Beating the "Big-School" Hype: Were you able to get your child excited to be homeschooling? - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-03-2012, 07:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Working in child care in the past, I've noticed so many children absolutely pumped-up on the fact that they'll be off to "Big School" vs. sticking with the daily pre-school grind. This hype is exciting (pretty much anything expressed by a stoked-about-life four year-old is exciting), though I'm wondering how easy it is to keep kids from the "Big School" hype and instead have them just as eager for their homeschooling experience. 

 

For those homeschooling their children- please go into this and share stories! I want my children excited to learn outside the box, even if their peers are off to school.

 

Thanks!


 

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Old 04-03-2012, 08:44 PM
 
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Preschools will assume kids will be off to school because most will be.   We have never sent the girls to daycare o preschool and it wasn't difficult to avoid the pumped-up school hype.  I wouldn't avoid books set in school (we love Magic School Bus), but I did and do avoid the books intended to set kids up for the school experience.  I have always identified us as homeschoolers, pointed out other homeschoolers, so I guess I did the same hype but in the HSing direction.  We are unschoolers, so it was easy to articulate some of the advantages we experience.  

 

While this approach might not work with all kids, it worked just fine with mine.  I can't imagine how parents whose kids go to preschool are able to navigate that whole Big School hype.  My close friends are going through this right now.  


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Old 04-04-2012, 07:04 AM
 
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My In-laws got my oldest all excited for school.. Telling her how "fun" it was and that she was going to miss out because "your mommy just doesn't want to let you go".. Yea, I wasn't happy.

 

The way I handled it was to tell her exactly how school ran. I talked to a couple of women at church and found out the breakdown of classes for Preschool/Kindergarten. Then I sat down with my daughter and explained what would happen. How she would have to get up really early (school buses for preschool and kindergarten came at 7am!), she would have to go on a bus with a bunch of other children, sit in a classroom at a desk, only go to the bathroom when the teacher said she could, only eat when the teacher said she could, only play when the teacher said she could, only do the subjects that the teacher was doing etc.. When I was done she asked was "can I still play with (sister's name) and (brother)?" When I told her they couldn't go to school with her and by the time she got home and did her homework she wouldn't have much play time.. "how about going to the park?" When I told her she couldn't just leave school and go to the park when she wanted lol.gif she thought school was boring.. Especially if she couldn't read her books about horses and kitties and had to learn what the teacher wanted.

 

Now she tells everyone she is staying home for kindergarten "and playing when I want to" ROTFLMAO.gifCan you tell my children's priorities? Life isn't fun unless you have your siblings, a park and get to play when you want to eyesroll.gif


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Old 04-04-2012, 09:44 AM
 
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Our experience is the same as the previous 2 posters--intentionally kept the kids out of Preschool/daycare and when talk of school does come up try and explain honestly what going to school vs. staying home would be like. I have a 3 and 4 yr old and even little things like cartoons or toys and games marketed to kids do hype up "going to school" so they encounter it a bit. But, we know lots of other homeschoolers a bit older, and I always try and point them out to my 4yr and explain the advantages of HSing. 

 

For us financially preschool isn't an option, I love being with my kids (though yes, I would love a break ever so often :) and want to be the one to teach them new things. But, something I've heard from other parents has helped me feel good about our decision. I've had friends who've done preschool and then decide to HS  for K or 1st and it is a bit of a battle w/ the child b/c they really like school. They miss their friends and are bored. It's a tough transition for them. 

 

 

 

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Old 04-04-2012, 10:49 AM
 
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This was definitely a challenge for us for a little while.  In addition to all the hype and seeing her friends go off to preschool, dd and ds have grown up seeing their big sister (my stepdaughter) get on the bus, visiting school for parties and parades, etc.  So dd was very excited to ride the school bus and do all those fun things just like dsd, and it was hard to tell her that wasn't happening.  However, like the PP said, it was mostly just a matter of hyping it up the other way-we talked about how we could get up whenever we wanted, wear our pjs all day if we wanted, play whenever, go on fun field trips, etc. and how we could ride the bus other ways if we wanted to.  We have also joined a great homeschool co-op which I think has been amazing in general and in terms of giving dd homeschool peers to identify with in addition to her traditionally school friends.  HTH!


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Old 04-04-2012, 06:21 PM
 
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Former homechooler here.   This is what worked for my littles:

 

We made a big deal about setting up a school area.  Not that we did a lot of 'school' when the kids were young, but they had their own little table and a shelf with new art supplies and endless reams of paper.  

