Can HS be wrong for a child? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 31 Old 07-17-2010, 10:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We've been homeschooling since last Xmas when I pulled my son out of 1st grade. He always loved school and did well...I just wasn't happy with a few things. I completely support homeschooling in theory and can make lists and lists of what is better about HS than traditional schooling. And...I believe these lists.
Move forward to June and my son is unhappy and sick and tired of being around his sister and craving more structured interaction. (He was in HS PE at the Y all spring, does gymnastics, was on a baseball team, etc...so he did have activity and interaction with kids. But, it averaged an hour or so a day.) For a change for him, I let him go to a day camp at his gymnastics place with a coach I love and who runs a preschool during the year. He has been having an absolute blast and can't wait to go every day. His disposition has changed. Last night, he was in bed and was crying about the fact that camp will end in a few weeks.
Is it possible that homeschooling isn't right for him? I just don't see how I can provide as much social interaction as he would want on a daily basis. We have to be at our store from 10-2 every day and he'd be there doing his work. Just him, his sister, and me. I've always said I would take it year by year, kids by kid in making my decision- but when it comes down to making another change, I am stuck in my head.
When I specifically ask him about school, he says he doesn't miss the "school" part at all, but he misses the kids.
Would love any thoughts on this!
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#2 of 31 Old 07-17-2010, 10:39 PM
 
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I definitely think it can be wrong for a child. Where and how we learn best is an individual thing. Homeschool isn't right for every child any more than traditional school is right for every child. Good luck in your decision making.
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#3 of 31 Old 07-17-2010, 10:48 PM
 
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I definitely think it can be wrong for a child. Where and how we learn best is an individual thing. Homeschool isn't right for every child any more than traditional school is right for every child. Good luck in your decision making.
I 100% agree.
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#4 of 31 Old 07-17-2010, 10:48 PM
 
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I don't think it is wrong for him. He is just having withdrawal.

Think about it, you know how when you have a bunch of junk food all the time, and then one day, say no more. It can be difficult for a long time. Then one day, all is fine and you don't know when it got to be fine.

On that note, I like to take my children out of school when things are going poorly. As in, they hated school. I know, that sounds awful, but my daughter was begging to go back to school. I sent her back. She got there and by the end of the first week, she was bawling and upset and hated it. I made her stick it out as I did not want to deal with it, but, after a couple more months, it reached the boiling point and I pulled her out. Despite being in an exemplary school, kids were doing drugs in the classroom, having sex in the bathrooms, looking at porn in the classroom on school computers (they were getting past the controls, I know how too as I have family who works in this district and it has been a problem at their school too), and she was being severely sexually harassed. It got to the point where I no longer felt like she was safe. Plus, honestly, the education was so far beneath what we did at home. They did very little beyond goofing off and picking on each other all day. (it was middle school)

So, I would say homeschooling is fine for him. But, if you really are worried, you could try sending him back. Most children will reach a point where they get tired of it and want to come home again.
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#5 of 31 Old 07-17-2010, 11:18 PM
 
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I don't think he's having withdrawal. It sounds like he is showing you in every way he knows how, just what kind of environment would be best for him as an individual. In his case, it may well be school, which as you say, he "has always loved.

I agree with Chaxanmom 100%. Parenting shouldn't be about shoving our kids in a box, no matter how lovely we think the particular box is.

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I definitely think it can be wrong for a child. Where and how we learn best is an individual thing. Homeschool isn't right for every child any more than traditional school is right for every child. Good luck in your decision making.
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#6 of 31 Old 07-18-2010, 12:18 AM
 
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I think it is like most things..neither shoe fits or both shoes fit. I wouldn't make any decisions yet and just observe and try to think before you decide.

I plan on opening up some new opportunities for ds..interest wise this coming year.

He enjoys his hs group and the kids , but didn't do all the meetings because of our schedule. I wanted to offer a class , but I don't know what I would offer. We had an art class that a mom taught ( she used to teach) and she moved..so that is an option. Maybe a cooking class. I even thought of having a game night where everyone could come and play board games or learn the old school outdoor games like "kick the can" or "capture the flag".

