8 year old homeschoolers asking for public - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 18 Old 06-07-2012, 11:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Help...my 8 y o is wanting to go to public school. She has never been, I can't imagine that she understands what it is like, and I am not wanting this for her, although I suppose I'm willing to CONSIDER THE THOUGHT of trying. My biggest complaint is the social influences found in public school as well as the force fed curriculum.
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#2 of 18 Old 06-07-2012, 08:07 PM
 
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the PS kids down the road tell me all the time they wish they could home school,.... I think it's mostly a 'the grass is always greener' syndrome that everyone gets at times. 

 

Maybe ask a bit and figure out what it is she is looking for. is it the bus take a? ride on the public bus. hanging with friends? maybe more play dates at the park or even classes... art\music\swimming\whatever it is she is into. If there is a co-op in your area that might fill the gap. 

 

Personally although I think it's good to validate a child's feelings on the matter in the end its YOU who makes the choice.


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#3 of 18 Old 06-07-2012, 09:34 PM
 
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Does she know why you're choosing to homeschool? I'm not shy about telling our children why I don't think that school is a fun place to be (having to ask permission to go to the bathroom, for example, or not being able to eat until its "time).


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#4 of 18 Old 06-07-2012, 09:45 PM
 
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And if it really comes down to letting her try, she might not stay long.  My three kids tried a Montessori school and were pulling their hair out about a month in.  We suggested withdrawing at seven weeks, and though there were some tears about new friends left behind, all three of them were deeply relieved.  They understand that the local public option is even more authoritarian and restrictive, and I will be shocked if anyone is interested in school again (even high school, frankly). 

 

There was some pain associated with the experience, as enrolling was a family decision and when we first came home there seemed to be some school trauma to contend with (especially with one of the kids).  But I no longer harbor the doubts that used to plague me about whether, on balance, homeschooling is the best option, even given our rural location and more limited opportunities for social interacton.

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#5 of 18 Old 06-09-2012, 10:04 AM
 
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My daughter kept begging to go to school and every day was a struggle on the home-school front with her.  Finally, I enrolled her in the public school down the street, expecting her to be miserable and begging to come home.  Know what?  She loves it and is thriving there.  I don't have any ideals on perfect education situation because what is right varies by child and year by year.  By the way, she was ahead on a lot of stuff and what she was behind on, she easily caught up.

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#6 of 18 Old 06-19-2012, 09:04 PM
 
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My son was the same way and we sent him to school at the very end of second grade. He loved it and has never looked back. He's happy so we're happy.

 

DD has also wanted to try school. She hated it and never wants to do it again. For her, homeschooling (or virtual school) has been a much better choice. Again, she's happy so we're happy.

 

If you are willing to consider it and are open to the idea that it may be exactly what your child is looking for, it might be the start of something great for them. If you really don't want to go that route, I'd really consider before sending them. I'm pretty laidback, though - I let them choose and we just make it work. Good luck finding what works for your family! :)
 


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#7 of 18 Old 06-20-2012, 10:19 AM
 
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Originally Posted by onyxravnos View Post

the PS kids down the road tell me all the time they wish they could home school,.... I think it's mostly a 'the grass is always greener' syndrome that everyone gets at times. 

 

Maybe ask a bit and figure out what it is she is looking for. is it the bus take a? ride on the public bus. hanging with friends? maybe more play dates at the park or even classes... art\music\swimming\whatever it is she is into. If there is a co-op in your area that might fill the gap. 

 

Personally although I think it's good to validate a child's feelings on the matter in the end its YOU who makes the choice.

 

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I have a friend (who is actually an MDC user) who radically unschooled her oldest and therefore when he wanted to go to school--he went to school.  She feels it was a mistake (now, several years later) for reasons I won't go into--but that have made me STRONGLY reconsider simply following my son's lead at all times.  It really pushed me to look at how I was going to balance child-led with the need to stand by what I believe in overall.  I also kind of always worry about a school getting uppity with me and if I enroll him and then pull him, they'll get a bug in their bonnet to try to call me in for educational neglect.  I just left the board of a homeschool association in my former state after spending a few years serving as the CPS "expert" and so I not only saw the cases in my state, but through dealing with the lawyers--also from other states.  It's concerning that no matter what the level of legislation applied to homeschooling, I have still seen kids ordered into school before even being evaluated.  Over lesser call-ins than that of a school district.  So I'm concerned there, too. 

