Fucking home-schooling(110 Posts)
Disclaimer: Ok, so I am really angry, which might be skewing my view on this and therefore I am more than happy to be told I'm being unreasonable.
My husband's best friend from school and his wife have always lived just around the corner from us. We all had our children around the same time and our eldest son is in the same year group at school as their son (T) and they have been in the same class all through primary school. Having grown up together they are more like brothers than mates and together with our other children, we all socialise together frequently. Although the friendship came from our husbands, I'd like to think that after 20 years, I could call the wife one of my close friends. Our son and T are due to start the same secondary school in September.
A few weeks ago husbands best mate came over to tell us that the marriage is over. No cheating on either part apparently, they had just drifted. From what he said this was a mutual decision and they had been unhappy for a while and coexisting as friends rather than lovers. Big shock to us as they had seemed really happy and neither mentioned any problems. Obviously we love them both and told him we want to maintain friendship with both of them and support them both in any way we can.
Since then, all shit seems to have hit the pan. Husbands mate has moved back home and she has stayed in the house - completely fair, she's the primary carer etc. However, she is being absolutely appalling when it comes to contact, refusing to let him see the kids, even when he's got days off they are being carted off to her mums as she's working. All communication has broken down between them and it seems like a horrible environment for them all.
Tonight, our son got a text from T telling him that he's not going to the secondary school next year as his mum is homeschooling them at home. We contacted our friend and he confirmed this, saying she's adamant that's what is happening and has refused to engage in a conversation about it. Before this she had never mentioned and interest in homeschooling. Although a clearly intelligent woman, she has no qualifications in teaching and I just feel that the kids are going to be so horribly let down. How can she teach physics and geography having only done them to GCSE level and not looked at them ever since?!
Maybe I am massively over invested but I've known these kids since they were babies and I feel like their future is just being thrown away. I wonder if she's having a breakdown - I've tried to contact her but have heard nothing. I'm just so angry that she's doing this and it almost seems like an attempt to punish their dad by harming the kids.
Tell me I'm being a judgy overbearing cow but I just feel like this isn't right and I don't know what to do.
Wow you are really over invested and clearly know nothing at all about home ed. It sounds like you're just angry that her son won't be going to school with your son. Ultimately it's none of your business. Home ed can be highly successful too and most home edding parents are not teachers.
No cheating on either part apparently, they had just drifted.
What does she say happened?
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Actually OP YANBU.
But I don't know what you can do about it
People homeschool for different reasons - child being anxious/bullied, not agreeing with theories that are taught in mainstream schools, beliefs that the school system isn't the best place for their child. I'm sure she's thought it through and hasn't given a second thought to what you think. None of your business.
There was another woman.
The children have issues at school that you are not informed about.
Homeschooling does not mean 'no education'.
It doesn't sound as though it's just the home schooling, though. There must be more to it?
Is your ds still in touch with their child? Sound like he'll need a friend or two right now.
No cheating on either part apparently, they had just drifted.
Heard that one before . I would say there is a lot more to it than this. Stand back and let the dust settle before you judge.
Well it's obviously not an amicable break up is it. Let me guess, husbands friend has said she has gone batshit crazy for no reason?
I'm with you OP. YANBU. I know I know, homeschooling can turn out amazing kids etc etc, but I do think that if there are good schools around I'll never understand why a parent would choose to make their child 'walk alone', so to speak.
I suspect you'll be told to mind your business, but your friend is acting quite unlike anything you've known for 20years, so again, YANBU for questioning things.
YABVU and seriously over-invested.
a. in the UK it's called home education (HE) not home schooling. If you're going to judge her, at least take some time to inform yourself about the basics of HE, rather than spouting every single misconception you can think of as fact.
b. there are many alternatives for older children who want to take exams - e.g. online school, online courses, correspondence courses, small local classes, tutors - she doesn't have to do everything and know everything herself. HE children have no problem going on to college or university if that's what they want to do.
c. It's none of your damn business.
State schools are a joke these days. All we ever hear is how they are under funded, that sexual assaults at schools are on the rise and that many children are leaving school without having basic numeracy and literacy. Maybe she has decided she doesn't want her child to go through our failing state school system anymore. Maybe her son is being bullied. Maybe the class sizes are too larger. Who knows. Not your business though.
The thing is that you only seem to have one side. You don't really know what's happening from her perspective.
Secondly I know quite a few homeschoolers and they do much better academically then state school attendees. You don't need to have a degree or be a teacher, there is so much out there socially and academically for these children. The education is often more tailored to the child's interests and subjects are embraced in more depth.
I'd go round and see if she's ok. Have you seen her since the split? Don't leave phone messsages, pop round with some flowers or cake or something for a cuppa and a chat.
I would bet my last pound that they haven't just "drifted apart".
But, you need to keep put of it. It's not your relationship and you're going to cause problems if you try and interfere or take sides. How do you know she's blocking access if she's not been in contact? It seems like all you're hearing is his side of the story, so of course he's not going to tell you if he's behaved badly or said something wrong.
Offer your support, but otherwise, it's their business. If she wants to homeschool her kids, that's her right. It's not going to destroy their future - lots of schooling can be done online these days or through tutors - she doesn't NEED to be an expert to give the kids good opportunities.
You're that angry about other people's legitimate parenting decisions an educational format you know nothing about? Seriously?
Get a hobby.
If the other mother had always supported home schooling, was interested in it and had discussed it with her children's dad and her children, this might be a reasonable move, but to spring this on her children's dad and then to refuse to discuss it is unfair. OP, you don't say if the children are happy to be home schooled, but you say the son has a place at a secondary school, so it might have come as a surprise to the children as well.
I realise there is more to this than those outside the marriage can know, but I can see why the OP is upset. She is fond of the children and is concerned for their future, and probably also for their present.
But OP, as some have said here, there is nothing you can do. Deep breaths, remain open to both of the couple, stay as calm as you can and if the other children pass on any confidences to yours, keep quiet.
I don't think you're being judgy, btw, just concerned for children you are fond of.
Nobody else my arse. She'll come out of the woodwork soon enough.
Wife severely distressed and husband on an even keel. Could mean that he knew this was coming and engineered it. If there's nobody else and no abuse then it was monumentally selfish to do this two or three weeks before T starts secondary.
Not much you can do really apart from offer to listen when she wants to talk. She might not want to talk to you if you are still chummy with her cheating husband though.
I recon you have no idea what's really going on. Have you actually spent some time supporting her? Has she had a recent heart to heart with you? Are your own backwards ideas about HE impacting your opinion of her choices?
I agree that homeschool is difficult to make work. If you're not a teacher, you need an exceptionally self motivated child, a lot of money for resources, a lot of time to teach and prepare teaching, a network of homeschoolers to work with, and a lot of information on how to do it. I've seen it work, but more often I've seen parents beg for schools to squeeze their kids back in by the following year.
However, they're her children. They're your husband's friend's children. It's them that need to hash it out, not you. Tell him to lawyer up.
Fwiw I think the home schooling isn't the issue. So you've not had any communication with her since they split and have only your H's friend's word on any of it?
It sounds very far from an amicable split and personally i'd be taking everything he says with a pinch of salt. Don't be angry with her when you really have no idea what's going on - if you want to stay in touch let her know you're there if she wants to talk any time but otherwise her children, her decision, for reasons you're not privy to just now.
You don't know the circs. It's natural to care, but there is very little that you can, or should, do about this.
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