In the previous post where I talked about my belief that Olivia would do better with homeschooling than public schooling, I got a lot of feedback that I should start planning this transition now rather than in some nebulous, after the house is cleaned future. Who am I to argue with veterans? So I think over the next few months, even as I continue working, I will begin to put my vague ideas into concrete plans.
The first thing that springs to mind after excitement and terror is that at some point you have tell other people what you are doing. I am lucky in that my town is a homeschooling Mecca. There is a lot of support to be found if I go looking. It is remarkable in a place known for its excellent schools that so many decide to strike out on their own anyway.
No, the point of anxiety is telling the family. I am already known as being odd for having four kids and for being the breadwinner, and maybe crazy, hello homebirth, so any announcement I might make about homeschooling wouldn't be shocking.
And yet, my mother is a school teacher. She thinks my opinions about the schools are too negative and overwrought. I don't know what she would have to say about such a decision. I have no fear about being disowned, but I don't think she would be supportive either. Or I might be surprised.
So my question is what is your experience with family who doesn't quite understand why you do the things you do? Any advice or experience to offer?
When it comes to my remaining living parent, I solved the problem by not giving a shit what he thinks.
I clicked through from Feedly with sentiments similar to Erin's, though I might express them less emphatically. We got a ton of blowback from my parents about homeschooling during the four years that we homeschooled and the time leading up to the decision. And they? were wrong.
Well I am not concerned about their opinions such that it would overly influence my decisions, but it would be nice if they thought me something besides a total loon.
I was hoping someone might volunteer a story where one thought a family member might disapprove, but was pleasantly surprised when the person was actually supportive. But nobody has given any such story.
It seems if your gut tells you they are going to hate the idea, they *are* going to hate the idea. I guess we all get to have uncomfortable conversations.
My mom thought I would do it for a few years and then put them in school because it is “too difficult”to teach multiple grades and there was no possible way I’d be able to teach things like algebra, etc.
My dad was supportive but firmly believes in testing and accountability.
My aunt, a catholic school teacher, thought it was “horrible.” But my mom did not go so far as to agree with her.
One thing I have found very helpful is keeping those who object informed of what you are doing and what your kids are learning, even if only through your blog. When they see the learning happening and a happy, balanced child, in my experience, it tends to help them relax about it and be more supportive. If they have any expertise, it can help to include them as well.
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