AUGH he wants to go to kindegarten. - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 52 Old 06-28-2005, 01:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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somewhere along the line my son got it into his head that he REALLY REALLY wants to go to kindegarten. (!!) i don't know where or how he picked this up (probably from all the strangers asking him if he's in school yet ) but he just keeps on talking about it.

i REALLY want to keep on homeschooling him, because i believe that it's a better (much better) quality of education than he'd be getting in the local schools... but he has his heart set on going to school. :: sigh ::

wwyd?
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#2 of 52 Old 06-28-2005, 01:28 AM
 
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You're going to get better advice than I will give you. I told my kid as honestly as I could what kindergarten involved. I explained that she misses the cutoff by 5 days and would have to take tests (had to explain tests) to maybe get permission to go this year. That she would be scheduled to go next year (when the kids she plays with will be in second grade). I explained grades and classes.

I explained that you might not be able to go to the bathroom when you need to.

That my friend was the deal-breaker for her. She says now that she would rather be home schooled than go to building school.
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#3 of 52 Old 06-28-2005, 09:00 AM
 
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Dd has made noises about wanting to go to kindergarten too.

I explained to her that if she went to 'the school down the street,' that she would have to go to bed about two hours earlier than she does now, and wake up very early. That she would be gone for about six hours, and that we would not have as much time to read and play at home. The dealbreaker, though, was the having to go to bed earlier. The evenings are her time with her Daddy, and thanks to Atlanta traffic, it's not like she'd see him even in the mornings getting up early.

It turned out what she really wanted to do was use their playground. So we'll probably go up there a few times this summer so she can see it's just like any other playground.

Kash, homeschooling mommy to Gillian (8/5/00) and Jacob (3/23/05)
and Brigid Eleanor (11/20/08)
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#4 of 52 Old 06-28-2005, 09:22 AM
 
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My dd wants to do everything she hears of other little kids her age doing.

A while ago, we'd say to her that she wasn't going to go to school anymore.

Then I changed the tune, and instead started explaining what OUR "school" would be like. She thinks that sounds great. She also still hears other kids talk about school, and wants to go. But she ALSO wants every single toy they have, the same number and kind of siblings they have, the kinds of snacks they have, etc. I don't give in on all of that either.
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#5 of 52 Old 06-28-2005, 09:40 AM
 
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Personally, when my kids are young, I (and my dh) will make the big decisions for them. To me, going to school vs. homeschooling is a HUGE decision, and I'm not going to let my kids make it. Homeschooling, to me, is in large part about our family's values and how we choose to live our lives, and my husband and I are, in my opinion, responsible for setting that tone. Of course what our children think and want matters to us, but I also believe that, as my kids' parent, I am responsible for making choices for them that I believe are in their best interest and for negotiating issues that are more complex than a five or six year old can really handle. I do NOT think it's in my kids' best interest to go to school, so I will not let them do that when they are young. I see it as every bit as serious as not letting my eight year old smoke or drink alcohol or or work in a textile mill just because he or she wants to. My husband and I have decided that we are going to homeschool the kids at least through middle school. If they then want to go to high school, we will discuss it with them. So, when my three year old tells me how she will ride the school bus when she gets bigger, I calmly tell her that no, she won't, because she won't be going away to school. If, when she's five, she tells me she wants to go to kindergarten, I will ask her why she wants to go and try to address those issues, but I will also tell her no, she is not going to kindergarten.

I am well aware that many people here find this attitude horrifying, so please don't jump all over me. I know many people feel that not letting kids make all their own decisions is disrespectful to them, but my dh and I don't feel that way.

Namaste!
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#6 of 52 Old 06-28-2005, 09:50 AM
 
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I'm another one who doesn't give my five year old an option about going to school, and definately not public school. My ds is um, very energetic. I do not believe he would do well in a classroom setting, especially the way that they're cutting back on recess and outside play and doing more seatwork. I think that he would get labeled a behavior problem or get in trouble for acting like a normal little boy.

He spends hours a day outside, eats when he's hungry, goes to the bathroom when he needs to. I've explained to him that in school he wouldn't be able to do those things in an institutional school. Not only that, but with the kids I've nannied, I've seen way too many of them start school eager to learn and end up the kind of kids that won't touch a book unless the school requires it. I'm not going to have that joy taken from him.