 

I think onyxravnos makes a good point that you need to figure out what it is that she really wants that she thinks school is going to provide.  I know that my 8yo went through this for about a year (maybe 3mo were VERY intensive and then the other 9 were on/off and just an intermittent statement).

 

We actually think our son will land in a classroom at high school age--be it a community college or an actual high school.  So really, I don't paint any scary pictures of school.  We are very matter-of-fact about what it is and isn't.  But that means I get to point out the bad parts.  So when he is discouraged because he took on a challenge that he can't seem to get through (he's very driven to do calculus but recently struggled with a prerequisite concept) it sparked a conversation about how the schools would handle his struggle, grades (I have no clue how he knew about grades or why he felt they were relevant to him, but he did!) and how dh and I differ in theory about how to handle a child's struggle with a concept and what's more important (learning vs. getting it done).  It sparked my son to proclaim that children shouldn't have grades and that the President should make a law (which made me make a mental note to cover legislative process!  LOL!).  When we pass kids out at recess at a school, I'm quick to remind him that they only have 30 minutes and that if it's not gym day, that's the only time they will get to play between the hours of 9am and 3pm.  I have plenty of opportunity to explain to him how we operate is different from the classroom and why we do it differently.  Occasionally, these are NOT short conversations--but I know that if/when my son were to enter a public school classroom, he'd at least know what to expect and that it doesn't all make sense--that it's not just him.

 

Needless to say, he really has no desire to go to school now.  He DOES seem to have an idea about going to school later on and I'm not sure if he means high school (since we've often had occasion to explain how high school differs from elementary school in it's ability to accommodate differing ability levels) or college or both.

 

Just communicate with her.  If it doesn't pass, at least you'll know more about what her drive is, and she'll know what it's really all about.


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#8 of 18 Old 06-22-2012, 10:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So my daughter "told" me that she wanted to go to public school by hiding a two page note, under a box, under her bed that said "Please mom if you are reading this send me to public school straight away right now I don't want to be homeschooled through high school that sounds HORAFIYNG (lol)" and on and on.  The note said that when she started HSing she was in kindy and didn't even know what it would be like she just thought no homework and lots of days laying around in the sun.

 

I found this a week or two ago but just ignored it, but have of course been pondering it.

 

Yesterday I told her that if she wanted to enroll in public she needed to "catch up" and pulled out her math and history books.  I told her about all the homework and tests etc, and that they go back to school in mid August so that is in a month in a half.  She sat around all day doing word problems in her math book (with me) and (a testament to unschooling) mastered word problems and double digit subtraction in one day. 

 

I think she's wanting public school because I am trying to force her to make homeschool friends.  She has only 3 friends (all public schoolers) because she is terribly shy and those are the only ones she feels comfy with.   I used to babysit one of them all the time but no longer do so.  So the playdates have dramatically dropped off. I am trying to expose her to HSers her own age and having trouble doing so.  The few I have come across she won't look at or talk to.  Her note said because they are HOMESCHOOLERS she doesn't want to be friends. Also I think that all the time with her younger sibling is annoying her.  Problem is, she rejects all the ideas I have to "fill the gap" and add those co op, classes etc... she does go to classes, but she doesn't bond socially. 

 

PLEASE HELP me decide what to do. 

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#9 of 18 Old 06-22-2012, 05:36 PM
 
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My 11 yr old DS was not a social person, and honestly, he still isn't.  He loves to take some classes, loved the swim team he was on and will do swim again, but just is NOT a social person.  We go to park days and club meetings but he just isn't the type of kid to have a billion friends.  (I even ran a homeschool club and he didn't click with any one kid)

 

Take a step back and look at the situation, why do you feel it's so important for her to have friends?  She has 3 friends, does your DD feel thats enough?  Does she want more friends?  Does she need friends her own age?   Is she feeling pressure from you to expand her circle of friends?

 

When my DS takes a class, goes to a park day, does swim team etc, he is drawn to older kids.  Maybe you DD likes to hang with older/younger kids?  My DS also loves to email the couple close friends he has.  I have no problem with that.

