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Do most kids really like school?


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I've noticed that 99% of the time when I'm chatting to a friend/acquaintance/random stranger about their kids, and I ask anything about school, I am told that they love school, or that they can't wait to be back at school after the holidays. This leaves me perplexed, because I simply can't imagine that I would ever have gone to school, had I been given the choice as a child. I wonder whether it's a bit of an exaggeration (eg the child looks forward to some aspects of school so the parent says she loves school), or whether it's some kind of defensive response made on the assumption that as a home educator I think school is inferior, or whether it comes from wishful thinking? Or is it possible that the average kid does really enjoy school a lot, and it's only kids with specific problems who don't like it?

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I liked private school as a child for the same reason I enjoy homeschooling- I love to learn. I did NOT like school once I moved from my small, Christian one to the local PS in high school. I wish I had never gone!

 

I think it probably depends on the child

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I liked learning, but I was never a fan of school. My ds is not a big fan of school either. Given a choice, he'd chose 100 other things to do.

 

I wonder if parents are getting the "how is school?" ..."It's fine" (which can mean a thousand different things)..which becomes interpreted as "I love it!"

 

Or maybe they, the parents, are afraid to voice a negative opinion on school because they know they wouldn't want to homeschool.

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I think kids like what is familiar. Certainly, even if there are aspects of school that they don't like, if they've never been out of school, it's hard to imagine liking homeschooling. "Like" encompasses a huge terrain, and can be shorthand for "I'm really glad that I get to see my friend Betsy, and I like Ms. So and So and really beginning to get the hang of math; but I also feel really self-conscious and nervous that Sam doesn't like me back and I can't stand the science teacher..." I know that I personally "like" a lot of things that aren't ideal, but it's my life and I know nothing else.

 

- Alicia

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DD12 was homeschooled K-5 and loved homeschooling. She decided to try school this year and is attending a unique little private school. (Multiple Intelegences Theory based so is is very hands on-and student focused). After school today (Friday) she said, "I wish there was school tomorrow." She LOVES her new school. She misses homeschooling a lot so it isn't that she wasn't happy at home, she just really loves the school she is at.

 

DS16 was in public high school about 2mths when he said he preferred being at home. He knew the school was the best place for him right then and thus stayed, but he wouldn't have been there if I could have met his needs at home. He started college this year at 16 and really loves it there.

 

 

So, yes, I can see both sides of the coin from our experiences.

Edited by Tap, tap, tap
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Sometimes I wonder whether my daughter might be better off at school, and have more fun. I'm pretty sure that ds would be miserable, since he has significant social issues and doesn't respond well to "normal" teaching approaches. Best case scenario: the teachers would assume he's stupid, not expect much of him, and he wouldn't develop academically. Worse case: he'd be bullied relentlessly. However dd aged 5 is a different story. She's Little Ms Average. Pretty bright at everything but not majorly gifted. Occasionally shy but generally socially adept. Easy to manage. Responds beautifully to every curriculum or approach we've tried, and would probably thrive with radical unschooling as well (as she can self regulate things like food and sleep). I'm sure she'd make friends and learn things at school. Is she being cheated out of the happiest time of her life because of her brother's developmental deficits? Probably not - she enjoys home schooling and gets plenty of opportunities to be with other kids...

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I've noticed that 99% of the time when I'm chatting to a friend/acquaintance/random stranger about their kids, and I ask anything about school, I am told that they love school, or that they can't wait to be back at school after the holidays. This leaves me perplexed, because I simply can't imagine that I would ever have gone to school, had I been given the choice as a child. I wonder whether it's a bit of an exaggeration (eg the child looks forward to some aspects of school so the parent says she loves school), or whether it's some kind of defensive response made on the assumption that as a home educator I think school is inferior, or whether it comes from wishful thinking? Or is it possible that the average kid does really enjoy school a lot, and it's only kids with specific problems who don't like it?

 

I remember always being excited to return for a new year or after one of the longer vacations. In truth, I hated school, but I always had this idea that maybe it'll be different this time. A week in I was thinking, "Oh, yeah. This stinks."