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#7 of 52 Old 06-28-2005, 10:19 AM
 
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I would strongly encourage you to join a homeschool support group, if you haven't already. My dd's know that some kids go to "away" school, and some kids homeschool, like us. They have lots of friends that do both.

We also practiced how to respond to people to ask if she is going to Kindergarten next year even though she misses the cut-off. "No, we homeschool." I hope that took some pressure off her.

And she, too, is very aware that kids that go to away school have to go to bed early and don't get to go to the museums or play with Mommy during the middle of the day.
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#8 of 52 Old 06-28-2005, 10:51 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama
I am well aware that many people here find this attitude horrifying, so please don't jump all over me. I know many people feel that not letting kids make all their own decisions is disrespectful to them, but my dh and I don't feel that way.
I agree with you. I think this is way too big of a decision to be made by a 5 year old. I just don't think they understand what they are getting into.

When my older DD was K age, she wanted to go, so we asked her WHY and went from there. She wanted to be around other kids and have a class where she had a teacher. Joining a homeschool group and signing her up for a parks and rec class made her very happy. I felt that was treating her with respect and giving her an appropriate amount of control over her life.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#9 of 52 Old 06-28-2005, 11:14 AM
 
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Find out why. It might take a while, but I would ask, with a carefree tone of voice "so what do you think is fun about school?" See if you can gradually, casually tease apart the reasons. For some kids it's the packaged convenience food they figure they'll get in their school lunches. For others it's the prospect of riding in the big yellow bus. Some look forward to spiderman lunch kits or new clothes and pencils. Some think they'll be able to play in the school playground with 30 other kids all day long.

Figure out the reason and deal with it. Take a road trip on a Greyhound or city bus to demystify bus travel. Buy the darned spiderman lunch kit. Stock the pantry with Jello Pudding Packs. Go to a playground and stay for 3 hours. Explain to your child that he is getting this stuff now, and in such measure, because of the freedom of homeschooling.

Carefully monitor the tone of your responses when someone asks your ds "So, are you looking forward to school in the fall?" Make sure your reaction conveys to him not the idea that homeschooling is some exciting advantage. Don't let the slightest hint of awkwardness colour your response. In other words, don't mutter "Actually, we're thinking we might homeschool" as if you're confessing some embarrassing family secret. Instead, enthuse "Nope, he doesn't have to go to school because we're homeschooling! We're going to have such fun. It will be great to have the freedom and flexibility to take advantage of all the learning opportunities around us. Ds is a great learner."

And fill his weeks up with things that you'll be able to point to and say "Lucky thing you're not going to school this fall. If you were, you wouldn't be able to do _______ anymore" (homeschool park days, Tuesday morning piano lessons, regular playdates with a homeschooled friend, nature walks every Wednesday, Friday morning open swims at the pool ... whatever works.)

Miranda

Unschooling mom to four great kids, who also doesn't think 5yo's have the life experience and maturity necessary to make well-considered momentous decisions like schooling

Mountain mama to three great kids and one great grown-up

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#10 of 52 Old 06-28-2005, 11:19 AM
 
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I agree that a five-year old can't make that decision (but it took me a little while to realize that due to my insecurities about hs-ing). Not that it doesn't break my heart when my dd says she feels left out because all of her friends go to school. I found that using that time to discuss what she would be missing out on if she went to school helps. I have also decided that one of my priorities for the rest of the year is to get her to homeschooling activities where she can casually meet and play with hs'd kids, like park playdates and a weekly beach activity going on a few towns over.

Now, when asked if she goes to school, dd brags, "I get homeschooled" sometimes she adds, "because I want to be with my Mommy." It has helped that, so far, she has received positive responses. Phew!
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#11 of 52 Old 06-28-2005, 12:47 PM
 
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Wonderful responses

~Joan, Happy mom to 2 beautiful kiddos, one new puppy and 2 lovely felines
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#12 of 52 Old 06-28-2005, 02:00 PM
 
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[QUOTE=dharmamama]www.bringingdestahome.blogspot.com **Updated 6/26/05** QUOTE]


dharmamama, I have to tell you I just get so excited everytime I see you've updated your blog.

