Child doesn't want to be homeschooled... now what? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 11 Old 08-13-2012, 11:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My child will be 5 on November 23 so she can not enter kindergarten this fall even thought she is ready both with her maturity and knowledge base. I'm so frustrated by this. She is begging me to go and it breaks my heart to say no. I have been homeschooling her for about 2 years now but it has been very relaxed. 

I've called our assigned school as well as the office of early childhood education office. The school was very apologetic but the early childhood education office was just snarky. There is no test or anything they will do for her and even if we do homeschooling again this year she will just be placed in kindergarten next year when she will really be on a 1st grade math and 2nd grade everything else. 

The office of early childhood education assured me that kids worked closely with G&T but then when I asked for clarification G&T doesn't start until 2nd grade!

 

I'm not really sure what to do. I had planned to home school through elementary school but DD wanting to actually go to school has put a major kink in all my plans. 

 

Should I just not do school this year so she'll be on the same level as the other kids next year? Is that even fair to her? I'm not really sure what I should do.

Anyone with experience with a smart kid and a bad birth date?


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#2 of 11 Old 08-13-2012, 12:34 PM
 
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Since you are in Maryland, try contacting mhea.org for help. E-mails can be sent to MSmith@mhea.org with your questions. You are the educator and superintendent of your school, so if she still wants to go next year, you should be able to specify grade. My brother's wife sent her Nov child to a private kindergarten at age 4 to get around the 'bad' birthday. Then when she went to public school, she had already completed kindergarten and was accepted as a first grader. You would need to be fully compliant, I would think, sending your letter of intent to homeschool now and the portfolio in the spring. That's one possibility.

One question for you. Why does she want to go to school? Are her friends going? If that's the reason, she may change her mind if they start complaining about school and saying how lucky she is.

Hope this helps.
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#3 of 11 Old 08-13-2012, 01:01 PM
 
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She may just be looking at all the other kids getting on the big yellow busses and feeling the sense of expectancy that's in the air at the beginning of every new school year. I would strongly suggest getting involved with some homeschooling groups and co-ops in your area, and also looking into activities offered by your local libraries, because you and she may very well find that these activities will more than fill her need to meet new people and branch out and form connections with the larger society.

 

I think four or five is the age when many young children stop feeling so content just spending the whole day with Mommy -- but that doesn't mean they don't still need Mommy. I think they get the best of both worlds when they can branch out and explore, and meet lots of new people, and still have Mommy available in the background to help them process all the new information they are taking in and help them deal with all the new people and experiences.

 

I noticed that you also have a six month old baby. I had dd2 when dd1 was almost four. I don't know about you, but having a baby kind of slowed me down for a bit and I went from taking lots of walks to the park and getting together frequently with other moms and children, to feeling like it was too much of an effort to leave the house. This may not be the case for you at all. But the August after dd2 was born (she's a March baby), dd1 got up one morning and looked out the window and said she wished she was getting on the bus like the other kids on the block, and going off to meet a lot of new kids.

 

I started pushing myself to get out and about again, and also started calling friends and arranging playdates, and dd was soon quite happy with her life again. I just realized that she needed more interaction with the outside world than she'd needed before.


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#4 of 11 Old 08-13-2012, 02:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It is harder to get out of the house these days. Not to mention, I just here while I was pregnant and I don't know anyone. The few moms I have met are quite a bit older than me and don't really seem interested in building a relationship outside of [insert extracurricular activity]. Other than  that I'm almost convinced that most children in the area have invisiblitis because I've never seen them!

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I started pushing myself to get out and about again, and also started calling friends and arranging playdates, and dd was soon quite happy with her life again. I just realized that she needed more interaction with the outside world than she'd needed before.


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#5 of 11 Old 08-13-2012, 02:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think she mainly wants to go to school because she thinks it will be fun and there will a lot of kids there. I'm new to the area and haven't been able to provide her with a good social outlet.

I guess that's a good idea. I called the homeschool office today. I don't know that they will send me the info since she is not of age to be in kindergarten but I guess it's worth a try. Then send in the portfolio and meet with the principal and get her tested in April. 

 

Thanks for the info!

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 Why does she want to go to school? Are her friends going? If that's the reason, she may change her mind if they start complaining about school and saying how lucky she is.
Hope this helps.

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#6 of 11 Old 08-13-2012, 10:47 PM
 
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If the school won't take her this year then there's no other option: she'll be learning at home this year. You can tell her "Too bad that schools have rules that go by age. They won't take you as a student until next year. We'll have to homeschool for now."