 

I also made 'first day of school' cupcakes and we took their pictures.  

 

My dd liked the idea of making a sign for her side of the table.  She heard that the school kids get their names put on their desk and it seemed important to her.  

 

We just payed it up a bit and the excitement of school wore off. 

 

 


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Old 04-05-2012, 08:58 PM
 
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I have a homeschooling 8 year old (been homeschooling since K) and a preschool-attending 4 year old (who will be homeschooling next year).

 

With 8 yo DD, the first year she was homeschooling, we did struggle with that issue. She would ask when she was going back to her preschool, or when she'd go to "First Grade" with her friend (I had to explain that a) we homeschool; b) your friend is a year older, and at school, they wouldn't let you two be in the same class; and c) we don't live in the same school district anyway. When we started attending a 1 day/week "homeschool enrichment" program, that helped a lot. It's 5 hours long, she packs a lunch, and she learns different skills than I can teach--fantastic art for example. The things she wanted from school--a consistent schedule for seeing a set group of friends for an extended amount of time; learning from a consistent teacher other than me and DH; time away from her younger brother--are all met by that quite well. 

 

With DS, I'm looking for a group of kids his age for a co-op for next year, or a similar program to the one DD attends. He, however, is extremely excited that he'll be homeschooling next year "and doing fun classes with Mama!" because he's so thrilled with everything he's done with DD and I on his days off from preschool--zoo, museum, skiing--mostly with other homeschoolers.  

 

OP, I would suggest that even if you do preschool, that you find a homeschooling group while your child's in preschool, and attend some of their events that your child will find most exciting, and just play up what you'll be doing instead. Part-time programs, even once or twice a week YMCA programs during "after-school" hours, can also serve some of what kids might be searching for in a "big school" environment while still enjoying all the benefits of homeschooling. 


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Old 04-07-2012, 04:09 AM
 
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My daughter is 5 right now, never did preschool or anything.

 

Her environment was this:  Older brother (almost 14) is homeschooled.  Her cousins (now 7 and 10) that she plays with very frequently are homeschooled (unschooled, in fact).  We don't have cable tv so her exposure to school-pushing shows was very limited.

 

And yet she still somehow got the 'school' idea in her head.  Probably around 3 or 4 she started talking about 'when I go to school'.

 

We mostly dealt with it by saying 'some people go to school in a big building with a teacher, and some people go to school at home' -- the same way we'd deal with any kinds of cultural or different-strokes issues.  It wasn't an INSTANT 'fix' of course, but over time it satisfied her.  

 

She still loves to play school though -- she'll set up her dolls around her big blackboard and be a lecturing teacher.  Honestly, where she learned about the "now, class" lecturing teacher is beyond me.  She'll set up a bunch of math problems for me on the board too, which is actually really cute, plus it shows that she's internalizing things and producing them from within herself rather than merely parroting or reacting to lessons.  I'll make mistakes on purpose when answering them, which she LOVES, so she can correct them and 'teach' me the proper way to do it.  :)

 

Now that she's 5 she's completely on board.  She has lots of friends from Sunday School, Sparks, and dance classes.  And she often wants to play with the girl who lives next door but she's in school all day -- so she's also understanding that 'those poor kids' who 'have to go to school' have much less freedom to their days.  


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Old 04-07-2012, 04:30 AM
 
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I asked my DH this question b/c he was HS'd his whole life. "Where there things you felt like you missed out on, or how did your mom play up HSing?"

 

He said his mom didn't really do anything to play up HSing, and He said yes there were times when he was really wanting to "ride the bus" or have a locker, or eat school food (can't imagine why!) but said he also really appreciated the things about HSing that he got to do that he wouldn't in "school."  I think kids will have those moments when they think they want what's on the other side of the fence...you know, "grass is always greener," but then they'll also have so many fun and unique experiences from HSing that parents can point out and help them understand the fuller picture. Like adults, they may only see one side of things thinking it will be better for them w/o knowing the whole story, so to speak. They may not realize how cool it is to get up when you are ready to, do school in your PJ's and have more time to "play with friends" b/c it's all they've ever known and need someone to point out that not all kids have THAT experience either!wink1.gif

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Old 04-07-2012, 10:04 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tankgirl73 View Post

 

She still loves to play school though -- she'll set up her dolls around her big blackboard and be a lecturing teacher.  Honestly, where she learned about the "now, class" lecturing teacher is beyond me.  She'll set up a bunch of math problems for me on the board too, which is actually really cute, plus it shows that she's internalizing things and producing them from within herself rather than merely parroting or reacting to lessons.  I'll make mistakes on purpose when answering them, which she LOVES, so she can correct them and 'teach' me the proper way to do it.  :)

 


love.gif  This is so sweet!  

