child doens't want to go to school--i don't want to make him, but...... - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 29 Old 12-06-2007, 02:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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ok, my son is resisting montessori right now. he is doing great. has a great time, is quite smart, happy...but then some days he just refuses to go. says he is tired, but won't nap. he gets enough sleep, so i don't think he his tired...anyway, he is four...and i just don't know what to do? i don't think it is ok for him to not go when ever he wants. can a four year old be given the choice....either you go EVERY DAY, or you will not go at all? i don't really want to homeschool, but i WILL, anything for it all to work out. i do want to homeschool, actually, but don't know if i am confident enought to believe he is getting educated....

i guess my question is....should i say, you have to go everyday if you are going to commit, or you will not go at all? is that reasonable?
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#2 of 29 Old 12-06-2007, 02:56 PM
 
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Well he is 4, he doesn't need to do anything other than explore and play. And no I wouldn't make a 4 year old commit to go everyday. They really don't have the grasp of time to understand what that means to commit to going every day anyway.
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#3 of 29 Old 12-06-2007, 03:11 PM
 
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Honestly I would not make him go every day, either. He might not be read for 5 days/week. Maybe if he was only going every other day (3 days/wk)?

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#4 of 29 Old 12-06-2007, 03:28 PM
 
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I have never been a believer in making a young child decide on a commitment to do anything on a regular basis. Their emotional/physical/mental development is simply not sufficient to be able to do that in any reasonable way. I wouldn't put that burden on him - he's little more than a baby at this age.

It sounds as if he doesn't really want to go - or it very well may be something that just seems to him like something he'd like to do occasionally but doesn't care to do on a regular schedule, which is a very reasonable wish. But there's no real reason for a 4 year old to have to do anything but play at that age - and play isn't just a four letter word that refers to nothing of importance, but rather the driving force that nature has provided for young people to learn about their bodies, their immediate environment, their imagination, and to set a foundation for later learning and activities.

There are things I like to do, but I wouldn't want to have to do them every day - I don't have any reason to feel I need to make commitments for them. He probably doesn't have a clue why anyone would want him to do that - that makes no sense to him - but he does know when he wants to and when he doesn't, and the will to stand up for what he wants to do, which I personally think is great. There are adults who've never arrived there!

You can read up on homeschooling in some of the sources I've linked to in this post - getting started - they can help simplify your research without sending you into the overwhelm all over the Internet. I have no financial interest of any kind with any of the resources - it's just that I've found a few things over the years that I found can be helpful jumping off resources that are not trying to sell a bunch of useless stuff to people. Lillian

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#5 of 29 Old 12-06-2007, 03:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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GOOD GOD!!!!!! thank you all for your responses!!!!!!!!! i know this sounds nuts, but no one around me will admit this, the truth, which is so obvious.......he is only four, going to school every day is NUTS..hard, he just wants to play trains. so you're saying that he may eventually WANT TO GO everyday and not to worry about it right now?
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#6 of 29 Old 12-06-2007, 03:40 PM
 
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Can you ask about a three day program instead of five? Are you doing mornings or full day?

My four year old did 3 mornings a week and my 5 year old did mornings only kindergarten 5 days a week last year.

This age seems way to young to understand time or commitments in these ways. It sounds like what you are perceiving in your child is contentment and happiness in the montesorri environment but a bit of overwhelm at the amount he is currently away from you and/or facing the challenges of being on his own and socializing. Cutting down to a level that allows him to be in the environment but not be overwhelmed by it may be a good choice for this year.

As for homeschooling, this is a great time to be reading up on it and talking with homeschooling families in order to process whether this is a good choice for your family.
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#7 of 29 Old 12-06-2007, 04:40 PM
 
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so you're saying that he may eventually WANT TO GO everyday and not to worry about it right now?
Well...I think everyone is saying not to worry about it right now, but I'm not so sure anyone here is thinking he'll eventually want to go every day . Most children have their ups and downs, ins and outs, from one day to the next, about whether they want to go to school. Every day is an awful lot. But regardless, it's not something to worry about at this point. - Lillian

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#8 of 29 Old 12-06-2007, 08:54 PM
 
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For what it's worth, we just dropped down to one morning a week for Maya's preschool. We're now investigating homeschooling options. Maya has also been going to an "enrichment group" (I hadn't heard of them before) that is ROCKING MY WORLD. Maya also loves it, though she frequently would prefer staying home over anything.

