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My dd is almost 5 and for the first time since she was born I'm having doubts about homeschooling. There is a wonderful woman in the county who started a group for 4, 5, & 6 year olds who were going to homeschool, just to let them have a place to meet one another and direct some of their own learning. She really follows the leading of the kids (for instance the last three weeks have been focussed on apples, princess dress up, and spiders <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">). This was ten years ago that she began this and it has become a real establishment in the community and now it is mostly not homeschoolers although she hasn't changed how she teaches. It's three days a week, 8:30-11:30. DD is in class with 5 other little girls and is loving it. She keeps (if they want) the 6 YO's til 3:00 and the work on reading and do some older kids things. Well she told me she thought DD was ready for staying. I was resistant because even though she teaches like I would want her to (which is to say student led) it still seems like school. But DD is loving staying longer, loving learning to read, and I don't think she feels any pressure (which is one reason I want to homeschool). I know school wouldn't be this great but it's making me wonder.<br>
Also she is forming such great relationships with these little girls and another one at church and they will all start school in the fall. I don't want her to feel like the odd one out. How will she keep friends? We are in a small rural county where she is going to be the only one her age homeschooling. I feel like I am making it harder for her to have friends, but I also feel like she would wilt in a real school setting. I'm just struggling. This isn't how I thought it would be at all. Any advice would be REALLY appreciated.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">s We are five going on six and met in a coop preschool for 4/5. It was wonderful, simply wonderful. Well, that whole bunch of kids has started kindy together and we are homeschooling. It has it's own challenges. My son is thriving in the educational atmosphere life creates for us. Our school system was not a good match.<br><br>
Honestly, it is hard somedays to not have those friendships or hear him feel sad about missing his friends. We are working on meeting up with them as we had a nice regular thing going for the summer, but schedules seem hard to match up. We have no neighborhood kids, and despite frequent visits to the local library, pool and playgrounds really have not developed too many connections other than with the staff. Kids here are sparse when school is in session.<br><br>
But - we have found a wonderful homeschool network and learning how to immerse ourselves in it. I started a game group. Many opportunities I never dreamed possible have opened up. We do have to drive probably 1/2 hour - 45 min for many of these events. I do believe at this young age homeschooling is the best opportunity we can present our son with. He is enjoying life, learning at an amazing and intense rate that he would not have access to in a traditional school setting. He has lots of time to move his muscles and be in nature. This is the right fit for now. I do believe if he asks to go to school when he is a bit older, we will enroll him and see how it goes.<br><br>
Didn't mean for this to be so long but it is something I have struggled with - the decision to send him for the social aspects I do think my son craves. In the end, I could only listen to my heart. Best of luck with your decision.
 

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I'm curious if your daughter is asking you if she can go to school when her friends do? Also, I'm curious as to how many kids are in this preschool group. A typical PS setting would be VERY different, esp. if she is now in a small, intimate setting.<br><br>
Kids are so wonderfully flexible. Just because she is enjoying this part-time experience does not in any way indicate that she wouldn't thrive with you as well. You can always change your mind and send her if it's the right thing for your family. I think it would be more painful for everyone to get a false start and have you pull her out of a PS situation that she's not thriving in.<br><br>
Best wishes and let us know what you decide. . .
 

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<div style="font-style:italic;">Honestly, it is hard somedays to not have those friendships or hear him feel sad about missing his friends. We are working on meeting up with them as we had a nice regular thing going for the summer, but schedules seem hard to match up. We have no neighborhood kids, and despite frequent visits to the local library, pool and playgrounds really have not developed too many connections other than with the staff.</div>
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That's how it is for us too. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nod.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nod"> We live in the country so we have to drive in order to be around other homeschooler's. Then when we meet people we have to factor in our own schedule and their schedule and all homeschooling families we know have so many things scheduled each week as it is. ugh. It's just tough. Plus, I've found that a lot of HS kids keep to themselves (the older ones do anyway) and it's hard to get them to talk to each other. My 13 yr old is super shy and I can't force him to make a friend.<br><br>
You could always look for a group in your area that offers a co-op or field trips. We are part of a great co-op this year and so far we like it.
 

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That's all helpful. She has not started asking about public school and I don't think she will. She seems to understand (in her own almost 5YO kind of way) that there is a difference in what she is experiencing with the five other girls there and what school would be like. I guess I had just never though of hsing as a tradeoff. Everything I could see was good, you know? But I guess there is a down side (naive of me to think otherwise) but the good things about hsing for sure outweigh the negative. I'm just worrying as we get closer to the official not-going-to-school date and all dd's friends will be going.
 

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I'm not so sure that the "lack of socialization" this is actually a downside to HSing. Do kids need friends? Sure. Do they need to spend 7 hours a day with little to no supervision hanging with their friends? I don't think so. Like you said (and your daughter seems to realise on her own) what she is getting out of this group is very different from what she would get out of public school.<br><br>
I would start homeschooling as planned and if it doesn't work for either or both of you then you can re-examine your choices. Its not like she doesn't get to see these friends just because she isn't in school with them.
 

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Why not start some sort of regular playdate for the girls now, outside of the preschool? Even rotate one or two of the girls at a time so you can do it at home.<br><br>
That way once they start school, you can continue to invite them over, or meet someplace for playdates.<br><br>
I don't think spend all that much time playing with their friends in school. (at least not around here) I think they play more after school, weekends, and summer vacations, all of which you can arrange for your daughter to be included.<br><br>
I know this is a big worry, I think many of us share it. But really when you think how many days kids are in school vs how much time they are off, there will be plenty of time for our hs kids to socialize with kids who are in school.
 
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