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gifted 4 year old LOVES preschool...... *sigh*

post #1 of 98
Thread Starter 

my daughter is almost 5. she is very very social. in fact, her teachers used the words "socially sophisticated" when describing her. i know she is also way ahead of her class in many of the basic skills they teach in her class. (it's a universal pre-k class. they emphasize social skills, independence and basic literacy)

 

and she LOVES AND ADORES going. it's 5 days a week, just in the morning. she is sad and bored when there is a break. 

 

when she is home if she is not busy, she is destructive and naughty. i have trouble keeping her occupied. i can't turn my back on her. never could. when she was a baby, she would crawl up the stairs or a bookcase. as a toddler she ate paint, would sneak out the front door, throw her brother's toys in the toilet, drawn on my computer screen. as a preschooler she will put one chair on another to get cookies in the cupboard, stand out on the roof, cover herself in marker, cut the couch.... she will also play for hours with her friends, put everything away in her room where it goes, become absorbed in workbooks, puzzles, painting, cutting and gluing, etc. she isn't much for playing alone though. so at home, if i'm not giving her one interesting thing to do after another... she is either whining or doing something she shouldn't. (and driving me out of my mind)

 

my son is the total opposite. so i am not used to having to plan things every single moment of the day. he knows what he wants to do and he does it. she needs structure, direction and lots and lots of planning. and i just suck at it. and i can't provide her with social experiences every single day. like she wants. (break wasn't too bad, since we were really busy, but not looking forward to spring break)

 

my difficulty is, i know she will be heartbroken when school ends and all her friends go off to kindergarten. i really really really don't want her go to school. and i can't afford to put her in gymnastics, dance, piano, etc. grandma pays for ballet, i pay for a one afternoon a week program and that is all i can afford. 

 

what the heck can i do with this kid??? any suggestions??? i'm really concerned about what comes next. 

 

 

just to be clear, i am looking for suggestions about how to meet my daughter's needs at home AND continue unschooling (or some mutant form of it!). just pretend there is no public school option where we live and throw me out some ideas about how i can make this work! anyone else really committed to an unschooling lifestyle who has a really busy, needs to be occupied, really smart almost 5 year old out, who makes unschooling work??? ROTFLMAO.gif

 


Edited by umami_mommy - 1/6/12 at 5:10am
post #2 of 98

I think your best bet is to get her involved in lots of during-school-hours activities this year, things that she'd have to give up if she went to school next year. I hear you on the financial constraints, so go for whatever you can that's free: play-dates, homeschool park days, more playdates, weekly or biweekly library trips, weekly field trips (to the train yard, to the riverfront, to a nature trail), geocaching (borrow a GPS), etc.. And if you don't have enough to entice her, start a homeschool club or group activity. At various stages I started a community garden club for kids, a science club and a world cultures & cooking club. We participated in parent-facilitated readaloud club, theatre sports sessions, felting workshops. Most of this will require connections within the homeschooling community. Do you have those yet? Befriending homeschooled children in the 5-8 age range will go a long way for a kid who is so social, I would think.

 

Miranda

post #3 of 98
Thread Starter 

yes, i already run a science class for older kids. and i just started a library hop for the younger age range. we meet tomorrow for the first time.  luckily, 2 of the little girls in her class are from homeschooling families. but i have my doubts about at least one of them staying home next year. 

 

 

in my community, it's pretty much like; if you want something, you have to create it and maintain it. people are either looking for drop off groups, or groups where they don't have to do anything, and all for free if possible. 

 

even with my science class, which i do charge for, people expect me to be able to accommodate their younger kids too. 

 

and there is a huge emphasis on waldorf for younger kids in this HS community. and we don't really mesh at all with waldorf. i took my daughter to a dance class that everyone raves about (waldorf inspired), and my daughter was SO bored. it was quiet, slow, lyrical. my daughter LOVES the high energy, loud music, creative ballet class she goes to. we just aren't waldorf people. 

post #4 of 98

A couple ideas: in addition to what you're already doing, could you start visiting a nursing home once a week?  Or volunteer with animals?  That would be social, and would let you side step the homeschool community somewhat.   I hear you on the waldorf thing.  We are not waldorf people either, I am glad that my oldest kids are getting past the age for waldorfy classes. 

 

Another idea: sometimes when my kids are getting into trouble, it's because they don't have enough responsibility.  Are there tasks you could assign to her, so she has a productive place to put her energy?  At the very least, by the time she's 5, she will be old enough to clean up any mess she makes because she was bored, and that will probably make mess making less attractive.  Have you tried keeping her with you and having her help with whatever you're doing?  It would be tough if you're an introvert, but it might be what she needs.

post #5 of 98

She sounds like a kid who would love school. Why don't you want to let her go?

