"Why are your Children not in school?"...Dealing with comments

Nina

ScotHE
Hi Everyone!
I'm quite new to all of this so please bare with me!

I was just looking for some feedback as to how you all cope with peoples negative comments regarding home schooling.

We are home schooling our two boys 10 & 7 1/2 yrs and also have a little toddler 20 mths. We have recently moved house and had been speaking to our new neighbours who asked what school our boys went to. I explained we home schooled the boys and all the disadvantages of school and the wonderful advantages of home schooling. I was then told off like a naughty school girl in front of the kids!:embarrassed:
They went on to tell me they know all about class sizes etc and inform me that they are a retired school teacher and headteacher!
She said "I used to tell my pupils life is NOT about doing what YOU WANT to do so get used to it"... Such wonderful insight don't you agree?:mmph:
She questioned me non stop about socialising and curriculum and more....
I was dazed to say the least after that and disheartened at peoples lack off encouragement for using our valued time to educate our children, spending time and enjoying time with our kids, seeing them develop their skills and truly being apart of it. Not just getting a rushed 5 minute parents night talk twice a year telling us what your child is not doing... :focus:
Later that night I got a dressing down from a family member in front of the kids again on how they were social misfits and would be unable to make friends or have friends he then went on to ask my son hard maths questions which upset my son as he was so stressed he couldn't answer them.
My son later apologised for not knowing the answer and said he would go back to school if it meant I didn't get anymore hassle! Poor wee thing!

Anyone had any similar experiences and how do you handle the question why are your children not in school?
 
Hi Nina

Oh my god! I can't believe the nerve of some people. I have been home edding my 10 year old for a couple of months and have had very mixed reactions from people. My mother in law is an assistant head at a secondary school and suprisingly she has been very supportive. My brother on the other hand (who happens to be a teacher as well) was horrified. He said i was forcing my political beliefs and lifestyle choices onto my kids! I also overheard him asking my son if he was really happy and that he really must miss his friends to which he replied, "I'm really happy and no I dont miss my friends because I still see them".

I am begining to learn not to let other peoples opinion affect me. I know my children better than anyone as you do yours and the very fact that you consciously sought out a better way for your kids rather than just mindlessly accepting the status quo of mainstream education proves that you are doing the best thing for you.

Some people are automatically fearful and suspicious of people who do not follow the herd and I think that is why they react badly or seek to ridicule you. I would never dream in questioning my neighbours about their choices to send thier kids to school. In my head I may be thinking "how could you cart your children off like that", "how could you let your childs individuality be dampened down and be spoon fed exam techiniques to leave after so many years and not have retained a single thread of knowledge except for the ability to conform." I may think these things but I would respect my neighbours choice and not get on my soap box.

I have learned from my son to just think "whatever" and walk away.

Suze
 
Hi,

I turn the tables on such people and it usually works.... I tell them that the law states that the education of a child is the parent's responsibility, that my husband and I take that very seriously and do not delegate that responsibility to the state. However, some people prefer not to and allow the state to take on their responsibility.
The conversation normally goes no further .....

Fiona
 

Admin

Administrator
You are scary though, Fiona. :D

You do get used to that sort of attitude from people who really can't help but comment on your choice, often because they are 'professionals' who have never had reason to challenge the status quo or consider just what a daft idea mass schooling is.

Once it is pointed out that we take our responsibilities far more seriously than those who simply warehouse their children on a daily basis, the brighter ones will usually engage in discussion of the whys and wherefores of home ed. Unfortunately there are a lot of bigots about who are best ignored.

As the years go on, you will find your children are the best advert for home ed (unless they choose to try school for a while, in which case they might be accused of making eye contact and speaking to teachers as equals).

