If you’ve read my blog for a little while, or been on my Facebook page, you may have picked up that Hubby is Care Bear’s step dad. Homeschooling with nay sayers is hard, and I would argue that when those nay sayers are your ex and/or their family, it adds a level of difficulty. Add to it that the demographic of homeschooling families is not typically a split home, it can feel like I’m a lonely fish in the sea.
So, whining about it isn’t going to do me any good, obviously. That doesn’t change anything. I’ve learned that no matter what we do, or how well Care Bear does in her work, there will always be something he can nitpick and complain about. What to do? Well, here’s just a couple things I’ve done to make life slightly easier and to reduce conflict. I’d love to hear more suggestions as this can be a really tough situation!
- Make du’a (prayer). The actions of others are not in our hands.
- Never stoop to a lower level out of anger or frustration. It never helps, and is a black mark to your character, which also tarnishes your credibility in raising your child correctly.
- Remember, your spouse or family is typically more forgiving than an ex. Mistakes are not forgiven as easily or quickly.
- Use some resources that are familiar to the ex and/or their family. When you’re competing against the public school as the optimal choice, using some resources they have is not a bad idea.
- We happen to use Saxon Math, Glencoe McGraw-Hill literature study guides, and Iowa Test of Basic Skills. I don’t choose them just because they are used in public schools, but they do gain some points when choosing resources.
- Recognize that fighting the homeschool stigma takes time. Well thought out, valid arguments only go so far. Many need to see actual results, or the fact that their child is not going to change into a dysfunctional member of society because of their homeschool.
- Your ex has some say, but realize only so many requests can be catered to. Just like any relationship with a parent, they are an advisor, not the boss.
- You can define your homeschool setup in court paperwork. I would argue that having this setup creates some boundaries of what requests can be made on either side and is very beneficial.
- We have our school schedule defined, along with the simple fact that we will homeschool. No more “Will we homeschool next school year?” discussion every. single. summer. Alhamdulilah!
Life is more complicated the more people you have actively involved in your daily routine. In sha Allah there are ways to alleviate some of that discomfort. I’d love to hear more feedback on how to make it as painless as possible!
Quiz Dungeon (@QuizDungeon) says
Thanks! It gets easier to let things roll off my back as time goes on. 🙂
I am curious how you came to an agreement with your ex about homeschooling. Did you go to court, agree, or do you have sole legal custody? I am headed to court in 10 days on this issue, despite having sole legal custody. Thanks.
Shannen Espelien says
Originally we ended up being able to agree to try it for one year and then go from there. That agreement didn’t come easy, though. There were many times we would end up hanging up on each other, there were choice words exchanged, and a good amount of yelling. None of that is healthy, but that’s what it was at that time. Still, in the end, he passively agreed. At the time I thought we had joint legal custody (I found out later I actually had sole legal custody, but I imagine things would have gone very similar either way), so while I didn’t think I needed to get his approval before we started, I thought it would have made life really hard if I didn’t. The second year, Kira actually wanted to go back to public school (to be with one specific friend I was not a fan of), and her dad was a big proponent of her staying with homeschooling.
A couple years later we ended up going through lawyers and mediation about many things, and homeschooling came up. I provided her standardized test scores (which showed that she had improved since she started homeschooling), lists of what books we use for what subjects, and lists of various outings we had done in our homeschool. It was hard to say I wasn’t providing her with a first class education, and in the new legal paperwork we have, it specifically states I can homeschool.
We didn’t have to go to court, but even mediation was tough. I feel for you. It’s a level of stress I hope to never experience again. Just make sure you are ready with proof in various forms, and stand your ground on what matters, and bend where you can. Showing some compromise when possible is helpful, especially when it comes to an area you’re not willing to budge. That way you won’t seem unreasonable overall. Best wishes to you and your family.
Thanks for your reply! I appreciate it!