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Do some kids really need to be in school?


jtcarter14
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I have always said that my kids get PLENTY of socialization. I have never worried about that at all. But now my 9 year old daughter is in counseling, and she feels lonely and unloved. She doesn't have any close friends even though she's in lots of activities. So she and the counselor think that if she were in school, it would really help her because she would be able to interact with kids her own age and the teachers all day, every day. She would hopefully develop relationships with many of those people.

 

She is usually home with me and her brother who is 11 and our baby. Homeschooling her has been a struggle all along. I'm just really at a loss and the grass is looking much greener on the other side. Is it possible that it is in this particular case?

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:grouphug: It's really hard to give opinions on something we know so little about, but my first thought is that putting her in school while the others are all at home with you might seem like she is being rejected. Do you think these feelings she is having are related to the new baby? Is she able to express why she is feeling this way to you? Maybe if you had a special day out, just the two of you to see a movie or get your nails done she'd open up a little more?

I hope you find a way to help her.

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Is it possible that it is in this particular case?

 

Yes. It is possible. However, it isn't definite.

 

Best case: She makes friends and flourishes in public school.

 

Worst case: She doesn't make friends and is exposed to school drama that makes her feel worse. She doesn't flourish and withdraws more.

 

No one knows for certain, which is extremely frustrating for you, the parent, who desperately wants to do what is right for your daughter. :grouphug:

 

My advice is before putting her in school do what you can at home to get her more "socialization". You'll have to research activities, co-ops, clubs, groups, etc. It will be challenging to add all this into your weekly life. Some things will work and others won't. But if you do find some activities that provide the socialization for both the children it will be worth it. It will take some time but stick with it. Be willing to arrange playdates and activities for her and her new friends.

 

If you cannot find anything and nothing works you will at least know that you tried. To me I wouldn't make "public school socialization" be my go-to option. I would try to exhaust other possibilities.

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That's a hard question. The problem with sending her to school is that you will have no control over whom she decides to interact with - basically, it will be with whomever sits next to her in class. Hopefully, it will be a sweet little girl who comes from a family with the same values as yours. You have to decide if it's a gamble you're willing to take. I do know, as a former middle school teacher, that for "crowd control" you have to spread out the bad kids. Most "bad" kids end up sitting next to the sweet, quiet little girls bc it (hopefully) keeps them from disrupting class.

One of my friends told me that her friend put her sweet little 1st grader in ps, and unfortunately, she sat beside a little boy who told her exactly what he wanted to do with her if he got the chance. The little girl was traumatized. Luckily, the teacher overheard what was going on and sent the boy to the principal, who contacted both sets of parents to inform them of what happened. But, that little girl will never be able to "unhear" those words. Granted, this was a nightmare, and it's very possible your dd will have a wonderful experience in school making lots of good friends. Is it worth the risk? You have to decide. Personally, if I were you, I would help dd cultivate friendships with girls I knew were from good families (not that it's a guarantee), by inviting friends over or going out on field trips together. I'm sorry your dd is lonely. I remember SWB saying that her mom wasn't real concerned with her (Susan) having friends. SWB filled her time with other things and focused more on relationships when she was older. She turned out just fine. ;)

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It may or may not work.

 

My son joins into other kids playing, but the other kids often ignore him. This has always been the case, from when he was preschool age on into going to school in K and 1st. He really didn't make any friends to latch onto in school, despite being with kids all day every day. There is just something about his personality that the other kids aren't drawn to him (basically, he exudes "geek" even if he isn't talking or acting like a geek). They'll let him play, but they don't try to get him to play, if that makes sense.

 

Your DD might be different though. I do wonder, if she hasn't made friends in outside activities, if school would be any different. You could always try school and see for sure. If she doesn't do well, pull her back out. At least you will have tried.

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I would try to organize a reading group with other girls, and as part of the club, have everyone bring a snack food to share. Then they can all sit around and gab and get to know each other. Then I would invite ONE over for a one-on-one playdate. I do think some kids need one-on-one time with one other child to "connect".

