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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am currently homeschooling and have a ds who will be in 3rd grade and dd who will be in 1st grade. The other day, dd told me she doesn't want to homeschool anymore, she wants to go to school. She said that she doesn't know what school is like since she has never been and she wants to try it out.

Dh thinks we should honor her choice. I am trying to convince her that school means getting up and out the door every single morning and that she would miss out on things that we do as a family, etc. I also think she would be bored stiff because she is reading at a "3rd grade level" and is 5.5 years old.

Traditional schooling goes against everything that I believe in and I am concerned that it will hamper her love for learning in the long run.

Has your dc ever asked to go to school? What would you do in this situation?
 

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Hmmmmm.... That is a tough one. On one hand I would like to honor her choice and let her try it out. Just b/c she starts the school year doesn't mean she would have to finish if she got bored or didn't like it. On the other I would also be concerned about the things she would encounter and have to deal with and the possibility of hampering her learning desire like you mentioned. I would imagine she would regain that though after awhile out of school. But she is only five and may want to go b/c her other friends are going. This has been an issue with my dd who would be starting Kindergarten this year. All her friends are going and so she wants to go to. It will probably get worse once school actually starts and she has to wait most of the day to play with her friends. I think if she was older as in 10-12 and she really wanted to go to see what it was like and had been talking about it for awhile I would consider it more seriously but at five I think I would have her wait and show her how much more fun it is to be at home and get to go to the park on nice days instead of being inside doing school work.

Not sure this helps much! Good luck with your daughter!

Andrea
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That does help. I am just trying to think this through and appreciate all opinions.

Ds has never asked to go to school, but I think it is because he went to kindergarten and part of first grade, and he knows how much he prefers being at home.

Dd's point is that she doesn't know which she prefers because she has never been to school. Which is a valid point. I just don't know that I want to give her that much choice at this time.
 

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My DS (6) asked to go to school this year - one morning after he saw his favorite neighbors heading off to school. My response was "sure, we'll look into it." Later I asked him why he wanted to go and it turned out he wanted to be with those kids (they go to a private Christian school - fine for others, but he would not go there if we were schooling outside our home). We made plans for a few more playdates with them and he was happy with homeschooling again (it helps that the oldest IS homeschooled and the others will be too).

I honored my promise though and looked into it - and decided it was not for us this year. I tried to look at it objectively as possible. I told him about my concerns and then worked with him to figure out how to get what he was *really* looking for. Point is, I let him know, sure you have the option to public school, but we need to make it a family decision. I don't want him to feel trapped in homeschooling, but, at this age, I want to have a big say in his schooling decisions.
 

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Is there a program there that offers a p/t school program? Here in my area there are a few options for homeschoolers through the public/charter schools. One is a one day a week program where they do enrichment activities (music, art, etc) but no academics. The other program is a 2-3 day a week thing where the parents determine what classes and how many days a week they want their kids to attend. It's more structured than the first one though. There are also a few religious charter schools that offer 2-3 day a week programs. All of these are free of cost.

My dd has decided she does not want to attend school (good!) but she wants to attend the one day a week thing because her friend goes to it. It is a full day of activities, recess, and lunch just like school, but the kids in her class are homeschooled. It takes place in a public school but they have their own wing.
 

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My dd wants to go to school but honestly? Our schools suck and I would be doing her a disservice by sending her and we tried it last year and she learned nothing but bad behavior and brought home cold after cold. At such a young age I don't think its really up to them what kind of education they get and in many school districts these days school is nothing more then free baby sitting. I would look into it but how would you feel if he wanted to stay in school? What if the school is not teaching up to par in your opinion? Yes you can go back to HS'ing but you may end up with a lot more grief about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quote:
Is there a program there that offers a p/t school program?
Yes, we do have a homeschooling program with our district that we are part of. Last year dd took 4.5 hours per week of classes. This year she will take 7.5 hours per week of classes (Spanish, chess, choir, art and music, and PE). I think it is the perfect compromise because they get to spend time with other kids and have teachers other than me. I reminded dd that she has her classes, but she says it isn't the same as school!

I'm sure that if I put her in school, I would not be happy with it. I'm sure that she would bring home all kinds of junk that I would not want in my household. I don't think that school is in her best interest, but I struggle with how to explain this to her. She is so persistent. And I fear that she will resent homeschooling in the long run.
 