I'm keeping Desta, and your whole family in my thoughts and heart. I await with baited breath the update announcing your daughter's safe and happy homecoming.

There is a crack in everything...that's how the light gets in.
~Leonard Cohen~
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#13 of 52 Old 06-28-2005, 03:14 PM
 
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Thanks, Medusa! My dh has been worried about whether anyone is even reading the blog, but I have tried to get the word out, so I think that people are.

Namaste!
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#14 of 52 Old 06-28-2005, 05:53 PM
 
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great advice mamas! This has given me some ideas for when DS starts talking about 1st grade in the fall.
But ultimately I agree-it's a parent's decision.

Full-time homeschooling mama : of a 15yo "teenager" , 12yo DIVA, 9yo builder, & 4yo treasure.
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#15 of 52 Old 06-28-2005, 07:06 PM
 
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Thank you all for this thread. My husband and I have been planning on homeschooling from the very beginning and were blessed to have very supportive mothers backing us. Our fathers are never "very supportive" even when they agree with us so that's no biggie. Thing is since my grandmother moved in MIL has been filling DD head with talk of school in the fall. She just assumes that now that I have another dependent I'm going to drop my plan. She's backed off since I showed her the Oak Meadow enrollment letter, but she's only biting her tongue now not really supporting the decision anymore. Is it really that awful to have my kids around an old person in a wheelchair? Well, anyway thank you all because even though MIL has held back DD is still full of "When do I get to go to REAL school?" and I keep telling her "when REAL school can do a better job than mamas and daddies and that I don't think that'll be before she's a teenager". So then she does a great teenager impression and rolls her eyes at me. : I 'spect I'll give in to my baser instincts and point out when we're picking apples in Oak Glen and looking at fossils at the natural history museum and feeding the ducks at the college that Makaela (her best friend) is sitting in a classroom only talking when it's her turn. I don't think I should but I do think I will. :

Thanks,
Crystal
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#16 of 52 Old 06-28-2005, 10:40 PM
 
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Yup -- great responses. I agree, find out why he wants to go. My ds wants to make friends. So we're working on finding more homeschooled friends, now that he's of an age where his friends are in school during the day.

I waffle a bit with this, but consider trying to make what you do at home more school-like. I'm not totally comfortable working to emulate the institution I'm rejecting, but it does seem to help ds enjoy homeschool when I use "school" terms/items that he can see other kids use as well and feel less left out. So even though I hadn't planned on doing this, we have "school time" in the morning. It is fairly open, but we do follow a basic routine (we sing songs the kids choose and read books the kids choose). Ds -- at 5.5 -- has binders and workbooks and a pencil case. It seems to help him. He also loves doing worksheets (I print them from online), he always enjoyed it but even more so now that he has seen schooled friends doing similar things. I try to make sure I'm not over-doing it, I don't want this plan to backfire by making school-y things fun and cool, but I think it helps him not feel so out of the loop.

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#17 of 52 Old 06-28-2005, 11:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for all of the responses!

i asked him tonight, "why do you want to go to Kindegarten," and he said...

"so i can have a real TEACHER, in a REAL school, that TEACHES me."

and so i said, "but mommy and daddy teach you," and he said, "but i want to learn Math, and SCIENCE!"

so i said, "michael, you're learning those already, here, with us ~" and his daddy chimed in, "yeah michael, and learning how to read, like your phonics~"

and we ended up having a lengthy discussion, and i discovered the real, underlying reason for him wanting to go was....


.... can i get a drumroll? ....




that a real school would be "BIGGER than our home."

me: "but michael, if you're in school, and you get hungry, the teacher will make you wait until lunch."
him: "ok, i'll wait!"
me: "and if you have to go potty ~ the teacher might make you wait, if she's talking, or~"
him: "ok, then i'll hold it. i'll hold it and hold it! so i'll wait until she's done talking."
me: "you like playing with [our neighbor, who is about 4 years older than him], right?"
him: "YEAH!"
me: "well in a regular school, you wouldn't be able to play with her, because she's older than you, and you only get to play with kids your own age."
him: "well that's ok, because SHE says that the sprinklers don't come on and she's WRONG."
()

his daddy: "what if the teacher is talking, and you want to talk to your friend? what will you do?"
him: "i'll wait until the teacher is done talking, of course."