I follow Maya's lead with it. I also, though, realized I was putting too much on her to decide it all. I made the decision to drop one of the preschool mornings when I felt her wish to not go was frequent enough, if that makes sense?

For us, I need to have time to do my paid work. I also need time for myself which happens far too infrequently. So, homeschooling only scares me because I worry she and I would end up just the two of us too much. I'm an introvert homebody, and I think she may be, too. So finding ways to ensure she's got places where she feels safe and has a great time is high on my list of priorities.

This is sort of random thoughts, but there's so much on my mind.

Listen to your child but don't expect the child to make the "big" decisions is my only advice. This forum (esp Lilian) simply ROCKS for all these questions, by the way. :-)

--Heather
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#9 of 29 Old 12-06-2007, 09:05 PM
 
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I have a 4 yo in Montessori 5 days/wk now, too. She is often saying she doesn't want to go. I understand. I feel bad making her go every day. Sometimes I am not able to let her stay home b/c of some reasons, but I totally don't buy that a 4 y/o *needs* to be in school 5 days/wk. Or even 1 day a week!
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#10 of 29 Old 12-06-2007, 09:07 PM
 
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With a 4yo, unless I needed the child care I'd let the child stay home or go in late any day that he or she wasn't up to it.

Ruth, single mommy to 3 quasi-adults
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#11 of 29 Old 12-06-2007, 09:13 PM
 
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this was one of the reasons we pulled our 3yo from pre-school.

they had this emphasis that on PREPARING THEM FOR KINDERGARTEN (said in a deep booming voice) that included the fact that they *need* to learn that they have to go every day and they can't just wake up and say, "i don't feel like going to school today."


i was like, "are you kidding me?!?!?"

i went to public school but my mom totally let me stay home when i didn't feel like going to school. of course, i was a total nerd and loved school so i rarely used that option but i knew it was there if i needed it.

anyhoo, i guess maybe that explains why i'm over here browsing topics in homeschooling

eh. who needs a signature?
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#12 of 29 Old 12-06-2007, 10:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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so....i just talked to the teacher for an hour on the phone. she was really surprised, because she said my son is really happy at school. She suggested that i could come along with my 2 year old any and every day. i'm feeling like that may be a good idea. she also offered me a job?! which was kind of nice! Maybe he would go everyday if i was there too, and his brother? we will see.

about 3 days, there is only a 5 day program. mornings 9-12 so i could pull him out and put him in another program at another school. which i may do if this going with him thing doesn't work.

we shall see--tomorrow morning! i'm not looking forward to it, but am looking forward to resolving this one way or another!

thanks everyone:
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#13 of 29 Old 12-07-2007, 12:49 AM
 
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so....i just talked to the teacher for an hour on the phone. she was really surprised, because she said my son is really happy at school.
I have to wonder if a teacher really has way of knowing what a child is feeling when he seems to be just going along with the program and not announcing that he doesn't want to be there. She may be right - or she may just not have all the pieces of the puzzle available for her to see. Children don't necessarily go around making all their feelings available to everyone, and they, like anyone of any age, can have a complexity of feelings that are not always consistent. In fact, I just came home early from a big "holiday gala" party, and I doubt very much that anyone I was in contact with there would know I was just waiting to slip out at the most convenient time. I smiled, I laughed, I ate the goodies and engaged in the little snippets of conversation people do at those sorts of things - but that doesn't mean I was enjoying myself. Children are just like the rest of us - they're not so one dimensional. Lillian
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#14 of 29 Old 12-07-2007, 01:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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but we don't enjoy doing work all the time......and that's something you have to do, whether it is in a factory, a professional, or chopping wood and carrying water......right?????? sometimes, we don't want to do it, but we do......because.....good things do come out of it, right?
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#15 of 29 Old 12-07-2007, 04:37 PM
 
