transition from public to home - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 06-07-2012, 06:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am taking my seven year old daughter out of public school. I will also be doing the same with my son who will be starting kindergarten. I am unhappy with the public school she went to and I am kicking myself for thinking every year "oh it will get better".i have a lot of "mommy guilt".  I won't get into my issues with our local school because honestly it will turn into a rant fest. I am trying to focus on the journey ahead. My daughter is excited to learn at home. She says she won't miss the school she went to (which is sad to me). I plan on doing some summer work to help her get "caught up" on the skills she will need going into third grade. I have been met with quite a bit of resistance.She doesn't "want" to read this or do that. She "hates math". I am trying to make it fun but honestly it is exhausting. Overall she is a well behaved little girl. She does seem frustrated and angry though. I am not sure how to fix it. I thought about her starting a journal to express her feelings. I do feel like there is a seperation between us and it really hurts my heart. It felt like when she was in school it was much "easier" . Life was busy taking her and picking her up. Cramming in homework and dinner and a night routine. I wouldn't go back to that but ignorance is bliss. I know I need to be mindful of the way I communicate with her. I am not always the most patient or engaged person. Did anyone else have to work on their relationship with their child after deciding to homeschool after public school? I honestly believe the problems were there before when she was at school but now its more apparent since we have more time together. I think also many of the issues are how she was forced to learn in public school. She tries to rush through to finish a task without enjoying the process. I want learning to be enjoyable not a chore. Anyone have any suggestions? I have been doing some research on "unschooling". Does anyone have any thoughts on if this would be helpful?

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#2 of 9 Old 06-07-2012, 07:33 AM
 
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I don't have alot of time but the most important thing is take time to let your DD 'deschool'.  Homeschooling is 180 degrees different for kids than traditional school.  The transition takes time for those who have been at traditional school.  I've also found that kids generally learn much faster at home.  A lesson that takes 45 mins at school takes 10-20 mins at home.  While she may be 'behind' on paper, in a short time she will be 'ahead'.

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#3 of 9 Old 06-07-2012, 09:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you zebra15. I appreciate your response. I will try that. :)

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#4 of 9 Old 06-07-2012, 09:12 AM
 
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I would encourage you to continue your reading on unschooling in order to decide whether that is a philosophy your family can embrace.  Even if you do decide to adopt a curriculum or formal approach to homeschooling, I'd wait several months to start.  It sounds as if healing your daughter's "school wounds" is the most important thing right now.  I assure you, there is plenty of time. 

 

You might be interested in http://ablogaboutschool.blogspot.com  This is a really fantastic blog, written by a law professor who is also the father of three schooled children, about his family's negative experiences with current practices in public education.  It is full of cutting insights and additional resources, and it may help you process your own anger and better understand what your daughter has been through.

 

Wishing you all the best.

 

 

Edited to fix link.

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#5 of 9 Old 06-10-2012, 06:12 PM
 
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I would let her have the summer off.  She's just been in public school all year and I'm sure she could use a break.  I think maybe you both need some time off and some unschooling  :) 

 

I pulled my ds out when he was halfway through kindy - he did not go back after xmas break.  One of the hardest things for me personally was getting out of the "ahead or behind" thought process.  Ds was slow to learn to read and I had to constantly remind myself that it was ok if he was "behind" in terms of public school standards because he was home with me, we were working on it, and we'd get there eventually.  There's such a "push, push, push" philosophy in regular schools and I think it was hard for both of us to let that go, get in our own groove, and feel confident.  I had to learn confidence in teaching and my child's ability to learn from me and ds had to learn his own confidence in his schooling. 

 

Ds is a social butterfly, ADORES people especially in groups, but he did not miss regular school at all socially.  There were a few small things that came up that made him say, "I wish I was back in school!" but those were easily solved.  One was that he missed having "slumber party" on Fridays where they would lay out their nap mats and watch a movie.  So every Friday after school we'd make a snack, bring out blankets and pillows, and watch a movie - problem solved. 

 

I'd say it took us a full year to really hit our stride and figure out what worked for both of us.  There are certainly things he rushes through - I don't think anyone likes every subject, kwim?  There were definitely various curriculums that we abandoned because they were not right for us.  Some things I needed to change my mindset on.  For example ds HATES writing.  Not actual composition but the physical act of writing (or drawing for that matter).  I've been forcing him for 2 yrs now to practice writing but we've gotten nowhere in regards to composition because even if he does have great ideas he will only write as few words/sentences as possible.  I've finally realized, duh, teach him to type and he can type out his assignments.  Sometimes it's hard for me to think outside the box even after almost 3 yrs of HSing. 

