Rough transition to public school - anyone else deal with this? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 28 Old 07-16-2012, 09:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have homeschooled my oldest two the past three years. This year lots of their friends are going to school so they too wanted to go. Dh was thrilled, even though he was "supportive" of homeschooling, I know that he preferred them to be in a public school.

We are in a year round school so they just started last Wednesday. They are in K and 1st grade. The 1st grader is having a rough transition, but the kindergartener loves it. The first day she seemed to really like it, the 2nd day was ok and the 3rd day I had practically yank her out of the van and push her in the doors. She said she was too tired, so I thought after the weekend it would be better. We planned on a low key relaxing weekend and thought by Monday she would be better.

She spent all weekend worrying about how much time was left until Monday and telling us she didn't want to go and she wants to go to her old school instead (homeschool co-op). When you ask her what she doesn't like she says that she "misses us", "thought school would be fun, but it's not" and she "didn't know it was going to be this much". I have explained to her that lots of things we are changing are not due to school and we would continue to do those things (no tv before school or until after dd2 gets home even if she were to finish early, showers/baths every night instead of every other night, laying out clothes the night before, etc. When ds was born a lot of our routine went out the window and we were in survival mode and now I feel like we are ready to get back to "normal"). I have also explained that her sister will get to do fun things in school so she needs to be sure this is what she wants. She can't change her mind back and forth on a whim. She says she understands and would still like to be homeschooled. I told her that we will talk about it, but for now she is going to school. She says ok but for only one more day I have tried to ask non-leading questions to see if maybe she's being picked on, excluded, has a teacher she doesn't care for and haven't come up with anything of that sort.

Has anyone else dealt with this? How long did the adjustment take and what things have you done that have helped? It seems like everyone I talk to says their kids love the start of school. Dh says we should, at minimum give her a few months. I say two weeks, tops. It would be different if we didn't have any other options that were easily available. It's as simple as filling out a form and doing what we always have done. I could understand giving it a much longer time period if coming up with a different option involved moving mountains, so to speak. I feel like if it takes her months to adjust, and she is finally happy to go to school, or at least not sobbing every time she sees her lunch box being packed, we haven't really "won". So what. She's content now, but at what cost and for what reason?

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#2 of 28 Old 07-16-2012, 02:16 PM
 
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This is probably one of those "hind-sight is 20/20" situations. It would have been great if you'd discussed this possibility beforehand and reached an agreement about what your expectations were. 

 

I'm a mom whose kids have been mostly unschooled, but for the past four years I've had a mix-and-match assortment of kids attending school, and as of September I'll have three of four in school full-time. My school-going kids are older (teens) and so I've felt that while it's entirely up to them to make their educational choices, barring major unexpected events, I expect them to carry their commitment to school through for the year. That's because they are of an age to be able to realistically assess and commit over the long term.

 

But at age 6 or whatever your dd1 is, I think that it's not realistic to entrust kids with 100% of the responsibility for their educational choice, nor is it reasonable to demand a long-term commitment to a choice. Kids that age don't have the life experience necessary to realistically assess ahead of time what school is likely to feel like, they have trouble teasing apart transition issues from long-term ones, and they don't have the capacity for abstract thought that allows them to weather short-term negative experiences on the way to long-term positive ones.

 

In your situation I would be tempted to set a meeting with your dd1 for next weekend to discuss her educational plan for this year. In the meantime, set the expectation that she will continue to attend school and gather impressions, feelings, reasons, and experiences which will help all of you make the best choice. This will also give you and your dh time to discuss things. Start a list on the fridge of things that are good about school, and things that are good about homeschooling. Add to it through the week. Things she mentions. Things you notice. Things you remember. 

 

I have a lot of sympathy for your dd. Her main reason for wanting to go to school was because a lot of her friends were doing it. She didn't know what it was going to feel like to have those long days, to be away from home and family day after day, to be in a large-group educational environment. She had to try it to understand whether it was something she'd like. Now that she's experienced it, now that she really understands what the two choices are, she vastly prefers homeschooling. If homeschooling is logistically possible I myself would not over-rule a child's preference unless I saw that school was much better able to meet her educational, social and emotional needs.