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but we don't enjoy doing work all the time......and that's something you have to do, whether it is in a factory, a professional, or chopping wood and carrying water......right?????? sometimes, we don't want to do it, but we do......because.....good things do come out of it, right?
Absolutely! There is work that just needs to be done! True. And when you're an adult trying to make a living for yourself, or for yourself and a family, you need to do whatever that requires, whether it's punching in at a workplace every day, or getting up and going about your work at home or out in the community or whatever. Or even if you're just a college student trying to work through all your classes toward a degree or just a particular education you want or need - there's lots of work that needs to be done. Lots of good things can and do come from any of that.

However...what's that got to do with a young child having to go to a place every day that isn't really necessary? In fact, he could find a whole lot of grownups right here in this forum who'd agree with him that isn't necessary. I've always thought that argument about having to learn to do things we might not want to do wears a little thin when it's applied to that sort of thing. Sorry - Lillian
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#16 of 29 Old 12-07-2007, 05:09 PM
 
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Our local Montessori school sounds a lot like yours; 5 mornings/wk at minimum. (Although when I asked, DS1 teachers were willing to do 4 mornings/wk, skipping Wednesday) I did a phase in period for 2 weeks where I was in the classroom also, to help with the transition.

We removed our 4yo DS from Montessori earlier this year.
He had some days that were 'okay', or even 'good' according to the teachers, but he expressed major anxiety and restlessness about going. He wanted to be with me, his brother and our caregiver. It was starting to affect sleep (which is another huge issue unto itself) and behavioral things cropped up.

I like this Montessori. Ours is nothing like what Holt describes of typical schooling, and frankly, the teachers are working SO HARD to meet the needs of each child - it is an amazing environment.

BUT....it was still not the right thing for our son.

He is a much happier, even more confident and secure child now. I know we did the right thing, despite some ego bruising on my part. I've done so much reading and soul searching, it is an incredible journey.

Sounds like you have some excellent options in front of you; listen to yourself, and of course, to what your son is saying, and NOT saying directly.

GL.
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#17 of 29 Old 12-08-2007, 09:10 PM
 
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but we don't enjoy doing work all the time......and that's something you have to do, whether it is in a factory, a professional, or chopping wood and carrying water......right?????? sometimes, we don't want to do it, but we do......because.....good things do come out of it, right?
Yes, we CHOOSE to do some things we may not enjoy in themselves, because we enjoy the result. People may say, "I have to go to work" or "I have to take out the garbage" -- but really they're CHOOSING that course of action because they know they'll be happier with the results of doing those things, than they would be having no money, no home, no food, or living with the stink of weeks of piled-up, rotting garbage.

I think small children sometimes choose to do things that aren't intrinsically fun, such as maybe clearing their artwork off the table so they can eat a snack there. Or picking up the toys off the living room floor so Daddy'll be surprised when he walks in the door. But then again, some children really enjoy washing tables. And some children find it fun to scramble around getting all the toys picked up as fast as they can.

So the lines are kind of blurred. Just as I may start some cleaning task because I'd like to see my bedroom floor, then start enjoying it in spite of myself.

But a person CHOOSING to do a not-so-fun task to get a desired result, is a far cry from a person being MADE to do the task.

Best wishes to you and your son on this journey!

Susan -- married WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005), who started out unschooling and have now embarked on the public school adventure.
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#18 of 29 Old 12-08-2007, 09:13 PM
 
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Yes, we CHOOSE to do some things we may not enjoy in themselves, because we enjoy the result. People may say, "I have to go to work" or "I have to take out the garbage" -- but really they're CHOOSING that course of action because they know they'll be happier with the results of doing those things, than they would be having no money, no home, no food, or living with the stink of weeks of piled-up, rotting garbage.

