Sigh,another negative comment...(26 Posts)
So, I made the (in retrospect) mistake of telling a school mum friend that I am seriously thinking of HEing my DDs...and she made a comment about 'molly-coddling' them and 'wrapping them up in cotton wool', 'not letting them have a life away from me' etc etc. How would you respond to that?
I would want to know how you would cope with teaching A level Physics to A* level.
amothersplaceisinthewrong - welcome to the home education section of mumsnet. Have a good read around, and you'll probably find the answer to that question (short version: taking your child out of school does not mean that you will never take advantage of any form of institutionalised education or expert tuition for the remainder of their education)
catnipkitty I would say something about meeting the needs of my children, and of course they'll take and be offered independence as they are ready for it. Or, if you are taking them out of school, I'd say something like "well, given their experiences of the last 6 months, I'd say that a bit of molly-coddling cotton wool is exactly what the doctor ordered, wouldn't you?"
catnip ommward gives good advice. I'd just add try not to take it personaly. Some people take any decision to parent differently to them as a personal sleight. No doubt your friend is defensive as she see's your contemplation of he as a criticism of her choosing school. Remember you don't have to defend your decision to her...what ever it turns out to be.
As a parent who knows my children well, I am able to give each of them what they need as individuals.
That may be more protection than they would get at school, as in when I shielded my four year old from knowing about the Boxing Day tsunami in 2004. Most kids would have been OK provided they "only" saw images of houses being washed away and not bodies. But mine was sensitive and I know she would definitely have had nightmares and a huge amount of anxiety over people losing their homes, not to mention that it would have occurred to her to ask whether people died. Young children need a certain amount of protection; that's why they have parents and why we don't send them out to make their way in the world at the age of four. This "wrapping them in cotton wool" is a weird phrase if you ask me: why shouldn't we protect them when we know they need it?
On the other hand being HE means I'm able to give them less protection when they don't need it, more freedom and independence than they would get at school. I know when they are capable of doing new things and can let them have a go. Schools need rules to apply to all children of a certain age and cannot take individual capabilities into account, even in the unlikely event that they actually know the child well enough to assess what he's capable of doing. They can't allow a mature and responsible child to leave the premises to go to the local shop during the school day to fetch something for the teacher. They can't let an athletic child who is good at balancing walk along a high wall, because there are others who couldn't do it safely. They can't let a child put bread dough into a hot oven in case she burns herself. They can't let a sensible eleven year old help a seven year old across the road. They can't let children explore a museum without direct adult supervision. These rules make sense in a school context, and I can't see any other way they could operate. But children who are free of all these restrictions can become independent as quickly as they are ready.
"This "wrapping them in cotton wool" is a weird phrase if you ask me: why shouldn't we protect them when we know they need it?"
"On the other hand being HE means I'm able to give them less protection when they don't need it, more freedom and independence than they would get at school. I know when they are capable of doing new things and can let them have a go."
She will probably realise, once she sees you and your DDs around, going to various events/activities that she goes to, that you're all still normal, and haven't grown an extra head . We've been HEing DD since Christmas last year. We still go to the same places (swimming, dance classes etc) as DD's friends from school and still see the parents.
Whilst it felt a little awkward at first with them - they wanted to know what happened, why DD wasn't at school any more etc, everything has now settled down and we're finding DD still has invitations to parties and playdates.
She is talking about maybe going back to school either next year or the year after and we're fine with that, as long as it is what she wants.
Well I think what you are doing is admirable
does that help balance?
Thank you all for taking the time to read and reply, this forum is fab so reassuring.
We are not HEing yet - discussions with my DDs are ongoing! I'm not normally a person who worries what other people think of me, and these sorts of negative comments just make me want to HE even more . I suppose I just need some replies at the tip of my tongue!
Oh, and who says I'm not a physics professor?!!
Hello catnipkitty. You may have to grow an extra layer of skin to thicken it. You may well hear many negative comments. I am barely starting and I am getting all kinds of reaction. However I can see that some people don't even know he is possible or allowed, pretty much the same way some people would never consider using public transportation. I have met many families who he and I think they are quite remarkable. Yes, you are protecting your child from bullying, and peer pressure. At the end of the day you know your children best.
How else will they learn A level physics at 7?
But I will be able to make their entire lives a learning experience 24/7
The Great God Schuroggoth told me what to do to ensure their passage towards enlightenment was firm.
Piss off you bossy, interfering judgemental baggage
It's what we want to do
You may hate the thought of being with your own children, but there is no limit to the sacrifices I will make for mine
In reality OP, you just need to grow a thicker skin and ignore ignorant comments.
I will ensure I never wash so as not to remove vital layers of skin!
"sorry you're too think to teach your children anything"
MN REALLY should make one of those.
"How would you respond to that?"
I'd say, "I'm appalled you send your child to an institution particularly an institution that bundles children together in batches based on their date of manufacture and forces them to learn from social workers at a pace set by civil servants none of whom actually know your child or have your child's interest as their number one priority. That's a disgusting abrogation of one of your main parental responsibilities".
Thanks DadAtLarge, fab reply, can I quote you?
I'm happy to release the copyright.
But it may be worth educating her on what HE is all about. People often have the wrong impression; it's usually out of ignorance and because they've been brainwashed into believing "the system" is the only sensible option. Presumably you'd like to keep her as a friend. It may be worth pointing her to some HE sites or taking her along to a local HE meeting/camp sometime.
I HE, but on these boards and amongst the HEers you'll meet, you will hear LOTS of negative comments about mainstream school. (Obviously DadAtLarge was just exaggerating for effect!) So I'd say defend HE all you like (I do), be careful not to be rude and defensive to those who really are 'just asking'. I've seen HEers be shocking nasty rude about schools to parents with children in schools. It cuts both ways.
Good point Bill.
In my experience there are those who admire your bravery and whistfully say they wish they had the patience/time/money etc etc and there are those who see your decision to HE as a slight on those who do not. Almost as though school isnt good enough for your little darling.
Like someone upthread said wisely, once they see you having a life they'll get over it.
All that said, I am guilty of rubbing it in that we get up when we like/dont do a school run/can go to the park-beach-museum whenever we like/only do an hour or so lessons a day when some busybody wants to begrudgingly grill us about HE.
I fail to see why you need to respond, defend or justify. All you need to say is 'we all have different ideas' and change the subject.
You get it if you send your DC to school, people feel they can make comments on your choices. You don't have to respond, apart from, a mild,'we all have different ideas'.
(I wouldn't take DadAtLarge's advice -you will get written off as bigoted and narrow minded-OK if you don't mind being a person everyone avoids).
You could just say 'Riiiiggghhhttt' in the same way you would to someone saying 'but why aren't you wearing a banana on your head?'
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