that reactions differ in different parts of the country. In the Midwest, no one would even ask us about homeschooling. In the 11 years we lived there, I don’t think we were asked even once. I’ve also homeschooled in New York, PA and Ohio and have been asked several times with only positive comments.
Haven’t had anything yet..cause I haven’t been out due to health issues! BUT when my MIL was in town trying to help us out when I was lying in bed w/ those headaches, she took the kids to the store and out to eat. It was the first day of school here. She said an elderly couple looked at her and the kids and said, Why are you guys not in school? She replied, they are homeschooled. I think she said they smiled.
Maybe they were nice about it, but to even ask hey why aren’t you in school today? I mean yes think it, but why do you ask? I guess I am getting too defensive! What if they were in PS and gma just picked them up to take them to the doctor? My MIL made the comment, she thought they just wanted to say something…well what about saying Hello, how do you do?? LOL!!
Have gotten questioned a couple of yrs ago at the grocery store though. And it wasn’t directed at me..more of asking the kids questions. Which I don’t mind to some extent!! But to grill them?
And as for PS? I already told my dh to hire a tutor if I die too! Something I thought about recently since struggling w/ health issues!
Thinking about getting some of those t-shirts that answers the questions for them!! LOL
Wow! Sorry so many of you have experienced criticism. I was afraid when we decided to homeschool that I would receive criticism from within (my extended family), but so far I haven’t!
We live in a very poor county and the public schools are not managed well, and frankly, I feel they are somewhat dangerous! I grew up in a GREAT public school system, and I am a former public school teacher, so I was shocked when I married and moved here at the state of things. There are 3 private schools in our county (I taught at one before having children), at least 1 cottage school (a homeschool mom who now has a 1 room school house for children other than her own), and now there is a Charter Public School that is somehow separate from the other large public schools in our county. There are many who homeschool though – some through K12 or the other state run one. I think most people assume I would send my kids to the private school I used to teach in if the economy had not crashed a few years back. In fact, I think that is what brought many in our area to homeschooling. Then they discovered they liked it and stuck with it! So, I guess people’s queries do vary from place to place.
Oh – I do remember last year, when my husband broke his ribs that we went to a restaurant in a neighboring county for lunch after his dr. appointment, and the waiter asked if school let out early that day. I was caught off guard, but replied that we had already finished school for the day. That’s all I said. The waiter smiled and brought us more chips and salsa. He was impressed that my 4 year old son liked salsa so much!!
I think it also helps that we interact with families whose children’s school backgrounds vary. It makes us more comfortable with one another. I have never said anything negative about any of the school choices, and no one has ever said anything negative to me about homeschooling.
Sorry this was so long. I just wanted to participate in the conversation, I guess! Have a great day homeschooling!!!
I think we get more comments here b/c so many people do homeschool. I think someone else hit on the fact that people who send their kids to PS seem to be more judgmental. At least that has been my experience, and like someone else said, I would never think to ask them such pointed questions like “why are you sending your kids to PS; don’t you worry they may be learning nothing and you won’t even know it” or something like that! Of course I am not going to say that, but they would say virtually the same thing to a homeschool parent!
As for what would happen if I couldn’t teach them for whatever reasons, DH would be signing them up for PS the first chance he got. I can’t help but be envious (forgive me!) of those of you whose husbands are so on board with homeschooling. Mine just isn’t, though he is happy for now that we are doing it. He does see the huge benefits; he just doesn’t think it is the ONLY way. Sigh.
As for clerks, being an adoptive parent (people do the same thing about adoption–ask really pointed and NOSEY and personal questions), so I have learned to be polite and yet blunt. I just don’t feel I have to answer nosey clerk questions anymore.
So, for anyone who is feeling like that, I have a solution that ALWAYS works and said with a smile, it is polite and yet gets the questions stopped ASAP:
“Why do you ask?” This questions will ALWAYS highlight a person’s true intent, b/c if they are being nosy, they will not have an answer. I guarantee it. It puts the question right back on them and they usually change the subject or just smile back and say, “Here’s your receipt. Have a nice day.” (with a smile most often!)