I think small children sometimes choose to do things that aren't intrinsically fun, such as maybe clearing their artwork off the table so they can eat a snack there. Or picking up the toys off the living room floor so Daddy'll be surprised when he walks in the door. But then again, some children really enjoy washing tables. And some children find it fun to scramble around getting all the toys picked up as fast as they can.

So the lines are kind of blurred. Just as I may start some cleaning task because I'd like to see my bedroom floor, then start enjoying it in spite of myself.

But a person CHOOSING to do a not-so-fun task to get a desired result, is a far cry from a person being MADE to do the task.

Best wishes to you and your son on this journey!

Loved your reasoning

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#19 of 29 Old 12-08-2007, 09:48 PM
 
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Could it just be his 'thing' to say? My ds often say, I don't want to go to school today. But we get up & get dressed & eat breakfast, and then he is all ready for the day, including going to school. Oh, he is 4 as well. He is just sometimes a bit of a grump in the mornings.

I'd tend to believe the teacher if she says she feels he is happy there. It's several months into the school year, and teachers really get to know their students by now, and can usually tell if they don't want to be there, or are just doing the walk. I've wondered the same thing to my son's teacher- she says he LOVES being there, always volunteering in circle time, wants to do one on one work first, just genuinely enjoys it. Yet sometimes when asked he says no I hate school. He just likes to be contrary sometimes. I think it is his 4yo boy personality, lol.

Now, if it were a case of major fits in the morning, sobbing, hanging on me, or otherwise unusually clingy, and I could observe that he REALLY wasn't happy about going to school, instead of morning grumps and being contrary just cause, I would reevaluate the situation.
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#20 of 29 Old 12-10-2007, 10:09 AM
 
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Hi there!

My son is now 7 and now homeschooled , but last year when he was 5/6 he was in a Waldorf Kindergarten class. He had gone to pre K and K at another Waldorf school in another state and loved it, we loved it too, and though I had always toyed with the idea of homeschooling, this school really met everyone's needs. So, here we were, in a new state, and we figured we'd continue with Waldorf. Well, Ds went happily for a few months, but then he started saying he didn't want to go. Dh and I didn't really know what to do. Ds would express that he didn't want to go, "because I want to stay home with my little brother" and things like this, never "because I dont' like it" or "because I don't like Miss M". So, dh and I figured we needed to honor this, especially since we just moved, and Ds probably needed to-reground himself. We took him down from 5 , 1/2 days/wk to 3 (luckily the school did have that option) and for a few wks his deisre to stay home was reduced, but then, it started up again. Whenever I'd talk to the teacher she'd always say what a joy he was to have in class, and how happy he seemed......but still he didn't want to go. After feeling horrible one morning because I forced him to go.....We decided to pull him out. Never totally understanding exactly why he didn't want to go.

Well, after about 4-6 mo, Ds finally opened up, very randomly when we were driving past the old school. "Mom, Miss M was so mean. I really didn't like her." Admittedly, she had a very different style than his other teachers, and personally, she wasn't my favorite. But, during the thik of it, Ds always said he liked her, and he liked his friends, he just wanted to stay home. I never thought, because of all that was said to me, that he didn't want to go because there was actually a problem there....how could we have known?? I just think that when Ds was in the middle of it all either he didin't see what was making him feel like he didn't want to be there, or possibly he felt that there would be some reprecussion for him expresing his dislike of his teacher. I dunno.....but....I do know that he is so much happier now, we all are. He still talks fondly of his old school in our old home.....but never of the school where we live. I wish I had been able to come to the decision to pull him sooner. But, of course, all those things about "committment" and also the fact that we had already paid (we never did get the remainder of our money back got in the way.
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#21 of 29 Old 12-10-2007, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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hey everyone,
thanks a million for your responses. I'm really taking this all in, trying to figure it all out. the teacher said i could go all day everyday with my son...whatever i wanted to do to make it work. my son didn't want to go again today. i got him in there, but then he ran to me as i was leaving and clung to me and said i'm tired, i'm tired. but again, he got 12 hours of sleep last night. so then the teacher put out a few of the activities he liked because i asked her. he sat down with his friend and began work--i watched him and he didn't know i was there. he began playing really strange with this kid who is really hyper. my son is very serious usually, but he was acting really strange and silly and hyper which i've never seen. he kept trying to be serious, but the other kid kept making him act hyped up. when it was circle time he ran to the circle and participated. i left then, because i didn't want him to see me. i feel really strange about it all. everyone at the school mantains that they should go--even screaming. that they eventually settle down and enjoy themselves. the teacher mentioned that when kids go in at 5 or six, that they follow the teacher around and can't fit it and don't know what to do with themselves. i've taken into account all of your responses. i'm going to insist that he go this week. then, after christmas vacation i'll offer going to him again, and if he donesn't want to, we won't send him. this is all complicated more because there is a chance i could get an assistant teaching job at the school, which i want very much. i really would like to have my two boys in class while i'm down the hall. it seems nice. but........things don't seem to be working out that way. maybe i could pull him for the year and then try next year. we will see.
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#22 of 29 Old 12-10-2007, 02:37 PM
 
