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DS just turned four. Lately he has been saying he doesn't want to have school at home, he wants to go to a "real" school. I know this is a common thing, but he's getting very upset about it, and this is really disturbing ! Today he had a friend who goes to preschool come over to play. When this friend left, DS was saying "he's old enough to go to real school, I want to go to school !" and was almost crying over it.<br><br>
We've tried to explain to him that going to school or not has nothing to do with being old enough, just that some kids go to school away from their parents and some have school at home. I don't want to say a bunch of negative things about school but I do try to make having school at home sound more fun because he gets to go do so many different things that would not be an option if he were spending his time in school. He is completely fixated on going to school though.<br><br>
I think what he wants is to feel like a big kid and feel independent. He also is an extreme extrovert with really big social needs which probably aren't being met. I am sad that he feels he is missing out on something. I want to give him ways to feel big and independent and get the social time he is craving. This is a challenge though. He is only recently potty-independent and still has occasional pee accidents. He is also very allergic to dairy and eggs, so I have to be very careful about any classes I enroll him in because so many of them have foods involved that are not safe for him. He is currently taking a a gymnastics class and a sports class that are food-free. Another concern I have is that he may have some attention issues (he is a chelation success story from sensory integration issues) and he has a very hard time getting through even a 45-minute sports class without being repeatedly scolded for not following rules, waiting for his turn, being quiet, etc, and has even been sent out of class on occasion. With all this going on, I don't feel that I can just enroll him and let him try out preschool. I don't want to set him up for a negative experience and I really don't think preschool would work out for him with the food issues and the potty issues and the attention/high energy issues. However I do want ways to give him the feeling of being big and independent and have his social needs met. How can I do this ? I don't know very many people with HS kids his age - they are mostly older.<br><br>
Does anyone have any ideas for helping him through this and meeting his needs ? Thanks !
 

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If he woke up in the morning and said he reeeeeallllllly wanted to eat nothing but chocolate chip cookies for breakfast, lunch and dinner (to the point of crying) would you feel bad about telling him no?<br><br>
I know how hard this is. I have a ds who recently turned 5 and is home as well. He has a whole group of friends starting off in Kindergarten at the local ps this upcoming Fall. It breaks my heart to see him feel left out of that. However, you know what's best for him. Nobody ever said following our mommy instincts was going to be easy..this is just one of those times when you need to make the decision that you know in your heart is best for him!<br><br>
Best wishes!
 

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my 8 year old says this from time to time too, mostly cause he wants to ride on the bus. So I told him someday we will go for a bus ride so he can see what its like and just avoided the other parts <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"><br><br>
They only want to go because they don't realize what school is really like. At least my son doesn't. I know he would hate it if he went and I know he would be picked on so I never feel bad about keeping him home even when he says he wants to go. Its hard to hear but you have to remember all they know of school is the dream they have in their head <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> which is nothing like what school is.
 

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My daughter has gone through this too just recently. Her cousins are in public school, and she wants to be like them...and to be honest i think she wants to experience a classroom, a teacher, and the big yellow bus, etc. i don't blame her really, as i remember the "idea" of those things being so exciting as i was getting ready for kindergarten. i told her that (and this is true for us) when she is older she can choose to go to public school if that is still her desire. right now, i am confident that i am doing what is best for her & our family. several years down the road (she's 5 now) i will allow her to have more input in where she wants to attend school, and we will allow her to try public school for a year and see what she thinks if she really wants that. having said that though, we live in a very small town and the schools are very small and very nice. but the elementary school session begins at 7:30AM and ends at 2:30PM!!! PLUS, they have homework!!! What?? IMHO that is way too much for a small child!! I know my dd would be drained completely from doing that day after day.<br><br>
as for now, she does have a say-so over how she wants to learn and topics that interest her, etc. last night we talked about what activities she would like to enroll in for next year -- karate? ballet? gymnastics? i'm trying to figure out what she likes and dislikes currently, so we can rearrange our schedule. i also set up a weekly class next year with a friend who also has a 5 year old little girl. we will do unit studies together.<br><br>
i know you probably feel a little bad, but just remind yourself that you are doing what you believe is the very best for your son.
 

