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Looking for advice on how to discuss homeschooling with educator in-laws.

Posted by on Oct. 5, 2012 at 3:31 PM
  • 9 Replies

i'm currently not exactly homeschooling since my daughter is only 10 months old, but have always thought that homeschooling would be an option for me. I'm looking for advice on how to discuss homeschooling with (very controlling) in-laws. My mother-in-law is the principal of a catholic girls school and both her daughters are teachers. They are all amazing people, but I don't know how to broach the subject without hurting their feelings or offending them. Also, I'm SURE my mother-in-law thinks she knows best when it comes to the subject of education.

Does anyone have advice on how to bring up this subject without having my own feelings hurt?

fyi-i abhor conflict. It oftens renders me speechless and I'm trying to avoid that with this particular topic.

thanks in advance for any advice!


by on Oct. 5, 2012 at 3:31 PM
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by Sonja on Oct. 5, 2012 at 4:30 PM

Oh wow. That's a tuffy. You may not be able to have a quiet, calm conversation of home education if their stance is being public or private schooled. One thing you can do to add any info to your arsenal is to google or your preferred search engine choice, and search up any famous homeschoolers and watch what the search engine comes up with. you'll be amazed at all  the famous people that HAVE been homeschooled.  I would then copy/print/memorize this information and keep it handy for this type of subject matter that is going to be discussed. and also turn it into a list and keep adding to this list. I will keep thinking for better ways to talk about homeschooling and I'm sure that there will be other ladies who will come in and give you some advice too. :)  



by Platinum Member on Oct. 5, 2012 at 4:37 PM

I would just not bring it up. Why stir the pot until it's dinner time so to speak. ;)

by on Oct. 5, 2012 at 4:51 PM
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The most important thing you can do is avoid talking or acting like homeschooling is BETTER than public or homeschooling, even if you THINK it is. They will automatically get defensive and conflict will arise if you start saying things like,"Well, we just want to offer them a better education."
So I advise that you take the stance that there are many different ways to educate children and that, while public or private schools may be very good for many families, you have decided that HSing is best for your family "at this time."
Of course, that may only buy you some time because they will ask,"So when are you going to put them into a real school?". Then you can answer,"We wil homeschool as long as it works for us and right now it is working really well, we are very happy with the results."
If you decide to HS to graduation, then let the in-laws know, first of all so they can get off your back, and second, so they know that you are indeed planning ahead, you are not just flying by the seat of your pants from year to year.
I would also like to suggest that you go the extra mile and acknowledge their expertise by occasionally asking their advice on a curriculum. I say occasionally so that you do not seem like you are sucking up to them, but are genuinely interested in their opinion. I think they will eventually see that there is excellent HSing material out there. They will be impressed and you will have the expertise of educators to help you in making decisions. An all around good relationship, I hope!
You will have to be brave... And hopefully they will admire you for it.
by on Oct. 5, 2012 at 5:26 PM

 wellll you could not discuss it and just start homeschooling when it times!  hey start now, and just keep continuing, by the time you really start they will be use to it!

if they are controling, your feelings are probably gona get hurt and theirs!

i dont like conflict either so i dont discuss , i just do!hahahaha

by on Oct. 5, 2012 at 5:29 PM
Its not their business. Its yours.
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by on Oct. 5, 2012 at 6:58 PM

I had that problem with my MIL.  She was really against it and i told her to look the stuff on her own the myths what I have been working with him while he is in school and how it has been helping them.  GL girl

by on Oct. 5, 2012 at 10:12 PM

Grace, before you begin to talk to the in-laws about your decisions, you need to find out if your husband is on the same page as you.   Also, need to be sure that he's not the kind of husband that will listen to them and give in, even though you guys had decided otherwise.

I wouldn't even begin to tell the inlaws yet, because that gives them plenty of time to try to "break" you and your husband's decisions.   Instead, research it for yourself and discuss it in private with DH.   You two become 100% solid on your own decision before dealing with the inlaws.

Then, when you do, have a straightforward discussion...

(when child is about 4ish maybe?)

MIL:   So, you two will be enrolling DD in said catholic school.   I can't wait until she gets to experience such and such with us.

DH:  (notice it's DH that says it first)   That sounds terrific, Mom, but we've got some other plans.  We have several friends that home school, and we are pretty sure that's what we are going to do to.

MIL:  Why would you do that?  What about socialization?  She won't get everything she needs at home.

DH:  We disagree, we feel that there are more opportunities afforded to home educated kids now.   There are so many clubs and organizations that are home school friendly and the curriculum available is amazing.

MIL:  (some other comment against it)

DH:   We understand, but DD is our child, and this is our decision.   Thanks for your concern.

MIL:  (Some other comment)

DH:   Thanks again, for your concern.

MIL: (some other comment)

DH:   Thanks for your concern.


(see the pattern?)

by on Oct. 5, 2012 at 10:17 PM

Oh and just a side note, I have some experience dealing with controlling people...

do NOT ask them advice on curriculum and such.  While that seems like an approach that would not hurt their feeligns... it also opens the door that you are asking them to be involved in the decision making of your child.   At least this is the way controlling people see these types of invites.   Meant to be harmless, I know, but it can really set up issues down the road.

In fact, when dealing with critical and controlling family, you are best to not discuss anything with them that you don't want them involved in.   But, that is my two cents.

by on Oct. 6, 2012 at 12:03 PM

I'm married to a middle school AP. I'm the only one in either of our families homeschooling--and we started after our sons were well ingrained into school and so only homeschool our dd9. What made it more challenging is that I had already tried--and failed at--homeschooling our younger two sons when our dd was a baby, so my dh had doubts about it when I said I wanted to try it again. My parents thought I was crazy to not send my dd to school--that's all they knew. I didn't care what my in-laws thought about it. LOL

So, here's how I did it. I started when my dd was 4-1/2yo with a K4 program. No one minded that, as she was so young. I even told myself that to relieve some of the pressure I felt that I had to do it right. After that year she was reading CVC words. So, I "decided" to try Kindergarten. At the time, our local schools offered a part-time kindergarten program, so I could sell my daily "full-time" Kindergarten program to my family easily. "After all, the law says she doesn't actually have to be in school until she is 7." After Kindergarten, she was reading chapter books to herself. My parents were so amazed by what she had learned that they were sold on homeschooling. I still did not admit that I wanted to homeschool her through high school. I just said we were taking it year by year. Finally, last year in 3rd grade, my husband admitted that he wanted me to homeschool her through high school. He was also sold on it!

He works in a public school, not Catholic; but I bet your MIL and SILs see a lot of behavior that is negative, like my dh does. He does not want our dd teased and bullied, any more than I do. You will probably hear a lot about socialization from them,  but there are homeschooling groups that have field trips and playdates. You can also put your child in community sports, dance classes, karate, etc. You will hear about how you can't possibly teach all subjects without training. Not so! There are homeschooling co-ops, DVD curricula, tutors, etc. that can teach subjects that you can't teach. Besides, those types of subjects are many years off in the future. By the time your child is older, there will be even more online learning opportunities than now. I suspect there will be a huge part of traditional education switched over to home-based education. Already, the kids at school are using ipads to do work and submit it, just as many colleges are doing online classes. K12 is public school at home, and there are other schools out there online-based. So, all of that just to say that you will be able to manage any subject.

When all else fails, just refuse to discuss it with them. As you get older, you will find that you have to do what you feel is right, even when others are against it. I know I spent way too much time in my life (I'm 49) trying to please other people. What I've found is that it is not my responsibility to make other people happy or pleased with me. I need to be pleased with myself. Part of that means I have to homeschool my dd.

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