It was so wonderful to see everyone at Hoots today. It reminded me of what a great group you all are and how much I miss you all. I have been struggling with my decision to homeschool Ruarai. I want to but Ruarai is very sure she wants to go to school. What do you do with that? I dont want to force her to stay home. I want it to be something she enjoys. I really dont know where to go from here. When we were going to park days last year Ruarai had a hard time making friends and finding her place within the group (although I found great friendship with you mommas right away). Has anyone else had a child that wanted to go to school and how did you deal with it? Maybe we should try park day again now that Ruarai is a little older and quite a bit bolder in friend making...
And about school, we started "indoctrinating" the honest truths about school to Adam at a young age, primarily that he wouldn't be with his family ALL DAY LONG! And other things like that. He was very advanced, so I explained the boredom he would experience doing things that we had done so long ago. We really are always honest and up front with our kids (not to say that anyone else is not honest), but they hear our opinions and conversations a lot.
Does that sound harsh? We also spend periods of time doing lots of fun things with our HS friends, so they feel connected to the outside world. Our participation ebbs and flows, which helps us also get rest at home for periods of time.
Good luck in your decision making! And remember, if you try school and it doesn't work out, it's easy to switch back to HSing.
Adam (12 y.o.) Allison, aka DD (10 y.o.) Ian (7 y.o.) Jason (5 y.o.)
Hey you! It was really wonderful to see you yesterday.
Making this decision is one of the hardest things a parent can do. We all want to do what is best for our children and we all want to make sure that they are surrounded by friends. But, in the spirit of honesty, I have to say that there is no way I'd ever let my pre-kindergarten aged child make this decision. At four years old, a kid, even a brilliant one, simply can't understand the ramifications of going to school or homeschooling. It's a tough call that, I believe, is up to the parents to make. I hope I don't sound harsh, I'm not trying to be. But I do firmly believe that she simply can't understand what she's asking for.
I would ask you to really think about the making friends thing. If she found it difficult to open up and make friends at the park, with kids who are friendly and inclusive, how will it be for her at school? She was so little last year when you first started the group, and kids change and grow quickly. Just because she had a hard time then doesn't mean she will now. And true, it also doesn't mean that she'll have a hard time at school. But if you were to join us for park days again, and she still had a difficult time, I would be really concerned about sending her to school.
And I'm with Jenifer...When we're out and about having wonderful adventures at Explora or hiking the nature center I make a point of saying something like "Wow, doesn't homeschooling rock? If you were in kindergarten today, you'd probably be sitting at a desk coloring pictures of the letter M. But instead, here we are, having a picnic and hiking!"
If, in the end, you decide that school would be a better place for Ruarai please remember that it doesn't have to be forever. If it doesn't work, then you can absolutely give homeschooling a try! I can't speak for anyone but myself, but I found that joining the co-op and calling myself a homeschooler before Ethan hit kindergarten age was really helpful. I got my "First year jitters" out before he was even school age, so that by the time he actually WAS, I didn't feel so frightened and nervous.
Thank you for the advice, and I have to say that I would LOVE to homeschool my kids. I favor home schooling because I want to keep their individuality and sprit in tact. I think institutional places of learning are places where you can only survive by fitting with the crowd and doing what is expected of you. This being said, I want Ruarai to come to homeschooling on her own free will, she will always know the option is available. I will always tell her how much I prefer it but I will not push it on her so that later in life she may resent me for it. I am going to try very hard to get us to park days and see how things go now that she is a bit older. I also have thought about letting her try school out with the states voluntary pre-k program next year. It is only 2.5 hours a day (instead of all day kindergarden!) and hopefully would show her that school is not as fun as she thinks it is. I dont know...Ruarai is a girl who wants to see and explore everything for herself (homeschooling would be perfect for her!), she isnt satisfied with being told how things are without verifiying it herself. Am I crazy for thinking this way? I really am torn.
Hi Amber! Gal, you got our support no matter what! Parenthood is a trip, huh?!, and we're always on our toes trying to balance it all . . . no matter what happens, just know WE ADORE YOU for your conscienciousness and intuitiveness and that's all that matters in the end. Ruarai is totally blessed to have such a rockin' mom !!!!!!!!!!!!
Keep in touch, buddy - it's all good! The threads are still chock-full of family-friendly local event tips & activities & classes . . . You guys have a tight-family and she'll do great in school with your support if that's the way she chooses to go
I totally agree with letting children have a strong say in their own education.
One problem with this, however, for adults as well as for children, is that we make decisions based on the information we have available to us at the time. Unfortunately, most of us know so much more about what school is like than what homeschooling is like. My kids grew up knowing, at least in their own minds, exactly what school was going to be like--at least, they knew the sugar coated version of it portrayed in most preschool books--but they didn't know a single thing about homeschooling. It isn't hard to see why most kids, given the choice, would opt for the fun, games, friendship, toys, nurturing teacher, and great learning that's apparently universally available in kindergarten over the "???" they'd be doing as a homeschoolers.
I'm not sure if I have any advice to offer. That was more of just an observation that's been kicking around in my head for a long time that decided to pop out! Good luck, whatever you decide!