 

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#3 of 28 Old 07-16-2012, 03:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Miranda.  You verbalized a lot of things I was thinking but wasn't quite able to put into words.  Dh's concern is that she shouldn't be allowed to quit because something is "too hard". I agree, to a point but I also feel that if I make her commit to something at her age she can't possibly understand or comprehend even though she greatly dislikes it, she will do what I did and become afraid of trying anything new for fear of being stuck with it.   I always had to do the full year/season/what-have-you of any activity because my parents "didn't like quitters".   While there is something to be said about perseverance and determination, there isn't anything wrong with stopping something you don't care for.  There were lots of activities I tried that I did not enjoy nor was I good at.  Soccer was one, I can look back and laugh at it now.  I'm not aggressive, I'm not a fast runner, and I don't have much coordination so obviously soccer was not my thing.   But yet I had to do the entire season and I'm still bitter about it!

 

Making a list of pros and cons of each option is a good idea. One thing I am afraid of is that she decides to homeschool and then her sister (who loves school and is adjusting without issue) goes on a field trip or something super fun and now she changes her mind again.  How do I get her to understand that whatever she decides, she can't flip flop on any given day?

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#4 of 28 Old 07-16-2012, 06:22 PM
 
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The first couple week of school are tough. My kids were never home schooled and went to daycare full time before starting school and they still found the first several weeks of school exhausting. It's also not that much fun at first because the teacher is still primarily getting to know the kids and establishing rules and routines. My kids did end up having to do some really early nights, but adjusted within a couple of weeks. And school did get more fun. I hear similar experiences from others I know when their kids went to school.

 

While I agree that there was no way she could know what school is like to make an informed decision and now that she does know she can make a different decision. I also think that saying she understands what school is like at this point is a bit premature. I personally would set a point somewhat longer than two weeks, but not the whole year. For us the end of the first quarter or first semester would be a more appropriate time to reevaluate weather school is working or not.

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#5 of 28 Old 07-16-2012, 06:43 PM
 
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Dh's concern is that she shouldn't be allowed to quit because something is "too hard". 

 

That's why I suggested lists of the *good things* about homeschooling and about school. Pros on each side only, not cons. I don't think you should frame the experience as "school was too ___ so you should go back to homeschooling." That's a quitter's justification, and I agree with your dh that you don't want to send that message. If homeschooling is the eventual choice it should be because of the positives it offers, not because of what's too hard or wrong or bad about school. I think that's especially important if your younger child is going to continue to attend school. It's easy to justify two girls making different choices because they have different likes. You're setting everyone up for problems if you say "Dd1 chose homeschooling because school is too rigid and distracting" or "because she had a hard time adjusting to school." In the first instance you're dissing dd2's educational choice; in the second you're undermining dd1's confidence. Instead I think you should say "Dd1 chose homeschooling because she prefers learning in self-directed environment" or "because she finds it easier to focus at home" or "because she likes a more flexible schedule" or whatever.

 

The story you tell your children around how and why choices were made is very important: it will be the lesson they'll learn from the experience.

 

Miranda 

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#6 of 28 Old 07-16-2012, 09:15 PM
 
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First grade itself is a huge adjustment for many kids even when they attended preschool and public kindergarten. I don't think you should pull her out after only a couple weeks, especially the first couple weeks when they are establishing rules and routines because once those are down it gets much smoother. My dd reentered school after homeachooling for part if first grade and she hated the first few weeks because they were so different. By the time Thanksgiving break came around she loved it and had no interest in homeschooling again. If after the first quarter things aren't going well then you and your husband should make a decision together. For now I suggest giving her extra cuddles at home and helping her see the good in this situation.
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#7 of 28 Old 07-16-2012, 10:47 PM
 
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I think that starting school for the first time is completely exhausting and draining for kids. Part of what she may be experiencing now may just be fatigue that she will adjust to. We homeschooled until the kids were 10 and 12, and then transitioned to school. Fatigue was a huge issue for both of them. And yet this is something that kids adjust to over the first couple of months. It is not a reason to quit.