 

Maybe for some it's like that?

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After 15 years in the public education world I can say that most kids like "school" when they are young, especially kindy-grade 2. The older they get the more problems that develop and also the more school becomes more about socializing than education. At that point, those who are very social (popular) or very athletic, etc. love school and everyone else hates it. Yes I know that is a generalization but I do have 15 years of "anecdotal" evidence in 5 different school districts to back up my opinion. :D

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I always genuinely loved school. I loved the social aspect, as well as the academic praise from teachers. I think it just depends on the individual. My dh hated school. I am much mote of an extrovert than he is. My ds hates school and sees no point in doing school work. My youngest lives to learn and begs to do school. My oldest dd has special needs so her circumstance is unique. She dislikes school, but I think it's just because she struggles so much.

Edited by hsbaby
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My dds "love" homeschool. They did not like public school. I hated it but my little brother did love school. In fact, the first time he said he was too sick to go it ended up being appendicitis.:tongue_smilie: I think the older they get the less they "love" it.

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My first grader likes school a lot (not sure about "loves").

 

I have friends whose kids really do love school. One 5th-grade boy recently said to his mom, "thank you so much for sending us to ____ School, it's so great". My own 5th grader hated this same school (but mostly because he was bored, I think).

 

I didn't like grade school, but loved high school (all girls, Catholic).

 

I think some kids love the social aspect of it and have a great group of friends, and others really love either the school community and teachers and/or the things they are learning.

 

Depends on the kid AND the classmates AND the teacher AND the school environment, I think.

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If these children belong to parents who will say, right in front of them, that they will be glad to get rid of them and send them back to school, they might just love school. I'm sure I'd have liked school more, comparatively, if I thought my mother hated having me around.

 

Rosie

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I know what you mean. My oldest could most likely go all the way through high school at home. My second, is very social and likable and we can see him doing well socially at school. But, he also struggles right now with writing, reading and several articulation issues that he sees a speech therapist for. He would be considered behind here. So, I'm glad he is home for now as he catches up. Later on, we may consider school for him because he seems like a team sport kind of kid. Though, traveling teams may work. My littlest one is very social and would most likely love ps, but she is being assimilated at home for now.

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My kids would have loved school- I had to work hard to keep them happy enough at home- and they were happy. As their parent I felt it was in their best interest to be at home, but had I at any stage said they had to go to school, they owuld have been fine. And evnetually that is what has hpapened with ds- he is going to school, and he is fine with it. We will see how it turns out.

 

I too hated school, although I loved learning. I dont think most kids love the school part- they love the social part. But I could be wrong.

Amd maybe home isnt so fun for many kids?

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My DS truly loved school when he was there. I can't think of one time that he ever complained about going to school and he always had something to tell me about his day when I picked him up (he went for young 5s and 2 months of K). If I sent him back now, I'm not sure if he would still feel the same way. He is very high energy, so sitting still for a full day class vs half day may be a challenge at first.

 

My two girls love school. My son likes everything about it except the academics. :glare:

 

My extroverted DD loves school -- although not the academic part, particularly.

 

:iagree: This is my DD5. When she is at school, she loves it. She has fun, does super well, and even when I'm not there to see her. My friend from across the street told me that whenever she goes into the class, my DD always looks like she's having a blast. Yet DD tells me she hates school, wants to be HSed, school is boring. It comes down to--she wants more play time. They don't get enough recess and play time now that they are further into the school year and have to actually...gasp...learn! :tongue_smilie:

 

I remember always being excited to return for a new year or after one of the longer vacations. In truth, I hated school, but I always had this idea that maybe it'll be different this time. A week in I was thinking, "Oh, yeah. This stinks."

 

Maybe for some it's like that?

:lol: That's exactly how I was! I did like school for the most part once I actually got there. But the whole process of getting up early, rushing around, catching my ride (no buses for my private school), that part I didn't care for. I think DD doesn't like this part either. Whenever I say I am going to drive her to school, she gets super happy. But she doesn't like riding the bus so much.

