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What do YOU Say to 'Those' Questions? (Part 3)

By Heather Idoni

Added Friday, March 16, 2007

The Homeschooler's Notebook
Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
Vol. 8 No 21 March 16, 2007
ISSN: 1536-2035
Copyright (c) 2007 - Heather Idoni, FamilyClassroom.net

Welcome to the Homeschooler's Notebook!
If you like this newsletter, please recommend it to a friend!




Notes from Heather
-- Thoughtful Come-backs
Helpful Tips
-- A Twist on Monopoly
Reader Question
-- Caring for Aging Parents
Additional Notes
-- Searchable Archive
-- Our Email Group
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

Notes from Heather

Welcome to our Friday issue! Here is the final segment of emails
I received from readers about dealing with negative comments and
questions about homeschooling. I hope reading what others have
to say has been a blessing to you! -- Heather


"One time at the grocery store the cashier found out that I am
homeschooling and she asked me how I could stand being 'stuck
with my kids all day'. My comment to her was my kids are stuck
with me all day, too. It was late at night when we had this conver-
sation. Why are poeple always thinking about what's best for
themselves and not what's best for their kids? I enjoy 'being
stuck with my kids all day'." -- Lori in PA


"I have been confronted by public school teachers, public school
parents, people who know everything there is to know about
raising and educating children who have no children (much more
knowledgeable than I as a veteran parent) and people who just
flat out think homeschooling is weird.

I have been confronted with the 'typical' socialization question,
the 'how are you able to educate your children without a
teaching degree' question, how often are evaluations completed,
how are your children tested to 'match the public school system',
etc. I have been told that we (Americans) are going to see many
problems surface in the future with the home educated students
(psychologically, is what I believe the person was referring to).

Last, but not least, my oldest son has Asperger's. This is a form
of autism that I happen to believe was caused by forced
vaccinations while my son was a newborn and I was in the military
in 1985. When I had mentioned this one day, someone eluded to the
Asperger's being CAUSED by homeschooling. The ignorance just
rolls! I would quickly recommend to anyone who encounters that
one to educate the person and have them visit websites that explain
what Asperger's IS CAUSED by. We not only need to educate our
children, but we need to educate the 'educated' public.

After all of these confrontations listed above, I have found the best
way to squelch the voice of ignorance is through prayer because
God protects. I DO NOT necessarily recommend the following, but
in every one of these instances, I allowed my children to speak for
themselves. Every single person that has confronted me with these
issues was completely blown away when I allowed my children to
debate the issues themselves. They have told me that I have done
a wonderful job with my children and they are floored with how
polite and intelligent my children are. My evidence was in the
result of home education. Therefore, I have to agree with the
mother who said that it is better to be 'offensive than defensive'.

I have one son ready to graduate with his bachelor's degree (the
one with Asperger's) and my middle son beginning college this
next year. I allow the results to ring loudly in the ears of the
ignorant. It is also important to let you know that NO ONE has
a clue my son deals with Asperger's unless he tells them or I do.
(Oh, and by the way, I am seriously opposed to vaccinations which
just so happens to be another hot button.)

Needless to say, we are always going to receive attacks as
homeschool parents because society itself truly has a problem
with FREEDOM. Just remember, these attacks are 'pebbles in
our shoes'.

(Thank you my dear friend, Linda (Homeschool Mom), for helping
me to realize that!) We do not have to miss a step and when all is
said and done. We are going to be pleased as punch with the
results, even if the world is not! But, then again, they are OUR
children, aren't they?" -- Cynthia


"I have been homeschooling for almost 20 years, and have never
had a negative comment. People ask me questions about how it
works quite frequently, but never have they been negative about it.
When we first started, many had never heard of it, so we had many
questions. Now it is common enough that we get many favorable
comments instead. Even the man that we had to meet with in our
public school several years ago was favorable -- his own children
homeschooled their children. He even went so far as to say that
the homeschoolers that he worked with were much more sociably
adept than most of his public school students. I think a lot of it is
in our attitude. If we are positive about homeschooling,then others
will accept it more." -- Karen


[And I will finish this off where we began... with some ideas and
experiences from Mary Beth A. -- who originally suggested the
idea to ask our readers to share on this topic!]

"Sometimes we will answer a question with a question which will
help the other person to discover the truth for themselves. For
example, if someone brings up a topic (such as socialization), we
simply ask, 'What do you mean by that?' Often they are unable to
define the term they used. Once when someone told me my
children would learn better social skills if they could spend more
time with kids their own age, I responded, 'Which social skills do
you have in mind? When we're ready to teach them table manners,
should we take them to the school cafeteria? If we want to teach
them courtesy, kindness and consideration for others, do you
recommend taking them to the school playground? Hospitality is
an important social skill; are they likely to learn that at school?'

We try to keep up with all the research done by various homeschool
advocacy organizations such as Home School Legal Defense, and
National Home Education Research Institute. They have many well
documented statistics which give very strong evidence that home-
schooled children are excelling. Being familiar with the facts keeps
us ready to answer questions about whether homeschooling really

We try to never bad-mouth public schools. While there is much to
criticize about them, there is nothing to be gained by doing so.
Homeschooling has enough merit of its own. We don't need to
point out the weaknesses of public schools to help homeschooling
look better. By talking only about the positive aspects of home-
schooling, we keep the conversation from becoming negative or

We try to keep our answers brief, unless the situation calls for a
more lengthy explanation. When asked, 'How will your children
get into college?' I answered, 'The same way everybody else does.'
When asked, 'What do you think is the advantage of homeschooling?'
I answered, 'Hopefully, the final product.'