 

Also traditional school is not social in nature.  Most of the day is spent at a desk quietly working or quietly traveling from room to room for different classes.  Even extra classes like Art, PE, Music etc are not set up for social interactions.  Yes there is lunch and recess but those total to probably less than an hour a day.  Many 8 yr olds still go to before/after care so honestly, how much 'free time' do they have?

 

I would look for a couple classes that she likes to do, not necessarily homeschool classes, but classes in general.  Does she like art, legos, swim, reading?  After school type classes are a great place to meet other kids who have the same interests she does and there would be more opportunity for socializing.  My kiddo also tends to meet other kids at the library of all places!

 

What about a co-op for DD?  Homeschool kids but some structure and classes?

 

Does your DD maybe need a change in the way homeschooling is done?  She said she thought HS would be days of no homework and laying in the sun?  Maybe she needs a new approach?  TBH, kids in traditional school get a new classroom and teacher each year so there is a change that way, homeschool kids basically have the same classroom and teacher every year.  Just something to think about!


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#10 of 18 Old 06-22-2012, 08:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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THANK YOU for replying!  All the replies.  I need it!

 

Today she actually opened up and expressed herself... with words!!  What I got was:

 

She doesn't like it when I am friends with the moms, because she sees me make friends with the moms and then feels pressure to befriend the kids of the moms I like, which is horrible for a painfully shy kid, and she wants her friendships to form organically (which is tricky when she is sort of selectively mute).  Reading into that, I think she is expressing that she wants independence?

 

She hates it when I talk to adults because it "goes on and on" so between that and all other distractions, I am realizing that she isn't getting enough attention.

 

Also, last year, she rejected anything school related, so I unschooled and snuck in education (which she complained aobut).  Now all of a sudden she is CRAVING it, so I am very happy to CHANGE THE WAY I homeschool her and address the other issues...

 

BUT....

she isn't giving me a chance because she's dying to "try" public school for a week or so and see if she likes it.  That means switching from charter to traditional... then good luck getting back into charter.  I can deal with that, but I am having trouble coming to terms with enrolling her in public school because I don't want information force fed to her.  I am very very happy with how intelligent she is sans traditional school, and truly believe she would have a negative view of herself had she tried traditional school at a younger age.  I think she could handle it, now, but I am scared of public school. 

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#11 of 18 Old 06-22-2012, 09:40 PM
 
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A few things to think about.  Traditional school probably won't be totally up and running full speed that first week of school.  Those first couple weeks are spent on 'getting to know you' activities, team building - so the teacher knows how to pair up kids for the coming year- seat switching, etc.  Kids are getting to know the class schedule, the teacher may even be changing the lesson plans to accommodate kids with IEP's who need the resource room and such things.  The first couple weeks of school can be so much fun then the real work starts.  Also the first several weeks is a ton of review material to cover whatever is 'lost' over the summer break.  So if your DD is going into 3rd grade, there would be heavy review of 2nd grade topics in math and reading!

 

I'm not sure where you are but around here summer break just started, I know in other places school starts the end of July again.  Depending on where you are in the school calendar, you have some time to decide what to do.  With public school you can join in the school year at anytime so DD doesn't really need to be there on 'day one'.  I do understand the dilemma with your spot in the charter.  Do you need the charter?  Would she do better with k-12 academy or something like that?

 

Do you still have time to sign her up for some summer camps/classes to see if that helps?


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#12 of 18 Old 06-23-2012, 11:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Spot with charter isn't a huge deal, I've decided. 

 

As far as the point with the first few weeks of school... that is very helpful point, and very important on a couple of levels.  Our school year starts in middle of August I think.  She probably would enjoy school for the first few weeks like you pointed out, then it may become less appealing.  BUT

 

On one hand I don't want her to like it, so waiting past the "getting to know you" would make sense, but it seems like throwing a shy kid in to the wolves like that would do the exact kind of damage that I am trying to avoid. 

 

I am pretty sure she wants to know what PS is all about and will want to go regardless of camps, BUT I am going to give it a shot and signed her up for 2 camps!  She had a friend tell her that since she is HSed that she wasn't going to learn anything... so that probably sparked some of this.  She is voraciously studying all of a sudden.  She is doing math ALL day long.  Wakes up and pulls out word problems.  I needed to make her quit LATE last night.  This is new!