I would try to see if there was another option to providing social interaction. If the child was doing good in the other aspects of homeschool. That said..I like my ds to feel that homeschool is his choice and if he wanted to return to ps then we could try it out. He has told me at times that he wants to go to school only to change his mind the next day.

Good luck!
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#7 of 31 Old 07-18-2010, 01:30 AM
 
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It sounds like socialization is the problem, so I'd suggest finding a solution to the problem.

Interesting that you own a shop and must be there 10-2. I babysit, free of charge, a little girl whose father owns a shop. She is with me those exact same hours. It is a perfect solution for all of us. My son has a great playmate, the girl has a great playmate and she gets to go wherever I take my kids...swimming, storytime, the children's museum, etc. This little girl will be going to school when she's older. Most likely I will then see if there are any working parents in the homeschooling world that are having problems similar to yours. As long as the kid is well behaved and plays well with my kids, I would be happy to watch a school-aged kid. Helps the parents, helps the kid, and gets my kids playmates.

Maybe you could find a similar situation. I don't know about the free of charge part, but maybe there's someone in your local homeschooling group that could watch your son while you're at your shop. He'd have someone to play with for several hours and still have time to work on his schoolwork (I'm guessing you're not unschoolers and you use a curriculum.)

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#8 of 31 Old 07-18-2010, 08:13 AM
 
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Is he going pre-team or team at the gym soon? That will take some of the edge off his desire to be out there with the boys. And of course if you can afford it he should enjoy camp in the summer.

You could also put him in aftercare (like at the Y, or a private school) for the "school without the schoolwork" experience.

There's also Scouting in various forms.
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#9 of 31 Old 07-18-2010, 10:03 AM
 
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I don't think he's having withdrawal. It sounds like he is showing you in every way he knows how, just what kind of environment would be best for him as an individual. In his case, it may well be school, which as you say, he "has always loved.

I agree with Chaxanmom 100%. Parenting shouldn't be about shoving our kids in a box, no matter how lovely we think the particular box is.
YES, this! AP is about listening to your child's signals...not about doing everything "as natural as possible". Homeschooling can absolutely be wrong for a child. That's why we have 1 child in school and homeschool another one, and why we will continuously reevaluate the situation. Some children need/crave/work best in a school based program, and others work best at home. Your son seems to be sending out some huge signals about where he works best...

Can you look at other school options? Charter schools? Private schools? Homeschool co-ops where he regularly attends classes with other homeschooled kids? Part time school where he can do both? Online school? There are a ton of options, and one is probably going to work really well with your little one.

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#10 of 31 Old 07-18-2010, 10:06 AM
 
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It depends on the school choices and whether you think his being in school would be more harmful to him in the long run than being home.

If the schools are awful - then going to one isn't really a good choice, is it? If the school are good and mostly mesh with what you believe and how you think they should be conducted - they, phew, you have choice.
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#11 of 31 Old 07-18-2010, 10:34 AM
 
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I think it is early to know if homeschool is going to work for you guys or not. Particularly since he doesn't miss the 'school' part of school. The free social time of school is going to continue to decrease in the upper grades. I would ask him to brain storm with you. Is there an interest of his that would could be built into a club? Pokemon, legos, robotics, whatever? Have you tried some regular small group or one on one playdates?

We have noticed that 'classes' or traditional sports can provide fun interaction but do not always lead to real friendship development. He may feel that seeing the same people every day at school has led to that deeper feeling of real friendship. However, I think he may find that he is mistaken. If he can develop some true bonds within the homeschool group he may begin to feel differently.

I wouldn't rule out sending him back to school, but I would explore making homeschool work for awhile longer first.

Good luck!
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#12 of 31 Old 07-18-2010, 04:57 PM
 
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my concern would be that socialization he craves so much from school will be what gets him into more and more trouble as time goes on. You're really NOT supposed to "socialize" in class, you know? It is more acceptable in the lower grades, but will start getting him into trouble as he moves up.

