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Please share your best retorts to home ed sceptics' endless questions/judgements

(12 Posts)
EBAB Thu 02-Aug-07 01:21:50

Being a fairly non-confrontational sort, this is the aspect of home ed life I'm most dreading at the moment. We're closer than we've ever been to opting for HE for ds (three), and I intend to start preparing myself for the inevitable, prolonged inquisition.

In your experience, what aspect of HE gets asked about/commented on the most? How do you respond? How do you tend to shut unconvinced interrogators up (nicely and all)? Have you had a tricky time bringing teacher friends round to the idea?

Thank you. EBAB

Saturn74 Thu 02-Aug-07 08:44:56

We've never really bothered trying to bring anyone round to the idea, as we know HE is the best option for our family at the moment, so haven't felt the need to explain or defend it really.

We've found that the advantages and benefits have become obvious to all (family members and friends) as time has gone on.

I've just realised that we haven't been asked about HE when out and about for ages, but the questions we used to get most often were:

"Is that legal?"
(No, we're on the run. Please just put our items through the till quickly, so we can pay and get back to the getaway car.)

"Don't you worry about socialisation?"
(Yes, it is a concern. That's why we took them out of school.)

Actually, once we say that we HE because the school system is abysmal at providing an appropriate education for dyslexic children, we are usually met with effusive agreement, and tales of other dyslexic children who are struggling in the education system.

And now the children are older, they are happy to engage in a discussion of the pros and cons.

So, we don't feel the need to justify our decisions, but we are happy to explain them to anyone who is interested.

Saturn74 Thu 02-Aug-07 08:51:18

Oh, and my aunt is the most traditional, conservative person I know; a retired teacher with over 30 years of teaching experience in a state primary school.

She has seen us struggle with the school and the LEA, in our attempts to get support for our children.

She has seen how her advice and suggestions in dealing with the system made no difference - how the state simply refused to pay for the additional help our children needed.

She saw that the free education that is their right was worthless and ineffective, and how it had made them feel stupid and depressed.

She is now a staunch advocate of HE, and has just joined EO.

EBAB Thu 02-Aug-07 10:18:48

Thanks, Humphrey. Your aunt coming round to the idea so passionately is encouraging, and I can imagine people being more understanding about HE in the context of state schooling's often abysmal support of dyslexic kids. It's great to hear that your kids are thriving with HE.

I suppose I do feel the need, rightly or wrongly, to be able to clearly explain/defend our decision, at least to family and close friends (one an anti-HE teacher). We're considering HE from the very beginning, with no special needs identified (as yet), and in a community with a 'good' primary school. I don't think we'll be met with the understanding you've experienced.

Yes, I need assertiveness training! In the meantime, I'd still like to hear about how other home-edders handle this. Thanks.

bluemountainriver Sat 04-Aug-07 10:26:51

You could tell your teacher friends that many HErs are teachers!

Also worth pointing out that Education is the parents' responsibility, not the state's, it's just that most parents delegate that responsibility to the state.

As well as being asked about the legality of HE and the old socialisation chestnut (which HumphreyCushion has answered excellently, if I may say so), I have been asked:

Q Are you a teacher?
A No, I don't have a teaching quallification,yes, I've been teaching my dd since birth

Q Aren't you sheltering her from the big bad world?
A No, my dd is living in the big bad world, not in an artificial society, stuck in a room with 25 or so other children who were born in the same year and live in the same small area. Hence HE children are often more socially adept.

Q Is it just a certain type of person who HEs?
A No, we're all shapes and sizes and some of us HE autonomously, some more formally and some combine the two. Income varies considerably too, with research showing that HE children in low income families consistently outperform their middle class school attending peers.

Must stop there - got a house full of hungry girls (and one boy) who were sleeping over last night!

sorkycake Sat 04-Aug-07 18:41:59

When people ask why I say "because my childrens education is vitally important to me, so I'm not taking the risk of school and have decided to do it myself".
If anyone asks how do I cope with 3 at home I reply "very well thank you I'm a fantastic mother".

WendyWeber Sat 04-Aug-07 18:46:34

Tell them you can take your holidays any time you like without grovelling for permission

I work in a cottage booking centre and had a HE dad on the phone the other day, booking a week in Dorset in early November (half the price of Oct half-term) so the family could go fossil hunting.

(NB I don't mean for a moment to suggest that this is ever a reason for doing it - just a weapon to beat doubters over the head with!)

Peachy Sat 04-Aug-07 18:52:23

I think it might be worth you knowing that we prepared ourse;ves for flack- especially when going to talk to the school head (we plan to HE for several months, then part time school, then FT school- although LEA SEN dept. making su think we may stay HE as longa s we can, which is until Sept 2009 when I go to do my post grad- and will need an income)

Fully expecting a chorus of no, you shall not, we will not contemplate retaining a palce -

Oh, Ok then , as long as he is educated that's fine

sorkycake Sat 04-Aug-07 18:55:25

I find myself feeling extremely smug about the fact that we HE. I suppose it must be a bit like finding Jesus and knowing you're going to heaven.
It's definitely one of those things where you know it's the right decision and can't believe you didn't do it earlier, isn't it?
I must admit we haven't had any negative feedback about it yet, except that my IL's don't acknowledge it or talk about it at all. They come from the "your not supposed to like school" brigade.

sorkycake Sat 04-Aug-07 18:57:05

you're, sorry, bf'ing as I type.

EBAB Sun 05-Aug-07 23:28:31

Ooh, thanks all. Have just checked back on this thread. Useful replies. Great teacher retort, bluemountainriver.

sorky, I can imagine the potential for smugness, once you're really, officially HE-ing.

FWIW, we had some friends over Thursday night, one of whom was a teacher (not the teacher I most expect a negative reaction from). I was blown away when she said she was pro home ed, and would definitely consider if for her own kids, if/when she has them. Am feeling most encouraged!

Thank you all again. Perhaps worrying unnecessarily, methinks.

berolina Sun 05-Aug-07 23:38:26

Just had to post a quick . I would love to HE when dses get to that age - but we're unlikely to be out of Germany before then and in Germany school is compulsory, as opposed to education Humphrey - love your retort re socialisation.

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