 

I can't believe I am going to be bringing her to PS.  Can't believe it.  I am so worried.

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#13 of 18 Old 06-25-2012, 01:04 AM
 
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As far as the point with the first few weeks of school... that is very helpful point, and very important on a couple of levels.  Our school year starts in middle of August I think.  She probably would enjoy school for the first few weeks like you pointed out, then it may become less appealing.

 

....I can't believe I am going to be bringing her to PS.  Can't believe it.  I am so worried.

 

At this point, you might find the "learning at school" board to be more supportive. There are many former homeschoolers there. 

 

I absolutely feel that if you are letting her go to school, she should be there on the first day. Social groups are more fluid at the beginning of the year, and the teacher will explain how she likes things done.

 

I hope it goes well for you little girl. My DDs homeschooled until they were 10 and 12. They are now 14 and 15 (one homeschooled a year longer than the other), and have never looked back.

 

It's awesome that you aren't letting your fears limit you DD's life.  We have met some lovely families since the kids started school, and my children have made very nice friends there. They also prefer learning in a group to learning at home. 


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#14 of 18 Old 06-25-2012, 05:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Too soon
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#15 of 18 Old 06-29-2012, 09:31 AM
 
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I'm really confused why a child as "shy" as your dd would want to be in school with tons of people she HAS to interact with all day long. Has she explained her logic there? It's not optional like in a homeschool environment. She can't just go home or tell the teacher she doesn't feel like it or tell the other kids she doesn't want to have lunch with them. She HAS to. Her teacher will try to force her to participate in class. Kids will talk to her at lunch and recess and it won't always be nice talk either. 

She said she doesn't like feeling pressured to be friendly with people you know. Ummmm, you don't get to choose who your teacher is, you don't get to choose who the kids in your class are. It's just as forced, if not more so than a homeschool group. She's not choosing anything here. 

If she is overwhelmed by the pressure she feels when you kind of, sort of, a little bit nudge her to talk to someone - I can't imagine what it will be like with no support in a new environment with a bunch of kids who probably mostly know each other already. 

Even if the kids are nice, they aren't going to hold her hand until she is ready to be friendly with them. At best they will leave her out and at worst they will not be so nice.

 

I guess all I'm asking is does she really understand this?


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#16 of 18 Old 06-29-2012, 12:19 PM
 
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I'm really confused why a child as "shy" as your dd would want to be in school with tons of people she HAS to interact with all day long. 

 

My eldest dd was very shy and selectively mute. Around age 8-9 she had begun to improve a little bit, and had developed a fair bit of self-awareness about the whole issue. That was also the age that she expressed a lot of curiosity about school. I think she had begun to recognize that she was not typical in her social style, and that homeschooling gave her a life that was very different from that of most children her age. She wondered whether going to school would make her more "normal," and whether she could access the skills that would be required for her to fit in and be "normal." 

 

She actually went to school for three days to find out. The answer was: yes, she could cope with the social expectations, achieve academically and fit in. But she decided that just because she could cope didn't mean she liked or wanted to do so. She opted to continue homeschooling. We were fortunate that the school gave her the option to try things out in this way. It was about two weeks before the end of the year, grades for the kids having already been submitted, and I worried that it would be mostly unstructured fun stuff with no bookwork, no drills. I worried a lot about sending her. But I think it ended up being a fairly average experience; it wasn't awful, it wasn't fabulous. School was no longer an alluring unknown, she knew she could hack it if she chose to, but she was no longer interested.

 

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#17 of 18 Old 07-03-2012, 08:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't think she could understand what public school will be like having not gone.  Her reasoning is that the children we see now are hit and miss.  She feels pressure to befriend the few girls we see that homeschool, gets anxious, and clams up.  She feels like if she is in PS she will be exposed to the same kids consistently which will help her feel more comfortable. 

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#18 of 18 Old 07-03-2012, 08:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Moominmama, Miranda, this is so, so helpful and similar to what my daughter is feeling I believe.  Thank you!  I don't feel like PS is going to be "right" for her, but I think she is going to go see what it is like for a little while... who knows though!

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