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Old 02-06-2012, 02:55 PM   #1
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How do I handle this family member?

I have 3 little ones..C 6 1/2, N 4, L 2, and pregnant with number 4.

I home school C, if he were in PS he'd be in 1st grade right now. Up to this point I have been focusing on reading and math, because everything else hangs on having a good foundation in these two areas. I am so proud of him, he's really progressed so far and is reading on his own, and his math lessons have been focusing on money and fractions right now.

I use Funnix for math and reading, and both kiddos love it. This fall I am going to purchase the Heart Of Dakota curriculum, 2nd grade for DS1 and kindergarten for DS2.

Well my step mom is not on board with my choice to home school. She never has been. She just can't figure out HOW ON EARTH I am going to home school with a new born. But that's beside the point.

Anyway... EVERY TIME I talk to her, she asks about how home school is going, am I doing a "real" curriculum yet. And she is harping on me about when I am going to get C "tested" to "make sure he isn't behind."

Ok, first of all, part of my choice to home school is so the pressure to perform at everyone else's pace is not there for my children. They can learn at their own pace. I used to know someone who was certified and would test any home schooled kids for like $10 a child, if the parents wanted to. But I just don't feel the need. So far I have been making excuses like "Oh, I'll get him tested in the fall." Or "I don't think we need to do this right now."

To which her response is "You really need to do it BEFORE you start the next grade level, so that if he's behind you have time to enroll him in school so he can get caught up.

It just drives me batty. When they came to visit last year, they asked what I needed for home school. I said "I have math and reading covered, if you want to get them something, I could really use geography and science. What did they buy me? A big book that says it's a full curriculum, but it's just math and reading. *sigh*

They also bought DS1 a math workbook. He wanted to love it (I could tell) because it was Toy Story, but he had such a hard time grasping what the book was trying to teach, he does MUCH better with the Funnix programs.

Anyway.. how would you deal with this family member? I know in her heart she just wants what is best for him and she truly thinks that PS would be the best thing. But it's really been annoying me lately.

I have a friend who's two oldest children are a year and a half apart. She waited until she felt the youngest was ready to start school, and then she started them together. So technically, for a few years her oldest was "behind" because she was just doing the same grade with them. But when they got a little older, each child shot through different areas, so in some areas one child would be way ahead of the other, and in other areas the second child would be way ahead of his sister. Her kids are teenagers now and are very intelligent people.

So really... what does it matter if my son IS a "little behind" what his peers are doing (which I really don't think he is).... won't it all just even out in the long run?

So... sorry for the length. I just don't know what to say to my sm.

Thanks.
God bless!

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Old 02-06-2012, 03:03 PM   #2
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Re: How do I handle this family member?

I think it depends on the type of relationship you have with her. If it's the type of relationship in which you let her know how she was making you feel then I'd say go that route. However, if it's a relationship like I have with my sm then that would never work. To object to anything she says leaves you getting disowned (yes, this has happened to me.) Or she might be the type who could use some cold hard facts. Maybe you could find someone to test him, don't tell her though. If he comes out on track then I'd tell her. Then maybe she'd back off. If he's "behind" then you'd know that to. I'm tempted to get my 6-year-old tested just because I wonder if I'm doing alright but you better believe I wouldn't tell anyone in case he wasn't!
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Old 02-06-2012, 03:18 PM   #3
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Re: How do I handle this family member?

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I think it depends on the type of relationship you have with her. If it's the type of relationship in which you let her know how she was making you feel then I'd say go that route. However, if it's a relationship like I have with my sm then that would never work. To object to anything she says leaves you getting disowned (yes, this has happened to me.) Or she might be the type who could use some cold hard facts. Maybe you could find someone to test him, don't tell her though. If he comes out on track then I'd tell her. Then maybe she'd back off. If he's "behind" then you'd know that to. I'm tempted to get my 6-year-old tested just because I wonder if I'm doing alright but you better believe I wouldn't tell anyone in case he wasn't!
Thanks... she's the type of person who always has to be right. If you disagree with her, then you must be wrong. She's kind of controlling and very opinionated and isn't afraid to state OR defend her opinion.

She is very kind in her own way, spends a lot of time at her church and working in the food pantry as well as helping with other charities. I love her, and she loves me.. but.... we just don't see eye to eye on a lot of things.

I haven't been in touch with that person who used to do the testing.. so I have no idea how I'd go about getting him tested.

Thanks for the idea.

God bless!
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Old 02-06-2012, 03:43 PM   #4
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Re: How do I handle this family member?

For me I make it a non-negotiable, non-arguable topic. I state my position once in a "this is the end of this conversation" tone and my family knows better than to go at it again. So I would likely say something to the effect of: "We've chosen to homeschool so that our children are actually learning at THEIR pace and not being pressured to momentarily memorize things to perform for tests. Therefore we won't be having any testing done at this time. IF he is behind and obviously there is no evidence of that then he will certainly catch up in his own time. And if you think that the school system would be the ones to take the time to catch a child who is behind up you have obviously NOT been paying much attention to our school system in recent years. I will no longer discuss this topic with you so please do not ask about it again."

That would be the end of it. If they continued to insist on arguing about it I would avoid contact with that person regardless of familial relationship. My grandmother is wise enough not to bring up homeschooling. I don't bring it up to her either. My children are all at or ahead of where they should be and I'm confident in what I'm doing for them.