 

My 10 year old found school a little overwhelming at first, and deeply wondered if she could do it. She was very determined because she knew that most kids who age attend school and leaving because it was "too hard" would have effected her sense of self. She was older and most like more self aware and better able to express herself, but I would be concerned about this with your DD. If you just let her quit, she will know that most kids can do school, and she can not. It was too hard for her. You really have to know that you CAN do something before you can make a real choice about whether or not to do it. Your DD doesn't have that yet.

 

My 12 year old had a transition that was beyond bumpy. It turns out that homeschooling had been masking a variety of issues she had and they all came to the surface. It was a very difficult year, and pulling her out rather that allowing everything to come to the surface to get sorted out would have done her a tremendous disservice. If there is ANY chance your child has delays, LDs, visions issues, sensory problems etc. that are making school harder for her than other kids, pulling her out without getting to the bottom of them could delay her getting real help for years. Homeschooling can mask special needs. I doubt that's the issue -- mostly I suspect she's tired, but it was my experience so I mention it.

 

As far as her not being happy about starting and comparing that to other kids, there are a lot of factors. My kids are really looking forward to school starting this year. They are returning to friends, favorite teachers, activities, etc. Starting a new school will never have the buzz for any child.

 

Kids with older sibs are more likely to be  happy to finally "get" to do what they've been watching their brother or sister do.

 

Kids whose parents have always planned on school have had all positive talk about school, not negative. Most kids who are happy about going to school have not had this emphasized: "I have also explained that her sister will get to do fun things in school." 

 

I agree with your husband about giving it a real try. My advice is to email the teacher and let her know that your DD is having some adjustment issues, and ask for a time when you and your DD can sit down and talk to the teacher. The teacher would most likely be quite happy to talk to you and your DD either right before school or right after, and it might help your DD a lot.

 

I also recommend letting go of the idea that her staying in school is you and dad winning, and her leaving is her winning. That's not the case. It's about figuring out what is really best for her, and then following through on that. That may eventually be pulling her out of school, or it may be helping her find her inner strength and stay in school. Either way, there is a lot of potential for her to grow in this situation, and that's a win-win.

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#8 of 28 Old 07-18-2012, 04:04 AM
 
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Well, I would let her out fairly quickly unless you had an agreement with her ahead of time that if she was going to start school, she had to commit to a certain period of time.

 

I don't think it's a first grader's decision, but it sounds like you were doing it because you both thought she might be happy there.  Perhaps that should be the basis of the "when" decision; do you think holding her there longer is going to change it so that she is happy?

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#9 of 28 Old 07-18-2012, 01:47 PM
 
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Well, I would let her out fairly quickly unless you had an agreement with her ahead of time that if she was going to start school, she had to commit to a certain period of time.

 

 

Aren't you a homeschooler? The OPer posted the exact same question on both this board and the Learning At Home board, one would assume to get the perspective of both people with kids in school and people who homeschool. Why come here to answer?

 

I read both threads, and a lot of answers are the same. Two weeks isn't enough time to tell if it will work out, and talk to the teacher.


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#10 of 28 Old 07-18-2012, 04:13 PM
 
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First off I am very homeschooling friendly. I have considered homeschooling my kids and have many friends in the local homeschooling community (some of my best friends are homeschoolers, no really!). However, I really think dd1 benefits from a school environment. She has some anxiety issues that would be exacerbated by staying home and avoiding the situations that are challenging to her. She is able to stretch and grow in ways she would not be able to at home. I am really seeing it this summer. This is her first week of dance camp and she is so much better having that little bit of external structure. Dd2 does well in school because she likes the social aspect. She'd do okay homeschooled, too, but I think she gets some good things out of school that I couldn't give her at home. If at any time school is not working for either of them I am completely open to homeschooling, but right now I feel like school is the best fit for them.

 

Anyway, I agree that if you're really interested in her going to school you need to give it more time. If you really want to homeschool then homeschool. I would not let the child make that decision unless you and your DH are totally on board with her calling the shots. 