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#13 of 31 Old 07-18-2010, 09:10 PM
 
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the part of the OP that stands out is that he is at your store for 4 hrs a day, every day. Even if you own a educational toy store, I don;t think that is the best place for a young kid for 4 hrs a day. I would not suggest putting him back in school for now, but you should look into a more stimulating age appropriate place for him to spend his afternoons while you work.
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#14 of 31 Old 07-18-2010, 10:07 PM
 
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He seems to want more structure or more socializing or both. If it's the structure then maybe figure out an actual schedule for your schooling. Math from 10-11, Reading from 11-12, etc. If its the interaction and socializing, well, what kind of store is it? Can he learn to help out at the store, interacting with customers? He might really like that, and it would be a great opportunity for him.
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#15 of 31 Old 07-20-2010, 01:46 PM
 
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the part of the OP that stands out is that he is at your store for 4 hrs a day, every day. Even if you own a educational toy store, I don;t think that is the best place for a young kid for 4 hrs a day. I would not suggest putting him back in school for now, but you should look into a more stimulating age appropriate place for him to spend his afternoons while you work.
I agree with that. Unless the OP owns a gymboree store or the like.
For many kids the idea of sitting in a classroom can be pretty boring--esp if they like to socialize, talk, move around. Now take that situation, remove the classmates and classroom activities and place him in an environment for 4 hrs where he has to behave and possibly do bookwork most of the time (just guessing...I don't know exactly what he's doing there.) I would wonder if being at the store from 10-2 is too long for him. It's not like being at home and having the freedom and environment of home at all.

I don't think homeschooling is the problem. I think the problem could be "schooling at the shop".
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#16 of 31 Old 07-20-2010, 02:10 PM
 
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Just going on your first post, I think I'd give school a try. If it's his choice to be there, then he'll understand that he's got to make the best of it.

I read some more, so I'll add more. I had a friend who homeschooled with me and we were all very happy...except one of her kids. She wanted to go to school. My friend decided to put all her kids in school. She was disappointed in the hs experience, but she sooo believed in what she was doing that it was really hard on her to give her kids over to "the enemy." (ok, not really an enemy, but you know what I mean) I was upset that we'd invested so much time in them and they were leaving us. It was hard.

It's been 2 years and her children are doing really well in school. They're happy and healthy and social and all that stuff. I've stuck with homeschooling, but my kids are doing just as well.

It can be hard to give up homeschooling. Peer pressure, self-pressure, ideals, fears, etc.

It doesn't have to be permanent. We need to be able to swallow our pride for our kids sometimes.

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#17 of 31 Old 07-20-2010, 02:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you everyone. I feel like I've really messed up and lost my chance to homeschool. I've been out of work for quite a while and had the opportunity to work with a partner and open an Educational store with teacher supplies, homeschooling materials, etc. My partner and I are both homeschooling moms, and we share the time at the store- with both of us doing a 4 hour shift. I've mainly taken the morning shift as it works better with her schedule, and we do lots of sports, etc. all year long.
But, now, I'm not able to do a lot of the homeschooling social activities that we used to be involved in. I feel exactly like someone described- he can sit here by himself working from 10-2, or he can be working in a class full of kids and having recess, etc. too.
I'm just bummed that I ruined our shot at homeschooling and being involved in lots of homeschooling activities because my son is so social...
Sigh
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#18 of 31 Old 07-20-2010, 02:37 PM
 
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Thank you everyone. I feel like I've really messed up and lost my chance to homeschool. I've been out of work for quite a while and had the opportunity to work with a partner and open an Educational store with teacher supplies, homeschooling materials, etc. My partner and I are both homeschooling moms, and we share the time at the store- with both of us doing a 4 hour shift. I've mainly taken the morning shift as it works better with her schedule, and we do lots of sports, etc. all year long.
But, now, I'm not able to do a lot of the homeschooling social activities that we used to be involved in. I feel exactly like someone described- he can sit here by himself working from 10-2, or he can be working in a class full of kids and having recess, etc. too.
I'm just bummed that I ruined our shot at homeschooling and being involved in lots of homeschooling activities because my son is so social...
Sigh
You have a lot of time to homeschool. There may be times when it's really a good thing for him and other times where it's not. It sounds like you've got a lot of peer pressure to homeschool as well, but something is nagging at you that school may be the best place for him this year. Once you get him there, you may either be re-assured that homeschooling is the best thing, or you'll be relieved to have listened to your gut and put him there.