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about 3 days, there is only a 5 day program. mornings 9-12 so i could pull him out and put him in another program at another school. which i may do if this going with him thing doesn't work.
Could you just continue to pay for the option of going 5 days? That is what we do with our YMCA membership, we pay monthly and we go when we feel like it. Stay home when we don't want to go, for whatever reasons. Costs the same either way.


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#23 of 29 Old 12-12-2007, 05:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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hey everyone,
just wanted to say thanks for all of the feedback--we've taken him out and are going to homeschool. i'm really nervous about it, but after spending the day at the school yesterday with my son and the other children.......i saw what was going on. the energy in the room was very LOW. the teachers were staring off into space, children were fighting and talking meanly to each other. my son played the entire time, and didn't do any academic work. when i asked the teacher about it, they gave him a lesson (montessori method) and had no idea what he knew or what he didn't, which made him feel embarased and nervous. ANYWAY>............it was silly.
so.......pray for me! i've never been more scared to do anything in my life--than homeschool. even my UC was nothing up against this.
blessings,
regan
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#24 of 29 Old 12-12-2007, 07:40 PM
 
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You just live your life and you learn as a byproduct of living a rich and engaged life.

Have fun. The learning happens.


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#25 of 29 Old 12-12-2007, 08:50 PM
 
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s mamma! You can do it!!!.....Your son will lead you and really, you just need to be there for the journey!
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#26 of 29 Old 12-12-2007, 09:12 PM
 
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hey everyone,
just wanted to say thanks for all of the feedback--we've taken him out and are going to homeschool. i'm really nervous about it, but after spending the day at the school yesterday with my son and the other children.......i saw what was going on. the energy in the room was very LOW. the teachers were staring off into space, children were fighting and talking meanly to each other. my son played the entire time, and didn't do any academic work. when i asked the teacher about it, they gave him a lesson (montessori method) and had no idea what he knew or what he didn't, which made him feel embarased and nervous. ANYWAY>............it was silly.
so.......pray for me! i've never been more scared to do anything in my life--than homeschool. even my UC was nothing up against this.
blessings,
regan
You will do GREAT! After all you obviously have your sons' best interest at heart and want him to enjoy learning & do well which sounds like a lot more than can be said for the school he was in sadly There's absolutely NO WAY you can do worse than what you described and he will be happy and learning without having to dread it. I would say good luck, but I'll say Have FUN instead!

Pagan  lovin'  WOW playing mum to 5 boys in the wonderful land of Oz ... FOR THE HORDE! hehehe
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#27 of 29 Old 12-13-2007, 01:29 AM
 
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i've never been more scared to do anything in my life--than homeschool. even my UC was nothing up against this.
Ohmygosh! You will get so over that! What fun you're going to have! - Lillian
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#28 of 29 Old 12-13-2007, 09:14 AM
 
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I'm happy for you guys!

Susan -- married WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005), who started out unschooling and have now embarked on the public school adventure.
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#29 of 29 Old 12-13-2007, 11:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thank You!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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