I unschooled my oldest for kindergarten, but it didn't work out great so we tried public 1st grade. He's in 3rd grade now and aside from a brief period of homeschooling in 1st grade (we moved and got a bad school placement that took a while to sort out), has been happily public schooled since. My second is in 1st grade now. He's gifted-- was reading at a 3rd grade level before 4-- and was dismayed at the mere mention of homeschooling. He started private kindergarten at 4.5 and is still unwilling to consider HSing, although I think it would work well for him. We may HS him someday but I'm not going to force it when he is happy in school. 

post #6 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJB View Post

She sounds like a kid who would love school. Why don't you want to let her go?

I unschooled my oldest for kindergarten, but it didn't work out great so we tried public 1st grade. He's in 3rd grade now and aside from a brief period of homeschooling in 1st grade (we moved and got a bad school placement that took a while to sort out), has been happily public schooled since. My second is in 1st grade now. He's gifted-- was reading at a 3rd grade level before 4-- and was dismayed at the mere mention of homeschooling. He started private kindergarten at 4.5 and is still unwilling to consider HSing, although I think it would work well for him. We may HS him someday but I'm not going to force it when he is happy in school. 



This.  If she's loving school and the structure and routine that go with it I fail to see how pulling her out is beneficial.  You need to do what is going to be best for her, not what you want to do.  If school is a bust you can always pull her out later.

post #7 of 98

I agree about at least considering school based on her personality and social affinties. But, well, the "giftedness" is a bit of a wrinkle. I have an 8-year-old who would really like to go to school. She loves having a 'learning community' and teachers and being around other people all day. She thrives on structure. Problem is she's working at a solid 7th grade level or beyond. Academically it can be very hard to get a good fit for gifted kids. Mine would love an open-ended program that's like preschool, but for kids 8-10. But the academic focus of 3rd or 4th or even 5th grade would be a horrible fit for her.

 

Miranda

post #8 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJB View Post

She sounds like a kid who would love school. Why don't you want to let her go?

I unschooled my oldest for kindergarten, but it didn't work out great so we tried public 1st grade. He's in 3rd grade now and aside from a brief period of homeschooling in 1st grade (we moved and got a bad school placement that took a while to sort out), has been happily public schooled since. My second is in 1st grade now. He's gifted-- was reading at a 3rd grade level before 4-- and was dismayed at the mere mention of homeschooling. He started private kindergarten at 4.5 and is still unwilling to consider HSing, although I think it would work well for him. We may HS him someday but I'm not going to force it when he is happy in school. 


This.

 

And, I know this is the unschooling forum (I like to lurk here-hi!), and you don't want to read or be convinced of the mainstream benefits of school, but just like school isn't for everyone, neither is home/unschooling.
 

 I was keen on home/unschooling my kids based on *my* feelings and experiences with school (I hated the structure and routine, I am also pretty introverted), but my DD loves and thrives on the routine that school provides her.  When I try to replicate what school provides her/she needs, I am exhausted and don't feel like I can be the parent I want to be. I like that school provides what I can't give her, and I provide everything else.

 

My DD is probably gifted too (they don't test til 3rd grade here), and her school is doing a good job at accommodating her strengths. While I'm sure she could be doing much more academically, but she gets a lot of socializing and life skill stuff, and she's having positive experiences, which is wonderful. When I embraced the fact that my child has different needs from me (ie. very social, thrives on school routines and expectations), things got a lot smoother for us.

post #9 of 98

I was going to homeschool DD1, but I've realized that she will thrive in school. She loves socializing and structured activities. We signed her up for a bunch of park district activities and are interviewing at preschools. I really wanted to homeschool her,  but my job is to provide the best education for my child, not the best for *me*. We have to parent the child we are given yk?

post #10 of 98

I was a kid who adored preschool, but kindergarten onwards was pretty awful for the reasons Moominmama described.   I've heard of social kids actually having a terrible time in school because they are surrounded by kids to whom they may not speak.    I suppose it depends on the kid and the school and the family's reasons for homeschooling, but I'm not going to question the LW's preference to homeschool. 

post #11 of 98

I have an idea.  Do what is best for your child and not for yourself.  She likes school. Let her go to school.  My gifted 9 year old would go insane if I kept her at home.  It doesn't matter how much stimulation I could give her at home, it wouldn't be enough.  Reread your post.  You say she loves school...yet YOU don't want her to go.  Think on that one for awhile.

