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How do you deal with friends whose kids go to school?

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OK, so I'm not really homeschooling yet. I have three kids and the oldest is still only 3 years old. But I consider myself a homeschool mom as I am already doing my research!

Anyway, when talking with friends about our kids it's so hard to know what to say sometimes. Like when they talk about how excited they are for their kid starting kindergarten next year, or how they are loving preschool this year. Or when they talk about problems like they don't know whether to hold their kid back in preschool another year or not or something. 

I ususally just don't say anything. I don't want to sound like a homeschool snob, who thinks EVERYONE should homeschool. But I do think homeschool is the better way, haha. I already feel a big divide between working moms and SAHM's. Now I am starting to feel a divide among the SAHM's between the homeschool moms and the moms who send kids to school. And I don't want to feel a divide between my friends.

Do you guys deal with this stuff too? How do you relate to your friends with kids in school?

by on Dec. 2, 2013 at 10:04 PM
Replies (11-17):
by Member on Dec. 4, 2013 at 3:36 AM

It can be pretty tough. I think the hardest part for me and the difference with a couple of my friends that don't HS is that they don't see why I put my kids so high on my priority list. They still want to get sitters all the time and go out, I don't.

As far as talking to them about things you listed, some times they just want your support in what ever decision they make. I will make suggestions if they are asking but I usually won't suggest to them about pulling their kids out of school to HS them, I will usually just say something like "I'm sorry that you have to deal with that, I'm not sure what I would do if I was in that situation" or "That's something we came across and why we decided to HS"

As far as their children's achievements, that can be hard sometimes. I will tell them how happy I am for them. I have a great friend who is, I wouldn't say against HSing, but defiantly not for it. It was tough at first, especially since she tried to talk me out of it, but that has been several years ago and we are as close as we always have been. She tells me about what her kids do in school and I tell her what my kids are doing. She will even supply me with some old books since mine are younger. There are even times they come over during the summer and will be apart of what ever we are doing.

The way I see it, if your friendship is strong, it won't made a difference. If not, well, there are a lot of HSing momma's out there.

by Platinum Member on Dec. 4, 2013 at 6:49 AM
Like others have said, I try to be supportive of my friends no matter what they are doing, but Iknow what you mean about feeling that space. JJust remember you have every right to be happy about your choices, just like they do.
by on Dec. 4, 2013 at 11:37 AM
I give them advice that is going to help them the most. If I give them advice in homeschooling it is because they communicated they are interested. I imagine if I complained about homeschooling what I would want someone to say that wasn't homeschooling. I would want them to be supportive as a friend. I never recommend homeschooling unless they have expressed an interest. It is not for everyone. I had a friend that was a single working mom that asked about homeschooling. I was honest with her that it takes an incredible amount of time and dedication. I told as long as you are involved in your child's education they will do great. Pick the school carefully and make sure teachers are willing to work with the parents.
by on Dec. 4, 2013 at 4:23 PM

You are homeschooling!! Don't discount what you do! 

My friends knew early on that's what I was going to do.  I didn't go overboard but I did talk about what programs I was looking at and what kind of learning style I thought my dd had. 

I would be happy for them if they were happy with school first day, field trips, etc.

I'm also an older mom so I think that makes it different anyway.

by Gold Member on Dec. 4, 2013 at 9:01 PM

I have several friends that are PS parents.  I just sympathize with what they are going through because I know that it could have been us in that boat.  I do try and help them when I can....heck I even babysit a little girl so that her mom can help with PTA stuff on Friday's.  Try to maintain a friendship that doesn't involve your children's education.

by on Dec. 5, 2013 at 12:36 AM
Our neighbors and friends all have kids that go to public school and I don't have any issues talking to them. If they ask you a question you should be able to give them your opinion about it even if it comes from a home school perspective. I don't see why you guys can't be excited together that the kids are starting school, yours homeschool and theirs public school.
by on Dec. 5, 2013 at 9:47 AM

I am probably a snob in that, to the OP, I wouldn't consider you a homeschooler, being that your oldest is only three years old. I don't say that to imply you aren't teaching your child or working with them at home, but I've known several moms who claimed to be homeschoolers for life but by kindergarten or first grade had put their child into public school and said "It was what he really needed." So yeah, when your child is actually of age to be enrolled in public school and is not, THEN, to me, you are homeschooling. Before that, you are a parent. Probably a great parent, but not a homeschooler. (This is my $.02.)

As for those who complain about their PS experiences, my advice is just be a friend. What would you say to anyone who is struggling with an aspect of their life that you choose to live differently? That is what being a friend is all about. I had a friend who struggled tremendously with breastfeeding (which I never loved; I and my babies were so much happier once I went to formula) but all I could say was, "That's really hard. Have you tried ____ or maybe ____".... because ultimately pushing MY choices onto her was not going to help her. Or often in these situations the best thing to say is, "You have to find a way to do what works for YOUR family," because that's the basic truth about anything related to parenting. There is no one size fits all approach to how we feed, dress, educate, and interact with children.

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