... and so on.

so finally i said, "what if you could go to a special Kindegarten, one where you'd go just a few days a week, and learn things, and be homeschooled the rest of the time?" (talking about the charter school around here that works w/ homeschooling families and connects other homeschooled kids for things like "socialization", and sports, and pottery, etc...)

and you know what? he wanted to know how BIG the school would be.

four-year-olds. i don't think i will ever understand them.


i contacted the charter school though and they'll be sending me an information packet about the school and their info night for parents, which is in early August, and then discuss enrollment.

and about worksheets ~ we already do worksheets, and experiments and lessons, so i don't really know why he thinks that he'd be learning more at school. just this afternoon we worked on phonics, and Spanish, and had a TON of outdoor playtime with the neighbor kids.

whoever said they don't leave a decision like going to school up to their 5 year old ~ ** ITA **. but i've so been wrestling with this because on the one hand, i want to trust him and build his trust, have him believe that i listen to what he wants.... on the other hand i disagree with public schools on such a fundamental level. and not a day goes by now when i don't hear, "i want to go to kindegarten!" from him.

honestly though the question, "why do you want to go to kindegarten?" and his answer was the ultimate, uh, deal breaker.. i'm NOT sending my kid to public school because it's BIGGER.
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#18 of 52 Old 06-29-2005, 02:25 AM
 
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LOL.

I was expecting it to be the bus.
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#19 of 52 Old 06-29-2005, 07:59 AM
 
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Hehehe!

What if (if you aren't really happy with the special kindy idea) you enrolled him in lessons of some kind that are in a big building? Like gymnastics or a martial art or indoor soccer (in the winter), they would all likely be in a large building and large gymnasium-type room. Or music lessons, art lessons, a kiddie cooking class.... Our local hsing group meets regularly for different activities, they are usually at a library or community centre. Or you could always go hang out at the mall to do some of your school work

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#20 of 52 Old 06-29-2005, 10:29 AM
 
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Dd will be five in Oct and will be homeschooled this year. I am so excited to officially start with her. She is ok with homeschooling, but she is always asking me when she is going to goto school to be with her friends. Her friends are extremely important to her right now. She is very, very social. (One reason why I think going to school might not be in her best interest. I used to get in trouble all the time in the early grades because I could not physically sit and be quiet - I had to be talking all the time. lol) What complicates the issue is that my ds will be attending special needs preschool 3 days a week this fall. He is mildly autistic and really needs the therapy right now - and this is the only way he can get it because we can not afford to pay for it ourselves. I am now ok with the thought that ds will be going to school - especially since I think it may be possible to homeschool him in two years when he is ready for Kindergarten. It is extremely important to get the early intervention with autistic kids - but, it sure does confuse my dd who can't figure out why we have the double standard about schooling.
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#21 of 52 Old 06-29-2005, 10:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brisen
What if (if you aren't really happy with the special kindy idea) you enrolled him in lessons of some kind that are in a big building? Like gymnastics or a martial art or indoor soccer (in the winter), they would all likely be in a large building and large gymnasium-type room.
what a brilliant idea!
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#22 of 52 Old 07-02-2005, 05:55 PM
 
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I agree that this is a big decision, but just in my opinion, I'd let my kid in on the decision making process. I mean it is their education and their lives, and that's not to be taken lightly, but what's so wrong with letting your kid in on the decision? I personally wouldn't want my kid to be soured on education, I want it to be fun for them. I don't care how much I want to hs, if my kid doesn't want to I will not make them. I think we have to remember it's not about the parent, but it's about the child.
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#23 of 52 Old 07-02-2005, 06:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snyderjoint
I agree that this is a big decision, but just in my opinion, I'd let my kid in on the decision making process. I mean it is their education and their lives, and that's not to be taken lightly, but what's so wrong with letting your kid in on the decision? I personally wouldn't want my kid to be soured on education, I want it to be fun for them. I don't care how much I want to hs, if my kid doesn't want to I will not make them. I think we have to remember it's not about the parent, but it's about the child.
I see your point, however there are some situations where the adult needs to be the adult and make the decision. My oldest would choose to take off his seat belt when we drive if it were up to him, but it isn't a negotiable issue because his safety, in this instance, is more important than getting to choose. Many parents feel the same way about public schooling -- it is far too dangerous to allow the child to choose (obviously, I'm not just talking about physical danger here, but it might be part of the danger where bullying is a problem). Especially in a situation like this where choosing public school will actually limit the child's educational choices, and the child probably doesn't really understand what attending public school entails. With children who are schooled, I see time and time again (and experienced myself) great excitement and enthusiasm at the beginning of the school career, followed by increasing boredom and then resentment towards school, teachers, books, and learning. So while my son did express interest in school and a desire to attend, I asked him what it was about school that interested him and am working to meet those desires in our homeschool, because (among other things) I don't want him to end up uninterested and antagonistic, like so many other students who started out just as excited as he is.

