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Told my father today about out decision with DS and the first thing he said was ‘the trouble is they’re gonna miss out on socialising with children their own age’. We took DD out of school last October and back then he and my stepmum said we had their full support but now DS is following the same path it seems to be a different story. I explained that I feel school doesn’t always provide a good social experience and that lots of children experience bullying/cliques/teacher favouritism and that being educated in the real world allows my children to learn to interact with people of all ages and from all walks of life which I feel I preferable. My father went silent. I also explained that they do have contact with children of their own age from after school acitivities and their cousins.

My wonderful mum in law is the opposite and often comments on how she can see DD is enjoying herself and progressing well.

I think it’s my stepmum more than my father, she never asks about their education or praises them on their achievements and when I talk about it she goes silent. Im currently reading Ross Mountneys’ ‘a funny kind of education’ which is brilliant because I can see others have experienced the same thing. Is it really too much to ask that my closest family respect and support our decision?

Mum to 2 georgous little ones, my little girl 6 and her little brother 4.

I don’t know why people use this argument at all. Being social is more about learning to communicate with all sorts of people not just your peer group, and as you say there are alternatives. I wonder how people became social before the onset of mass education. Think about those Victorian schools ! Bet they were awful. Stick to your guns you know what is best for your circumstances and family.

Or is there an underlying sexism? It’s alright if your girl “doesn’t receive an education” (as they see it) but a boy’s got to have one?

I don’t think you have the right or the ability to demand someone shares your beliefs, you’ve told them what your reasons, they are free to disagree. Its probably just a reflection of accepted societal norms that have not been questioned before. To be honest silence is most likely the response of not having a better argument to what you say or at least being aware enough not to start world war 3 over it and let you get on with it, I think many HE parents would be glad of silent friends/relatives wink

If they start to directly criticise you or your children then you have grounds for demanding respect.

? We must live with hearts wide open, hearts wildly open ?

Wild glamping in the mountains of southern Spain ...

Lisa P - 20 June 2013 03:42 PM

. Is it really too much to ask that my closest family respect and support our decision?

Honestly, it probably is a lot to ask of them when, to them, it isn’t seen as ‘the normal thing to do’. I think that fear and negativity comes about when people don’t understand something or see how it will fare in the end. It’s hard to trust that something will work when you may feel you’re in the dark and sometimes to hide that fear, people can sound rude and stand offish.
You have to rise above it.
You’re not doing this to prove anything to them, you’re doing it because you think it is the best thing for your children and family.
Stick to your guns, don’t let her wind you up. If you’re home edding, you’ll meet many more from a similar mould to your step mother. Make sure you’re always ready with a smile and a gentle, but firm explanation. What got my goat about some home edding families that I met on my home edding journey a few years back, was their ability to launch into a tirade of defensiveness which really didn’t help anyone in the long run, not them or the ignoramouses they were directing it at wink

Good luck x

I’ve just finished the same book, it’s so good isn’t it! Did make me cry a little though smile
I’d pay no attention to the negativity, easier said I know, but it sounds like you have a lovely supporter in your mum-in-law.
Keep on doing what’s best for your family, and they’ll soon all see what you do.

Mama to three small beautiful souls
GP LETS No. 90

Dh’s family do that too - the silence thing. I just ignore it at the moment and try to show I’m confident in our decision. They parented very differently to us and I think it all seems really strange to them as they don’t understand why anyone would do it - dh was at boarding school at 8! My grandad, who is horrified by the idea of HE, is very vocal about it and last time he visited he spent ages telling ds that he couldn’t possibly keep on like this and would need to go to school sometime soon. He’s wonderful but of a totally different generation and he doesn’t understand what we’re aiming to do or why. We don’t see him often so I think we can explain it to the children beforehand and they don’t really notice, but I find that much harder to deal with than the silence! I think that once ds is reading and writing fluently, it will be easier for them to see that he’s not being deprived but as we’re not ‘teaching’ that and he’s just picking it up at his own pace, they probably think we’re delaying him terribly.

All fun wink xx

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