Other kids getting DD (2.5) excited about school.. help - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 59 Old 09-09-2010, 01:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We're a Waldorfy family, but that's just the way we are. Celebrating festivals and having a nature table are all part of our family tradition and my DDs love for nature and our lack of plastic toys just happen to be becuase of my lack of enthusiasm for junk We're not planning on doing any of that counting with gnomes stuff though, we're planning on unschooling.

My DD is 2 years and 8 months old. She is very eager to do "homework" (which just involves scribbling on a page ). My MIL is in college studying to be an early education teacher, and has a lot of homework. When my DD and I visit with MIL for a few minutes (she lives upstairs) she jumps to my DD and says "Oh, N! Would you like to do some homework?". It has been terribly hard to get people (even Dh as he was raised by MIL and is used to the drills) to stop pushing academics and drilling DD on them.

SIL is in high school and also has homework.

DD seems very eager to start school. She hangs out with the neighborhood kids (most are around around 7yo) and since my DD is pretty articulate, they like hanging out with her. They talk about school "and tell her "Oh, N! I can't wait until you're in Pre-K! When do you start pre-k? you're going to love your teacher!!" and then I nicely explain our (nonformal) educational plans.

Still, DD is very excited. I know the obvious reasons would be to avoid all of these kids and such but I can't realistically do that.

WWYD? I try and explain it to DD but she doesn't really get it.

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#2 of 59 Old 09-09-2010, 02:55 PM
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Hmm . . this is just my first thought on this . . . why not indulge her? It may get it out of her system. Say 'oh you want to d homework, okay, here's pencil and paper, go for it'. She'll scribble and feel great, and then it's done. Do it as much as she wants. Meanwhile, can you find others who think like you, waldorfers and/or homelearners? It will help to have these connections now and down the road make school not such a pull.

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#3 of 59 Old 09-09-2010, 04:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ahh, thanks, great resonse I mean, I do try and get it out of her system, its just that I really worry that she'll resent me for making the choices I am about her education.

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#4 of 59 Old 09-09-2010, 05:27 PM
 
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School starts where we are when kids are 3 and they clock in a 40 hour week, so we've been dealing with school for a few years now even though DS is only 4. At first he was intrigued- he visited his cousins' school and saw there were a lot of cool things to play with and everyone was talking about school. But in the course of or days, we would run into school groups out on field trips and we would sort of watch them together... and notice, "look, everyone's having a snack now because it's snack time" or "Look, the teacher is telling that group of kids to get in line because now everyone has to go" or, "looks like recess is over and everyone has to go back inside for the next activity". We also found out how the toys get used in the cousins' school (you have to choose an activity before you go out into the toy area and stick with it during the 45 minutes of free play) and things like that. He hasn't had any interest in going to school for about a year now and tells people when they ask him that he learns at home... and when they tell him that his mama must be a good teacher or whatever, he gives them a strange look and says, "No, I teach MYSELF!" (which sometimes puts me in a bit of a social pickle although I like the answer he's come up with)
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#5 of 59 Old 09-09-2010, 05:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Juniper! your DSs response made me giggle I really hope that that is my DD someday. Thanks for that insight though.

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#6 of 59 Old 09-12-2010, 11:14 AM
 
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nak...we are not unschoolers but will be homeschooling. Dd's sister (my stepdaughter) goes to school and so dd got excited very early on about riding the school bus, homework, teaches, etc.. we have explained that some kids go to school outside of the home with a teacher and some kids stay home with mom or dad to learn, and she is fine with that for now. she likes to sit next to dsd and "do homework" ie color after school and that is fine. Dd's friends are heading off to preschool this year too, and she still seems fine with being home. i admit i have no idea how i will handle it if dd strts asking to go to school like her sister.

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#7 of 59 Old 09-14-2010, 04:47 PM
 
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Here's a thought. Let her go to school if that's what she wants.