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When my daughter was in public school (which she was for Grade K, 1st, 2nd, and most of 3rd), she definitely did NOT love it.

 

She didn't have any "problems"- she's bright enough, she had friends, etc. Mostly she:

 

1. Had frequent stomachaches toward the end due to stress because of the pressure put on them regarding standardized testing

 

2. Constantly got in trouble in the earliest years (K and 1) for "talking too much" in the classroom and then she'd lose her recess. Said recess only being like 10 minutes to begin with.

 

3. Very academic in the earliest years- K'ers expected to sit at a desk all day long with limited recess (see above), silent lunches, etc.

 

4. Homework from like 1st grade on. That homework was taking her at LEAST an hour and usually more by second grade- on top of not even getting home until like 3:40, 3:45

 

No... she didn't love school at ALL, even though she enjoyed some of the people there.

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My oldest "loved" school. (She went until the 6th grade) But what she loved was seeing her friends and music class. She didn't love anything else about it.

 

My twins loved school until the 3rd grade. Up until then, they had good teachers that were able to really challenge them. When they no longer had that (thanks NCLB), they really didn't like it, and were happy to be homeschooled.

 

My nieces...one likes school (the extra curriculars at least), one doesn't.

 

(Ironically these kids all went/go to the school system of the city named one of the top 50 places to raise your kids. One of the criteria was the school systems. It got the mark because it had the most improved test scores :glare:)

 

My baby brother (14) wants to be homeschooled. He doesn't like it.

 

When I was a kid, I would say I loved school. But it was because I liked it WAY better than being at home. There were many things I didn't like about it...it was just better than the alternative.

 

So, in my experience...most kids like the social aspect of school, if they "love" it. Unless they are lucky enough to go to a great school, then the actual love it may increase...:tongue_smilie:

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Dh went to public school and hated it. I went to private school and hated it. My kids hated schoolwork. They just knew that they needed to do well so we plugged along. None of them ever wanted to go to public school, but I think they all would have enjoyed a good private school.

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My girls go to ps once a week. They LOVE it. They also can't wait to get back. When queried, they will tell you that they miss their friends and their favorite teachers. They actually look forward to going every week. My oldest loves recess and the free time her homeroom teacher gives them. My youngest is in kindergarten and loves everything about it. Neither of them want to go full-time, but love school.

 

To be fair, what they love most about homeschooling is getting to play, going to the park with friends, and spending time doing things they are interested in after they finish school work.

 

:) It makes a homeschool momma proud to hear those things.

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When they're doing okay academically, when they have friends, and are involved in activities they enjoy - then school is good. When academics are hard, when they lose friends or have conflicts (which are frequent), when they lose interest in activites - then they dislike it.

 

For me, the inescapable aspect of the institution was very unpleasant - there were no alternatives; I had no choice and it frequently felt like prison. If you experience some success whether it's academic, social, or athletic then that ameliorates the negatives.

Edited by Stacy in NJ
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Some do love certain subjects.

 

I cancelled school yesterday because I'm fried and dd11 says, "Well I can still do math if I want to."

 

That's a very very first here and I'm sure it won't last. But sure enough she did her math, two pages, "Because I had so much time not having to do all of my history reading!"

 

It's MUS Delta. She loves it. This is my child that I thought would rather pull her teeth than do math--last year in MUS Gamma.

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I loved school... in the 1-5th grades. But, I was with teachers who allowed me to excel, didn't force me to conform, and who praised my efforts to learn more. I loved going back to school...just loved it!

 

I hated school in the 6th grade, because I had a teacher who continually derided any extra efforts I made, who publicly humiliated me for extra-curricular work and activities, and who did not want me in her classroom because I was "different." I dreaded going... the only highlight in my day was either band, or cross-age tutoring... when I got away from that teacher.

 

My relationship with school (how I was treated, etc.) definitely influenced my loving or hating school. I do feel, that had I remained in class environments like I was in during the 1st-5th grades -- I never would have chosen to home school in high school. It was all downhill for me from 6th grade on...