 

My 5yo made herself a cardboard desk and will sit with her self-styled studies.  Adorable.  I've heard (anecdotally, not in person) of HSing parents discouraging "school" play and I've never found it necessary to do that.  If school was always as wonderful as play school I think there might be fewer HSers!

 


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Old 04-07-2012, 11:39 AM
 
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Thank you for this thread. Ds is supposed to start Junior Kindergarten in the fall & we are pretty much decided he'll stay home but he talks about going to school all. the. time. right now. Of course people (perfect strangers even!) ask him all the time if he is going to school in September. When I told him we would be staying home he broke into tears so I obviously have some work to do in how we approach the subject. Sigh.


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Old 04-07-2012, 06:00 PM
 
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 Of course people (perfect strangers even!) ask him all the time if he is going to school in September. When I told him we would be staying home he broke into tears so I obviously have some work to do in how we approach the subject. Sigh.

Saying something like "we will be starting homeschool kindergarten this fall" can sometimes work.  Whether or not you are anything close to the school-at-home type or an unschooler like us.  Once again, a case of people really not needing to know the details.   And.... of course, a chance for you to do some verbal cheerleading for homeschooling.  We have a tendency to answer those kinds of questions apologetically instead of with the enthusiasm of the HSing Glee Club.  (Mental pictures of that are buzzing in my head now!)
 

 


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Old 04-11-2012, 09:25 AM
 
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DS1 used to think he wanted to go to school.  Our neighbors' kids helped.  I pointed out to him how happy and excited the other kids were on the last day of school. Why ?  Because they don't like it !  I explained what school is like, and that shows like Sid the Science Kid are not showing the truth, because the grownups who make such shows are trying to convince kids to like school because generally they don't like it.  He spent a little time listening to neighbor kids talk about school, and reached his own conclusion that they don't like it.  He has also experienced baseball teammates telling him that he is very lucky to be homeschooled when they find out.  So gradually he got the idea that school is not the wonderful fun place that adults hype it up to be, and that given a choice of a school day or a day at home, most kids would rather be home.  The bus also helped.  We are aware of when it picks them up, and when it returns them.   He has realized that the school day is very long and that he has much more free time than the other kids do.  Now he feels lucky to homeschool. 


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Old 04-22-2012, 04:15 PM
 
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I am shameless about homeschool endorsement with my kid. I never let an opportunity pass me by. I list all the shortcomings of public school on a continuous basis. Those poor, poor public school kids, I say. They have to get up at six in the morning and wait in the cold for the bus. They have to sit still all day or they get in trouble in class. They can't talk to each other or read books of their choice.They have to do whatever the teacher says, even if it's a waste of time. They have to ask to go to the bathroom in front of everyone. They get beat up on the playground and on the bus. The teachers don't care about them. They slave away eight hours a day, five days a week, for twelve long years. They get over an hour of homework every night. They barely have time to finish the homework before they go to bed, and the next day it starts all over again, for ever and ever and ever. It's less a school than a prison, really.

 

Then I say, "Home school rocks." And my kid says it now, to anyone who asks: "Home school rocks!"

 

No problems with wanting to go to public at our house.

 

 


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Old 04-22-2012, 04:18 PM
 
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DS2 was in preschool for three half days a week, so that I could have some time with dd1, without distractions (ds2 has had behavioural issues for a long time). He loved it, but he never expressed any desire to go to "big school". I think that he saw homeschool as "big school", because that's what his big sister was doing (although is big brother was in public school, so maybe not). It was just never an issue.

 

DD1 is totally anti-school. DH thinks I've brainwashed her, but she's mostly reacting to things her friends tell her about school. She finds things like having to ask to use the bathroom to be just bizarre and annoying. She's heard a lot about school, and has observed that she seems to enjoy her school more than most of her friends and cousins enjoy theirs. So...never really had to talk about it much.


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Old 04-24-2012, 12:23 PM
 
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Some of my dcs did a 2 day/week preschool/daycare, but it didn't seem to affect them one way or another.  They always knew they weren't going to school.  I think this was mostly not a big deal for them because early on we had an established group of homeschoolers we did things with.  While among their preschool cohort school was the norm, among their other, primary peer group nothing was changing. 

 

Also, if relatives and preschool teachers know ahead of time that your children will not be going to school, they won't directly hype it up to your children (hopefully!). 


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