kimck wrote:
>I'm already well aware that my in-laws are going to be VERY uncomfortable with the idea of homeschooling at least initially.

Kriston is of course right that all of us who are homeschooling (and I assume this may also be true of grade-skipping and other “unusual” ways of helping bright kids) have to deal with reactions from the extended family.

In our case, my side of the family has generally been supportive (one of my cousins started homeschooling after we did), except for one of my step-sibs who teaches in the public schools (we’ve never seen each other much anyway, so we just don’t talk with each other about our homeschooling). Curiously, my mom is defensive about not being supportive enough of our homeschooling! This is kind of funny, since she really has been quite supportive, and no one has ever told her otherwise.

My wife’s family has been much less supportive. However, this has not really been a great problem. Since I am willing to talk openly about our homeschooling and answer any questions they have, we simply talk things over whenever they do have questions or criticisms.

One of the reasons I find Kriston’s take on homeschoolers’ being defensive a little funny is that my main problem in talking to my wife’s family is that I have to be careful not to hurt their feelings by telling them how our kids are actually doing academically, what our kids are learning, etc. My nieces are, as far as I can tell, as bright innately as our kids, but our kids are advancing at about twice the pace the nieces are because of our homeschooling.

I have the same experience with friends, although of course the situation is somewhat less delicate with friends than with in-laws. My overwhelming experience is that it has been public-schoolers who are defensive, and I (usually) try to be sensitive to their tender feelings.

So, I’m somewhat bemused by Kriston’s belief that homeschoolers are defensive.

A year ago, one of my kids informed her cousin that she was better at piano than the cousin because she was homeschooled! Aside from being rude, the truth is her cousin never chose to take piano lessons, which is of course the real reason the cousin could not play piano. Curiously, the older girl was really upset by this (there is a seven year age difference).

We of course had a long talk with our little one, I apologized to the cousin, and our child later went on her own and apologized also.

This is a somewhat funny example (although it was not funny at the time!) of how we and are kids are finding that we need to be careful not to offend the delicate feelings of public-school families.

All the best,

Dave