I should have adde occasionally the clerk will say “Well we are in the process of adopting …” or “Well, I have always wanted to homeschool but …” and then of course I am happy to help them and have often given them contact info. such as my email. But more often than not, the clerk (or other person) is just wanting to cast judgment and I don’t have time or need for that, so the “why do you ask” is a surefire way to bring out their intent and help me to steer the conversation in the appropriate direction.
Yes, I agree. We have an adopted son from China and it never ceases to amaze me what people will say right in front of him. Ya know?? He does speak English.
To be fair, though, I must say that I get homeschooling comments much less frequently than I used to. For my 22yos, this was a very regular occurance. My 8 and 9yo boys could probably count on one hand how many times we’ve been confronted by this. Homeschooling has become fairly mainstream here so many folks are used to it and often have some friend or family member who does this crazy thing.
I would never, ever, ever challenge anyone for any reason on their right and reasons for PS and my boys know they are in no way superior to anyone in PS. As was mentioned, those who ask with a sincere desire to know about our homeschooling or adoption experiences, I will be more than happy to share.
At the airport on our way to Mississippi a few weeks ago an older lady asked my children if they were excited about going back to school. She talked for a few moments with my children. They spoke clearly, respectfully, and looked her in the eye as they sat waiting for time to board. She found out quickly that they were homeschooled. She nodded and said “oh, that’s why they are so well behaved.” then we found out she was a public school teacher. LOL!
You know, while reading these posts, it dawned on me that I never, ever ask other kids what school they attend or what grade they are in! I guess I’m too busy thinking about other, more important things….
This is our first time homeschooling ever and I am already feeling the heat! The fear kind of sneaks up on ya and I get those thoughts reeling in my head and questioning my abilities. It’s almost a paraylzing fear. I feel alone in this homeschooling adventure and not support from family or friends! Do you guys ever feel lonely in your homeschooling….like no one else understands and I can feel my family pulling away from me!
Yup…I’ve felt alone. Often. Thankfully, we’ve not taken any slack from family, but I’ve never really lived in a community that was supportive of homeschooling. We have faced some judgement and negative comments, but more nonverbal pressure (which always makes me second guess myself – like should we have just gone ahead and put our 4 and 6 year olds into French public school so they could learn French there? No, I still don’t think that would have been the right choice for our family, but it can be hard to be the only missionary family in our community to have not chosen that path) and definetely lonliness. Grateful for this forum, though! While not a complete substitute for local support, it’s certainly better than nothing!
I should add that our positive comments in the past couple of years have outweighed the negative. The beginning of the school year just provokes more commments re. school, which is fine. By far the most negative comments I’ve ever received come from ps teachers. It seems just the fact that some choose something different from what the ps offers is an offense. I truly have no time or energy to spend on such utter nonsense. I can respect their right to make decisions for their families; it would stand to reason that the same level of respect for my choice could be offered.
I remember once when my oldest was 7 or 8 and we were at the ball field for her younger brother’s game, a sweet lady in her late 50s or early 60s struck up a conversation with me and my oldest. It was very pleasant and when oldest ran off to play with a friend, the lady asked where she went to school. I replied, she is homeschooled. It was as if lightning struck this lady who had been so pleasant just moments before. She proceeded to grill me over how I could possibly know how to teach her math, social studies, reading, etc. if I wasn’t a teacher and doesn’t the state send me the curriculum and require testing and on and on. I said that I was able to meet my child where she was and move at her own pace. Her next comment was something like, “she’s slow then. Oh, I see.” That ticked me off and I was nice, but very direct. I said, “Actually, she’s quite bright. She’s reading well above her grade level and enjoying things like fine art and Shakespeare. I don’t think a school seeting could offer those same opportunities for learning.” Next came the socialization question. I simply stated that she herself had just said how pleasant and well spoken my child was before she learned we homeschooled and that if she meant socializing, well, just look as oldest had a group of 3 or 4 kids playing with her and following her around at that very moment. That finally ended the third degree.
I agree with the others who’ve said that they are happy to share with someone truly interested, but I’ve no need to subject myself or my kids to intrusive and rude queries from those who are so easily offended that someone would dare to make a choice different than theirs.
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