post #12 of 98

Ask yourself this question: as she continues on her school journey will she get what she is getting now? My son also enjoyed preschool, but K and the grade levels are not preschool. He would not have thrived in those environments. Once a child has been in school it can be hard to convince them to homeschool because they see it as being removed from their social group and the system of school, which is all they know. If you are lucky enough to live somewhere where they have progressive schools that would work well with her giftedness and her learning style, without cramping it, certainly consider it. But keep in mind that as a child progresses through school it tends to get a lot more coercive in terms of them being able to take part in shaping their own education. Ultimately you are right that you have to parent the child you have and I don't think that there is no such thing as a child who thrives in school. I just think they are the minority. If you can find a place that's a good fit, it may be the right choice for you.

post #13 of 98
Thread Starter 

some people HS for religious reasons, some for philosophical reasons. some because their child hated school and wasn't thriving. some because the local school district sucks. and some of us HS because we fundamentally, ideologically disagree with the idea of how public schools affect children, families and culture. i don't want to put her in school because i hate them and think they are bad for children. even the ones who love school. yup, that's me. radical to the bone. i believe public school's job is to care for children so parents can work for the man and spend their money for the man. and it teaches them to continue this cycle. it produces workers for the system. 

 

and i better get my ducks in a row, since driving home today my little firecracker says "mommy, i don't want to go to kindergarten." i say "i don't want you to go either." she says; "whew. i thought i was going to have to go." i say; "why don't you want to go?" and she says; "mommy! we are homeschoolers! remember?" touche!

 

working on a schedule that we can start with this year and just continue right into next fall. and no one ever said this would be easy. i order to meet both my kid's needs, i will have to work hard. but that's okay. it's the price i have to pay for wanting to raise my kids a certain way. blowkiss.gif

post #14 of 98

if you believe ideologically that schools are bad for children, families and culture, than why were you even asking the question? 

 

it's like saying you disagree with giving children pop everyday, but then saying that your kid reeeeeally loves pop, so what should you do about it? if you think it's bad for them, then it doesn't matter whether they like it or not, you make a decision as a parent which you think is right for your family. i'm not judging your choice to home school at all, i think it's a great option for some families, i'm just wondering why you worded your first post the way you did. 

post #15 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverFish View Post

if you believe ideologically that schools are bad for children, families and culture, than why were you even asking the question? 

 

it's like saying you disagree with giving children pop everyday, but then saying that your kid reeeeeally loves pop, so what should you do about it?

 

Well, one suggestion might be to serve sparkling organic fruit juice once in a while.

 

I don't think it was a silly or pointless question at all. I don't think the only choices are "give in or over-rule" with "give in" not being an option. There are ways a parent can frame ideas and change the child's environment to influence how she weighs her options. We're talking about a thinking, feeling child here, who loves her parents and probably shares many of their perspectives and values, and who has a full 8 months of living and growing to do before she misses the big yellow bus next August. I think umami got some good suggestions in this vein, and has some good ideas of her own. And it now sounds like her dd shares her perspective to a significant extent on the issue.

 

Miranda

post #16 of 98

Why did you send her to pre-school in the first place then?


Edited by DariusMom - 1/6/12 at 1:23am
post #17 of 98
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverFish View Post

if you believe ideologically that schools are bad for children, families and culture, than why were you even asking the question? 

 

it's like saying you disagree with giving children pop everyday, but then saying that your kid reeeeeally loves pop, so what should you do about it? if you think it's bad for them, then it doesn't matter whether they like it or not, you make a decision as a parent which you think is right for your family. i'm not judging your choice to home school at all, i think it's a great option for some families, i'm just wondering why you worded your first post the way you did. 



this is the *unschooling* forum, right? i was hoping for ideas about how to deal with where we are. i was looking for advice and support just like the very first response to my post. i wasn't looking for suggestions that i send her to school. i want to MEET her needs at home. that's what i was looking for help with. sorry if i was being too open ended. 

post #18 of 98
Thread Starter 

miranda, thanks so much for your reply. it's never an "either or" thing for me. it's usually an "and, also" situation; in my head and in my life. 

 

i have a friend who's daughter was very unhappy at home (she is 8) and so she asked to go to school this year. they sent her to a school with a special focus. she is happy. her parents are happy she is happy. they aren't loving the lifestyle. sending a kid to school affects the whole family. not just the kid who goes. and i saw other options that they had but didn't try. because they weren't options they were willing to try. and that's okay, but the point is, it's never as simple as yes or no. there is so much involved; feelings, needs, visions, desires, goals etc. on behalf of the whole family. 

 

dariusmom, if i tell you why she went to preschool, will it help you to frame some suggestions for me for the future? 

 

post #19 of 98
Thread Starter 

this really spoke to me this morning. i thought it was pretty relevant. http://momastery.com/blog/2012/01/04/2011-lesson-2-dont-carpe-diem/

post #20 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by umami_mommy View Post

 

dariusmom, if i tell you why she went to preschool, will it help you to frame some suggestions for me for the future? 

 



It would help explain why you sent her to school when you say you think it is bad for children.

 

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