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(58 Posts)
MrsKrbnr Thu 28-Jul-11 09:25:17

Still on my quest to persuade DH to HE. HesFes was not resounding success in that regard (although fun) but kick started more conversations which is good.

I have a question to ask of you all. (Actually I have tons but I try and restrict myself) My MIL and FIL have their concerns about HE but are reasonably open-minded and really quite lovely people. My brother-in-law however is vehemently against the whole idea - even though it is none of his business and he is entirely ignorant of any educational theory beyond the fact his girlfriend's sister is doing a PGCE - and has sent a text to DH stating his opinion that it is all about me not the girls. Am pretty peeved in quite a few different ways.

Has anyone else had this charge (as it feels) levelled against them, and if so what did you say in response? I am torn between rising above and ignoring it and replying to his erroneous concerns.

Thanks smile

seeker Thu 28-Jul-11 09:30:08

I would rise above it-as you say it's none of his business.

But whenever you make a decision like this it is really important to examine your motives. I know a lot of HE families, and there is one where it is most definitely for the mother's benefit. She is an exception, of course, but she exists.

seeker Thu 28-Jul-11 09:34:36

I would rise above it-as you say it's none of his business.

But whenever you make a decision like this it is really important to examine your motives. I know a lot of HE families, and there is one where it is most definitely for the mother's benefit. She is an exception, of course, but she exists.

seeker Thu 28-Jul-11 09:35:05

Sorry!

exoticfruits Thu 28-Jul-11 09:39:18

I think that you just have to ignore it-you will get negative comments from all quarters. I would have thought convincing DH was the difficulty-you both have to be committed-especially if you intend to do it for 13yrs+

Tinuviel Thu 28-Jul-11 10:54:55

I got outrage from one family member but they subsequently moved to the US where she discovered that home ed is 'normal'! She can also see that my DCs are fairly 'normal' (although somewhat geeky!) But then geek genes run quite a lot in our family - when asked about holiday destinations, DS1 had Pompeii as one of his and DS2/DD both agreed that it would be fab! Sadly we're not going this year.

I was quite hurt by her comments but ignored them, got on it with it and everything is fine now. I also remembered how I reacted to a friend's younger brothers being HE - it can come as quite a culture shock to people in the education system (I'm a teacher). And people often come round when they see that it works.

Jamillalliamilli Thu 28-Jul-11 11:42:59

Excuse the crudity but my fave is: “Opinions are like A***holes, everyone has one.” It may not be great, but it tends to at least sort out where everyone stands, or you could be polite and ignore it. smile
If you do h/e you'll get all sorts for ever, so getting used to it early's no bad thing.

Don’t know if you can take anything useful from my ramblings but;
I agree with Seeker, (and wonder if we know the same woman) there are people who h/e to meet their needs not their children’s, but suspect there’s far more who send their children to school regardless of quality of learning or social life, because it’s all about meeting parental needs of getting shot for the day, either out of the need/desire to be free to earn money/follow careers/lifestyle etc, or because they don’t want to deal with them day in day out, or be the one ultimately responsible for meeting their children’s needs. (usually a combination)
I don’t think people would get so hot under the collar about other people’s choices, if they felt 100% comfortable with their own.

It happens the other way round too. Painfully, I woke up to the horrible fact that I’d been forcing my child to suffer (and not get educated) primarily to meet my needs, not his. I’d justified it all for years, because he was getting some education out of it, if a rough time, but as learning tailed off, I slowly crossed a line without realising.
Even when I could see the whole situation was failing him badly, I was too afraid of bucking the trend, not being able to educate well, (even though school apparently couldn’t) being isolated, different, failing, social services, everyone labelling us, etc.

We ended up with everyone in authority in agreement school was failing, and the LEA declaring him unable to learn, (eventually sent home as ‘mentally unfit to be here’) yet there was still this absolute brick wall of ‘there’s nothing that can be done’ ‘the child must do what everyone else does, as even if it doesn’t benefit him, it benefits them’, ‘this is the only way’, ‘the child is failing the system, therefore will fail anywhere’. (he hasn’t btw)

Your Bil sounds like them and how I was too. Too afraid of difference, and others opinions, to look beyond clinging to the safety and normality of herd behaviour. After all if your child is failing (or not doing as well as they could) within the system, it's not your fault, right?