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#19 of 31 Old 07-21-2010, 03:56 AM
 
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I think homeschooling is right for every kid. I don't think it's right for every family.

Your son needs more than you are giving him right now so school might be the better option. Is hiring someone (another mom or homeschool teen) to keep him 2-3 days a week possible?

My dd is HIGHLY social (11 phone calls from friends just today) and it is MY job to make sure she has the socializing and structure she needs.
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#20 of 31 Old 07-21-2010, 11:14 AM
 
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I think homeschooling is right for every kid. I don't think it's right for every family.

Your son needs more than you are giving him right now so school might be the better option. Is hiring someone (another mom or homeschool teen) to keep him 2-3 days a week possible?

My dd is HIGHLY social (11 phone calls from friends just today) and it is MY job to make sure she has the socializing and structure she needs.
I wouldn't necessarily say homeschooling is right for every kid. And I definitely don't think its right for every family.

I really, really believe in homeschooling and the benefits to the family and child. And I also detest a lot of what public schools teach and what they do to children's psychological and emotional development. HOWEVER, and that is a big however, the number one priority to me is to listen to my children and provide the environment in which they will thrive, not merely survive. If your son thrives in public school and is only surviving homeschooling, then homeschooling probably isn't the best choice. Just something to think about...in all my decisions with my littles, I try to ask myself, "Are they thriving, or surviving?" It is just a good compass for me to help in my decision making as a parent.

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#21 of 31 Old 07-21-2010, 12:06 PM
 
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I definitely think it can be wrong for a child. Where and how we learn best is an individual thing. Homeschool isn't right for every child any more than traditional school is right for every child. Good luck in your decision making.
Well said! It's not an easy decision. Good luck to you and to him

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#22 of 31 Old 07-21-2010, 03:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by caefi View Post
my concern would be that socialization he craves so much from school will be what gets him into more and more trouble as time goes on. You're really NOT supposed to "socialize" in class, you know? It is more acceptable in the lower grades, but will start getting him into trouble as he moves up.
ITA

If he is missing social stuff -- THAT is for "out of the classroom" anyway -- scouts, church group, saturday art class or whatever --

and when it comes down to it -- imo -- social stuff is not education, education is his acedimic work ... if that is better served at school or home is the question you have to look at, imo, not his social want to buddy buddy vith people.

I don't think Homeschool is 100% the best answer for each kid -- but i think it needs to be a educational choice not a social one

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#23 of 31 Old 07-21-2010, 11:47 PM
 
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can you host homeschooling activities at the store while you are there? I think that woulc be a great solution, to have a few days a week where you host a craft event, or coop class of some sort. And you can charge a materials fee if you need to, but it would be GREAT marketing for your store!! That way your son can play with the other kids, and you make more money at your store, and you can still homeschool.
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#24 of 31 Old 07-22-2010, 01:53 AM
 
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Could you move your work hours to evenings or weekends so that you are able to be available for your son?

Is there another homeschooling mom with similarly aged children who could watch him while you're at work?

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#25 of 31 Old 07-22-2010, 02:43 AM
 
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can you host homeschooling activities at the store while you are there? I think that woulc be a great solution, to have a few days a week where you host a craft event, or coop class of some sort. And you can charge a materials fee if you need to, but it would be GREAT marketing for your store!! That way your son can play with the other kids, and you make more money at your store, and you can still homeschool.
This was my thought, too. Even if actually running the class yourself wouldn't be possible (since you have the store to run, too), just offering up a space would likely get some interest.

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#26 of 31 Old 07-24-2010, 01:50 PM
 
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Thank you everyone. I feel like I've really messed up and lost my chance to homeschool.
I don't think you've missed your chance to homeschool at all. The information you've gained from this experience is valuable. I think you just have to either find a really creative way to blend your work and homeschool or choose between the two.