We also try to be sensitive to whether a person is truly interested
and concerned, or just being critical. A sincere question deserves
a thorough and respectful answer. A critic needs to be given the
opportunity to think about what they just said." -- Mary Beth


Do you have comments to share about the newsletter? Please do!

Send your emails to: heather@familyclassroom.net



Helpful Tip

"My daughter sent this email to me. It sounds like something we
could use in our homeschooling practice for Math!" -- Jan in Missouri

A Clever Twist On Monopoly

There are a lot of young adults and even some older adults that do
not know how to manage a check book. We've found a fun way to
learn this much needed skill. We play Monopoly. My children are in
the 3rd and 6th grade and love to play this way.

I made up and printed 'checks' and deposit slips on our computer.
After printing, I cut and stapled them to make a book. I went to the
bank and picked up actual checkbook registers and holders.

At the beginning of the game the banker hands each player their
funds. The players count their money and enter it into the check
registry as a deposit and fill out a deposit slip. We then take turns
and deposit our money into the bank.

When we receive money during the game for: passing go, collecting
rents, etc. We collect the money, write it in our registry as a deposit
and credit, fill out a slip, and deposit it into our bank accounts.

If we have to pay money for: taxes, rents or to buy property, we
write a check, register it in our checkbook as a debit, and either
give it to another player or to the bank.

If we have to stop a game and put it away, we put our deeds in a
baggy with our names on it. If we have houses or hotels we add
them to the baggy with a list of where they go. We already have
our funds listed in our checkbooks, so we don't have to keep up
with how much money we have.

This is a fun twist for family and friends to have a great time, while
learning much needed skills. Later we might and some form of
debit cards and bank statements. (Attributed to Donna G. in GA)


Do you have an idea, experience, or tip to share? Please write!
Send to: HN-ideas@familyclassroom.net

Last Issue's Reader Question

"My husband and I recently moved my parents in with us. Both are
in declining health and require extra help. I am struggling to get
everything done. We have four children ages 14, 12, 11, and 9 that
we home school. I would welcome any suggestions on organizing
my day to make everything fit and work together." -- Jacqueline in AL

Our Readers' Responses

"First I applaud and commend you for taking care of your in-laws.
Expect to be blessed by God! I would start with a schedule. By
a schedule I mean with all four children helping with the in-laws. They
should each have a slot of time with them and you can be the judge
of what they can do. The youngest can read the Bible to them and
the oldest can help with walking them around the block or changing
sheets. This is definitely called can be compared to volunteering in
an assisted living facility. Those kids are there to get to know their
grandparents during their last days on this earth. All of the burden
should not be placed on you! This is an excellent opportunnity to
show true servanthood and give you a needed break! The in-laws
may even be able to help out with the children's studies by answering
questions when they feel up to it. Even if the kids just sit next to
them and do their schoolwork, the grandparents can be blessed with
the company. I am sure your in-laws are having a hard time losing
their independence because of poor health, but if they feel they can
help you out in any way, maybe they will. There is an unlimited
resource of wisdom in our parents and it needs to be passed on to
the next generation." -- Gina in Texas


"I would start by delegating. Your children are old enough to take
over some of the household duties. Have your children help with
the housework. Definitely have your children help their grandparents.
Don't forget to let your parents help the children with their schooling.
Could the children read to their grandparents, practice a speech or
oral report with them, talk about what they are learning in different
subjects, interview their grandparents and learn about life from a
different generation, etc.? People always need to feel needed.
Find things that your parents can help with and allow others to
help you with your parents and around the house. Everyone will
feel needed and useful, you won't be overdoing it, and your children
will learn valuable lessons." -- Brandi


"Are your parents interested in helping with the homeschooling,
and capable of doing so? Also, cut yourself some slack! Your
children are benefiting a lot from your example, and probably
learning something, too." -- Rick at LivingstonParentJournal.com


"Without going into a lot of detail, I suggest your kids get all or
some of their school work done in around one or two hours,
freeing up their time to help you and their grandparents. Times
like these are more importantly spent looking at relationships
and serving, rather than being academic. Enjoy being able to
serve your parents and let your kids come up with inventive ways
to learn on their own, either by reading, reading, and more reading,
or drawing and writing cartoons, cooking and cleaning, reading to
their grandparents, etc. Public TV comes in handy in times like
these! I've been in your shoes twice. It's a privilege. The main
thing is to relax and realize that life is for learning. Know that
your children WILL learn in spite of yourselves and your circum-
stances!" -- Donna S.

Answer our NEW Question

"I am writing for a friend. Her 5 year old son is quite bright! He is
reading very well and has a fabulous grasp of math concepts,
shapes, colors, etc. Academics comes easily to him. On the flip
side, he is very immature socially. He still tends toward parallel
play and often wets his pants as much as 5 times a day. He is
maybe at age 3 in his social skills. Also, he is very strong-willed and
stubborn. He is completing his second year in a 4 day preschool
and is an only child.

The parents do not know what to do with him! He would be ruined
in public school and most private Christian schools are too rigid
for their comfort. Homeschooling seems to be their best choice.
On the other hand, he needs more interaction with children. We
would like your options on choices as well as curricula. Thanks!"
-- Tequita


Do you have input for Tequita's friend and her young son?

Please send your answer to: HN-answers@familyclassroom.net


Do you have a question you would like our readers to answer?

Send it to HN-questions@familyclassroom.net and we'll see
if we can help you out in a future issue!

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Tags: homeschool socialization question, homeschooling questions, aspergers syndrome, monopoly math, what about socialization, home school answers, home education tips, caring for elderly parents while homeschooling, caretaking, caring for aging parents, tips

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