DS1 06/27/2007, DS2 03/19/2010 :::
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#8 of 59 Old 09-14-2010, 04:56 PM
 
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Here's a thought. Let he go to school if that's what she wants.
No need to be rude. Many people here are not in the habit of letting their preschooler decide their educational future. It's the parents job to choose what is best.
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#9 of 59 Old 09-14-2010, 05:06 PM
 
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Many people here are not in the habit of letting their preschooler decide their educational future. It's the parents job to choose what is best.

Really? Cause that's what I thought Unschooling was all about? But does that only apply if your child is interested in learning the way you want them to learn?

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#10 of 59 Old 09-14-2010, 06:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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No need to be snarky, KittyDanger. We each have our own interpretations of Unschooling. Let's not debate that here.

I'm not/not planning to be a radical unschooler. That's not for us. I don't have any issues for those who choose to do so, though.

I wouldn't want my DD to go to school because I want her to lead her own learning. Not be led by a teacher. That's partially what I think unschooling is about.

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#11 of 59 Old 09-14-2010, 10:02 PM
 
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I just think it's the opposite of what "child led learning" is about...if your child is indicating that she would like to go to school and you are trying to minimize her desire then you are not letting her lead you.

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#12 of 59 Old 09-14-2010, 10:13 PM
 
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I don't think Kitty was being snarky, as much as honestly pointing out a contradiction, and not beating around the bush.

If your DD keeps this up, it may be that she would thrive in a traditional school environment. Some kids do. And I am a supporter of alternatives to formal schooling.

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#13 of 59 Old 09-14-2010, 11:08 PM
 
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I just think it's the opposite of what "child led learning" is about...if your child is indicating that she would like to go to school and you are trying to minimize her desire then you are not letting her lead you.
We are unschooling. And I agree with this.

And I disagree too... hugely... because I strongly disagree that a 2.5 year old (the age of the OP child) can fully comprehend the pros and cons to a decision such as this. My child just turned four and he talks about going to school too, because many of his friends go (we start kindergarten at four here), but he has no idea what it actually entails. He knows they go and he wants to be with them but doesn't understand that he wouldn't be with them, and even his classmates he would not be free to talk and play with like he is when they are all together outside of school time.

Letting children lead their learning is one thing. Letting them be talked into the mainstream way of doing something just because it is the mainstream way of doing it is another. My children also have no idea of what a fast food hamburger is because they've never had one. If their friends were talking about them and how wonderful they are I still wouldn't let my child at 2.5 or even 4 have one because of the reasons we've decided that they aren't a good choice as their parents. If we were talking about an older child (either situation) it would be different and absolutely appropriate to let them follow their own path and figure it out as they went.
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#14 of 59 Old 09-15-2010, 05:53 AM
 
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At 2.5, I wouldn't worry about it. My daughter was all hyped up about school at 4 years old or so -- they have public Pre-K here but there are income restrictions we wouldn't meet anyway -- but by the time she turned 5 she had pretty much lost interest.

This year, right before the school year started, DD (6) said she wanted to go to public school. When I asked why, it turned out that really what she wanted was a backpack and a lunchbox. She also wanted textbooks and a "school room". We set up a school room, bought textbooks, a backpack and a lunchbox for her. So she carries her backpack and lunchbox from the living room to the school room each morning, spends about six hours on the books and various activities we have in there, then "goes home" with her stuff.

We're not really unschooling, but we do practice child-led learning for about 3/4 of the "school day" and she's not forced into anything. Aside from the couple of hours a day we spend on helping her with her fine motor delays, filling in a few gaps in her grammar, and doing a bit of math, she is free to do almost anything she pleases. The only things not allowed during "school time" are playing a particular video game she's kind of obsessed with (and demonstrated she can play for 12 hours a day, every day, for months this summer) and watching videos with little educational value.

That said, my husband came up with a great idea I could use if DD decides again that she would prefer public school. We'll simply have a "public school" day at home, where she is required to follow all of the rules and such that she would at the local public school. Luckily, that information is easily available online at our local school district's website. I don't think that's going to happen, though, as DD is absolutely HORRIFIED that the kids in public school (here, anyway) are only allowed to eat at breakfast and lunch, and they can only have a drink of water from the water fountain at scheduled times (no drinks, gum, etc., at their desks). I doubt she'd last an hour before she was begging to go back to the usual routine.