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Going to school doesn't = having friends.

 

I went to public school for 13 years, in a class with the same 30 kids the whole time, and the "friendships" I had were nothing to brag about. I felt lonely and rejected the whole time and have no connections with anyone I went to school with, despite the fact I am now living in that same small town again.

 

But that's just my own experience. Certainly some people have lots of friends at school and really love the social aspect--from what I saw in school, most people liked the social aspect far more than the academic one! Maybe your daughter really is one of those people who would thrive in school because of the level of interaction . . . but I think Halcyon has a really good idea and would give her suggestions a try first.

 

What did the kids who needed to be in school do before there was any such thing as a public school system? Where did they interact and make friends? Extended family, church, community involvement . . . but now that family members are often living at great distances from each other, and most families have far fewer children, I guess the amount of interaction is significantly reduced. Just pondering.

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Where did she get the idea that she needs to be in school to make friends? Is this something that someone told her? Kids are very impressionable, and is it possible that she is living with the false assumption that this is true and she can't have "real" friends in the activities she is already in? Are there kids in your neighborhood that she plays with? What kinds of activities is she in, does she enjoy these, and does she interact with the kids there? Does she enjoy learning with you, and does she enjoy the curriculum you use? There could be many things at play here besides just wanting to go to school. I would try to get to the bottom of it. It sounds like something else is going on if things are bad enough to need counseling, but that counseling can be very helpful if it is from someone who is sound.

 

Of course I cannot tell you that you should or shouldn't send her to ps. All of us here are biased towards homeschooling, and I think for good reasons. Mine don't just concern the "worst case scenarios," but more importantly the humanistic worldview of the public school system, which is in conflict with our biblical worldview.

 

I would also suggest alone time together, as it can be difficult to find your place in a large family as you get older. If she cannot find love from within her own family she will struggle her whole life trying to find it elsewhere. (And this is not to say that it is all your fault, only that you can speak her language so that she can see that she is loved and accepted from the people who matter most.)

 

I hope this is helpful. I will pray for your family.

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What does she do that involves spending time with peers? Is she in a book club? Dance class? Lego League? Geocatching? Hiking club? softball? Ice skating? Soccer? Community garden plot? Do you have any friends with kids her age that can be invited over for a girls night? Does she have friends over for sleepovers?

 

I think at that age and for many people it is spending time with peers and developing those wonderful deep friendships that can bring so much to life.

 

I don't think public school is the only answer, but if that isn't an option then you will have to make the peer interaction happen. I think her need is legitimate so how can it happen?

 

And I have a good friend whose son has gone in and out of school for such reasons. He gets so darn lonley. So, he went to school for a year and made some great friends. He came home after a year, his decision and choice, and kept those good friends.

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this might be the case...I don;t know your situation exactly....

 

But my first set of kids that I homeschooled complained about the same thing----feeling lonely , no friends etc.

 

But they were in a lot of classes etc etc etc.....

 

 

What I realized is that they needed a lot of FREE play time with friends rather than structured activities and classes with friends... like recess....and lunch time....

 

(By the way I sent them to school and they have not become per se happier. One tried to hang himself because of the stress last year and the other two have had numerous other dramas ie shoplifiting caught at the mall (cause everyone else was doing it) and the other had been physically threatened and they are in really good blue ribbon school districts.)

 

Unfortunately my ex refuses to let me homeschool them and my kids seem addicted to the drama and misery now and I cant get them out of the scene.

He has since made it impossible for me to make any decisions for them.

 

Anyways, with this new set of kids. I have been trying to make free play dates once a week at least lasting for several hours with two different friends. I would like more. But so far so good. It does subtract from homeschooling time though which is a drag but I feel it is important for them to have "socialization time" or else the temptations to look elsewhere is worse. I hope I can thwart what happened to the first set of kids.