 

I wanted to post to suggest that you look at the calendar for her classroom or ask her teachers what events are coming up. I know my dd2 (2nd grade last year) was really heavily invested in BIG things that happened at school like field trips, or big projects like Bug Fest. You might talk up the fun stuff that's coming up or at least wait to make your decision until after a big event. 

 

Also are some of her friends in her class? Or are there all new kids? It can take a little bit of time to build up some new friendships. 

 

I do think you need to let her know one way or the other, though. Not knowing if she's going to stay or not can be a disquieting and anxiety provoking feeling. I have never suggested to my kids that homeschooling is an option for them because I don't want their commitment to school to be wishy washy. (It is an option if school is horrible for them, but they don't know that.) If they feel like school is uncertain, especially with my anxious dd1, that just makes her anxiety that much worse. It's much better for her to have her feet on solid ground.

 

I would suggest setting a time frame and letting her know that you'll re-evaluate at the end of that time frame, but not before. It might be that two weeks is the time frame, but I think further out would be better, maybe after the first quarter or after the big field trip, etc.


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#11 of 28 Old 07-19-2012, 06:13 AM
 
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I agree wit hteh posters that said 2 weeks isn't enough time. I'm very homeschooling friendly also, but two weeks is not a fair shot. First grade is a big adjustment (longer day, more work etc.) many kids who have done preschool and K still have a rough first few months of first grade. If It was me I would say we are trying school for this school year, and see what happens. If the year is to long for you you can say until Christmas or something. But I would do at least 3 months.  She is new, doesn't have friends yet, they haven't got into anything fun yet.... Give it more time. 

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#12 of 28 Old 07-19-2012, 07:03 AM
 
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I agree with pp that two weeks isn't a fair evaluation period and it would have been a good idea to establish what would be the evaluation period before she started school. But I wouldn't pull her out after two weeks just because you didn't establish the trial period ahead of time; I'd go with something like staying for 3 months/1st quarter.


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#13 of 28 Old 07-19-2012, 07:32 AM
 
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I agree with the other posters here that two weeks is not enough time to truly evaluate the situation.  My DD has had adjustment periods in every situation she's been in.  When she first started Montessori pre-school, it took her about a month to adjust to the new schedule and dynamic.  Then she started kindergarten at another school...and again, it took about a month and now she absolutely loves her new school.  Same with summer camp:  she was moody and difficult the first couple of weeks, and now on Saturdays she literally cries because she wants to go to camp.  A large part of the adjustment is the change in routine, not so much the hours but the way of doing things.  That can be both physically and mentally exhausting until a routine is established.  Heck, when I start something new, I'm excited at first but there an adjustment period and if I experience it as an adult, I'm sure it's magnified many times over for a 5 to 6 year old.  I would give it a little more time.

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#14 of 28 Old 07-19-2012, 08:35 AM
 
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#15 of 28 Old 07-19-2012, 09:18 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Lisa85 View Post

Thanks Miranda.  You verbalized a lot of things I was thinking but wasn't quite able to put into words.  Dh's concern is that she shouldn't be allowed to quit because something is "too hard". I agree, to a point but I also feel that if I make her commit to something at her age she can't possibly understand or comprehend even though she greatly dislikes it, she will do what I did and become afraid of trying anything new for fear of being stuck with it.   I always had to do the full year/season/what-have-you of any activity because my parents "didn't like quitters".   While there is something to be said about perseverance and determination, there isn't anything wrong with stopping something you don't care for.  There were lots of activities I tried that I did not enjoy nor was I good at.  Soccer was one, I can look back and laugh at it now.  I'm not aggressive, I'm not a fast runner, and I don't have much coordination so obviously soccer was not my thing.   But yet I had to do the entire season and I'm still bitter about it!

 

 

I am with you.

 

I don't want my kids to give up on something they like or need because they hit a bumpy patch - or because part of it is "hard."

 

I have no issues with them giving up on something they do not like or need, which they might also find "too hard."

 

There are exception to the above, and expectations shift as they get older, but the above is it in a nutshell.

 

A lot of it comes down to internal versus external motivation.  If they are internally motivated to do an activity, I expect, with support, them to work through difficult patches.  If the expectation to do something, though, comes largely from outside, then I don't think it is reasonable to expect  them to "work hard" for something they did not choose.

