So it's been a long road of discussion over where dd goes to school. My dh is a public school teacher (elementary), and to him it is very important that dd go to public school for at least grades 1-3 so she can be taught reading, writing, and basic math. We have had many discussions about this and it comes down to a difference in basic beliefs about education. I believe that children who love learning will come to what they love and learn it, although I'm also willing to push through with basic reading, writing and math instruction in a more school at home sort of way. My dh believes that children need the structure of school to be made to learn certain things. He does not believe that school at home works (or that it would work with dd if I did it). These fundamental beliefs are likely not going to change (I've been working on it for 5 years). To his credit, I am the one who changed my mind about education. He is true to the beliefs he had when we got married.
My main desire is to see my daughter grow up with a deep love of learning and a feeling that she can do what she wants to do and find the resources to learn what she wants to learn.
Last night we were talking. She said school was boring. She said that she only liked recess and lunch. She said that she wished that she could go from being 3 to being an adult so she would never have to go to school. She said that school just took her away from her mommy and she didn't like that. Yes, this is all normal - but these are exactly the reasons that I don't want her to be at school! She has never said anything like that about any of her other learning environments. I want her to love learning.
We've done play-based learning environments so far. Last year we were registered at the local school but bailed out before the year began when it became all day. We switched to a part time play-based democratic school instead, basically the same as her preschool. I volunteered and we homeschooled part time.
My daughter is an only child and we have a very close relationship. She has always been a very attachment-oriented kid. That said, she also has a lot of friends and many of them go to this school.
I tried to talk up school. I even started to get involved in a few things at the school last year through work so I could get a good sense of the school. However, dd is quite perceptive about peoples' feelings and I am sure that she knows that even though I've been talking in a positive way about the school, I don't want her to go.
We have a kind teacher. She does a lot of worksheets but they've also done reading in the library, and they've been doing outdoor activities a lot in the afternoon.
Some of the other kids are excluding her at recess, but she seems to be ok playing with the boys and trying the girls again soon. Soon she will be allowed to play with her best friend in the back (they limit the K-1 play area for the first 2 weeks and her friend is in grade 5).
What do I do to maintain my daughter's love of learning?
I can't change dh's mind. Goodness knows I have tried and tried again. Maybe in 3 years. Not now.
We will take time off school. We will be going away on an extended vacation again this year, and we will take the occasional day off school to do a family activity. This is not encouraged in our school district, nor is it a huge problem. People do it, and the schools deal with it.
I am working on creating an outdoor-based environmental school. I have made one for younger children and actually my dd could have gone to it this year, but dh was not ok with avoiding public school for another year. There is no option for older kids, though.
Private school is not an option. Dh dislikes it even more than he dislikes homeschooling.
Counseling is something we have tried, but it doesn't seem to change dh's fundamental beliefs: they are pretty deep, and I don't think it's my place to change them, actually, just as I would be offended if he tried to change mine.
Any thoughts? Sorry for the ramble, and thanks for listening.