I think by finding out what it is that is so alluring about school, and working to provide it, klothos is certainly letting her son in on the decision. Just like I let my son choose which of the seats in the back to put his booster in and buckle up in. Going to public school (or going beltless) is simply not an option. That doesn't mean he has *no* choice in the matter.

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#24 of 52 Old 07-02-2005, 07:46 PM
 
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I don't know if this has been mentioned, but I think prevention can help a lot too.

Don't hang out with relatives who won't respect your choices, don't watch tv shows or read books that glorify school, hang out with other HSers early on so your DC has HSing friends, etc.
We have been talking with DS about school vs. HS from day one and he has never wanted to go.
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#25 of 52 Old 07-02-2005, 08:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snyderjoint
I think we have to remember it's not about the parent, but it's about the child.
Yes, it's about making sure the child has the best education possible.
I don't know any parents that decide to homeschool because they think it's a fun hobby to torture their kids.

And while I agree that I like to include my child in decision making they do not have the capacity at age 5yrs to make a decision like this. Healthcare, education, values, and other life changing decisions ultimately need to be made by the parents-that's our responsibility TO out children.

Full-time homeschooling mama : of a 15yo "teenager" , 12yo DIVA, 9yo builder, & 4yo treasure.
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#26 of 52 Old 07-02-2005, 08:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by chfriend
I explained that you might not be able to go to the bathroom when you need to.
This is one of the reason we homeschool. My middle ds got in trouble for going to the bathroom. He was in first grade. I pulled him out the next day.
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#27 of 52 Old 07-02-2005, 10:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by APMomof3
This is one of the reason we homeschool. My middle ds got in trouble for going to the bathroom. He was in first grade. I pulled him out the next day.
i was in third grade when i got a major UTI... and the teacher punished me for going to the bathroom too much. it was one of the most embarrassing moments of my young life. oddly enough my parents never thought to homeschool me, which i would have LOVED (i did independent study in 2nd grade because i was ahead of everyone else, but still attended class w/ the other 2nd graders -- and the teacher who hated me... but, pull me out and homeschool me? i don't know if it ever occurred to them. )

eh.
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#28 of 52 Old 07-02-2005, 10:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Brisen
I think by finding out what it is that is so alluring about school, and working to provide it, klothos is certainly letting her son in on the decision. Just like I let my son choose which of the seats in the back to put his booster in and buckle up in. Going to public school (or going beltless) is simply not an option. That doesn't mean he has *no* choice in the matter.
yup.

and an update ~ i got the informational packet from the local homeschooling / charter school up here, and there is an info forum for parents who are interested in enrolling their kids in early august, so we're going to attend that (i think i can take the day off as a childcare thing ~ i'm allowed like 3 days a year for childcare functions) and hopefully it will be something we're all interested in. they provide workshops (i'm not sure if i mentioned that) and social groups and "networking for homeschooling families" so... :
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#29 of 52 Old 07-02-2005, 11:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by snyderjoint
I think we have to remember it's not about the parent, but it's about the child.
I disagree with you. It's not an either/or here. It's about both the parent AND the child. It's about the family. The way you phrase it, you make it sound like the parent should have to subvert his or her desires, needs, and values to those of the child. I don't think that's how a healthy family works.

Namaste!
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#30 of 52 Old 07-02-2005, 11:53 PM
 
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Hmmm. I never thought about it like that. I'm not one of those who thinks homeschoolers have a lack of education or anything, but it just seems to me that alot of parents are more excited to homeschool than their kids.
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