Be assured that thick skins grown remarkably quickly and HE friends are friends for life, not just the school gate. :hug:
 

Nina

ScotHE
Thank you for replying! You are so right as others have already noticed the difference in our two boys -especially the youngest who was completely traumatised during his first year at school. :shocked:
We got him cranial sacral treatment once we took him out of school to release some of the stress he had. During the treatment we were told that he had experienced trauma about a year ago which was when he started school! He also asked how he got on with reading -this had been a problem at school as he refused to read and said he couldn't do it. All of these issues have been released and my goodness what a difference he is now reading everything in sight and with being away from school he is learning so fast and is so much more happier. We now have our wee boy back at last! :cheer2: We just need to get them both some new friends now!!
 

Sheila Struthers

Well-known member
Ali is right, you'll have grown a thick skin before you know it.

These days I find people are more interested than critical - but maybe my thick skin has made me scary :whip:

Families can take time I'm afraid...

My mum is a very pro-school ex-teacher/educationalist. I know she would be happier if my son was "doing a proper course" but she did say to me a few months back that "we were doing a good job with him" which meant a lot to me :roll:
 
Hi Nina!
As you can see, there is plenty support for people on this Forum. Of our three, two were never at secondary school and one was, but had only had a year of primary. (We carted them off in a horse-drawn caravan for seven years, so school was not an option!) The oldest had no exams to his name but did a catch up course at Angus College, then followed an HNC in Applied Ecology with an HND and has been gainfully employed ever since. Our daughter who will be 28 this month (Omigod! 28! Can't believe that!!!) still has no paper qualifications but has been working with horses since she was 16 and is much in demand. She has been 3 times to Oz and 3 or 4 times to the US, too. The yougest, who went to school aged 13, picked up all the bad habits within weeks but still managed to survive and has just started 3rd year at Stirling Uni.
I mention all this because the one thing that scared me, at the start, was that we might be damaging the children's life! Back then there was only EO (in a rather better state than the current nasty outfit) and they were not exactly on the doorstep to offer advice. Schoolhouse was not in existence.
It seems funny now, but at the time, the fear was very real.
Good luck!
 

Mickey

Well-known member
They went on to tell me they know all about class sizes etc and inform me that they are a retired school teacher and headteacher! She said "I used to tell my pupils life is NOT about doing what YOU WANT to do so get used to it"...
You have saved your children from the prospect of retiring as bitter, grumpy old gits like this pair!
 

Mickey

Well-known member
Great minds, Nina, lol!

I used to get the ignorant remark "I dinnae agree wi it," when I told folks round here that J was home educated.

I soon got quite brave with my replies and would answer "Oh, do you know someone who is home educated? No? Have you read about it? No?"

People soon learnt to keep their bigotted, hysterical reactions to themselves!
 

Nina

ScotHE
This probably should go under a new thread but I just also wondered if anyone had parents stop their kids playing due to homeschooling? My oldest had it (one of the many, many reasons we moved!) he had a few friends who he was close too but they stopped talking or coming in for him and were really quite horrible. To be honest I was quite glad as one of the parents was a complete control freak :der: and I had the misfortune to have a couple of words with her regarding her darling perfect son!
Anyways was glad to move away from such narrow minded people but do feel bad they have lost touch with their friends as we are bit isolated here as no children of the boys age near by.
But the main thing is they are happy and so that makes me happy!

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply it makes such a difference to know I'm not the only one going against the grain and proud of it!! :whoo:
 
Where abouts are you? Jacob has so far kept in touch with some of his friends from school and it doesn't really seem to be an issue with thier parents.
 
I just also wondered if anyone had parents stop their kids playing due to homeschooling?
Funny you mention this. A number of hostile feelings emerged shortly after I became HE back in 1989. I wouldn't say that any of my friend's parents stopped friends from associating with me although some found HE very strange. The news that I was HE spread quite widely and information received via the grapevine revealed that I was seen as problem child by many children at both my former secondary school and my primary school that my brother attended.
 