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I also have a dd who will be starting the 1st grade this fall, and she is going to school because she wants to. I also have two high-schoolers that I'm homeschooling, also their choice. I feel that my children will learn best if they're learning in an environment of their own chosing, not one that I force onto them. If dd changes her mind and wants to homeschool, I'll pull her out of school then. Now as for my toddler.....
 

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Almost every school offers a day for a child to follow another child throughout the day.

I don't homeschool, but do let my kids do that so they can choose a school they will like.

With the new laws about No Child Left Behind, once your child is enrolled in a school, it can be quite difficult to get them back out if you have a 'bad' Principal.

I would let your dc do a one day visit and follow another kid around so they can see exactly what school is like, and then maybe find out if they are just craving more social time with friends, kwim?

My Aunt homeschooled and when her kids got older, they wanted the social time but not the hours and hours of schoolwork and she found tons of free park programs to send them to where they got to do art or just play at the park with other kids.

HTH
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies
With the new laws about No Child Left Behind, once your child is enrolled in a school, it can be quite difficult to get them back out if you have a 'bad' Principal.

I pulled my ds out of school this last January without any problem at all, we just had to sign a paper. I live in Michigan though, so it might be harder in other states.
 

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We just went through this with dd (5). She also hears her friends talking about school, and everyone asking her (at the store, librarians, etc...) will you be going to school next year? So she told us she wanted to go to school a couple of months ago. I told her that if she really wanted to try kindergarten at school we would try it. I was willing to do so because sometimes I worry that I am imposing hsing on her - it was a decision we made when she was an infant because we travel often as a family with my dh who travels for work. It has grown in importance to me for many other reasons, but I am an introvert by nature and dd is completely the opposite (very social). Also, my dad and step-mother are public school teachers, and while they support me as much as they can, they have voiced their doubts and worries about hsing. Okay to the point. Once we began explaining the changes that would have to be made - in particular going to be earlier in order to get up in time to get to school every day - dd changed her mind. Because she changed her mind so quickly, I don't think this was a real desire to go to school, it was just the lure of what she thinks school is (all day playtime with other kids). It can be hard to try to make the "right" decision when you want to do what's best for the child and you also want to honor her wishes as much as possible.

Tara
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by WAmommy
Yes, we do have a homeschooling program with our district that we are part of. Last year dd took 4.5 hours per week of classes. This year she will take 7.5 hours per week of classes...
I think there's an advantage here in that she knows a bit more about what she's asking for than, say, a child who's never been to school. If my child was clear on what school attendance would mean (getting up early every day, doing homework, following orders/directives of teachers, missing out on what we do during the day at home, etc. etc.) and still wanted to go, I'd let them. If they find it's not what they need/want, you can always return to homeschooling. (I don't understand why NCLB would have any effect on pulling a child out of school to hs either--can you elaborate, Mammaintheboonies?)

Has she been specific as to why this p/t arrangement isn't like REALLY going to school? Can she verbalize what it is she thinks she's missing?

When we pulled my second child from ps (she's only been to K) and she'd been home for a while, she sighed deeply one day and said, "You know what I reallllyyy miss about school?" (I held my breath, wondering where I'd failed.) She went on, "I miss the smell of paper and glue in the supply cabinet."
Now, it may not be as simple as that in your dd's case, but I've heard of kids who wanted to go to school so that they could get a lunchbox--or so they could ride the bus--or go to the cafeteria--or play on the playground equipment. So, maybe there is something you could work out with her.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by WAmommy
Has your dc ever asked to go to school? What would you do in this situation?
My dd, who is four, went through a phase of wanting to ride the the bus to "real school" to learn "real things." I took the opportunity to explain to her that, if she went to school, she would basically spend her day being told what to do by someone else. That was enough for her to decide she didn't want to go to school.

I'm assuming your dd is 6/7 years old. I would not allow a child that age to make the decision for several reasons: 1) I think school is damaging to kids and I don't think a child that age is old enough to understand that or understand why 2) it is my job to protect my child from damaging and harmful things 3) having a child in school alters the family's lifestyles in ways that I don't want to live with. When my child is old enough to take responsibility for getting up and getting to school unassisted and can take care of him/herself after school if I/we (the rest of the family) choose to be somewhere else when said child comes home from school, I would be more willing to consider allowing tha child to try school.

Namaste!
 

