Seriously considering HSing-- how to talk about it to extended family?


#1

Our son is only 2 and a half, but DH and I have all but officially decided to home school him. My family is great with this decision, b/c my mom HSed my siblings and me for many years, so it’s nothing new. HOWEVER, we live in the same town as my DH’s family, and HSing to them is something totally foreign… for those of you that homeschool we get the “Huh? :ehh:” look. Familiar? :stuck_out_tongue:

SO, I was wondering if anyone had any helpful tips on things to say when the conversations come up (and they do regularly) from grandparents, great grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc, on “It’s time for little _ to start pre-school, isn’t it? Where are you going to send him?” My darling Mother in law :smiley: even says things like, “Well, why don’t we think about putting him in this preschool program this fall?.. I’ll pay for it.” :eek: We’ve explained repeatedly that we’re going to homeschool him. She hasn’t said this directly, but I’m very sure she thinks that HSing him would be very detrimental to his social development :rolleyes: … he’s very outgoing. “How’s he going to learn to take turns, and raise his hand, and get in line?” Those are seriously the points she raises. I know he would have great fun with the kids in a preschool, but I also know that there are other ways to let him interact… like the great Catholic HS group in the area. It’s funny, besides me (and I consider myself to be very socially adept despite my many years of HSing :wink: ), she’s only really been around one other HSing family, and they truely were socially backwards (but that wasn’t b/c of the homeschooling), and she chooses to associate the results of HSing in general with THAT family instead of with mine, and I think that my experience is the norm, and not the exception.

So I guess I’m hoping y’all have suggestions on talking to MIL, with whom we have a close relationship, and other extended family members, with whom we are not as close. DH and I are at our wits end, esp with his mother, b/c she just doesn’t seem to hear the words we say. (BTW, this is typical of her personality… it’s very hard to get her mind off something once she’s decided it must be done/not done.)


#2

Once you’ve told her, you can’t make her accept it. That’s her job.

All you can do is say politely, “Didn’t we mention, we plan to homeschool?” and then change the subject. Every time you give her what you think is a good reason, she’ll counter it. So don’t keep giving her reasons. Tell her it’s not up for discussion.

If you keep discussing it, so will she! (because you’re letting her)

If she truly wants to know more, suggest she read some good books. Just don’t keep getting sucked in to discussions. --KCT


#3

You need your DH to stand up to his mommy.

That being said, as KCT arleady stated, it is not a matter of discussion. It’s done, completed, finito. You’re home-educating the boy. 'Nuff said. The end. 30.

Now then, if Mumsie asks a particular question, it would be good to have answers to them. I recommend these sites:
homeedmag.com/
home-school.com/
homeschool.com/
nheri.org/
homeschoollearning.com/
keepingitcatholic.org/index.html
setonhome.org/
homeschooling.gomilpitas.com/religion/catholic.htm

You might also look at home school groups peculiar to your area for advice on the law and home education in your area.

But if it’s the ploy, “Let’s enroll him in XYZ Preschool, and I’ll pay for it,” the answer is, “No thank you.” That’s it.


#4

[quote=KCT]Once you’ve told her, you can’t make her accept it. That’s her job.

All you can do is say politely, “Didn’t we mention, we plan to homeschool?” and then change the subject. Every time you give her what you think is a good reason, she’ll counter it. So don’t keep giving her reasons. Tell her it’s not up for discussion.

If you keep discussing it, so will she! (because you’re letting her)

If she truly wants to know more, suggest she read some good books. Just don’t keep getting sucked in to discussions. --KCT
[/quote]

I know you and 'Burbs are quite right, but why is this so sensible in theory and so hard in practice? :o My DH is constantly laying down a line (there’s nothing wimpy about him! :thumbsup: ), but we both struggle with how hard to lay it, since we have been kicked out of their home for things like calmly insisting DS not get dessert before finishing the minute amount of food on his dinner plate. They either don’t hear what we’re saying or hear us completely wrong.
The other thing is his parents seem to think they have a “right” to have more of a say in our children’s lives than we think is appropriate. Sometimes I think it’s a result of them still trying to over-parent their son. (You know, the old “We’re only helping because we love you? Why aren’t you grateful?”) I suppose that will back off in time, but we certainly can help it by refusing to engage them in fruitless discussions. sigh

Thanks for the links… I need to start seriously preparing myself to be his teacher. :slight_smile:


#5

[quote=Consecrated]Thanks for the links… I need to start seriously preparing myself to be his teacher. :slight_smile:
[/quote]

By virtue of being his mother, you already are. Isn’t that nice?


#6

I agree with most of the other posters.


Say no thank you, you’re home schooling and change the subject. This is not her decision and she doesn’t get a vote, whether she’s paying for it or not.