NotJustKangaskhan Thu 28-Jul-11 12:17:35

I agree with the others - ignore and do not engage.

I found the best way to show them that HE works is to do it. When my 6 year old produced a lovely little card, with handwriting better than my husband's, for my in-laws, their 'concerns' seemed to vanish.

CakeandRoses Fri 29-Jul-11 12:50:08

never a truer word said than justgettingonwithit's:

"but suspect there’s far more who send their children to school regardless of quality of learning or social life, because it’s all about meeting parental needs of getting shot for the day, either out of the need/desire to be free to earn money/follow careers/lifestyle etc, or because they don’t want to deal with them day in day out, or be the one ultimately responsible for meeting their children’s needs. (usually a combination)"

dearth Fri 29-Jul-11 21:35:09

Great post, JustGettingOnWithIt.

Curious to know on what evidence you judge a parent to be home educating for her or his own benefit, rather than the children's. Are the children not happy/learning/doing well?

Are parents allowed to admit they find home ed personally fulfilling? Or does this detract from our status as martyrs? grin Dare we risk the sort of accusation levelled at OP? It's one of the old chestnuts isn't it?

Saracen Sat 30-Jul-11 09:23:01

"Are parents allowed to admit they find home ed personally fulfilling? Or does this detract from our status as martyrs? Dare we risk the sort of accusation levelled at OP?"

Of course we aren't meant to enjoy it. If you are enjoying it, you must be doing it wrong. "Everyone knows" what a huge amount of work is involved in home educating and what an immense commitment it is.

Enjoying home education is almost as shocking as enjoying breastfeeding a two year old. "Everyone knows" that mums only do THAT for their own personal gratification and to keep their children dependent, and not because of the nutritional, emotional and immunological benefits to the child.

Of course, it's impossible that what is best for the child might also happen to be pleasant for the parents as well.

seeker Sat 30-Jul-11 09:27:57

Dearth, if you knew the woman concerned you would know what I mean.but as I said,she is the exception that proves the rule. Nothing wrong with being fulfilled-I have an aversion to martyrs- but it is important to ve very clear about our motives for doing things. particularly when it's going to have such an impact on other people.

Saracen Sat 30-Jul-11 09:48:45

But nobody interrogates parents about their motives for sending their children to nursery or school, even though in some cases that is done for the wrong reasons. Everything we do with our kids has a big impact on them. Why do we need to particularly examine our motives when it comes to home education?

Do you also go round telling all parents who are planning to send their children to school that they need to examine their motives?

seeker Sat 30-Jul-11 10:03:15

I don't think anyone should interrogate anyone - I've already said the OP should ignore her interfering relation. And I didn't say that he-ers in particular should examine their motives- I said everyone should.

exoticfruits Sat 30-Jul-11 10:19:16

People do interogate you if they think that you have chosen the 'wrong' school! There is no need to answer. People can't argue if you don't engage.

seeker Sat 30-Jul-11 11:44:05

I ink you should interrogate yourself. Regularly.

Saracen Sat 30-Jul-11 15:34:05

Mmm... unconvinced. Yes, we should all examine our own motives. But telling someone else to examine her motives does sound like you are implying that the interfering relative may well be correct.

The fact is, you posted this about home education. I assume you haven't gone onto a thread on the Primary board and suggested to a mum whose child is about to start Reception that she should examine her motives for sending him.

If you think it isn't offensive to tell someone that she ought to examine her motives, I challenge you to go post the very same words to the parent of a child who is starting school soon. I would be very interested to see what sort of response you get!

exoticfruits Sat 30-Jul-11 16:12:23

I think that it is all aspects of parenting that you should examine your motives for- and re assess every so often.
One thing is for sure-our DCs will do it when older! (the last comment is nothing to do with your choice of education-just parenting in general)

dearth Sat 30-Jul-11 17:20:31

Saracen - yes, yes, and yes.