 

School is messy, because sometimes kids have to go (and some of them do not want to be there, even after adjustment periods).  You are lucky you have choices with regards to education smile.gif

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#16 of 28 Old 07-19-2012, 11:43 AM
 
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I wanted to add that when you set the time frame for re-evaluating make sure you make it clear to her that you won't be deciding before then and she needs to have an open mind and not decide before then, too. There are sure to be good days and bad days at school just like there are at home and one bad day at school (or one good day) doesn't mean that all the other days are going to be the same. She needs to give it some time.

 

My dd1 she can be super quick to voice a negative opinion. She will swear she hates cherries, for example, and will never ever like them and will never try them or even touch them and will say "ewww gross" when she sees one and will totally paint herself into a corner about how much she hates them if given enough paint and a brush. I'm always having to back her down a little and say, well people's tastes change over time and you might not be in the mood to try cherries today, but maybe another day you will decide to give them a try. So, of course, now she loves them. But if I let her she would easily have written that off as something she would never ever like. 

 

School can be the same way, and sometimes it's about finding the right fit, too. She has super fond memories of her K-4th grade school which was a crunchy private school. It was not all roses, though, and she had a lot of hard days and a lot of separation anxiety in the early years (that was pervasive for her and not just a school thing). This past year she was at public school and she had some really good days and some hard patches. Overall I think she had a positive experience and made a lot of new friends, but with her anxiety issues we're choosing a small charter school next year for middle school. I really liked our local middle school, but it's big and pretty regimented in a public school way and I think a smaller environment with some structure, but more flexibility will be a better fit for my dd1. 

 

We're really all about the fit. If you do choose to go back to homeschooling I think the PPs comments about being sure to frame that positively are spot on. We're choosing this charter because we think it will be a good fit for dd1 not because we don't think she could make it at regular public middle school, but because this option suits her better. Kids, even little kids, understand about fit. Dad's shoes fit him and Mom's shoes fit her, and dd's shoes fit dd. Dd's friend's shoes fit the friend and they may not fit dd. One school might fit one kid and another school might fit another kid and homeschool might fit another. Teachers are sometimes not a good fit too with all students too. A teacher that is great for one student may not click with another. Parents have to work at school sometimes to find the best fit for their kid—especially if you have a quirky kid like my dd1.

 

So, you need to decide if you want to work at making school work for your dd1. It may be she just needs more time. That's the first thing I would try. I would also try to foster friendships in the classroom. If you can get contact info for a child she likes and set up a play date that can go a really long way to easing the transition. I'd also keep an eye on how well the teacher is meshing with my kid. Try to work with the teacher to make school fun for dd1. Be very wary of setting up an adversarial relationship with the teacher and administration. Occasionally a child will be moved to another classroom for a better fit. It doesn't often happen, but they did move a boy out of my dd2's 2nd grade class this year and into the other class. 

 

It may be that you decide it's not worth it to work at making school work this year, but as with cherries and our tastes, things can change and what is not a good fit right now might be a good fit another year. Try to leave that door open. 

 

Best of luck!

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#17 of 28 Old 07-19-2012, 12:32 PM
 
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It may be that you decide it's not worth it to work at making school work this year, but as with cherries and our tastes, things can change and what is not a good fit right now might be a good fit another year. Try to leave that door open. 

 

 

I agree, and I recommend being extremely cautious in how you frame this with her -- whether she stays or if she leaves.

 

At some point, she is mostly likely going to return to school. Very, very few homeschoolers homeschool the whole way through. And even they usually end up attending college.

 

This isn't like soccer. Lots of people don't play soccer. It's not a big deal to decide you just aren't a soccer person. Deciding you aren't a school person, or worse, that you CANT do school, is a much bigger deal.

 

Also, sometimes families have situations change and can no longer continue to homeschool. There's no knowing when she will need to re-enter school. Part of the reason my kids entered school is because I was having some problems and they NEEDED to go to school. I can't imagine adding to the difficult situation a child who had already decided they weren't a school person or they couldn't do school.

