A Question From A Reader

February 5, 2009 at 9:00 am (Uncategorized)

Feb. 4, 2009 – 1st Year Homeschooler

Posted by Anonymous (76.176.105.60)

I just started homeschooling this year for my 6th, 4th & 2nd graders.I really enjoy it-big change, but see good things already! My "Education Specialist" from the charter school suggested your blog b/c of my current concern.  I totally relate to why & what you want your kids to get out of homeschooling. I didn’t like what my kids were getting exposed to so early and concerned w/ 6th grade son who would start middle school. My current concern is that he is asking to return to his school next year w/ all his friends. He misses them and feels left out. He plays sports and sees those friends-but I’m searching for the right thing to do. It helps to hear someone else put into words what I want as well. I would love some input. Thanks-Shelly

Hi Shelly,

I have never been in the exact position you are in, because I have homeschooled my kids from the start.  But, here is what I think I would do in your position.

First off I would discuss with my husband if we are committed to homeschooling for the long run.  If the answer is yes I would sit my children down and tell them that we are now a committed homeschool family.  This isn’t something we are trying out, but something that we are committed to.  I would probably say something to the effect of "You all know we pulled you out of school to give homeschooling a try.  Dad and I have talked about it and we have committed ourselves to homeschooling you long term.  We feel that you all have made great progress with your learning and  that our family has grown stronger together since we brought you home.  I know there has been some discussion of whether or not you all would go back to school.  But, we just wanted to let you know that is not going to be happening.  We are committed to educating you at home because we belive it is what is best for you and for our family."  In my experience kids need to know that their parents are in charge.  Letting them have input as to where and how they will be educated actually makes them feel less secure.  Then once we had made this proclamation I would make some other changes. 

First off I would fully commit myself to finding friends for my kids that are homeschooled.  Of course kids are going to want to go back to school if that is where their friends are!  I would get involved in a homeschool group and sign up for as many activities as I could.  If the homeschool group didn’t offer what I wanted I would put together whatever classes my kids need and offer them to other homeschoolers.  Make homeschooling fun!!!!  If your children are loving learning at home with you they won’t be asking to go somehwere else.

Next I would cut way back on the interaction with the old friends.  Once you truly get into the swing of homeschooling you will probably find that having friends with a more similar lifestyle is more convienent. (We tend to socialize with friends during the day and have family time in the evenings when Dad is home.)  Plus one of the concerns you stated was that you were concerned about the influence.  So I would slowly and steadily cut it off!  (For instance I would let them continue to play sports, but not go out of my way to make sure they got on a team with all their public school friends.)  Soon enough I think you will find that the kids will naturally transition over to the new homeschool friends.  

Lastly, I would make sure that I wasn’t doing too much "schooling" during this transition time.  Being together 24/7 is new to your kids and they need time together to figure out the dynamics of the new relationships they have with each other and with you as their teacher.  Take the time to deschool them and get them aclimated to homeschooling!

I hope you find this helpful Shelly and I know that God will bless you for your efforts!

Happy Homeschooling,

Jamin

P.S.  This is very similar to another post I wrote last May when someone else asked a similar question.  To read that post and find links on deschooling click HERE

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3 Comments

  1. Anonymous said,

    i have a 9 & 10 y.o. we started in public school, but pulled out to unschool 2 yrs ago. my wife's biggest concern was socialization, but i worked on the playground & lunchroom at the kids' school. i saw a ton of learning by interaction, so i understood her worry. but i also saw this interaction was restricted to about 1/2 hr a day while at school. so it quickly became moot.

    my kiddos still can't wait–every day– for their friends to get home. i encourage play. we also decided to try and get a homeschoolers' "recess" going once or twice a week.

    we know older homeschoolers who play sports at public/private schools in our area. i wasn't a traditional athlete growing up, but i have a few buddies from elementary and jr high with whom i'm still really close to. 20 to 30 yrs of friendship can make some crazy strong bonds. i wouldn't take that opportunity away from my kids for darn near anything. of course, the possibilities and passions we have because they're learning and loving at home are top on my list. but there are ways to have cake and eat it, too, if you're open to it.
    ~Mister Dad

  2. Anonymous said,

    We took our children out of PS and homeschooled
    for a year and half and due to loss of husband's job
    we put them back in PS. Ouch that hurt my son so
    much. The next school year we were on our feet again and wanted to return to HS. Our oldest was going into the sixth grade and wanted to stay in PS.
    So my dh started praying for her heart to change.
    God changed her heart so much she never wanted to return to PS again and plans on homeschooling her own children. She is expecting her first child soon.
    God can change your child's heart just pray hard.

  3. Anonymous said,

    Thanks Jamin! This is awesome advice! My family is just entering the school years and I still wonder about this stuff!
    I think you should write this up as an article and send it to a magazine (like Focus on the Family or something). People need to hear this!
    Thanks again,
    A.L. Travis

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