david lewis

At the Always Learning Live Symposium in Albuquerque there was a discussion
yesterday about critical relatives.

I had been thinking about my regret at the times I was less than kind to my
sisters in law when they were bugging me about Dylan not going to school.

One used to send newspaper clippings about random stranger kids in different
parts of the country achieving cool things in public school, or some great
program in some school somewhere. She lived in Alaska and didn’t have any
kids... still doesn’t. And she would ask, “How do you know where he’s at,
academically, and , how can he possibly go to college, and other similar
questions. She had gone to catholic school.

I started bombarding her with news reports of teachers who molested kids,
injured kids, or otherwise abused their power. And articles about school
violence and underfunding and cut programs and crumbling or contaminated
buildings, etc.

I wish I hadn’t done that. I wish I had just said, “Claire, STOP. I know
you’re worried. I know you love Dylan. But you’re harassing me and I want
you to stop.

And one sister in law usually didn’t say anything to me but worked on David
and sometimes lit a little flame of worry in him and said stuff either to or
around her kids that they would later repeat to us. Her daughter Lillie was
so much like Dylan and there came a time when Lillie was very unhappy at
school, crying a lot, feeling sick a lot, and I said I didn’t want Dylan to be
as miserable as Lillie, that seemed like torture to me and I wouldn’t do it.

I wish I hadn’t said that. I was so invested in getting her to shush that I
didn’t think about how harsh that was. I wish I had directly asked her to
stop it and then resigned myself to the idea that she probably never would.

Lillie is married now with a nice husband and a new baby.

Deb Lewis

Sandra Dodd

-=-And she would ask, �How do you know where he�s at,
academically, and , how can he possibly go to college, and other similar

When my mother-in-law asked how I knew that Kirby wasn't behind, I told her I knew he WAS behind in some things, and that he was ahead in others.

I think acknowledging their concern is courteous, even when you-the-unschooling-parent aren't worried at all. Or you could say "I used to worry about that, too" or "I know it seems weird to think they could..." and maybe also allow for the possibility that you will put the kids in school. It gives your detractors hope. :-)


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