 

Have you talked to the teacher yet? Set up a conference? That would be my advice about what to do next. I would not recommend pulling your DD out without first sitting down with her and teacher and just talking.


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#18 of 28 Old 07-19-2012, 03:31 PM
 
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Aren't you a homeschooler? The OPer posted the exact same question on both this board and the Learning At Home board, one would assume to get the perspective of both people with kids in school and people who homeschool. Why come here to answer?

 

I read both threads, and a lot of answers are the same. Two weeks isn't enough time to tell if it will work out, and talk to the teacher.

I was not aware that she posted it on both boards.  At any rate, I would have put the same answer there.  It seems less a question about school and more a question about staying in things that a child asks for and then doesn't like.  It's often difficult for one or both parent and child.

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#19 of 28 Old 07-19-2012, 04:06 PM
 
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My kids will be schooled at school, i am very keen on the idea of homeschooling, but i have a HN/very bright DD6, a very bright DD2 and another baby on the way and unfortunately i just have to admit to myself that i lack the personal resources to teach them all at the level they need simultaneously.  I have friends who do it beautifully, but then i have friends who have wonderfully clean houses and mine looks like there's been a street fight in a toy shop/thrift store where all the spectators were eating cheerios most of the time...anyway...

 

My eldest DD started school last August (having never attended preschool, nursery or any other non-mama form of pre-school institution - and yes, i DO consider myself an institution! LMAO!).

 

She was the only child in her class who hadn't been in nursery for at least one year, though most had been for 2 and about a third of the class has been in some form of non-domestic childcare setting since pre-6months of age.

 

The first 2.5 weeks she went half days 9am-12.30pm, then it was 9am-3.15pm.  I would say it took her until October break (mid-October - i'm in the UK sorry if all this is just confusing, i'm sure our school years work slightly differently) to get used to the newness of the routines surrounding school, and it wasn't until AFTER she'd become used to those routines that she began to discover whether she really liked school or not and if so/not what sorts of things it was that she liked/didn't.  The things she hated were 

 

Getting up at the same time every day (she often got up EARLIER than necessary before she started school so it was the scheduling she disliked, not the hour itself).

 

Having to get changed out of her uniform when she got home every day.

 

That there were lots of rules and that she didn't know them until she learned them!  That was a big one for her - she is conscientious (not with me, but out of the home!) and it bothered her that she might break a rule she was unaware of.

 

Assemblies - tied in with the belief that she might have broken a rule she was worried she'd be called on it during an assembly (i checked with the school they NEVER NEVER deal with discipline issues at assembly except to reward excellent behaviour which happened to her twice this year)

 

Not knowing if she'd like her lunch (which she ordered every morning but still didn't know exactly what to expect, to combat that we did packed lunches with fun bento when i had the energy and eventually she had enough school lunches under her belt (ha ha) to know what they meant by "fish" or "sausage" or "pizza".

 

She had various social issues.  No actual bullying, but a child who is very keen on her, possessive and won't take "no" for an answer, being a group of 3 girls which was an awkward number always leaving someone out, one mean girl who was mean to everyone, not just DD.  I talked to the school about all these issues as soon as she told me and they acted swiftly and fairly to improve things.

 

Overall she had a good year and isn't dreading next year too much (she is worried about having a new teacher but i know within a week she'll be familiar with the teacher and that'll be over with) and is excited about seeing the friends who were away all summer.  We're going for a playdate with a classmate tomorrow morning and she is looking forward to it thoroughly.

 

So i would say it is going to take a few MONTHS before your DD will really know if she likes school or not.  2 weeks in my DD was telling me she wanted to pull out and go to nursery instead.  4 weeks in she was asking could she not just be homeschooled like xx's kids.  It took a number of months for her to really feel comfortable enough to judge properly how she felt overall.

 

I did wonder, reading your post, if the OTHER changes (the "back to normal" changes) could wait a while.  School is a LOT for them to take on, and taking a shower every other night, grabbing clothes in the morning (or someone else doing the laying out for her), a bit of tv if she's used to it, isn't going to make much difference if it's only for a few more months, and it might just make her feel like she's got enough of HER "normal" to decompress in after school, which might make it easier for all of you.