 

Due to a different cut-off where I live your dd would have started school this year at 4, but my eldest and youngest were very bright "just past the cut-off" January babies who were pushing 6 before they were eligible for KG. Not actively teaching them academics during their pre-K year didn't slow their learning down in the slightest. Both began reading advanced novels that year; both gobbled up 2nd and 3rd grade math concepts, despite no parent-directed teaching or structured curriculum.

 

The net result was that they were a far worse fit for school a year later. Even a grade-skip to 1st grade wouldn't have been sufficient. But (and this is the crucial thing) by then they were a year older and more mature and more wise to the ways of the world. They had come to realize that kindergarten, despite holding a certain cultural allure, would not really challenge or interest them. All year I had been saying things like "It's a good thing we're homeschooling this year! In school kids don't get to learn multiplication until 2nd grade. Can you believe that? According to their schedule you'd have to be almost 8 before learning this!" or "I went to school and I didn't get to learn any ancient history until high school: you are so lucky!" They realized that their ability to lead and pace their own learning was a function of our homeschooling. And I had filled their lives up with stimulating activities: choir, piano lessons, swim lessons, aikido, homeschool meet-ups, things that took place during the day or mid-evening, which they knew it would not be possible to continue if they went to school. 

 

I live in an extremely rural area with few other homeschoolers. We had to travel a lot, and I had to make a lot of enquiries, but it was possible for us to find plenty of non-school-based social and educational outlets for our kids. It just took a bit of concentrated effort. It was worth it because homeschooling served my kids so well throughout the elementary and middle school years.

 

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#7 of 11 Old 08-14-2012, 06:36 AM
 
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It sounds like you have good reasons for choosing homeschooling.  At her age, I don't think the fact that she wants to go to school should be a big factor in your decision about whether to send her.  She has no idea what school is actually like, so you can't know whether she would actually enjoy it.  And you can give her more information about school and most likely get her to change her mind about wanting to go.  If I were you, instead of thinking about sending her to school next year I'd be working on finding opportunities for her to play with other kids and telling her all the reasons why school is often not very fun and would probably be a bad fit for her.  There must be homeschooling groups in your area that you can get involved with.  Or if it's too hard to get out to homeschooling activities right now with a young baby, maybe you could consider sending her to a play-based preschool this year just for socialization.

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#8 of 11 Old 08-14-2012, 06:53 AM
 
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I agree with finding others in the area for socialization, but would skip the put downs of school. You never know what the future will bring, and one day school might be a necessity. For now, relax. Get settled in your new home. Seek out like minded families for both of you to have some interaction. Get the homeschool info if you want more options for next year and homeschool officially. Or do it unofficially and deal with next year next year.

Moving can be stressful, so try to go easy on yourself. You'll get settled and things will work out one way or another.

Good luck.
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#9 of 11 Old 08-14-2012, 08:04 AM
 
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I was in a similar situation 7 years ago (wow! it doesn't feel that long).  My options were paying for expensive testing to try to convince the public school to take her in kindergarten despite her birthday or putting my daughter in a private kindergarten we couldn't afford, and hoping the public school would take her as a 1st grader the next year, despite her birthday, or homeschooling.  We realized that she'd already learned everything they would be aiming to teach her in kindergarten, despite being too young to start, and so we chose the option that lets us meet her where she is, without having to negotiate with a bureaucracy.  Your daughter will progress academically in the next year, whether you teach her formally or not.  

 

I would follow Moominmamma's advice, and be as clear as you can with your daughter that kindergarten this year is not an option because of their rules.  

 

Then I would reach out to the homeschool community-- not every group welcomes kids of less than school age, but many do.  Also, I'd look for homeschool classes-- because they are often aimed at a specific age range, you might find other families just getting started with homeschooling who are looking for friends.  Once your baby is a little older, you can also do a lot of family field trips (I envy you the National Aquarium!-- if we lived in Baltimore, I'd get a membership and be there lots and lots) .  Also, have you seen this? http://www.baltimorehomeschool.org/  I don't know if they're a good fit for you, but it could be a starting point.

 

Good luck!

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#10 of 11 Old 08-22-2012, 09:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you everyone!!!!!!!!!! I seriously was so frustrated when I made this post. I have since found a great homeschool group and we went on a "Not back to school picnic" and DD is IN LOVE. She is all for staying home now. There are a lot of girls starting kinder in this group too. I now have a great new excitement for this coming school year and officially homeschooling!

 

You all provided the swift kick in the @$$ I needed. LOL


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#11 of 11 Old 08-22-2012, 09:32 AM
 
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That's great news! Thanks for the update!

 

Miranda


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