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Dealing With Societal Conditioning

Posted by on Jul. 29, 2011 at 7:24 PM
  • 10 Replies

Sorry if this has been posted before, but this is such an active group, it's hard to keep up! But I was wondering how other families dealt with the whole, "Mom, when am I going to start school?" thing.

My daughter understands that she's homeschooled, but she thinks at some point, she's going to just suddenly be put on a bus and off she'll go to happy-tra-la-la schoolland where everyone is friends (eventually) and no one ever has any actual school work (seriously, kids in t.v. shows don't have anything to complain about!).

Now I know not everyone does television at home, but still--people at the store asking her if she's starting school this year (or, thinking she's older than she is, asking her how she's enjoying it) and stuff in books, etc. would have exposed her to the idea anyway.

How do you handle it? What about when someone puts your homeschooled kid on the spot? ("Why aren't you in school?" in the middle of an average school day at the store)

Has anyone else had a kid who's not happy that they aren't going to school, because they have an idealized utopian vision of what school is supposed to be? (particularly a child who would NOT thrive in that kind of environment--my poor daughter would be labeled and constantly penalized for just being herself, based on my own experience, and would not do well sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day... in fact, it would probably break something inside of her--that environment in general).

by on Jul. 29, 2011 at 7:24 PM
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by on Jul. 29, 2011 at 8:03 PM

Isn't it funny that this is the only question adults pose to children? I wish adults would ask questions such as what their favorite book is or have you written anything exciting lately. Imagine how wonderful that would feel to a child. Off topic :) My oldest is only 4 1/2, but first question we or she always get asked is if she is going to preschool this year. Maybe talk to your daughter and suggest she could talk about some of the wonderful things she is able to discover and explore because she has this wonderful freedom of being homeschooled. 

by on Jul. 29, 2011 at 10:57 PM

 My daughter that is 8 now used to want to go to school when she was 5 years old. We just talked to her & told her that school wasn't the fun place she thought it was going to be. We also reminded her that her big brother used to go to the ps & that we brought him home to homeschool because it was a bad place for him to be & we felt it would be a bad place for her & her little brother too.

by on Jul. 29, 2011 at 11:35 PM

Yea my DD gets asked a lot if she's going to preschool or kindergarten this year. She used to ask all the time if she could go, mostly cause she saw the cool playgrounds they had lol. But she also likes to make friends. I just explained to her everytime that she will be homeschooled. Luckily, she realized at Vacation Bible School that she doesn't like being away from mommy so many hours in one day so that discussion has finally ended. But I'm sure she will ask again someday. It helps if they know other kdis who are homeschooled that way they don't feel like the only ones.

by on Jul. 30, 2011 at 1:40 PM

DD is asked a lot if she is in PreK & its even hard for me to say no, even though Im not a fan of how "normal" going to PreK is (i think its sad kids are starting a school enviroment at 3,4,5yo)!

Its very hard to go against the grain.. and that is one reason its hard for us to decide to homeschool. My bestfriend homeschools her twins that are dd age so this may help in time when DD starts questioning & I hope to join a homeschooling group soon so she can have that "school friends" reference..

If we homeschool & DD starts being upset over it. I will give her a taste of school by making her sit in a desk for a few hours at a time with small breaks & a stricked 30 minute lunch using normal school hours (8am-3pm?) ..

As for adults, right now she simply says "no" that she is not in PreK. She doesnt know "any better" to say anything more.. IDK what we will say really next year when they ask "Why are you not in kindergarten"

by on Jul. 30, 2011 at 2:15 PM

Two years ago, when my oldest was five, we had similar problems. He really wanted to go to school, because he thought it would be just like he saw on t.v.. I repeatedly explained to him what school is really like, and why I was keeping him home. He once said to me "I am in charge of my own education, so if I want to go to school you have to let me." and I smirked while replying, "If you really want to be in charge of your education, you're better off at home, since once you're in school you have no say over what you learn, where you learn, or how you learn." 

As far as people asking him about it, at first I would answer for him, because he would get that deer in a headlight kind of look. Now he's more comfortable saying, "I'm home-schooled" when people ask about school (except when they ask what grade he's in, he still gets that look because we unschool and so he doesn't really have a grade level.). 

by on Jul. 30, 2011 at 2:17 PM

When I homeschooled my son in kindergarten, we did a big "production" of a first day...we got the stuff, we got up early, we made sure to do several things...etc...we "started" school. He thought it was kinda the same. I just said we are starting but we'll do it here. THIS is our school, kids go to different schools and this one is yours!

Voila....he went for it... I also taught a pre-k child that was not mine one year...he's going into 2nd grade now and still says he misses his "other school" (being my house)! So they can see it as "a school"...

by on Jul. 30, 2011 at 5:52 PM

Yeah, a lot of her friends are homeschooled and we have homeschool groups here, but then two of her friends were suddenly enrolled in school while their mom finished nursing school and the older sister needed special help that couldn't be done at home and the younest is actually in daycare, but Lilly doesn't get how that's not really something to WANT.

I think she'll enjoy if I do a desk setup, too, even if it's just for a couple hours a day. She likes to tell people that I'm her teacher, but she does see the playground and want to go play with all the other kids (even though recess was cut to basically all local public schools to 15 minutes a day and gym was cut in a lot of the schools, too, though some still have it once a week). After all, school shows focus primarily on the playground, since no one wants to watch an entire show about how class ACTUALLY goes.

While I couldn't do a whole day on a school schedule (I might kill someone if I had to get up at 8am and organize an entire day >_<... school here is 9-4) I bet just making her sit in a desk for a half hour without being able to get up would totally dissuade her from ever wanting to do that for 7 flipping hours.

by on Jul. 30, 2011 at 8:10 PM
Julia misses the whole new teacher thing because she got to meet her new teacher at the end of kinder last year. She said one reason "for" going to public school is because they get to have lockers. Lol
We go to the park, and we walk up to school several times a week to play at at the playground at night. (we live 3 blocks away).
At the moment we are trying to find a local homeschool group or family to hang out with.
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by on Jul. 30, 2011 at 8:22 PM

Well our girls  went  to public school & now they are homeschooled & they do not miss it. They miss their friends but not school. As far as the   "why aren't you in school' question...we've gotten it several times & the last time my oldest said "We're finished with school for today we're homeschooled" with a big ole grin on her face! 

by on Jul. 31, 2011 at 6:53 PM

Someone suggested (amusingly enough, this came up in another group!) using a milk crate to make a cubby and getting a backpack to put in it (which you can put some homeschool stuff in, like a pencil box or whatever). They could take the backpack from their bedroom to the cubby and back for fun.

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