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#20 of 28 Old 07-20-2012, 03:25 AM
 
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K to 2nd grade every child has quite an adjustment to get through the whole first month. during the start of the school year we moms have hung around and compared notes as to how we are all surviving tired cranky unhappy kids. 

 

2nd grade is the hump. 3rd grade is much better as kids look forward to connecting back with their friends. 

 

i think in your case its the same as going back after a long vacation. its hard on the kids 

 

however finding a friend or a great teacher really helps a lot.

 

also unless you see your child really down from school - i wouldnt buy their reaction yet. jjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj


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#21 of 28 Old 07-20-2012, 12:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone for the responses.  I have talked with her teacher but her teacher tells me that she hasn't really noticed anything.  I'm not surprised as she is in a large class (dd said 29 kids, who knows for sure) and there just hasn't been enough time for her teacher to gauge what is "normal" for each child.  She didn't really have any ideas on how to help her adjust, just that it's "normal".  I set up a time to come visit the classroom in action.  I hope that I can kind of sneak in without dd1 realizing it and observe a bit before dd1 realizes I am there. I am committed to homeschooling, if that's what she needs.  Yes, things can change and homeschooling may no longer work for us for whatever reason but there are lots of things that *could* change in our lives.   I feel that there are enough resources out there that if one is dedicated to homeschooling, it can generally be done.  Either online, with another homeschooling family, dual enrollment, etc.

 

I'm fairly certain that we are going to pull her at the end of next week.  While she may adjust, it's doubtful to me that she will ever truly enjoy it at this stage in her life.  We have options now and while they may not last, for the forseeable future it works for us.   I see that most won't agree but it's what works for us:)

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#22 of 28 Old 07-20-2012, 06:44 PM
 
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Homeschooling is a great option if it works for your family. I would urge you to leave the door open for school at a later date, though. Y'know, "Seems like homeschooling might be a better fit for you right now, dd, so let's do that for now. Maybe later we'll decide to go to school again."


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#23 of 28 Old 07-20-2012, 10:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Lisa85 View Post

Thanks everyone for the responses.  I have talked with her teacher but her teacher tells me that she hasn't really noticed anything.  I'm not surprised as she is in a large class (dd said 29 kids, who knows for sure) and there just hasn't been enough time for her teacher to gauge what is "normal" for each child.  She didn't really have any ideas on how to help her adjust, just that it's "normal". 

honestly you are asking too much for a teacher to gauge all that when it has just been over a week. she cant have any ideas of how to help her adjust is coz she just doesnt have the time when it might just work itself out within a month. in most cases it does. that is why you have to go with your gut feeling of how you feel your dd is doing. 

 

and first grade is a much harder class to adjust to, coz the fun of K is no longer there any more and its more work. but then it keeps building up on that. whenever you do decide to send her back to school make sure you dont do it at 4th grade. that's another hard grade for kids to sit through. 


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#24 of 28 Old 07-22-2012, 02:49 PM
 
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Did you set up a conference for your dd and you to meet with the teacher?

As far as homeschooling always being an option, that's just not true. I've know families who've stopped homeschooling because of things like death of a parent, dad having an affair, mental breakdown of a parent, extreme financial problems, and extreme health problems of another family member.

Leaving the door open is a bit like buying life insurance. You have no way of knowing what the next 12 years will bring.

Also, homeschooling can mask special needs. You havent figured out why she isn't coping at school, so it raises the chances that you are missing information about her. Most kids can make this transition (with support) and you've decided she can't. One of my kids has sn, and if we didn't have a good school option for her, I would hs her, but I would do a better job of it by knowing what is going on with her.
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#25 of 28 Old 07-22-2012, 03:46 PM
 
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Most kids can make this transition (with support) and you've decided she can't. 

 

No, I don't think that's what's been decided. I think what's been decided is that she neither wants nor needs to make the transition at this point. Whether she can or not isn't something one can decide after a couple of weeks.

 

Miranda


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#26 of 28 Old 07-22-2012, 07:14 PM
 
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No, I don't think that's what's been decided. I think what's been decided is that she neither wants nor needs to make the transition at this point. Whether she can or not isn't something one can decide after a couple of weeks.