I was worried today when she chose a book to read (from a lot of about 200 kids' books we picked up cheap on eBay a couple of years ago) that was a classic "XYZ's First Day at School" story. You know the story (repeated so many times in books for young kids): A child is scared of going to school, but then finds out that school is a really wonderful and exciting experience.

DD's reaction? "That boy's parents are MEAN for making him go to school when he didn't want to and was afraid of being away from his mom. They should have let him stay at home and learn there!"

So this is what happened with my DD, who was practically begging for school from 2 y/o to 4 y/o. Sure, she still wants some of the trappings of school (the textbooks, the school room, backpack, lunchbox, etc.) but she is grateful that we are homeschooling her.

--K
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#15 of 59 Old 09-15-2010, 05:26 PM
 
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We are unschooling. And I agree with this.

And I disagree too... hugely... because I strongly disagree that a 2.5 year old (the age of the OP child) can fully comprehend the pros and cons to a decision such as this.
To me, the AP thing to do here would be: When your child reaches school age, if he or she still wants to try school you allow it. Then, if your child decides it is not right for him or her you explore other options.

You are correct that a 2.5 year old has no idea what school entails, and if you believe so strongly that your child would benefit from or/enjoy unschooling or homeschooling then you would be willing to test that by allowing your child to explore other options if he or she chooses.

I am not a homeschooler or unschooler, but I believe in both if it is what is right for the child. I have been reading a lot in this forum in the past couple of days...mostly out of curiosity and I have to say I am shocked at some of the hypocrisy.

I suggest that you take a moment to think about how you might be 'brainwashing" your child into not liking school just as much as the rest of our culture is "brainwashing" them into wanting to go.

Wanting to unschool or homeschool because YOU didn't like school or because YOU don't want your child to go to school is not child-led learning. It is a conscious or unconscious pushing of your desires onto your child and frankly I don't see any difference between someone who does that and someone who forces their child to play football or be a cheerleader.

I can't believe OP would want advice on how to keep her daughter from being interested in going to school because OP has bought into some philosophy of what learning should be like. The fact that she would even ask the question causes to me wonder if she understands the philosophy at all.

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#16 of 59 Old 09-16-2010, 03:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't believe I'm brainwashing her. When she's older, if she decides she wants to go to school, we'll see about it. An older child is much different from a 2.5yo. A 2.5yo doesn't have the capacity to understand fully what mainstream schooling entails.

I'm not asking for advice for keeping her from being interested in school. I'm asking for advice on how to deal with outside sources, and how to deal with helping my DD understand that she won't be going to a mainstream school, and that she will be staying at home.

I have not bought into any "philosophies" about learning. Each and every decision I've made for my children have been entirely that of myself and my husband. I'm not following a "philosophy", because that in itself defeats my purpose. I'm not going by some guidebook. I'm going by my instincts. Sure, I ask questions and ask for guidance, but I would never ever make a decision regarding my children just beause some people on a message board have told me to.

I highly suggest we get back on track with my topic or drop it alltogether. I'm not here to discuss my understanding of various philosophies. I'm here to ask my question and discuss this with other people who have been in the same boat.

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I can't believe OP would want advice on how to keep her daughter from being interested in going to school because OP has bought into some philosophy of what learning should be like. The fact that she would even ask the question causes to me wonder if she understands the philosophy at all.
I find this highly offensive. If you wish to discuss my downfalls, please do it somewhere else, or PM me about it if you feel that strongly. I find it especially offensive that you are talking about me in such a way in 3rd person in my own thread.
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#17 of 59 Old 09-18-2010, 04:12 AM
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We are facing similar issues, and honestly, I don't really want people to discuss with DD how much she'll love Kindy, or start sentences with "When you're at school like...".

However, seeing the hostile and aggressive treatment of the OP, I am now thinking I might stay away from the Unschooling subforum. What I've loved about Mothering has been the wonderful support you get despite all of us being so different from each other and parenting in different ways. This is an AP and NP forum, but those labels cover A LOT.

