Saturday, June 11, 2011

Outside pressure

As unschoolers, my boys do not learn from me and me alone. They learn from everyone they come in contact with. All their family and friends. Their home-school group. The people they meet in the grocery store, or standing in line at the bank. Every interaction, every day results in learning for them. Not everyone is capable of seeing this learning for what it is, and that can result in unneeded pressure being put on the boys.

Take for instance their grandparents. Until very recently, they would babysit for me about once a week, for several hours. As it turns out they cannot look beyond the norm, and see how the boys learn through interaction instead of study. They would spend their time with their grandkids quizzing them, drilling them, and pressuring them which is counterproductive to how I want my boys to learn. Not only that, but they were quizzing, drilling and pressuring the boys on things that were above their level.

I was willing to look past all that (if that was how they wanted to spend their precious time with their grandkids, I wasn't going to stop them). But then the boys said something to me that made steam come out of me ears. "Grandma says we shouldn't be home-schooled because we aren't learning anything."

This all stemmed from them asking the boys what they were learning at home, and they both said they couldn't remember. Well color me surprised, a public schooled child would never give an answer like that!

To be honest, I'm not surprised they feel this way. From the very beginning they have been hinting that they disapprove of my home-schooling the boys. They would send me pamphlets from the local charter schools, and offer to let me use their home-address to put the boys in a 'better' district. And I'm fine with them disagreeing with my decision. They don't have to approve, they don't have to like my choices, but I do expect them to be respectful. The best way to be respectful is to address their questions, comments and concerns about the boys' education to me (the one whose making these decisions) instead of to my children. I don't see how that was asking too much, but apparently it was, since they refused.

They seem to think it's perfectly acceptable for them to put doubts in my boys' minds about the decisions I am making for them, and because of that they will be spending a lot less time with them. It's most unfortunate, because my kids could really learn a lot from their grandparents, if only they could relax and stop with the pressure and negativity.

1 comment:

  1. To think the boys grandparents are interacting in such a way with their grandsons. That's so sad. My son is in Preschool (P3) but is learning on a higher level, and it upsets me when my MIL asks "When are you putting him in 'real' preschool?"

    Anyhow, I hope that the grandparents can learn to relax and just enjoy their grandsons. And what a gift they can give them by 'teaching' them through love.