 

I know I've blabbered on and on but really my best advice would be to take a break.  She's only 7.  Do fun things this summer.  Go to children's museums, science museums, the zoo, hiking, etc.  One of the "sneaky" ways I have my kids learn is I go to the library and pick up random children's books on all sorts of topics both fiction and non-fiction.  Then I leave them here and there around the house.  Inevitably they sit down, look over, see a book and start looking through it.  Next thing you know they're telling me facts about ear wax (the latest one, ew but now ds knows all about the ear), kangaroos, earthquakes, Abraham Lincoln, and all sorts of other topics. 
 


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#6 of 9 Old 06-10-2012, 07:33 PM
 
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We pulled my stepkids out of public school when they were going into 6th grade, 4th grade and 3rd grade. We did absolutely nothing that looked like school work for a whole year. I kid you not. Instead, we went to the library, the zoo, got hooked up with our local homeschooling groups and did park days once or twice a week, etc. During that time, the kids learned to love to read and gained confidence in themselves. From there, we added in a few things that we believed were important to learn, and eventually we enrolled into a charter school and did some basic curriculum.

 

As a homeschooler, it's our job to listen to our kids. She just finished public school, why would she want to do anything that looked like homeschooling right now? Just enjoy life right now, enjoy each other's company, and eventually you will find a groove that works for both of you. :)


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#7 of 9 Old 06-10-2012, 10:28 PM
 
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I pulled DS out after kindergarten. And DEschooling was enormously helpful for us, even though we had done a lot of afterschooling at his request... I needed to observe and notice where he was, and he needed time to be free of busywork to become comfortable with uncertainty and self-directed learning. For us, it was emphatically a practice of "doing" rather than of "nothing," but the doing was active observing on my part and discovery on his. And that cleared the decks so we were both ready for more formal learning.

 

I agree with everyone else to enjoy the summer--make a list together of field trips, crafts to do, things to make, books to read (for you and for her both), music to listen to, games to play. And, meanwhile, make or buy a calendar/journal and note down what you've done--books read, questions that came up in the car, crafts made, holidays celebrated. Even if you don't unschool, having a record of all the learning that happens in family life can take some pressure off the formal learning time.

 

A few resources we like for math:

Family Math (book, available at many libraries, with many fun games)

Living Math website (fantastic list of mathy picture books, encouragement)

 

I found it discouraging when people told me it might take a year; for us, it took a short time to enjoy homeschooling and for learning to happen, but somewhere between a semester to a year in, I could feel that my homeschool reflexes were working at a higher level. That was the point where I could plan ahead and expect to have my plans work as envisioned, where I could pick a resource and know it would be right for us, where things came more automatically for me. It's like having another baby, the second one is less of a leap of faith because, even though you don't know who the child will be, you know who you are as a mom.

 

Heather

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#8 of 9 Old 06-11-2012, 12:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all so much for the advice. I will back off a bit with the schooling and enjoy my time with her. I think honestly we could both use the break. I did buy a brain quest work book for her but I will just leave it on the shelf. She did pick it up this morning and thumbed through it and did an activity on her own. I didnt check it. Didn't make a big deal that she was doing it. I think she was shocked lol.  We went to the craft store yesterday and she was interested in how to make jewerly. They have a little class we can take together there so it that will be fun. I want her to have fun and to relax. I want to become closer to her. I made a effort to really listen to her yesterday on our day out instead of having my mind on finishing our errands/tasks. I learned a lot about her. She is a lot like me.  I am very close with my mom. I hope that she feels that way when she is an adult.

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#9 of 9 Old 06-12-2012, 09:48 AM
 
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I'm taking my dd7 out of school after she finishes first grade this Friday. She is SUPER excited about homeschool and asked me to get her a math book plus she wants to learn French and Spanish and Sign Language and read and have a penpal and learn piano and guitar.  I'm tired just reading the list.  As a result, we are jumping in (already started reading The Story of the World and getting related books to read which she loves).  I'm not tied to any particular schedule but we're jumping in.  We'll also spend the Summer on lots of free play, crafts, cooking, outings, museums, etc.  I'm not decided if we'll ever "start school" or will just continue on our path, adding things as we go.  

 

Good luck to us!

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