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Old 10-25-2010, 08:45 PM   #1
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DH not wanting to HS- helpful ideas welcome

DH told me tonight that DS#1 WILL be going to kindergarten next year. #1- not a good plan on his part to TELL me what WILL be happening, #2- I feel like he is really not taking a good look at our son and who he is, and #3- I've been exploring and researching homeschool for several years- not to mention working with my kiddos this year instead of sending them to preschool. I knew he was reluctant with homeschooling from the get-go and negative about it, but am not sure how to get him to see this in a positive light. He's told me that he doesn't think I can do this- and thinks that for Kinder, you must spend hours upon hours a day teaching and if I don't, I am doing a sub-par job and our kids will be behind academically. He doesn't know how I can do that with a 5 year old, a 3 year old, 18 month old, and a baby coming in January (these are current ages). I do see and understand his concerns, but I really feel that he's dismissing me as a mother and teacher and not to mention as his partner. If there were something that he looked this much into and felt this strongly about- I certainly would not dismiss it in the same way he did to me this evening. He agreed to homeschool preschool for this year because the preschool where I was working and had free tuition for my children shut down. Financially, with my loss of income, and the cost of another preschool, it would have been a VERY tight stretch. I felt like the preschool closing was a blessing- what better way to give homeschooling a go?? But, back to our discussion:
DH's reasoning tonight: "Charlie is doing just fine in kindergarten"(DS's friend), "How is our son going to learn proper social behavior?", and here's the kicker "I'm not going to let you raise another Molly" meaning his ex (serious for years) girlfriend who skipped high school to go straight into college- whose maturity was age appropriate, but not on par with her college level peers. After that statement, I feel like I'm getting more to the root of his reluctance. FTR- Molly was not homeschooled, but he views homeschooling as not raising socially adept/included children- and after spending years with Molly he's going to be extremely sensitive to any social stigmas that are involved with homeschooling- whether they are accurate or not. I, on the other hand, have been introduced and lightly involved with several homeschool families and have seen first hand their loving, social children over the past few years. I have also gotten involved in several local homeschooling online forums and know of all the options available in my area for homeschooling families. My husband is not aware of these- nor does he really care to hear me and take interest in when I share this information in conversation.
Our son is very intelligent and picks up new information so easily. He just turned 5. He's reading BOB books and sight words, labeling pictures he draws, has an incredible sense for numbers- think maps, road signs, addition, subtraction, etc... He's a very active child- always running, riding bikes, and playing hard. He gets along great with other children (unless he has an emotional meltdown). The trouble is, he is emotionally immature. It doesn't take much to have an emotional outburst- and he goes from 0-20 in no time flat, and lacks the stages in between to get ahold of himself. We've been working on this for years- and we are truly in a much better place right now, but I can see already how this situation can play out in a classroom. I taught for 8 years at the elementary level- and in a wide range of schools from urban to elite private. I have had him evaluated by 2 occupational therapists and a children's center- he doesn't qualify for any kind of occupational therapy or behavioral therapy because he is so high functioning. I asked again at the children's center the last time we went and their conclusion was that he is the oldest child, on the high strung side, with a strong personality, and that over time, his emotional stability will mature.
I'm not sure why my husband thinks that sticking our son in a classroom with 25-30 other kids is going to help our son mature. I'm also very reluctant to send our son to public school because of the food (yes, I will be packing his lunch everyday if this is the route we choose- oyyyyy) and because of the negative social aspects I know DS will be exposed to and pick up. I would much rather DS learn morals and character traits from us, than from others. I told DH during our 'discussion' that schools are not so focused on excelling academically- and he looked at me like I had 2 heads. I would like for our family and Christian values to be core with learning.
DH grew up going to private schools- a Catholic elementary and middle school, and an all male Catholic high school. His family places a high value on academics and excelling academically. I personally feel like he doesn't get that a public school is not going to be type of school that he grew up with.
I grew up in public schools- and I look back and see how preoccupied I was with trying to fit in- and never feeling like I did. I had some real self-esteem issues that shaped my life in a negative way. I want a different focus for my kids.
DH asked why I can't just do what everyone else does with their children- why I feel I have to do things differently. There are so many reasons... But I can only move forward with homeschooling if he's on board. What actually started our discussion this evening is I asked if we could come up with $3,000 for tuition next year to a very good private Latin/classical based Christian school that meets 2 full days a week for Kindergarten. I was actually thinking this would be a good compromise- DH would feel that his son would be getting a good school education that I would be supporting at home, and we could still stay focused as a family.
PS- we had originally moved to this county because of the high reputation of the public schools when DS was 2. My focus has certainly shifted since then, DH, not so much.
PPS- Please don't get the wrong idea about DH- he's a caring, active, loving father- he was allowing his jerk-factor come out tonight. He's not normally this way- but that also shows me that homeschooling is becoming a sore issue between us.
PPPS- Personally, I'm also feeling quite devalued- I have taught for 8 years and have my Master's degree in education- he's speaking to me like I am crazy and am pulling crazy ideas about schools out of the air. He is an engineer and has no access to primary or secondary schools at all.

