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Old 07-28-2010, 08:56 AM   #1
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She wants to go back to public school

DD mentioned yesterday that she has been thinking about going back to public school. We have been homeschooling for a year, her 4th grade year, in a virtual school program and it has gone really well. Even less than a month ago she told someone that she really liked it.

Her #1 reason for wanting to go back is to be with friends every day. In my opinion, this isn't a good enough reason. School is for education and where she gets the best education is the best place for her to be and we can supplement anything else that's missing. Some of the other reasons she mentioned to want to go back to school are she like gym class, she can see a teacher every day, and she likes homework. Negative things are bullying, interruptions from other people in class, not being with family as much, etc.

Now, she's been more emotional lately. I'm pretty sure it is hormones as she's definitely starting down the road of puberty. Losing in Monopoly will cause her to be in tears because she "always looses and feels stupid" or she'll start crying because I tell her (gently) that she needs to take a shower and to -scrub- her hair because it is oily (ever since she hit puberty, it has been near impossible to get her hair clean unless I clean it myself). She's even commented on how her thighs are chubby.

I had her list the pros and cons of both homeschool and public school. I want her to see both sides and honestly homeschool is the better option and she sees that logic, even if her emotions are leaning otherwise. She's still sad though. I can't get her out of this mood, even when we talk about options.

Do I just wait it out for her to just come to terms with it while working with solutions? I had an idea to have her go back to public school for a day because I really do think she is happier homeschooling, but I think just having one day would back fire on me... it would take a whole semester for her to come back to where she was a year ago - wanting to homeschool and seeing it is the better option.

What do I do?? Her dad and I aren't together and he's worried about her "socialization" but yet he barely has her invite friends over to his house or takes her places. I think the summer is getting long for her. She doesn't have monthly field trips like she has during the year (I setup a goal system so she could go somewhere every two weeks, but she hasn't completed more than one set of goals), and she doesn't have her religious school once a week like during the school year. She knows she needs to finish this year, but I don't want her to resent it either.

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Old 07-28-2010, 02:00 PM   #2
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Re: She wants to go back to public school

My dd has expressed the same desire. We are not leaving such an important decision up to an 8 year old. At that age they know what they want but not always what they need. I would continue homeschooling for a few more years and see if she still hates it or is not learning well. Then reconsider.
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Old 07-28-2010, 10:33 PM   #3
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Re: She wants to go back to public school

It really boils down to whether or not you see her going to school as something you wish to allow or not. Sometimes, the situation is such that both choices are acceptable choices. Sometimes, either public or home school is not an option for a family, due to beliefs, circumstances or other reasons.
For some parents, they feel like homeschooling and public schooling are 2 basically decent options, with good and bad points, but but each has merit and value. Like the difference between a kid choosing green beans or peas with dinner. In this case, letting a child choose to go to school might be reasonable.

Some parents see public school as a negative, a option which will harm or otherwise have negative effects for their child. Like the difference between choosing green beans or Twinkies for dinner. In which case, they as the parents need to make the decision, and simply refuse to allow the child to have the choice they want.
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Old 07-28-2010, 11:51 PM   #4
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Re: She wants to go back to public school

My going into 4th grader expressed the same concern. She missed friends everyday. She felt like she was missing out. For us, socialization or/and activities out are not so much a reward for work completed. It is apart of our schedule. DD needed an extra class or two or extra curricular to get her excited again. Something to look forward to every week and share with other girls. Her own Day planner has helped keep everything in perspective. She is now on her own planning bracelet shops on the lawn and filling her days. We have found a homeschool girls reading club, ballet classes, baseball, homechool roller skating day ect. There is so much out there when we started looking but it did take some time and effort to locate the different options. If you can't find any, maybe you can network a little and create your own meetup once a week at a park or your house. TV, video games, sweets, new toys, and expensive outings are all rewards for accomplishing goals in our house. For a long summer away, I would suggest to have her start brainstorming and coming up with ideas in a notebook of all the things fun and interactive that she would like to plan. We work M-Th. Then we have fun Fridays and do educarional outings, library trips, museum classes, and church on Sat & Sun. That's our goals anyway when we are in routine. Hope it goes well for you both! HTH
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Old 07-29-2010, 01:18 AM   #5
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Re: She wants to go back to public school

In my mind, homeschooling is the only option. Her dad has another opinion and it was a huge uphill struggle to get him to agree on DD homeschooling in the first place. For the LO on the way, homeschooling will just be the status quo instead of an "option". I mentioned coops to DD and she seemed interested in that as an idea... we'll see how it goes. For now, we can only pray.
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Old 07-29-2010, 08:27 PM   #6
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Re: She wants to go back to public school

It does sound like it's all about the friends. I agree that you probably don't want to withhold the events with friends on a regular basis, but instead only use that in extreme circumstances. Make the outings with friends part of your plans, and I think you need it at least 3-4 times a week.

What made a difference for my kids was when they started seeing some people they knew at every event they went to. The whole group is not the same, but there is an overlap in kids going to the same things they do. We have HS classes (we are part of a huge "school" with over 300 families), PE at the Y, church, field trips and other extras. They always ask me, on the way to an event, "Is there going to be someone we know there?".
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Old 07-30-2010, 09:34 AM   #7
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Re: She wants to go back to public school

Try to find something creative to distract her from these feelings of 'need' that are not logical. Yes, she DOES need friends, but don't compromise that 'need' with something that will harm her in the long run. Friends SHOULD be all ages, sizes and colors. That is TRUE socialization. My kids are able to feel socialized whether they are playing with the neighbor 4 year old or even helping the elderly neighbor pull weeds (the reward for that one is a dip in the pool!). They love chatting with anybody that will listen.

Is there a local art group she can be involved with? A civic theater or community band? A local book club at the library? How about horse riding lessons? My daughter loved lessons and ended up asking to spend extra time with her trainer to clean barns!?! This was a kid who 'never had friends' (in her eyes) and hated to do anything that resembled work!

We started a homeschool magazine to get my older ones in a different mode of leadership and responsibility and they really love the creative outlet. There are a lot of things to be involved without compromise. Remember, kids are full of drama and I often tell mine that YES, I am a mean mom only because I love them so much! And that is ok if they decide they don't like me for awhile!
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Old 07-30-2010, 09:34 AM   #8
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Re: She wants to go back to public school

Try to find something creative to distract her from these feelings of 'need' that are not logical. Yes, she DOES need friends, but don't compromise that 'need' with something that will harm her in the long run. Friends SHOULD be all ages, sizes and colors. That is TRUE socialization. My kids are able to feel socialized whether they are playing with the neighbor 4 year old or even helping the elderly neighbor pull weeds (the reward for that one is a dip in the pool!). They love chatting with anybody that will listen.

Is there a local art group she can be involved with? A civic theater or community band? A local book club at the library? How about horse riding lessons? My daughter loved lessons and ended up asking to spend extra time with her trainer to clean barns!?! This was a kid who 'never had friends' (in her eyes) and hated to do anything that resembled work!

We started a homeschool magazine to get my older ones in a different mode of leadership and responsibility and they really love the creative outlet. There are a lot of things to be involved without compromise. Remember, kids are full of drama and I often tell mine that YES, I am a mean mom only because I love them so much! And that is ok if they decide they don't like me for awhile!
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