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I wouldn't let her. I'd explain to her what school is like and maybe do a day like public school. Rarely a school will let a child come "observe" for a day. Not many will allow it, but it's worth checking into. Some states allow part time enrollment.

Ani said she wanted to go to school. It turned out she wanted to go for lunch, recess, and testing (her autistic friend had just had developmental testing done to diagnose the autism). We talked about what school is really about (not lunch, recess, and testing!) and she decided she'd rather not go, particularly since she'd be put in first grade in the fall but is on a 4th+ level.
 

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My 11 yr old made a dramatic case and we said OK. But he was older than the OP's child. I am not sure I would let a much younger child decide. I'd want the child to spend time visiting the classroom first. It would also depend on the child and if their reasons were 'good and they knew what they were getting into. I can't see a 6 or 8 yr old totally comprehending all of that.

If I did send them, I would let them come home if they found they bit off more than they could chew.

It would also depend on the school in question. For a hell hole, I'd have to use my parental (dictatorial) veto power.
 

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Quote:
With the new laws about No Child Left Behind, once your child is enrolled in a school, it can be quite difficult to get them back out if you have a 'bad' Principal.
I'm a public school teacher, and that statement is soo not true. If you want to withdraw your kid from school, fill out the paperwork and go.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ~gilli~
I'm a public school teacher, and that statement is soo not true. If you want to withdraw your kid from school, fill out the paperwork and go.
That is why I said it depended on the Principal. I am a parent who was charged with Educational Neglect based on NCLB. I would not have said anything, if it was not based on truth.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Butter
Rarely a school will let a child come "observe" for a day. Not many will allow it, but it's worth checking into.
When I was school age I always visited schools first, and same with my children. 30 schools in 5 states, and I have never had a single school say they do not allow a day. They partner the child with a current student and then your child follows that student the whole day.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by WAmommy

Traditional schooling goes against everything that I believe in and I am concerned that it will hamper her love for learning in the long run.

Has your dc ever asked to go to school? What would you do in this situation?
There is a huge pressure on them at this age to go to school. It's what you're "supposed to do." My dd was insistent on going to school when it came time for Kindy because she heard so much about it from her peers. My family didn't exactly help either. She told me she didn't want to "fake school" anymore. She wanted to go to ride the school bus, go to real school and have recess with her new friends.

Where we were at the time, she didn't have a lot of friends her own age and we were pretty strapped. We did a lot of things, but there wasn't much variability and certainly no kids in the nieghborhood. I explained to her that school was much more than play time and recess, that she would have to ask to go to the bathroom, she'd be expected to listen to the teacher and that she would be away from home most of the day.

But I also told her that it was my decision.

I think we should honor our children's choices when we can, but this is one of those things that at age 5 or 6, remains a parental decision. It's like choosing to vax or circ, whether to go to church or eat certain foods. Education is so very important, and your concerns are so strong "Traditional schooling goes against everything that I believe in" that I think you should respect yourself enough to guide your family through this time with your focus staying on the big picture.

PS
Now my dd has a thing in her head that she never wants to go to school. I am as uncomfortable with that polarity as I was with the pressure that she wanted to go, for various reasons, but this is only a yyear's difference. She loves her life now and I think your dd will probably come around to it as well.

Maybe your dd thinks that by staying home, everything will stay the same?
 

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You know your child and you know the fit. You of course cannot know EXACTLY what will happen...but you can extrapolate far better than she can. There are on occassion those things that we as parents need to decide FOR our kids. My daughter SAYS she wants to go to first grade, but *I* know that she is a poor fit for the public school experience and that it would kill that love-of-learning thing she's got going on now, which is based on following curiousity to fruition rather than simply amassing knowledge (some kids really ARE interested in the type of learning that involves amassing knowledge...some kids THRIVE in public school).

I was faced with a 6yo that said she wanted to go to school. I told her no. I think that her understanding is so incomplete that she cannot be making this decision. It is like asking a child if they want a tattoo; however many times you tell them it cannot be washed off, at some point they will want to wash it off. You've got a level of perspective that she simply does not, at this point, have. If some time in the future you feel she is looking at it more clearly and asking to go to school, then I feel it would be more appropriate to "honor her wishes". Until then, it is about as important to "honor her wishes" re: going to school as it is to "honor her wishes" re: having ice cream for dinner every night. Kids simply don't always want what is best for them.
 
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