If you have made it this far, Mama's, I appreciate it very much!

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Old 10-25-2010, 10:28 PM   #2
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Re: DH not wanting to HS- helpful ideas welcome

Wait...back up here...you TAUGHT elementary school for 8 years, and he doesn't think you can handle 4 kids at once? I don't think this is about you at all momma. I would venture to guess that this is about his family. I bet his parents expressed concern to him, and ANY bit of approval he might have had about homeschooling, died the moment his parents expressed their opinion. Does that sound like a possibility?

Now, I'm a hairdresser. I don't have any degrees...I didn't even go to college. My experience teaching, prior to homeschooling, was teaching others how to do style their hair and do their make up...lol! My husband was on board with homeschooling, until his family expressed disapproval. Then, it became a constant back and forth between the two of us. It all came to head one day, when I had ENOUGH of his passive aggressive jabs at me in regards to homeschooling. I'll tell you, every time our son had a melt down, an issue with a friend, or couldn't do something that he felt he should be able to do at a certain age, he'd say, "See, this is why he needs to be in school." We had a bit of a heated argument, and I finally got him to concede. I pointed out that he was making unfair judgements about me, and my ability to teach. In his eyes, I failed at teaching our son, before I had even been given the chance to start Kindergarten with him. We made a compromise. I told him that I was going to HS for Kindergarten. If DS made NO progress, I'd hold him back, and enroll him in Kindergarten the following school year. Well, at the end of Kindergarten, he was WAY ahead in Math, and grade level in every other subject. So, I HS'd for 1st grade. DS finished ahead in Math, and grade level for every other subject. Now, DS is in 2nd grade. He's doing fabulous. Grade level in every subject, and still ahead in Math. DH now realizes that I'm capable, and DS is doing great, and having fun.

Funny thing is, his mom STILL doesn't like that DS is homeschooled. She tells me over a glass of wine, "I think you are an incredible mother to my grandkids, and an incredible wife to my son. I am SO proud of you. You do SUCH a fantastic job teaching Kai. He is such a bright little boy, and I'm amazed with all he knows. I still don't like that he's home schooled though. i really wish that I could put him in a great private school. I'd really like to do that for the kids." I gave up trying to win everybody's approval, long before I started HSing. The only person I needed on my side, was my husband.

So, my advice to you, is to sit him down and both of you need to hash out your feelings. I imagine this has been done, but you are down to the wire now. You need to bust out the fact that you have a MASTERS DEGREE in education, and 8 years experience in a classroom. You managed to teach 25+ kids at once, you can handle your 4. You need to let him know that since you both feel strongly about your position, that a compromise needs to be made. He NEEDS to stop predicting what you can and can't handle. He needs to let you prove yourself. That's the bottom line. I would REALLY make sure to express to him how bad he's making you feel, that he SO doubts your ability to teach...regardless of your experience. Good luck!
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Old 10-26-2010, 07:09 AM   #3
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Re: DH not wanting to HS- helpful ideas welcome

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Wait...back up here...you TAUGHT elementary school for 8 years, and he doesn't think you can handle 4 kids at once? I don't think this is about you at all momma. I would venture to guess that this is about his family. I bet his parents expressed concern to him, and ANY bit of approval he might have had about homeschooling, died the moment his parents expressed their opinion. Does that sound like a possibility?
Yes, that is absolutely a possibility. There are several bigger issues that his family and I don't see eye to eye on and they'll discuss them with DH when I'm not around. I understand that the dynamics are just going to be this way. The above situation is exactly what happened when they found out about the homebirth for this little one. DH is not afraid to stand up for us and our family- but if he feels any reservations about an issue, his parents can certainly sway his thoughts.

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So, my advice to you, is to sit him down and both of you need to hash out your feelings. I imagine this has been done, but you are down to the wire now. You need to bust out the fact that you have a MASTERS DEGREE in education, and 8 years experience in a classroom. You managed to teach 25+ kids at once, you can handle your 4. You need to let him know that since you both feel strongly about your position, that a compromise needs to be made. He NEEDS to stop predicting what you can and can't handle. He needs to let you prove yourself. That's the bottom line. I would REALLY make sure to express to him how bad he's making you feel, that he SO doubts your ability to teach...regardless of your experience. Good luck!
Yes, you are correct, we have sat down and hashed out feelings. That is partly why last night threw me off guard so much. What kills me is that because of my background, I have an idea of what to expect for my oldest in a public school setting. I saw how things were first hand at the preschool and I see the differences in my son being home. We will have to have another talk again soon. DH asked me this morning if I was ready to start talking to him again- my answer was when he was willing to talk and discuss then sure.
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Old 10-26-2010, 08:38 AM   #4
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Re: DH not wanting to HS- helpful ideas welcome

Man, I feel for you! For myself, my husband was totally on board (he was homeschooled himself), but my daughter's dad (my ex) had a fit, and his mom still makes comments like, "She isn't as outgoing as she used to be" which is total crap. Anyway... I gave my side, my reasoning, and he knew that I am perfectly capable of teaching a 4th grader although there were many complaints like when I told him that we would be sharing the experience of learning together and he said "Oh, so you're going to be learning too? This is just for you then?"