If your son goes to ps next year and it doesn't work out for you and/or him, you may be re-thinking homeschool.

Good luck whatever you decide.
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#27 of 31 Old 07-24-2010, 01:57 PM
 
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can you host homeschooling activities at the store while you are there? I think that woulc be a great solution, to have a few days a week where you host a craft event, or coop class of some sort. And you can charge a materials fee if you need to, but it would be GREAT marketing for your store!! That way your son can play with the other kids, and you make more money at your store, and you can still homeschool.
Absolutely!!! This sort of thing would be extremely popular within our homeschool group. You could host story times, play times, craft times, a chapter book study group, theme days (let's learn about alligators) etc.
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#28 of 31 Old 07-24-2010, 02:04 PM
 
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can you host homeschooling activities at the store while you are there? I think that woulc be a great solution, to have a few days a week where you host a craft event, or coop class of some sort. And you can charge a materials fee if you need to, but it would be GREAT marketing for your store!! That way your son can play with the other kids, and you make more money at your store, and you can still homeschool.
That is Brilliant.

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#29 of 31 Old 07-25-2010, 08:11 PM
 
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It sounds like socialization is the problem, so I'd suggest finding a solution to the problem.
First of all, just a niggling nitpick -- socialization is not his issue, socializing is. They're different things.

Second of all, I would suggest reading "Hold on to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers". Sometimes, kids craving that much social time with peer-aged kids is actually a negative thing, a peer-oriented attachment rather than adult-oriented (which is the healthy norm). So the idea that he's going through "withdrawal" is worth considering. It's possible that he's craving more socializing than is actually healthy for him (like gluten-sensitive people sometimes have inordinate cravings for carbs).

But it's also possible that it's just simply a matter of the 4-hours-at-the-store problem. You say you split the shifts with your partner who is another homeschooling mom. Could SHE take your son while you take a shift? What does she do with her kids when she's working? Maybe they're older and able to help out more, or maybe she has someone watching them who could also help you out... or maybe you could take her kids when she works her shift.

For the record, I believe that homeschooling can be right for every child -- but sometimes the folks involved don't hit upon the "right way" to homeschool that particular kid so the public schools end up being the lesser of two evils. But I would still maintain that for every child, homeschooling CAN work as well as or better than the public school.

As a PP said, homeschooling is not right for every FAMILY, and if a parent is not willing to do things differently when they weren't working another way, and in many various other circumstances often beyond a parent's control, then yes hs'ing may not be the best option.

But I don't think that's even what's at issue here. "Is homeschooling ever the wrong choice in general" is an interesting discussion, but it's not what's relevant to the OP. What we really are talking about is "is homeschooling the right option for THIS child" -- or to put it another way - "would public school be better for THIS child".

And I think, we really don't have enough information here to be able to say "oh yes, send that kid to school." In fact, I think the weight of the evidence is on the other side. He has said that he does NOT miss the academic part of school, only the being-around-other-kids part. It's already been said in this thread... that's not what school is about. Maybe in grade 1, he's had lots of play time and horsing around time and chatting time with other kids. But it's not always going to be like that.

Is the drudgery of the rest of the school day a fair trade-off for the fun of recess? Or is it possible to meet his socializing needs in other ways? Or does he just have to learn that the amount of socializing he wants isn't reasonable and he needs to learn to be content with his own self? Historically, young children got FAR less peer socializing than they do in our modern culture and they did just fine (many would say that they did far better, in fact). I can't say which of these is the right question for him, I'm just offering the suggestions to think about.

Anyway, I would guess that the primary thing to work on right now is what to do with him while you're at the store. Then go from there...

Heather, mom to Caileigh 12/06 and aspie ADHD prodigy David 05/98 :intact lact
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Oh, and the crying because an activity is nearing an end doesn't necessarily mean he should go to school! That's a totally normal response to the end of something that you've enjoyed, whether you enjoyed it for the socializing or for any other reason.

Heather, mom to Caileigh 12/06 and aspie ADHD prodigy David 05/98 :intact lact
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