Seeker, I'd really like to know the specific reasons you think the woman you know is only home edding for her own benefit, to the detriment of her children.

Hey, maybe I am her! You could be any number of my 'friends' who think any number of negative things about our decision to home ed.

So what motives for home education are acceptable then?

I find people often want to be made more comfortable by me reassuring them I am only home educating because my child could not cope or learn in a particular school environment. This puts me in the 'Not One of Those Nutters' category apparently. The replies are then, 'oh well maybe someday you'll find the right school...or maybe someday when said child is a little bit older..' etc.

They are much less comfortable when I disclose that I will continue to home educate because I have since developed strong philosophical and political views about education.

The second I admit that, I become a suspect. I have strong views AND I enjoy it? OMG. Call the Educational Welfare Officers!

On the other hand, we expect teachers in the state schools to have strong political and philosophical views in support of their system, and we applaud them when they enjoy their work despite the fact it's bloody hard. They are allowed to be proud.

Similarly, parents who could afford to send their children to the 'best' independent schools, but instead send them to the local comp on special measures, are applauded for their integrity, for their selfless sacrifice to the collective. How often are they grilled about their motivation, and the educational welfare of their children?

Etc.

seeker Sat 30-Jul-11 21:38:27

dearth - did you actually read what I posted, ot are you just making massive assumptions based on nothing?

dearth Sat 30-Jul-11 22:33:11

I did read. I'm not making any assumptions. You have stated that you know a woman and that you know she is home educating for her own benefit rather than the benefit of her children. I asked you to tell us about that. I appreciate you won't want to disclose any identifying information but surely you could simply state the benefit she is receiving from home educating, and whether or not her children are also benefitting from being home educated.

At that point I can decide whether I think your assessment of the woman may be accurate or whether it is yet another example of the prejudice that some reasons for home education (severe bullying, SEN etc) are more legitimate than others (political, religious etc).

As others have pointed out, no one (especially me) questions the motives of parents who choose not to exercise their legal right to home educate.

I'm sorry if I seem snappy but I've had a lot of these conversations this week and I'm frustrated. The 'question your motivations' thing is so common and so very insulting.

RosemaryandThyme Sat 30-Jul-11 22:47:50

I read the "review your motives" comment quite differently, as being a tool for positive life-enhancing decision making, rather than a critisim of the actual decision.

It rang a bell with me, I very much looked forward to HE my DS - but reluctantly had to conceed that he needed a traditional school enviroment.

JazminKennedy Sun 31-Jul-11 02:20:03

MrsKrbnr Just smile and ignore, that's how i deal with it. Initially when i mentioned to certain family members that i was planning on homeschooling, their jaws dropped! And i got the usual crap about socialising!angry Now, after 6 years all i get is, oh you're a qualified teacher, what a waste, send your kids to school and you should go back to teaching!shock Can you believe, for me to stop homeschooling my 2 kids (which is a breeze!) and go back to full time teaching 30+kids with different abilities?? With my extended family its envy, since they can't do it, i shouldn't either!

And so what if it is 'about you?' You are the parent after all, its up to you what you want to do, they're your children and you know best! It will be 'about you' if you choose to send your children to school a well! It works both ways!

LastSummer Sun 31-Jul-11 02:54:43

I feel strongly that a child's educational and social needs should be the deciding factors in whether a child is educated at home. The ideological or emotional needs of a parent are of secondary importance.

seeker Sun 31-Jul-11 06:23:39

Dearth.The woman I mention is meeting her own emotional and psychological needs by keeping henr children withnher at all times and not letting them grow by experiencing new things and developing independence. HE is only one manifestation of this.
'
And I really don, see why it' insulting to suggest that you should question your motives before taking any decision. Especially one which has such a significant impact on the lives of other people who are often not in a position to make an informed decision themselves.

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