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I think most kids love school. They have been in it since they were 4 or 5. Very few of them have interests that aren't somehow connected with school or the people they know at school. Most of them aren't great at filling days and days of time because they have little practice. And beyond that... This is what they know. They've been trained to be peer dependent... Of course they look forward to getting back to that. It only makes sense.

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I hated school for the social aspects - wasn't a very social kid (major introvert). Loved the academics, when I could get them. We moved a lot and some schools were good, some were rotten. I loved college.

 

DD hates preschool until she gets to her classroom. Then she loves it and doesn't want to come home. She'll tell people she doesn't like school, but I've watched her from the classroom door and she really does love it.

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She says sometimes she likes it and sometimes she doesn't. "It's like 50/50" she says but can't be more specific than that. Last year when the school clesed for snow days she cried but this year she is happy when that happens.

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My youngest two who go to school, love it. Even my youngest who has a terrible time of most of it (the acedemics, the mean girls, the cliques - everything really) just doesn't want to give it up. Of course, they are always welcome to come back home and I really push the youngest a bit because I know it is not the best environement for her but they both insist on staying in PS.

 

As a child, I loved school. Absolutely LOVED it. I would have been horribly depressed to the point of feeling abused if my mother had kept me home. I lived for school. I love college. I am in my element in acedemia.

 

So yes, some people really do like school. Others hate it. I really wish that people could be where ever is best for them.

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I don't know any kids above third grade who say they love school. Their parents tell me that their dc love school. The students themselves tell me they don't like school. Interesting. But when I was young I hated school, and often told my mother that. She always refused to listen to me and told me "Don't say things like that. You love school." I think it made her feel better to believe that I loved school. Whatever. Honestly, I loved learning. I liked being with my friends (which was far better than being home!). There were some teachers I loved who influenced my life. I just didn't like school.

 

The students I know each have some aspect of school that they like - friends being high on the list, but also including sports ( only for the athletic kids) or band/orchestra (only for those who play an instrument) or Lego Club for those who compete there, or theater for those taking Drama classes or in Drama club or Student Government.

 

It seems this becomes more distinct as the student is in middle and high school. I know so many teens who would leave high school immediately and go to college if they were given an opportunity. They are tired of wasting time sitting in classes where the class time is taken up with discipline and time wasting projects. They want to move on to a place where they can learn and have more choice in what they study. These are often the top students, the students taking AP classes, who tell me this. They are done with high school and just want out so they can move on with their life. They see school as holding them back. (Of course, it probably didn't help that my dc took cc classes while in high school and one dd graduated a year early from high school because of that. These students don't have that option because the local high schools don't want their students taking cc classes.) Each of these students tell me they don't like school. They each have areas of school that they like, and they are each tightly holding onto one of those areas in order to get through the rest of their compulsory education.

 

I agree with the other poster who said that many people want high school to be more like college: If you don't want to go, then don't (That alone could make classes more academically successful, and would be nicer for the teachers as well). Pick your classes and schedule. Have classes meet only 2x per week. I would like to see this for at least grades 11 and 12, if not grade 10 as well.

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For me, the inescapable aspect of the institution was very unpleasant - there were no alternatives; I had no choice and it frequently felt like prison. If you experience some success whether it's academic, social, or athletic then that ameliorates the negatives.

That was exactly me.

I wasn't totally miserable or anything - I did "well", had some friends and enjoyed some activities - but it was such a horrible though that you have years and years of it and there's no way of getting out of it. (I wasn't aware of home education, or I would have been bugging my parents about it all the time!)

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I've noticed that 99% of the time when I'm chatting to a friend/acquaintance/random stranger about their kids, and I ask anything about school, I am told that they love school, or that they can't wait to be back at school after the holidays. This leaves me perplexed, because I simply can't imagine that I would ever have gone to school, had I been given the choice as a child. I wonder whether it's a bit of an exaggeration (eg the child looks forward to some aspects of school so the parent says she loves school), or whether it's some kind of defensive response made on the assumption that as a home educator I think school is inferior, or whether it comes from wishful thinking? Or is it possible that the average kid does really enjoy school a lot, and it's only kids with specific problems who don't like it?