But if I can't feel that I would be safe from the attacks that sometimes face me IRL, in this community, I'm not sure if I want to belong to it.
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#18 of 59 Old 09-18-2010, 03:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We are facing similar issues, and honestly, I don't really want people to discuss with DD how much she'll love Kindy, or start sentences with "When you're at school like...".

However, seeing the hostile and aggressive treatment of the OP, I am now thinking I might stay away from the Unschooling subforum. What I've loved about Mothering has been the wonderful support you get despite all of us being so different from each other and parenting in different ways. This is an AP and NP forum, but those labels cover A LOT.

But if I can't feel that I would be safe from the attacks that sometimes face me IRL, in this community, I'm not sure if I want to belong to it.
I totally agree. I think I'll go back to being a lurker in this thread and continue reading through previous posts.

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#19 of 59 Old 09-19-2010, 03:30 AM
 
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So here's the issue, as I see it. Our children are exposed to a huge amount of propaganda from the time they are tiny, the message being to convince them that school is FUN and is gonna be this great adventure. It is no different from any other marketing campaign, and it's hard enough as an adult not to internalize the messages we are bombarded with every day. How is a young child going to be able to critically examine the issue? they are not. So to me, letting a young child decide that they will go to school is like letting them decide to spend the family's income on Polly Pocket, or whatever the latest fad is. Unschooling is not "letting the child make complex decisions on everything". "Child led LEARNING " means following their interests, not making life decisions based on propaganda designed to convince children that their natural instinct to remain with their family should be overridden because Blue's Clues has convinced them that School is Fun!

There is also a danger with letting a very young child "try out school". Because here's the thing: preschool is pretty darn fun, and so is kindergarten. By the time kids are partway into elementary school and start to realize that school sucks, they are so peer-attached that the thought of leaving all their friends to homeschool feels like a social death sentence. School has become The Norm for them and unless they've somehow managed to maintain close friendships with a number of unschooled children, they are going to be subject to all the mainstream attitudes to homeschooling, which will further freak them out.

As the adult, I consider school to be NOT in the best interests of my child, and would no more allow them to choose school before they've had a few years of unschooling under their belt, than I would let them decide what kind of car we should buy or what investment vehicles we should use for our savings. I don't consider this hypocrisy.
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#20 of 59 Old 09-19-2010, 03:38 AM
 
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To the OP. My kids sometimes like to play "school", and I have no problem with that. I think it's cute that your child wants to play at doing homework. I would run with that if I were you. because pretending at something is not the same as doing it IRL. She doesn't know the truth about homework yet, and just as you wouldn't interrupt a game of "House" to ask whether they could afford their mortgage pAyment this month (lol) so you needn't worry that she'll get too interested in school just by playing at it.

With that said, what I wrote above applies to you in that a young Childs desire to go to school is pretty much solely based on having "drunk the koolaid": they are bombarded with messages trying to convince them that schools great, and all their young friends have bought into the same message. I hardly think her desire is based on an informed and critical examination of the issue! :-)
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#21 of 59 Old 09-19-2010, 04:08 AM
 
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Fo shizzle, Piglet.

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#22 of 59 Old 09-19-2010, 04:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much Piglet That was so well said. I really do agree, especially about the leaving school being a "social death sentence" thing.

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#23 of 59 Old 09-19-2010, 04:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Fo shizzle, Piglet.
^Ok, you said it better

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#24 of 59 Old 09-19-2010, 01:11 PM
 
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As the adult, I consider school to be NOT in the best interests of my child, and would no more allow them to choose school before they've had a few years of unschooling under their belt, than I would let them decide what kind of car we should buy or what investment vehicles we should use for our savings. I don't consider this hypocrisy.
I agree with your whole post, but the part I quoted is what I was trying to say as well. Thank you so much for your thoughts.
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#25 of 59 Old 09-19-2010, 06:29 PM
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I think 2.5 is a little young to get worried about it. There are many years between now and kindergarten. Like most things, she'll play it and then get sick of it and move on to something else. GL
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#26 of 59 Old 09-20-2010, 02:28 AM
 
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There is also a danger with letting a very young child "try out school". Because here's the thing: preschool is pretty darn fun, and so is kindergarten. By the time kids are partway into elementary school... they are so peer-attached that the thought of leaving all their friends to homeschool feels like a social death sentence. School has become The Norm for them and unless they've somehow managed to maintain close friendships with a number of unschooled children, they are going to be subject to all the mainstream attitudes to homeschooling, which will further freak them out.