In the end, I got him to agree to do it for one year and see how it goes. DD was far enough ahead in school that there wasn't too much damage I could do in one year that couldn't be "fixed" the following year, if necessary. I'm not sure about your state, but where we live, Kindergarten isn't even required, so I would go for the "one year" approach also. As long as the kids are making adequate progress, then hopefully your dh won't put up too much of a fight. DD's dad actually turned around after the one year and said he really liked how DD is performing in school, and that he gets to see her more because schedules are more flexible, and he likes that we get to go out and do cool stuff, again because we aren't tied down to a school day, and homework in the evening. DD even asked this past summer to go back to public school to be with her friends, and her dad backed me up in saying that homeschooling is best.

I think most people would agree that there are pros and cons to the over socialization that happens in public schooling, just as there are pros and cons of the social factor in home schooling. But really, is socializing the #1 thing we are concerned about? What skills do they really learn by being forced to sit in a room with 30 other people that are -exactly- the same age as them? How many friends do you have that are -exactly- the same age as you? We make friendships based on common interests... not the year we were born.

Another thought: would he be more comfortable with a curriculum that is purchased? We do a virtual school program, and DD's dad was put a bit at ease when he knew that we were going to be able to have teacher support, and the curriculum was approved by the school board in our state. Now, I think he is more comfortable with our abilities, he would be okay with trying out a curriculum that I create, if I ever get to that level. I don't think that would have been "allowed" though, the first year.

Hope this helps! I know getting started is the hardest part sometimes!
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Old 10-26-2010, 11:11 AM   #5
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Re: DH not wanting to HS- helpful ideas welcome

The last time DH and I had a bigger discussion, I explained that we didn't have to make any BIG decisions now- and that we can reevaluate each year as we go based on how our kids are doing and what our family circumstances are. He seemed to calm down a bit- but apparently none of that stuck in his head. His big issue last convo was the high school years- that I wouldn't be qualified to teach physics and other higher level subjects.
We are working with Saxon Math K this year (I also have the 1st grade materials ready to go) and I have morphed together my own phonics and language program using Hooked on Phonics (already had the materials and workbooks), the BOB books, and my knowledge and materials. I did my Thesis project on preschool reading and taught kinder reading- so I feel pretty confident in that area. I've basically started a kindergarten curriculum with DS even though he is not eligible for kindergarten in public school because that's where DS is academically. He thrives on learning.
I also think that if another higher educated and degreed teacher were to talk to DH, he would take those words more seriously. I'm just his wife. DH never really got to see me in my professional role and he easily forgets who I used to be and what I used to do.
He's feeling today the tension from last night- he's called already about 5 times today and I can tell he's testing me to see where I stand emotionally today. He rarely calls home unless he needs something.
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Old 10-27-2010, 07:12 AM   #6
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Re: DH not wanting to HS- helpful ideas welcome

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I also think that if another higher educated and degreed teacher were to talk to DH, he would take those words more seriously. I'm just his wife. DH never really got to see me in my professional role and he easily forgets who I used to be and what I used to do.
Do you have someone that could talk to him? Maybe through a local homeschooling group or coop? I think we take the people closest to us for granted the most, and we dismiss what they say because we assume we already know what they have to say. Getting a third party opinion could really be beneficial in this situation.
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Old 10-29-2010, 03:02 PM   #7
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Re: DH not wanting to HS- helpful ideas welcome

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The last time DH and I had a bigger discussion, I explained that we didn't have to make any BIG decisions now- and that we can reevaluate each year as we go based on how our kids are doing and what our family circumstances are. He seemed to calm down a bit- but apparently none of that stuck in his head. His big issue last convo was the high school years- that I wouldn't be qualified to teach physics and other higher level subjects.
My dh tries to have this ridiculous conversation with me, too. He's on board with hs'ing for elementary but then he starts to ask ridiculous questions about high school years. Well, the first thing is that that is MANY years away. It's really not a decision that needs to be made right now, and really doesn't even need to be discussed yet. But secondly, there are all kinds of ways that homeschool parents deal with those subjects like physics and calculus (some districts will allow hs kids to take those at the school, you may have a friend who is a physics expert who can tutor your child in exchange for you tutoring their child in something else, some of those kids go to the community college, etc). If you really feel energetic, go into those, but honestly I think it's a waste of time at this point. If you have to, just say, "Okay, forget high school. Just let me do elementary." Don't even say you'll wait to discuss high school. Just live as if you are not homeschooling for high school. Chances are, when you get there he'll be so comfortable with homeschooling that it won't be an issue.

Seriously, though, I know exactly how frustrating that conversation is.
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