Oh and Funnix IS a curriculum. Does this person think that public school teachers use an all in one curriculum? Um, no. They use a certain one for math, a different one for reading etc. Ridiculous.
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Old 02-06-2012, 03:54 PM   #5
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Re: How do I handle this family member?

Honestly I would tell her that I am the mother, I know what I am doing and she can either get on board with it or she can shut up about it period. That is where the discussion would end. If she insisted on continuing to harp about it constantly belittling my ability to teach my child and insinuating that my child must be behind and tested immediately so we could remedy the problem (by being enrolled in public school) then the solution would be to cut her out of my life. This is how I deal with people. You don't have to agree with how I raise my children but they are my children and we are not raising them by committee. You had your chance when you had your children so you can back off now. If you want to help and offer suggestions feel free but be warned that I am probably going to ignore you and if you are only being rude you are most likely going to lose the ability to ever even see my children. The only person who has any true input in the way I raise my kids is their father.
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Old 02-06-2012, 03:56 PM   #6
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Re: How do I handle this family member?

I only wish that tone would work with my family! The end result for me was they all won't have a thing to do with me anymore. It sucks, but to be honest I LOVE that the family drama is GONE from my day to day life.

My family does know that our school system sucks. They all live about 5 hours away so it's easy for me to say to them we live in an awful school district so they're better off at home.

OP I'm guessing your family is local so that wouldn't work would it?
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Old 02-06-2012, 04:38 PM   #7
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Re: How do I handle this family member?

Sometimes you have to agree to disagree. You can kindly but firmly say "these are our children and our choice" make it perfectly clear that you appreciate her caring about the kids but that this is NOT going to be talked about anymore.
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Old 02-06-2012, 04:51 PM   #8
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Re: How do I handle this family member?

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Sometimes you have to agree to disagree. You can kindly but firmly say "these are our children and our choice" make it perfectly clear that you appreciate her caring about the kids but that this is NOT going to be talked about anymore.
Yep.

On the other hand, if her constant harping on the subject is making you wonder, and you don't want to deal with formal testing, then do a quick google search for your state's curriculum objectives - i.e. start with: "Name of State" Department of Public Instruction curriculum standards. They may be called something different in your state, but this should get you pointed in the right direction. In any event, these will tell you exactly what your child would be expected to master by the end of each grade if he were in public school. If he can do all of that (or is even ahead), then tell her so, and she won't have anything to complain about. If not, it will give you some idea for your curriculum planning for next year.
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Old 02-06-2012, 06:31 PM   #9
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Re: How do I handle this family member?

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Yep.

On the other hand, if her constant harping on the subject is making you wonder, and you don't want to deal with formal testing, then do a quick google search for your state's curriculum objectives - i.e. start with: "Name of State" Department of Public Instruction curriculum standards. They may be called something different in your state, but this should get you pointed in the right direction. In any event, these will tell you exactly what your child would be expected to master by the end of each grade if he were in public school. If he can do all of that (or is even ahead), then tell her so, and she won't have anything to complain about. If not, it will give you some idea for your curriculum planning for next year.
Awesome. Thanks. I will definitely look up that information. So then at least I could tell her, "No need to test, I looked at the education website for my state and he's where he needs to be." Then she won't be able to "suggest" testing anymore.

One thing I did find funny... is that my dad pointed out how smart my 4 yr old is... then said I needed to enroll him in school!

"That one is really smart. You're going to need to enroll him in school soon." Um.. really? So he's really smart (I agree), and he got that way by me home schooling him...yet he needs to go to public school, despite how smart I made him? LOL

Wouldn't the expected reaction to be "Wow, he's so smart, you're doing a great job home-schooling. Keep up the good work!" ? LOL

God bless!
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Old 02-06-2012, 07:56 PM   #10
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Re: How do I handle this family member?

My mom can't wrap her head aroud the idea of homeschoolig because where she lives, homeschooling is agains the law, so she hasn't really see any people homeschooling, or being homeschooled. In her country, the idea of being the same as everyone else is very important in their culture. The idea os school community is also different from the one in America.

So she won't stop making comments.
"Isn't this too much work for you?"
"As soon as kids are old enough, they should go to public school and you should work.'
'How would they make friends?"
"are they learning music?"
"Are they listening to musics?"
"Are they making any artworks?"
"Are they playing musics with instronments?""
"Are you teaching them how to sing?"
"Are you teaching them P.E.?"
"Are they being taught moral lessons during school time?"
"This is too much burden on you."
"You worry too much about sending him to public school."
"You should have faith in God that even if public school will teach him wrong value, God will 'take care of it.'"
"You should be teaching your son English, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, French, and Spanish."
"It's too much work for you to teach your children multiple languages."
"It's so much EASIER for you to just send them to public school."



Sorry, ma. A "public school" where a single school staff help a lost kid in school in first day of school and kindergardenres get lost in the street because bus drivers drop them off without their parents being present. and teachers don't know the difference between their, there, and they're." is not a place I send my children to because "It's too much burden on me." Why do I have to say "God will take care of it," and not be in charge of my children's education when I want to educate my children myself?

How do I deal with it?
I keep telling her the same thing since she keeps asking the same qusetions and making same comments. We are very happy with homeschooling and here are children's recent progress. Children are making fantastic friends who show them good eamples and here are their pictures. Your grandchildren are inspired by them and doing better and better about how to treat each other.
Then I go to my happy place.
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Last edited by angel nee nee; 02-06-2012 at 07:57 PM.
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