 

I think there are more parents who say their kids love school than kids who actually do. I have talked to parents who said their tiny infants love day care. Everyone wants to think that their children are fine in what ever circumstances they are, especially when they know those circumstances won't be changing.

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I genuinely loved school, from the day I skipped off into my kindy classroom leaving my mother crying in the hallway, to the day I graduated. However, I was very social and I loved to learn. Being in gifted classes I also had perks that other students may not have had. I hated being out of school, and would lie to my mom if I was sick so I wouldn't have to miss even a day. My whole group of girlfriends were the same way. My husband was also in the gifted program and loved to learn, but was pretty anti-social and didn't have any friends at school (only at church). He still loved school. So who knows, if these people's kids are either into the social aspect or the academic aspect of school, they probably DO love it.

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Nor do I think most adults would work for a living. I think most people prefer to do what they want to when they want to.

 

But there are still plenty of adults who work because it is their passion. I am surrounded by them. Several of my colleagues are well into their 70s and have not the slightest inclination to retire (they have a good pension plan, so it is not for financial reasons.) Most of the people in my circle of friends truly love their work.

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The overwhelming wish I hear is that high school be more like community college..i.e. skip the bells, choose your teacher, and those that aren't interested need not attend. And move PE to after classes, run it like a club, & allow time to shower and groom...the group that is proposing this is thinking that one req'd year of PE is enough, and they would make it life sports - a running group, a dance group, and several aerobic type of groups plus a cycling group. Of course there aren't enough locker rooms, so they'd have to go home in their workout clothes. I'd actually like to see it happen for Gr. 10-12. Freshman I think still need swim/drownproof, and some of the other objectives of the class.

They initiated a program similar to this at my high school. Classes were (for the most part) during school hours. Four semesters of PE were required - one of "Core PE" (your traditional PE class, including a perfunctory week of swimming), but the other three could be chosen from a number of different interest-based classes - aerobic dance, martial arts, biking, surfing, and weight lifting are the ones I remember. School or outside involvement in sports also counted for PE credit.

 

I think this system was WONDERFUL. I am not athletic at all, and had always been a PE hater. I ended up taking a year beyond the PE requirement because I found that I really enjoyed the martial arts class. I'm not taking a class now because it's not in the budget, but hope to again when we're doing a bit better financially.

 

So, if my experience is anything to go by, I think that encouraging kids to find a physical activity that they actually enjoy can have a much more long-term effect than the traditional PE class, especially for kids who don't generally enjoy physical activity and are therefore at a greater health risk.

 

(I definitely did NOT love school, with the exception of a few years in elementary school. But I did like that aspect.)

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Guest CarolineUK

DS11 loves school, really loves it. I tried very hard all last year to persuade him that we'd all have lots of fun if he stayed home and was homeschooled like DS9 and DS6, but he's very sociable and likes being with his friends, and gets very inspired by some of his teachers. I'm very pleased he's so happy, but it would have been nice to have homeschooled him for a while, I've so enjoyed my time with the others.

 

DS9 really didn't like school, he's a bit of a free spirit and disliked the discipline of school.

 

Myself, I was pretty indifferent, my school was OK, a bit rough and not very academic, but OK.

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I hated school in the US. I went to medium-sized public schools in the midwest. When I was little, I couldn't stand sitting still so much. When I was older the teachers were idiots and the kids were mean. Mediocrity was honored. And jocks.

 

I spent one lovely year in Canberra, where the work was interesting, the teachers sharp, and we moved around a lot more.

 

I would have done well with WTM or a great school.

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My 13 yo goes to public school and I can't tell if she likes it. She comes home almost everyday upset about some friend issue or some complaint about a class. I've offered to let her homeschool but then she says she likes school.

 

I think she likes the social aspect of being at school. For the most part I think she's like to skip the academic part of it. We've considered private school for dd but she says she doesn't want to switch schools either.

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