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DS was like this until recently. Every day, all day, he would whine and go on about how he wants to go to school and ask why he couldn't go to school. It was easier to say he wasn't old enough yet since no one really talks about preschool to him. Since going to our homeschool group, *that* has become his school, his circle of friends, his thing to look forward to.<br><br>
Is there any homeschool group you could start getting involved in? This has done wonders for DS. If there is no group, start one up! That's what we did with another family. Maybe try to start one up for kids preschool aged. You may find more families than you expect. Plus with homeschooled kids, age isn't an issue. The 10 year olds will often play right alongside the 5 year olds, kids are kids, not segregated into age groups.
 

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What does school mean for him? At that age, a lot of kids think that school is all playtime with the other kids. One child I knew even thought it was all recess, and she really wanted to play on that brightly-colored playground. Perhaps if he knew that most of school was about following rules, and little play, then it might dampen his enthusiasm. In other words, tell him about the harsh reality that a lot of children experience directly in the first weeks of school. Boys especially don't get too excited about the prospect of sitting still in a chair all day, and punishment if they don't.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>AllieFaye</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7966791"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">What does school mean for him? At that age, a lot of kids think that school is all playtime with the other kids. One child I knew even thought it was all recess, and she really wanted to play on that brightly-colored playground. Perhaps if he knew that most of school was about following rules, and little play, then it might dampen his enthusiasm. In other words, tell him about the harsh reality that a lot of children experience directly in the first weeks of school. Boys especially don't get too excited about the prospect of sitting still in a chair all day, and punishment if they don't.</div>
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This pretty much what I was going to say. Another thing I would add is that, since you think his is wanting the "big kid" aspect of school, maybe you can give him some of the things he would have in PS at home to give him some ownership. Things like a backpack for his books and crayons, a desk space, etc. Maybe you can ask him what HE thinks goes on in PS and then try and recreate some of those things at home. Kids still have a very fantastic view of PS at that age. They haven't realize the realities of it yet. Giving him some of those "fantasies" might be fun for everyone!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>bwylde</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7966742"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Is there any homeschool group you could start getting involved in? This has done wonders for DS. If there is no group, start one up!</div>
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Just what I was going to say! And if not a homeschool group something else like a class for art, sport etc that him and you can call his "art" school etc.<br>
My son (5 in Aug) has attention and has sensory issues as well, so we have not done alot of classes but he has not wanted to go to school. He has said he wants to ride the school bus, I say well we wont be riding a yellow school bus but we can ride the bus to the zoo! And of course he is excited about that. So you can change things around to be more exciting, it is not that hard with public school!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
Good luck mama!
 