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Thank you all for the input. I am pondering these things. I will add that it's not public school we are considering. It's a very small Christian school that supposedly is not clique-ish.

 

I'm not sure why she has a hard time with friends. She does have some friends, just not any close ones. She is in dance, soccer, and many church activities. We were in co op for the past 2 or 3 years, but neither of my kids wanted to do it anymore.

 

Hmmm....

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I disagree.

 

Being around crowds of people (as in a classroom) doesn't guarantee that you'll have more "friends." Your dd already does that now, right? With all of her activities?

 

You cannot trust the advice of a professional who is not himself a homeschooler, or has not worked extensively with homeschoolers and believes that homeschooling is the best. Really.

 

One of my dds would have loved school. She was very social. :glare: But I came to believe that if I'd allowed her to go to school, she'd have been overpowered by peer pressure. She'd have been the class president, the homecoming queen, the steady girlfriend of the captain of the football team, and I'd have lost her. She'll tell you today that I was right. :D

 

I'm thinking that things might go better once you're sure in your own mind that homeschooling is best.

 

You could evaluate the activities your dd does and see if there's a way to draw in more children who will become your dd's bffs. But maybe it's in her best interest to spend most of her time with her family.

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Worst case: She doesn't make friends and is exposed to school drama that makes her feel worse. She doesn't flourish and withdraws more.

 

 

Lots of kids don't ever make friends in school, or the friendships have a feeling of clinging to a life raft to survive the toxic social drama of the school environment.

 

IMO the counselor's head is full of rainbow colored fluffy ideas about school being a happy place to make all kinds of friends. If that was the case, we wouldn't be reading about all these stories of bullying with tragic end results.

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A counselor telling a homeschool child to go to school to solve their feelings/loneliness is actually a cop-out. It's the easy route - the lazy way to handle it. The counselor should be giving advice on how to help the child through this taking into consideration the current situation. He (or she) should be giving you advice on what you can do, while homeschooling, to help your daughter. If, nothing works and all possibilities are exhausted, try public school (or private school).

 

I imagine a counselor sitting at his desk never looking up as a line of homeschool children walk into his office one-by-one:

 

Counselor: What is your problem?

Child: I'm lonely.

Counselor: Put him in public school. Next.

New child: I don't like doing my homeschool work.

Counselor: Put her in public school. Next.

 

Anyway, you get my point. Ultimately, going to a school may be what is best, but it should not be the first and only option. While your daughter may agree with the counselor it is hard to say if he put the thought into your child's head first.

 

Maybe it is time for a new counselor. A second opinion never hurts.

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Feeling lonely and unloved is not the same thing as not having any friends. In fact, that particular saying could really put her in a dangerous place when she sets out to make friends wherever she goes.

Whether she goes to school outside of the home and makes friends there or stays at home and makes friends in other activities, IMO is beside the point. Having friends is not a cure-all for feeling lonely and unloved. Friends come and go, you lose them, make others, and drift apart. People move. Things change. Going through life saying "If I just had a friend, I'd be happy" is a recipe for disappointment, if not disaster. (Sub in, If I just had a boyfriend.)

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IMO the counselor's head is full of rainbow colored fluffy ideas about school being a happy place to make all kinds of friends. If that was the case, we wouldn't be reading about all these stories of bullying with tragic end results.

 

We have encountered this personally in our psychiatrist. Son won't get up and do any work? School is the answer. Son talks back? School will take care of that. Son is hyperactive and won't sit still? School is perfect for that. With a straight face the psych told me that the bells ringing all day long at intervals would take care of my ADHD son's disorganization problem.

 

If that is the case, why do so many kids in school need psychotropic medications and do so poorly? <sigh>

 

End of my rant.

 

What happens in co-op or playdate or whatever activity? Is it lack of availability of the kids that is the problem or lack of knowledge on making and keeping a friendship alive? Proximity of other kids won't help the second problem. It sounds like she is in proximity to other kids already so I ask if there is the second type of problem.