As the adult, I consider school to be NOT in the best interests of my child, and would no more allow them to choose school before they've had a few years of unschooling under their belt, than I would let them decide what kind of car we should buy or what investment vehicles we should use for our savings. I don't consider this hypocrisy.
This, exactly.

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#27 of 59 Old 09-20-2010, 12:02 PM
 
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"By the time kids are partway into elementary school and start to realize that school sucks..."

You can't call this child-led, when using inflamatory language like this. What happens if a child thinks school doesn't 'suck'...then what?

I understand what Kitty is trying to say-and saying it well. You can't call it child-led if you create an atmosphere at home of 'school sucks'. You need to open your mind to the fact that being child-led might mean your child loves school. Your role surely as a child-led advocate is to offer opportunities and let the child decide, not your bias decide.
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#28 of 59 Old 09-20-2010, 01:09 PM
 
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I live in an area where kids school/homeschool and unschool--often times kids are moving between these three. It's not uncommon at all-one of mine has done it. We never really had anyone try to sell my child on school. However, when my homeschooled child wanted to go to school, he went.

If I had a philosophy that my children were not allowed to attend school under any circumstances, I would have been honest enough to not downplay their natural curiosity, but rather tell them that despite that, they would never be allowed to choose school. Not being snarky, just saying that I personally feel that if our choices for our children's education are paramount, then we should just be upfront about it because it means that the child's views or wishes essentially do not count, and won't count. You can present it anyway you want to, but in the end, the parent controls the decision making, so why worry about what other kids are doing? It won't ever really matter if there aren't choices or conversation. JMO.
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#29 of 59 Old 09-20-2010, 01:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Cukup View Post
"By the time kids are partway into elementary school and start to realize that school sucks..."

You can't call this child-led, when using inflamatory language like this. What happens if a child thinks school doesn't 'suck'...then what?

I understand what Kitty is trying to say-and saying it well. You can't call it child-led if you create an atmosphere at home of 'school sucks'. You need to open your mind to the fact that being child-led might mean your child loves school. Your role surely as a child-led advocate is to offer opportunities and let the child decide, not your bias decide.
I don't think that anyone who practices child-led learning ever intended that they the parent be left totally out of the equation. I will pass my beliefs on to my children: political, spiritual, etc. I will certainly allow for their own beliefs and their own ideas about things, but if I really oppose them doing something that I believe is harmful to them, then I'm going to say so and do my best to sway them.

I firmly believe that school is not a good place for my children to be. When my 8 year old developed an interest in going, we took a look at what it was that he was really interested in and what he felt was missing from his daily life that was resulting in that and we addressed those needs. We also talked about what school is like and how that is different from our home environment. In the end, I also told him that it made me sad that he wanted to leave us for school. Because it did.

Also, every single thing children take a passing interest in does not necessitate a full immersion in. I have to weigh when an interest is serious. My son also wants to go to Scotland and try haggis, but that's not a possibility for us right now. We find other ways of sating that urge. And sometimes, he just drops it as the interest was really just a vague inclination.
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#30 of 59 Old 09-20-2010, 02:12 PM
 
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My dd 6 expressed an interest in going for kindergarten but this year she is happy to stay home despite kids in the neighborhood telling her that school is much better.

I handled the "school" phase by listening to her, validating the fun stuff about school and letting her know that she will be able to go to school at some point. I also talked about the benefits of homeschooling vs school. Something like "school can be a lot of fun, someday you can go too. Right now you get to play all day and do this,this and this!"

Good luck!
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