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my dd is 4 and loves playing with other kids. The new baby is only 3 months so although she loves showing him his rattles and tickling him, it's not the same as having an older kid who can do things she can. She has some cousins to play with. I also take her to the playground a lot, especially in the middle of the afternoon when there's sure to be other kids to play with. We go to the library for story time and pretty soon we'll get her into dance classes.<br><br>
I know you don't want to be negative about public schooling but that doesn't mean you can't be honest. If I were in your shoes I would tell my dd that the only time they're allowed to really play with other kids in ps is during recess which is only what? 30 minutes out of the entire day? She will actually be able to play with other kids much more since she's staying at home. When we go to the playground we stay for an hour or two.<br><br>
I think of this issue sort of like the car seat. My dd went through a stage where she refused to get in the car seat. But it was for her own safety and whether she liked it or not she had to be buckled in before we could take off. I told her that too, that if we got in an accident and she wasn't in her seat she would get a really bad owie so I need her in her seat where she's safe. I think she understands that I'm not trying to be mean, I'm just trying to protect her.<br><br>
If my dd ever asks me to go to ps I will say no, just like I would say no to letting her sit in the front seat without a seat belt . As she gets older I will explain my reasons for homeschooling, just like I do with the car seat. I have concerns about bullies, teachers who could be child molesters (there have been two convicted in our district in the last couple years), other kids with parents who have who-knows what kind of morals as far as drugs, weapons, underage sex etc is concerned. I expect there will be a time when she will beg me to go to public school like everyone else and it will probably make me question whether I'm doing the right thing and I will feel badly that she is missing out on some of the good things that ps can provide, but it's just not worth the risks and ultimately I know she will get a better education at home with my individual attention instead of having a teacher who has to divide their attention and supervision between 30 students.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks everyone !<br><br>
I am officially in two homeschool groups but haven't been participating except in things like picnics, park days and open gym times because just about everything else that is planned is really more for older kids, and they are things I don't feel he would enjoy or get much out of and that he would probably be disruptive at those activities, because whenever he is in a group situation and he is bored, that's what he does. I posted a message to both of those groups about our situation, hoping to find someone who either has a child his age, or who maybe went through this when one of their children was this age. One lady has responded that she has a 4-yr old and that we could talk about some ideas at the next park day. And it sounds like there are some new members coming in to the group who have younger children as well. So I am hoping the homeschool group turns out to be a place where I can find some relationships for him, and perhaps plan some cooperative events as well. I think he would love that.<br><br>
I think he would really like to have more friends who are not younger than him, and that he would like to feel that he is participating in some activities that seem "important" where he would feel like a big kid doing important big kid things. I think that is what he imagines getting from school.<br><br>
I don't want to say too much that is negative about school, because I prefer to focus on the positive...but I did talk to him about how at home, if he is drawing or doing something else at the table, and he decides to stop and get up and do something else, he just gets up, and how at school, he would not be allowed to get up whenever he wanted to; he would have to sit at the table and keep doing that thing until the teacher said he could stop. He also would not be allowed to take breaks when he wants, talk when he wants, go to the bathroom when he wants, or play when he wants to. I feel a bit harsh telling him these things about school, even though they are all true. And I feel sad about bursting some fantasy he has going. He told me that he wanted to go to school because they have big slides and he though he would be able to play with his neighborhood friend all day, since his friend goes to school....he assumed they would be together and would be allowed to talk and play there. I told him he would not be allowed to talk to his friend much, or play together very much at school, but that we can make sure he and his friend get to play a lot at home during evenings and weekends. The last thing I told him was that both Mommy and Daddy went to school when we were his age, and that we really didn't like it and it made us feel sad, so we don't want him to have to do it, because we believe he can learn everything at home, and be happier and have more fun. I told him I would work very hard to find more big kids for him to do things with, and that he can keep taking the classes that are fun for him. He seems ok with this and really wants me to find those big kids for him already.... !<br><br>
Linda
 

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I remember being excited about the start of every school year ... all those new notebooks and pencils and crayons! Meeting new teachers! Getting new textbooks! Being in a class with new kids! But after a few days the newness wore off and it was back to the same boring routine.<br><br>
I like the idea of getting a few "schooly" things for him to have at home. Maybe a special shopping trip for school supplies? And he could have a special backpack with brand-new notebooks and pencils (or whatever) to do his schoolwork in, just like the other kids get. Maybe that would fulfill some of his interest in going to school like the big kids.
 

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I just dealt with this with my five year old. However, our circumstances are a bit different. She is in public preschool now (through the school system) and against my better judgement, she went to Kindy Roundup the other day...Her teacher called to ask me if it was OK if she took her in w/ the a few of the other kids in her class that were going. DH and I ended up saying OK, even though our first thought was no. The first thing DD said when I picked her up that day was "MOM! Can I go to kindergarten at Prairie (name of the school)?"<br><br>
I felt like someone punched me in the stomach. I talked to her more about it and realized that she thought Kindergarten was always going to be like roundup day. The teachers were wearing cowboy hats, they played games and everything was really "Fun" and laid back. No waiting in line, having to sit quietly, etc etc. After I told her that kindy was not going to be like "roundup" she understood. Then I asked her again if she wanted to do school at home she said yes.<br><br>
Honestly, I think it will pass for him. Find out what he expects from kindy then just tell him what it is really like...
 