 

Otherwise, what we do is not only the activities but open-ended activities of parkday and play time before and after the scheduled activity when kids can get to know each other better and form friendships. It took us a while to find a good group/circle of kids, where the moms were as committed as the kids to forming lasting consistent friendships. The moms worked hard at first to encourage good interaction and friendship-building skills on the playground. The kids needed help at first frankly. None of our little darlings would have likely been very successful at school honestly. :tongue_smilie: After a year now, the kids are doing well together and clearly friends. The moms now have the option of not being quite so involved and the kids have control of those friendships.

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I'm not sure why she has a hard time with friends. She does have some friends, just not any close ones. She is in dance, soccer, and many church activities. We were in co op for the past 2 or 3 years, but neither of my kids wanted to do it anymore.

 

Hmmm....

 

I agree that unscheduled time is the key to friendships. If she is in those activities then ask her to invite ONE girl over for a sleepover or to hang out or go to a movie. Maybe start with a more 'scheduled' type activity like a movie or making brownies and then move to unscheduled hang out time.

 

You might have to do this a bunch of times. At her age, kids are busy. You have to persevere just to help them keep the friends they do have. My son has a couple really good friends and I value those kids in our lives. it takes work from me and their parents to keep our kids connected. It means I invite them over for dinners and go out of my way to help the connections. It means my DP hosts 'game night' with a few other dads and their kids. He does that once or twice a month. Yes, it is another job, but it is worth it to my family for my kids to have wonderful friends that they have had since they were toddlers.

 

If she is church group can you teach a class (in my church the parents teach) and meet some of the other kids? It might give you an idea who she likes or who might make a good prospective friend. It might also let you meet some of the parents. it is always easier to get the kids together if the moms are friends ;)

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Just a brief reply here... I homeschooled my daughter last year- she was very difficult and fought me the whole time. After a month homeschooling her this year and hearing complaints of being lonely we decided to send her back to ps. She has been happier and really enjoys being around other people more. She has been easier to discipline at home. I think she was sort of depressed homeschooling, despite my trying to get her involved. It reached a point where she was learning so little from me that I figured she couldn't learn less at at ps. She's actually learning MORE now. DH was concerned that ds would be weird if he was home with only a baby, but he's more appropriately challenged and less agitated by her antics. It's worked for us so far....

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I have made many efforts at spending more quality time with her. She really wants friends, and she wants me to send her to school. I am the one that is so hesitant.

 

If it doesn't work, you can always bring her back home. Public school isn't the end of the world and it may be wonderful for her.

 

ETA: I really should have read all the replies first :) The school you'd be sending her sounds very nice (small, not cliquey). I say go for it. At the very least she'll know that you really heard her feelings and are willing to step out of your comfort zone to try a new approach. It almost doesn't even matter if the new school works out or not. I think that choosing to honor her very strong feelings about this will be huge for building trust. Good luck!!!

Edited by shinyhappypeople
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hmm. that's a tough one. if i were in your shoes, i believe i would let my daughter try public school. i would definitely not attach stipulations to it though (well if you go - you have to stay for the whole year, etc). we have always homeschooled, but i am not anti public school - so for *us* it is an option i am willing to look into, especially if my daughter felt unloved and isolated. if your little girl is going through a lot emotionally & really wants to attend PS and you refuse, it may cause a lot of resentment issues as well, which will only feed into her feeling isolated. but imho, by trying to support her through this so that she can really see if public school is even a realistic option, it will hopefully show your support and she will know that she is being heard. i'm sorry that you're having to go through this. it would be difficult for me, and my answer is only hypothetical. i'm not really sure how i would respond, but my daughter feeling supported and loved would trump it all i beleive.

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There is nothing wrong with ps if it works, but I think a confrontation of the issue should not involve where learning takes place.

 

She is not going to make friends just because she is in ps. As a matter of fact, both of my girls did not bond with students in their classroom, but rather found their BFF's in the neighborhood.