This is a control issue, not a love issue. Although I’m sure there’s more than enough guilt layered on to cover that up.:wink: Just because she loves them, doesn’t mean she gets to tell you what to do for your children. And offering to pay for it, is just a way of taking this further under her control. Money = power = control.


Worse case, if she doesn’t get the subject change hint - tell her point blank this topic is not open for discussion anymore.


I’m sure your mil is a nice enough person and, I hope, not doing this intentionally, but this is a pattern of behavior you really don’t want to encourage - even if you’re not hme schooling, imho.


#7

This reminds me of the year my MIL enrolled my son in preschool and then told us about it later. :eek: My dh was still a little cowed by his strong willed mom, so against my wishes, we took him for the first semester. I was really resentful about the whole thing–you can imagine.

We still get a lecture every fall. But, either we don’t care as much or she is getting the message that we are committed to hsing. The lectures seem more mild.

One of my friends invited her in laws to go to the Catholic hsing conference. They actually came. They now think hsing is a great thing.

Hopefully, you have a good relationship with your inlaws so you can have a reasonable conversation. Maybe you could ask them if they have any questions. As they are unfamiliar with hsing, they will have concerns. Why make them worry if you can alleviate their concerns.

I love hsing. It definitely has its challenges. It is never too early to connect to your Catholic hsing community.


#8

[quote=Consecrated]I know you and 'Burbs are quite right, but why is this so sensible in theory and so hard in practice?

Probably because you’re a kind person and you want to be nice to them :slight_smile:

They either don’t hear what we’re saying or hear us completely wrong.

I’d be willing to bet they hear you just fine. Unfortunately they don’t agree and want to do things their way.

The other thing is his parents seem to think they have a “right” to have more of a say in our children’s lives than we think is appropriate. I suppose that will back off in time, but we certainly can help it by refusing to engage them in fruitless discussions.

Grandparents have no rights to their grandchildren, unless they have legal custody. In some ways, it’s like training kids. The more you leave open for discussion, the more they’ll push. If you simply refuse to have the discussions, they’ll soon realize they’re wasting their time. (though they’ll probably find something else to hound you about!)

Good luck . . . you probably have some trying times ahead, but be confident in your decisions about your children. There’s always the line, “God will hold US accountable as parents. You don’t want to get us in trouble w/ God, do you?” (I’ve used that line on my kids) —KCT
[/quote]


#9

Yeah, it doesnt sound like a “homeschooling” issue at all but rather a deeper problem of boundaries with your inlaws. It may have to get worse before it gets better. What I mean is you need to show them what their place is in your life and if it means getting kicked out of their house then so be it. Conflict is unpleasant, but when people are constantly overstepping their bounds I don’t see a way to avoid it.


#10

If you have a good relationship with your MIL…try to keep it that way. My MIL was NOT supportive at first of our decision to homeschool. I was a bit hurt by that because she is usually good about supporting our decisions as parents. She didn’t offer money to send them to pre-K (and my son is 3rd grade)…but she would have had she thought about it. So i can relate to that. Now she sees the fruits of homeschooling and is quite supportive. I did not want to fight her on it when I felt like I was fighting with everyone else. I told her how wonderful it was that my kids had a grandmother who loved them so much that she was concerned about their education. I then went on to mention how I had noticed last summer how she was showing my pre-school aged girls how the peony in her yard was growing each time they came over (she lives only a few blocks away). She likes to take them to the zoo and to bring them over to water the plants. I told her that was a form of homeschooling. Every time she stops to show them something in nature she is teaching them. She was good to go after that and felt pro-active in their education. She still had concerns about social skills. She now sees how my kids interact with all age levels.
Give your MIL time to accept this idea. It is hard for people to think outside the box…and for some it is scary. So they do things that make them feel in control of the scary situation.
Hope this is helpful.


#11

Thanks for the encouragment, everyone! I should know from my own mother’s experience with her family that family does come around in time… but I was so young when she was going through it that I am only now realizing how troubling it is to have pressure against what you think is right for your children from your own family… people you thought you could count on for support… ya know? Eventually, her family came around when they quickly saw how well we were turning out… not only academically, but also socially, etc. :slight_smile:

My husband has been learning how to deal with his parents’ control issues his whole life, so he doesn’t see the big deal in it… he says much the same things as you all do… don’t leave it open for discussion, etc… he’s much better at it than I am, and I leave the talking up to him when I can, but he’s not always around when DC and I are with his mother. My MIL does indeed mean well, and is a very wonderful person in a lot of ways… I don’t want to risk harming the relationship we have now. I guess I’m just looking for encouragement from people who have been there, that it’s worth it! :thumbsup:

I guess what it comes down to is that while she and other family might think it would be better and more fun for him to be in school, DH and I, right now, think it’s better for him to be at home. And what’s more important? :slight_smile: Like someone said, WE have to answer to God for how we trained him up


#12

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