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And that is one of the things that bugs me the most about school. It's like they warm kids up to it with the deception that it's going to be so much FUN, whee ! Preschool is probably pretty fun. Lots of crafts, playtime, songs, sitting on the floor, and if you need to cry everyone understands. Then kindergarten has more rules, and less free time, but it's still pretty fun and you spend lots of time on the floor. My own kindergarten teacher was pretty awesome.<br><br>
Then, first grade, WHAM ! Desks and chairs in rows. No freedom whatsoever. Sit and be quiet and do what you are told. And if you don't, you lose recess, which would have been your only freedom of the day. My own experience in 1976 was pretty harsh...no more floor time. No more songs. Our teacher opened the class with the pledge of allegiance and the Lord's prayer (yes, in a public school.) Her only motivational skills were humiliation and spanking. It was absolutely horrible. I had incredible anxiety about going to school. Nobody in my world seemed to question that this was how things should be. I was so disappointed.<br><br>
My second grade teacher was even worse, absolutely horrible. She made fun of me and called me names for "sucking my thumb" when I was really chewing my nail and had never sucked my thumb in my life. She took points off things for stupid reasons like coloring a hot dog pink instead of red. Again humiliation was the only motivation. And I was a victim of "new math". I gave up on math at age 7 because I couldn't get my head around a "negative" set of apples. Why the HELL were they teaching 2nd graders set theory ? And in second grade I remember a boy my age, only SEVEN ! being paddled by the principal in front of the entire cafeteria full of children. A teacher held him in place facing the whole school while he screamed and the principal beat him.<br><br>
In third grade I moved to an open classroom school. We were all grouped by ability. They used colors for the "team" names but everyone knew which teams were the slower ones and made fun of them appropriately. Anyone who talked out of turn had their name written down and read aloud in the cafeteria at lunch, and then had to spend the only recess sitting against a wall outside where everyone could see you while everyone else played. I had so much anxiety about having to do this that I completely shut down and stopped talking to anyone at school, ever. And, in a 99% white school, a little black girl was accused of stealing a Sucrets from the girl who sat next to her. They kept her in at recess. When we came in, she had her head down on her desk, sobbing. She was wearing a top that sort of laced up the back, and through the holes, I could see red welts all across her back. They had belted her. And I should add, all this happened in one of the TOP school districts in the state. If that's how the best schools work, I can't even imagine what the worst ones are like. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:<br><br>
After third grade it's all a blur. I do not have a single good memory of school. Neither does my DH. Obviously I have a lot of issues with my own memories of school. I realize things have probably changed - like hopefully they aren't allowed to BEAT THE CRAP out of children anymore. But to me, the fact that this was just the normal business of the system 30 years ago, and nobody questioned it, is horrifying. I personally think the system always has the potential to be a kid-eating monster. MIL is a retired teacher and feels the same way, because for 30 years saw many of the same types of things. She said if she had it to do over again, she would have homeschooled her own kids. So there is absolutely no way I am going to allow our kids to attend a public school. I do not want them to become part of the system.<br><br>
I don't want to burden him with all of these dark feelings of course - I would rather he just learn to think that being homeschooled is really cool. I realize he has nothing to compare it to. I hope we can come to some happy agreement about him learning at home, and that I can meet all of his needs this way. But I believe 100% that even if he doesn't feel 100% happy about learning outside of school, he will still be having a better experience than he would at school.<br><br>
Anyway, sorry for the emotional memory dump. That's just where I'm coming from, KWIM ? So when he gets upset about wanting to go to school, I just feel like AAAAAAUGHHHHH because I know he can't really understand and he's just a frustrated kid who is a little bored and lonely right now. But I can fix that....I WILL fix it.<br><br>
Linda<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div style="font-style:italic;">.... she thought Kindergarten was always going to be like roundup day. The teachers were wearing cowboy hats, they played games and everything was really "Fun" and laid back. No waiting in line, having to sit quietly, etc etc.</div>
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