 

My 11yo is on swim team. Of course, they are thick as thieves and together most of the week.

 

You might should consider a sport. Check your local Y. :D

 

Edit: What about 4-H or even Girl Scouts?

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I disagree.

 

Being around crowds of people (as in a classroom) doesn't guarantee that you'll have more "friends." Your dd already does that now, right? With all of her activities?

 

You cannot trust the advice of a professional who is not himself a homeschooler, or has not worked extensively with homeschoolers and believes that homeschooling is the best. Really.

 

One of my dds would have loved school. She was very social. :glare: But I came to believe that if I'd allowed her to go to school, she'd have been overpowered by peer pressure. She'd have been the class president, the homecoming queen, the steady girlfriend of the captain of the football team, and I'd have lost her. She'll tell you today that I was right. :D

 

I'm thinking that things might go better once you're sure in your own mind that homeschooling is best.

 

You could evaluate the activities your dd does and see if there's a way to draw in more children who will become your dd's bffs. But maybe it's in her best interest to spend most of her time with her family.

 

:iagree:

I went to a counselor and the moment she heard me say what I do she said "and maybe that's something you need to change"

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DD was in school at a different private school through the middle of 1st grade. She did not have any close friends there either (though she did in preschool - another different school) although she really did enjoy the social time.

 

In the counselor's defense, dd and I had already been talking about school. We have talked about it off an on. As I said, homeschool has been a struggle for dd and I the entire time. We are happy with curriculum now, but we definitely do not get along together as teacher/student even though we do as mother/daughter.

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You could always try putting her in the school for the remainder of the year and then re-evaluate the situation. But as others have pointed out, she should be able to make friends in the activities she's already involved in. Your troubles with her might just translate into different guises-- i.e. arguing over homework, clothes (even if there's a uniform there will probably be dress down days), etc.. Remember, though, you are the parent, you have the right to make these decisions even if she doesn't agree. What are your motivations for wanting to keep her at home, given that things have been difficult?

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DD was in school at a different private school through the middle of 1st grade. She did not have any close friends there either (though she did in preschool - another different school) although she really did enjoy the social time.

Well, there you go.

 

In the counselor's defense, dd and I had already been talking about school. We have talked about it off an on. As I said, homeschool has been a struggle for dd and I the entire time. We are happy with curriculum now, but we definitely do not get along together as teacher/student even though we do as mother/daughter.

All the more reason for you and her to continue battling it out at home. :)

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Going to school doesn't = having friends.

 

I went to public school for 13 years, in a class with the same 30 kids the whole time, and the "friendships" I had were nothing to brag about. I felt lonely and rejected the whole time and have no connections with anyone I went to school with, despite the fact I am now living in that same small town again.

 

But that's just my own experience. Certainly some people have lots of friends at school and really love the social aspect--from what I saw in school, most people liked the social aspect far more than the academic one! Maybe your daughter really is one of those people who would thrive in school because of the level of interaction . . . but I think Halcyon has a really good idea and would give her suggestions a try first.

 

What did the kids who needed to be in school do before there was any such thing as a public school system? Where did they interact and make friends? Extended family, church, community involvement . . . but now that family members are often living at great distances from each other, and most families have far fewer children, I guess the amount of interaction is significantly reduced. Just pondering.

 

:iagree:

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I disagree.

 

Being around crowds of people (as in a classroom) doesn't guarantee that you'll have more "friends." Your dd already does that now, right? With all of her activities?

 

You cannot trust the advice of a professional who is not himself a homeschooler, or has not worked extensively with homeschoolers and believes that homeschooling is the best. Really.

 

One of my dds would have loved school. She was very social. :glare: But I came to believe that if I'd allowed her to go to school, she'd have been overpowered by peer pressure. She'd have been the class president, the homecoming queen, the steady girlfriend of the captain of the football team, and I'd have lost her. She'll tell you today that I was right. :D

 

I'm thinking that things might go better once you're sure in your own mind that homeschooling is best.