Nina

ScotHE
To be honest I think it was a mix of both. The other children were jealous of him not going to school, one of them had said it wasn't fair and had said to his mum he wanted to be taught at home, to which she had seemingly replied "but he has problems you don't" News to me??? :confused:
We are in the Edinburgh South area right on the outskirts.
As my old gran used to say "there's nought queerer than folk"!! :tongue1:
 

Mickey

Well-known member
The schooled friends visit, tell their parents how much fun their HEd pal has, how her mum doesn't mind the house being a bit messy, etc., and that they too would like to be HEd, thank you very much. Mum of schooled child says it's illegal, but of course their child doesn't fall for that one because they have a friend who doesn't go to school, quite legally. Easiest thing for their parent to do, is stop the friendship or make up lies. Then sit down comfortably in front of some mind-numbing daytime tv again before doing a paranoid dash with the duster and hoover.
 

Nina

ScotHE
Once again you are so right Mickey!
I find it so strange when most of the comments I get end in "Well I think your mad I couldn't cope with being with my kids all day!" I really just don't get that at all, not that I'm saying it's all a walk in the park, some days it's really hard work but I didn't have kids for someone else to look after -that's my job, my responsibility.
 
We are in Glasgow. Maybe making a trip to Edinburgh in the near future so may give you a shout if thats alright.

I have to say a lot of Jacob's friends parents are older than me, I'm 30 and they seem to be all around 45 so I guess i have got used to them thinking me a bit of an oddball and a hippy (as some parent called me). I don't know if it was meant as a compliment but that's how i took it!

But you hit the nail right on the head there Nina. I was on my own with my eldest for about 6 years. 4 of them were spent studying Law and working part-time and 1 of them was spent selling my soul working for a law firm, stupidly believing that that was what you were supposed to do, get a career, earn money blah blah blah. It made me ill because all I really wanted to do was be with my family.

And its not all baking cakes and star gazing at home....well sometimes it is but sometimes its really tough. I had aspirations when I was younger and now I have had to put that to oneside because nothing matters more to me than my children's happiness. And now I can honestly say that I think I get as much out of home education as they do, I learn with them and its just great. I wish I was homeschooled. But I guess now I am!
 

Nina

ScotHE
That would be great Suze! Most of the parents were my age if not a little younger (I'm 33!) but never quite fitted into their little social playground mafia not that they didn't try I just hated the mind numbing conversation's and bitching sessions. It's such a relief to be free of that pressure and the children can now develop their own individuality without the peer pressure or the worry of not fitting in!
 
That would be great Suze! Most of the parents were my age if not a little younger (I'm 33!) but never quite fitted into their little social playground mafia not that they didn't try I just hated the mind numbing conversation's and bitching sessions. It's such a relief to be free of that pressure and the children can now develop their own individuality without the peer pressure or the worry of not fitting in!
Absolutely agree with you. Going home ed wasn't just a release for the girls - it meant I never had to face school gate hell or the mind numbing petty mindedness of PTA meetings again.

I have to say that, on the whole, we generally get a really positive response. Family and friends knew our reasons for taking the girls out of school and were entirely supportive. Whenever strangers ask why the girls aren't in school I steel myself for criticism, but mostly what I get is a wistful oh I wish I'd home educated my children, or else they are fascinated by what we do and how we go about it.

Almost all of the negative response has been local and has come in the form of never ever mentioning the fact that our girls don't go to the local house of horror. The girls are rarely invited to local parties and have lost contact with local people they used to be friends with but, like others here, we have all developed a thick skin along the way and missing out on a few parties has been a small price to pay for the rewards of home ed. We've always tended to do our own thing anyway and lots of people don't like that.

Regards
Lorraine
 

Nina

ScotHE
I think we are just a little bit away from developing that thick skin, but I must admit reading all these comments people have taken the time to write is a real help!
Our boys have had the same thing happen Lorraine, but I think through time once they get more involved in any local home ed activities they'll find new friends!
 
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