How do you explain to your young child that they won't be going to school? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 08-28-2011, 07:36 PM - Thread Starter
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We are planning to HS our 3yo. Many of her friends are going to preschool. The public school bus goes by our house 2x a day. She knows about school from books and Sid the Science Kid.


How do I tell her:

That she's not going to school (not so much this year, I think she's ok with it this year)?

That she won't ever (regularly) take a school bus?

That she will not be in class with her cousin (same age, same town)?


Can anyone speak from experience on this?




PS. I am very new to this forum. I just read some of the past threads on preschool and homeschooling, but did not see this covered. Please let me know if there was a thread I should check out.

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#2 of 11 Old 08-28-2011, 09:05 PM
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That's something I think we are going to face too.  DS is 4 but he asks regularly if he can go to school which is funny because we actually know very few people who's kids go to school (homeschooling is huge around here).  I think it's mainly TV shows, his love of school buses, etc.  He asked again this morning and I explained to him that we could do school work at the kitchen table tomorrow morning and then go up to the playground at the school to play.  He didn't seem quite satisfied with that idea LOL

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#3 of 11 Old 08-28-2011, 09:19 PM
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We're dealing with that right now too.  My older DD keeps talking about how when she gets big she will ride a school bus to school.  I don't think she has any concept of what school is, but the bus sure looks exciting.  I just keep telling her that we are going to do school at home, but that we can ride other kinds of buses sometime if she'd like.  She generally doesn't really respond and drops it.

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#4 of 11 Old 08-28-2011, 10:44 PM
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When our oldest was nearing that age, I explained to him that some children went to school away from home and some children do their schoolwork at home and in our family, we do schoolwork at home.


When the bus issue came up, we rode the public transit bus and the Light Rail train.

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#5 of 11 Old 08-28-2011, 11:42 PM
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Yup.  When our oldest was around 4 he started asking about going to school.  We explained to him that some kids learn at school, some kids learn at home, and our family learns everywhere. lol.gif  At that age, he pretty much thought going to school was playground time + snack time = school. 


The bus issue never came up as we live in the city and take the bus or the El everywhere anyway.



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#6 of 11 Old 08-29-2011, 06:50 AM
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I always told/tell my kids there are many forms of schooling that we can choose from these days,and we  have choosen.....


We have done e school,public,Montessori,and traditional homeschooling.


I would talk about the various school options and how this year you have decided it will be best to do homeschooling.Often children want to try PS because of what they see on tv.Some like it but many do not. Some parents do not allow the matter,and that is the right of the parent.Do what you feel is best for you child.


As for the scool bus my dd rode it for a short time.I never let my ds. In the end I drove them when they went to PS,because I was never very comfortable with the lack of safety belts.

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#7 of 11 Old 08-29-2011, 10:34 AM
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When this came up we talked about the type of schooling we do (a little bit of work, lots of time to play, swimming, etc), and the type of schooling that would happen in public school (a lot of work, only a little bit of time to play, no swimming, etc). My boys were pretty quick to say that homeschooling was the better choice.


And they've even rode in a school bus. Once. The school bus monster truck came to our town a couple years ago and they got to ride that. It was awesome. :)

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#8 of 11 Old 08-29-2011, 04:36 PM
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Dd has decided for some reason that, while she is cool with homeschooling now, once she learns how to read she will be ready for "real" school.  A big part of this is that her older sister (my stepdaughter) goes to public school and so dd is often there when she sees her getting on and off the bus, has attended holiday parties with her at the school, and thinks packing a lunch for school is just about the coolest thing ever :) She knows that some people stay home to learn and others go to another place to learn and gets all that, just keeps asking when she will be old enough for "real" school, which is frustrating to say the least.  While I am open to the possiblity of her choosing public school at some point, it would hopefully not be until she is much older and definitely she will not be allowed to choose to go to school until she is more able to understand that school is not just riding the bus, eating lunch and having parties! 


We plan to go on some bus rides, I will be buying her a special backpack and lunch bag for outings (which she has already said she will pack her own lunch for) and we will just keep communciating and talking about the differences.  It is hard for me to strike a balance of not making public school sound awful, since I don't want to make dsd hate it, while still telling dd the awesome advantages of homeschooling. 



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#9 of 11 Old 08-30-2011, 12:03 AM
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3 was around the time my ds started asking questions about school. We were already planning on homeschooling so we made an effort to casually talk about all the great things we were going to do everyday and how we always were going to do these things. Later that year we got involved with a playschool group which when he asked about school we talked about learning with us and with friends. At one point I did stress as well and mentioned how school kids have to sit at their desks most of the day and they can't learn what they want to [oops] unfortunately that's the comment that has stuck with him the longest. As for the school bus the village fair where my in-laws live ferries people from the parking lots to the main street in school buses, after all the public transportation we take on a regular basis the school bus was uncomfortable and smelly; he's never asked again.

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#10 of 11 Old 08-30-2011, 11:21 PM
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I have always identified us as "homeschoolers", at least for as long as there was a question.  That question started around 3.5.  I would use whatever was the "big deal" at the time and tell my oldest she could study it for as long as she wanted because we are homeschooling.  Not "We are *going* to homeschool."  But,  "We *are* homeschooling."  Riding the bus was fun, but school isn't all recess and bus rides.  I was (and am) the biggest homeschooling (unschooling) propagandist I know.  I needed some way of balancing all the library books set in school with something about homeschooling, and this is how I've dealt with it.  Not that this would work with every kid, but it did with mine.  


You tell them that you are homeschooling as if you didn't sense any expectation from them.  Because for many kids, it's just a bit of information, not a letdown.  Start to identify with homeschoolers.  Point out pictures in the homeschool literature, make a point of telling them that the kids they meet are homeschoolers, if they are.  Be a cheerleader for what you are doing.  It's OK!  The critics aren't listening to you to make sure that every statement is perfectly balanced and ambiguous enough to not offend a gnat on the school clock.

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#11 of 11 Old 08-30-2011, 11:42 PM
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We explained that we'd be doing school at home, but that it would be fun and she would be able to do things that other kids do. She can go on field trips, she gets more free time to play, she can play with the neighbor kids after they get home, etc. We let her try a few lessons from the curriculum, and she really enjoyed them. We've been waiting on a transfer (we chose K12 through another district) and she's been begging to do her homeschool lessons.

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