Pressured by Parents to Quit – Part 4: Quitting (Part 7)
Since this is the final part in a continuous series, I highly recommend that if you have not yet viewed the first three parts of this series, that you do so before proceeding.
GP – Third, there are standard tests given by a third party at the end of the school year to determine if the child has met provincial standards. “Boy” deserves to be taught to the standard and we think you need to have some accountability to someone.
LG – Yes, “Boy” deserves to be taught to a standard, but whose standard are we using? The absence of true standards is the best kept secret of the entire education industry. They cannot exist. How can we standardize people?
Also note that (grand)parent is deluded about year-end testing. If they exist (grades 3, 6, 9 and 12) they are far more a measure of how well the school is doing with the child than how well the child is doing with school.
(Grand)parent mentions accountability without asking/answering to whom? The government? Seriously? There will certainly be a time of accountability, but government will not be who we answer to in the end, in spite of claims otherwise. Best to get that straight, right now!
GP– By now, “Dad,” you’re probably steaming mad at us, that is okay.
LG – You bet it is okay! “Dad” has all the cards in this game. (Grand)parents do not answer for their grandchildren, dads do. They have all the authority and all the responsibility. End of discussion. No debate!
“Dad” should not only be “steaming mad,” but resolved to (politely) tell his in-laws to butt out and mind their own business. Dad is the one who sets the rules and expectations for his family. If others want to help, they can certainly offer advice, but they should leave it at that.
GP – We love your kids and we know that we are only the (grand)parents, but we see it necessary to be “Boy’s” advocate in this area. If we see that he and the ones to follow are getting the required education, we will be satisfied.
LG – I have no doubt that these (grand)parents love their grandchildren. They knew this letter would not be well received, yet they were willing to take the risk of alienating or of being alienated.
They really sincerely want what is best for their grandchildren. Of that, I also have absolutely no doubt. However, they claim an authority they do not have. They are not the children’s advocate. In fact, claiming to be so immediately condemns the parents as inadequate.
What we have here are two opposing world views. Both parents and (grand)parents are sincere in their approach to the issue of how best to train and teach children, but they cannot be both right.
The really sad part to this story is that both parties claim a Christian world view. However one is demonstrating faith in God and His directives, while the other is demonstrating a fear of man, his expectations and institutions. Both are sincere, but the (grand)parents are sincerely wrong. However, there is hope. Read on.
GP – When we come to visit in April we would love to have a discussion about the subject and let you address our concerns if you want to. By writing this letter we’re giving you time to think about our questions and decide if they have any merit.
LG – Yeah! The ending to this letter indicates that the (grand)parents are far more interested in developing their relationship with their children and grandchildren than in being right. In fact, they are open to being wrong, although I can predict that it will be a while before all these contradicting views will be reconciled.
However, the parents have an ace in the hole on this one, and it is more than understanding the proper exercising of God’s directives and authority. It is the children! As they grow older they will demonstrate the power of doing things God’s way.
I have seen this so many times that whenever parents share their broken hearts with me regarding how their (grand)parents are pitted against them in their decision to home educate, my advice is usually something like this: Give it time and the children will win them over with their incredible growth in skills and knowledge. Nobody can deny success when they see it. Keep in mind that success is what everyone: parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and children all want. On that we can agree, even if we cannot agree on how to achieve it.
GP – Love, (Grand)parents
LG – Yes, they do love you, “Mom” & “Dad”! That’s for sure. Give it time. It will work out, especially as they see the positive results of home education through their grandchildren. My only advice is to politely but firmly exercise your authority. In the end, we will all equally give an account of our lives before the One who cannot be bargained with. He represents truth. Let’s all seek it.
There you have it. This letter may have been written by certain (grand)parents to a specific couple, but it is not unique in application. Many first time home educators have had to face unwelcome surprises such as this.
Knowing exactly why you chose to home educate and to be firmly convicted of its merits is very important if you are to stand firm against those who would have you do otherwise. Although unpleasant, use persecution as opportunity for growth, not only for yourselves, but for those who appear to be on the other side.
As an aside, it should be noted that this letter was very poorly written and had to be “modified” to make it understandable. However, nothing was changed of the message other than correcting the many grammatical errors and misspelling.
This may be because the letter was hastily written, or it may also indicate that the (grand)parents were more focused on communicating their concerns than demonstrating what they learned in school.
Either way, it clearly demonstrates that in spite of the great “faith” the (grand)parents have in school, it failed them.
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