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Dreading that conversation...

(17 Posts)
RosyRosie Fri 14-Oct-11 13:06:00

I've always been committed to home educating my child, and luckily OH is FULLY on board with the idea. In the past we've spoken about it to others and had our heads bitten off. People think we're irresponsible, and our children would grow up feral and unsocialised. This hasn't changed our opinion, we both think it's absolute bull. Not impossible to ever happen, but highly unlikely if I have anything to do with it.

Anyway, now we are actually expecting things are hotting up! My mum is a teacher and seems to feel a bit defensive about it, the subject briefly came up once and I said breezily 'it won't go to school, we'll home educate it' and her face just dropped, her voice got low and she said 'oh? how will that work then?' very sinisterly. Luckily I got an excuse to change the subject and it's not come up since!

But it's bound to again. I've already made my mind up to carefully explain that it's OUR child, there is NO negotiation as me AND my husband are agreed...about OUR child, geddit? (but politely) but it's not just my mum. His mum lives very close and will have far more to do with the child. The whole family are very narrow minded, conservative, you name it and they already think I'm a weirdo because I'm sociable and talkative and have lived a life!

This thread doesn't really mean anything I guess, I'm just not looking forward to upsetting my mother, and how many years of silent treatment and disapproving looks from OHs family.....sigh

LalalalalalaSummerHoliday Fri 14-Oct-11 13:10:22

Quite a smart move really, start arguing with the family now about HE and they'll leave you alone with how you feed, discipline, sleep, toilet-train for the next 4 years....

cjbartlett Fri 14-Oct-11 13:11:35

I don't think there is anything you can do except to develop a thick skin, repeat in your head 'it doesn't matter what they think' when they say things
maybe get some books/leaflets to get them to read?

at the end of the day it doesn't matter what they think
unless you work and need their help childcare wise?

RosyRosie Fri 14-Oct-11 13:16:38

We both work from home, there's bound to be times when we could do with a babysitter but tbh, it don't bother me one bit if his family never have the child, and I know that my mum would never use the child as a pawn and would love to have it even if it was home educated!

It DOESN'T matter what they think (repeats to self) but why do they have to be so horrible about it? This isn't the first issue we've had run ins with his mother about....so difficult when she lives so close!

cjbartlett Fri 14-Oct-11 13:19:10

oh sorry I missed the bit that said you're pregnant

honestly it's way off

you might even change your minds!

Jamillalliamilli Fri 14-Oct-11 13:19:46

I think Lalalalalala's spot on. :D

At least your mum asked you a question about it, rather than just criticised. I'd cut her a bit of slack for what must have been a lot of restraint for her.

Jamillalliamilli Fri 14-Oct-11 13:21:40

Sorry, I missed that as well, and assumed 'it' was running around.

RosyRosie Fri 14-Oct-11 13:28:56

no it's not here yet....yes my mum was very restrained but, I know what's coming there!

Saracen Fri 14-Oct-11 16:10:36

If it isn't too much against your principles, maybe you could back off to the point of being vague in order to reduce the number of unpleasant conversations. Something like, "Well, at the moment we aren't thinking of sending our LO to school at four but we'll see what we think later. We can always change our minds if HE doesn't seem like it's working out. We're hardly going to do any permanent damage to our child by waiting until six or seven to send her to school!! That's what they do in some countries and it doesn't seem to do their children any harm. Four seems a pretty arbitrary age to start school."

Besides avoiding the worst of the anti-HE criticism, such an approach will also help you save face, on the off-chance you should ever change your mind about home education. If you have sworn blind that your child will never cross the threshhold of a school but your plans later change, it may be hard for you.

EauRouge Fri 14-Oct-11 17:03:27

There'll be plenty of opportunities for 'those' conversations, it's one of the joys of being a parent grin One of the best skills I learnt was to smile in a way that says 'so bog off' silently at the end of a sentence. So you go like this-

"Yes, I am still breastfeeding, it's working really well" smile (so bog off)
"No, she's not sleeping through the night but it's not an inconvenience to us" smile (so bog off)
"We think HE will suit our family best and it's a decision we're very happy with" smile (so bog off)
"I'm sorry, our chocolate supplies are ever so low" smile (so bog off)

You don't have to discuss it with everyone but as your mum is a teacher, I'm sure she will be extra-curious as to your reasons why.

RosyRosie Fri 14-Oct-11 20:01:28

This smile is something I need to perfect!

FionaJNicholson Sat 15-Oct-11 10:14:25

My mum was an infant school teacher and had recently retired when I had my son. I always planned for him not to go to school but I was very vague with my mum for years and years about what my plans actually were, mainly because I didn't feel up to dealing with her reaction. Once I DID tell her, she had masses of questions and doubts and anxieties.

In retrospect I think I should have cut off the questions by just saying briskly "well, who knows what will happen in the future, I've obviously given it a great deal of thought and I think I'm doing the right thing but we'll just have to see how it turns out, won't we".

I think this would have been preferable to endless endless "yes but what about x.." type conversations, because she could just have slotted it comfortably into her existing schema of "Fiona never listens and just does her own thing." (Because she never realised how much I craved her approval)

threeisthemagicnumber Tue 18-Oct-11 14:01:39

DH's mum was a teacher and felt a bit undermined, professionally, when we said we would home school my DD. I anticipated lots of resistance - infact she sulked for 6 weeks then got over it and is now fully involved with DD and does lots of maths and reading with her.

Honestly though, have the baby, see who 'it' is, get to the point that you need to register for school and THEN decide. So much can and will change after you have the baby and as he or she grows up.

I am so not the parent that I thought I would be when I was pregnant with DD. Not better or worse just different to what I thought in the days when DD was just a bump not a real person.

mummytime Tue 18-Oct-11 14:14:40

I would also strongly recommend the "We are thinking of HE but we'll see how things work out line." Because things do change, and massively after you've had the baby (never mind when any siblings come along). My kids were never going to be covered in chocolate after church or run around like hooligans, and probably not fight in the baby clinic etc.
Please do listen to this advice because a) there may come a day you want (or your teenager wants) to go to school; b) even the best parents can produce delinquent feral children, please don't judge others until you have walked several miles in their shoes.

Saracen Wed 19-Oct-11 08:58:22

"My kids were never going to be covered in chocolate after church or run around like hooligans, and probably not fight in the baby clinic etc."

ROFL!! Same story here!

snailoon Wed 19-Oct-11 09:04:21

You might point out that not every child who goes to school has beautiful social skills and a great education.
Learn a few statistics about HE to tell people.
I agree you should save yourself from arguing about this for the next 4 years by not talking about it ahead of time.

mewantcookiesmenocanwait Sat 22-Oct-11 18:56:55

You're never going to reassure your mum until she actually sees you doing home ed and it working, so I agree that you need to be as vague as possible until that point. (FWIW, my FIL was a primary-school headmaster, so I feel your pain!)

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