 

Miranda

That's cool.  So maybe OP can post in the homeschooling thread from now on, where she won't get any opinions outside of pure homeschooling support, since we've all be shot down here on this end for talking about our own experiences with schooling outside the home. No disrespect, but it is the same frustration I feel (as a vegan/vegetarian) when meat-eaters come to the veg'n forum and tell people that they just need to eat meat because that is what is best for them.  Honestly, I don't go into the homeschooling forum with the intent of giving lectures.  I would hope that it is reciprocal.

 

Edited to say that I don't have any problem with homeschooling and I fully support it when people choose to do it.  I guess what bristles me is that when advice is asked on other options, people come in to dismiss it.  Sorry, just bugs me and feels like no matter how one tries to state the positives or the struggles, it is invalidated.  I know it is a two-way street in a lot of respects.  But I see the defensiveness a lot here where there is no need to be defensive.


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#27 of 28 Old 07-23-2012, 07:16 AM
 
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I think it just sounds like Lisa85 doesn't want to make her child go to school unless she's excited and happy about it. She has homeschooling as a comfortable back up and she seems to enjoy that as a parent and says her dd1 would be happier doing that. I don't know if it will cause problems with the dd2 or not. 

 

I know for my kids if I were to homeschool one I'd have to homeschool both of them even though my dd2 is much more social and has an easier time of it at school. She would feel super left out if she had to go to school and didn't get to stay home with dd1 and there would be a lot of drama. 

 

School is hard because you can't really do it partway very easily in most places. Our compromise for dd1 is going to be a small charter school next year. If it's dance class or something it's easy enough to pay by the month and if the child doesn't like it after a month to cut your losses and drop the class and it's no big deal. It's a little trickier with school, though.

 

OP, I think if you want to make school work for your dd1 there are a lot of strategies you could try that you haven't explored fully, but I do think homeschooling can be a great option for a lot of families.

 

I don't think homeschooling would be great for my dd1, however, as it would be an avoidance behavior for her anxieties and would only serve to exacerbate them. She is much better off working through her problems and knowing she can face up to her fears and can be part of a bigger group. Separation anxiety is very developmentally appropriate even in first grade, IMO. My dd1 as a rising 6th grader is still struggling with sep anxiety at times and it's not so much okay at that age and is something that she needs to get through. She was super excited to go to art camp this morning, though, and I think her anxiety levels have actually lessened by being in camp this past week and this week. Allowing her to avoid something she's anxious about only reinforces her anxiety by sending her the message that, "Whew, good thing you avoided that. It was really scary and dangerous. You'll be safe here at home," when that is not what I want for her. I want her to be confident and self-assured and ready to try new things in life. If any of this rings true for your daughter do try to make sure to let her know that just because that particular school and that particular teacher and that particular class is not a "good fit" right now doesn't mean that all school is scary and there may come a time in the future when she would like to try it again and it might be best for the family then, too. I'd just encourage you to not let her internalize the message that school is not for her and is to be avoided. 

 

Best of luck in your journey!


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#28 of 28 Old 08-23-2012, 01:07 PM
 
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HSers and Learning at School... can't we all just get along?  Geez.  It really isn't black and white.  I am an HSer, but that doesn't mean that my child necessarily is, or thrives at home.  What can you do?

OP:  we are having a rough transition, too.  My 2nd grader was doing GREAT, but today would not get out of the car.  literally.  I waited until the tardy bell. She tearily shook her head no and froze like a deer in the headlights.  The horrible lady in the office (when I went in to report her tardy/absent) acted like I was some sort of failure for not being able to extract her from the vehicle.  What the heck, call the fire department, get the jaws of life.

 

I am not going to DRAG my child into school.  I sat in the parking lot with her for an hour.  I guess I have to figure out what's going on.  I want her to go to school, since she decided to try it this year.  I feel like she needs to go since she is enrolled.  Would it have been healthy for her mentally if I would have wheeled her in on the hand-truck dolly from the cafeteria storage room?  I am not sure.  

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