 

You could evaluate the activities your dd does and see if there's a way to draw in more children who will become your dd's bffs. But maybe it's in her best interest to spend most of her time with her family.

 

:iagree: I agree with Ellie, but realize that you have to do what you think is best for your family...People may disagree and I may get boos for this, but I don't feel a nine year old is old enough to make serious decisions about his/her life...You have a perspective your daughter can't possibly have at her age...If you feel going to school is best, then send her...But if you don't, find another way to help her with the problems she is having...

:grouphug: It is a tough situation you are going through, especially with a counselor involved...Please let us know what you decide...

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I would try to organize a reading group with other girls, and as part of the club, have everyone bring a snack food to share. Then they can all sit around and gab and get to know each other. Then I would invite ONE over for a one-on-one playdate. I do think some kids need one-on-one time with one other child to "connect".

 

My kids are like that, they have trouble making friends in groups. They really need some one on one time.

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I guess I just thought we would always homeschool. We think homeschooling is great for lots of reasons. And selfishly, I like the simple life of staying home.

 

One thing I've realized, is that it's not selfish to be committed to homeschooling. It's ok to be committed to homeschooling in the face of adversity, even against the advice of "experts." There are plenty of parents committed to keeping their kids in school, to the point of medicating them with heavy duty psychotropic drugs. No one really questions their determination, so why should you question yours?

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I have been blessed to find two other like minded families and we meet once a week to do science, art, and greek together. We meet at the same house every week and do school in the morning, eat our packed lunches, and the kids run off and play for the rest of the afternnon. It has been such a blessing to all of the families. The kids have really become such good friends and us moms get time to just sit around and talk. I don't know if you could form such a group, but it's a way to keep things laid back and not feel like just another school/support group. Also, hopefully your daughter could form a few friendships and have something to look forward to each week.

I wish your family the best!

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So I'm fairly new around here, and I don't want to get labeled as the Touchy Feely WTM Wacko, but as I read through the posts on your string OP, I kept thinking about how you said your daughter feels unloved. I'm wondering if beyond the issue of trying to find her more friends (since you've already got her in a lot of groups), maybe this could in part be an issue of a mismatch between your way of communicating love and her way of receiving it.

 

So, that sounds a little woo-woo but I see with my hubby and both boys how different each person in our family is re: how we want to be loved. One ds is super touchy. The other ds, not so much. Stuff like that. This made me think of the love language book by Gary Chapman. True confession: I have never actually read the book. But he spoke at a conference I attended last year, and he's got some good stuff to say.

 

I swear, I am not a hippie! I just wonder if his love languages for children book (link below) could help you show your daughter love in a way that would resonate for her?

 

http://www.amazon.com/5-Love-Languages-Children/dp/1881273652/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1321413767&sr=1-1

 

I am NOT blaming you or in any way indicating that you are not a loving mom!! I just know that the way you show your daughter love and the way she wants to receive love can be so different that maybe she's missing feeling it.

 

Also, FWIW, I've got one kid in PS because he loves it and is thriving there, and another at home b/c PS was a misery for him. So I totally get that PS doesn't work for every kid and homeschooling might not work for every kid. I just felt like the "unloved" thing was getting overlooked and maybe this could help with that.

 

Just my 0.02. Hopefully helpful and not too flaky! ;)

christina

Edited by StinaInColorado
Duh: I put in the wrong link. Should be right now.
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I haven't read all of the responses, so I apologize if I'm restating something already said :).

 

At a certain point (approximately 1st grade) with ds (9), I had to make a concerted effort to guide him towards forming friendships with the children he had met at different activities.

 

Making sure you get to lots of activities, classes, co-ops, etc.. is a fantastic way to meet new friends...but it won't help your dd to create lasting, deeper relationships with those friends.

 

What I needed to do was to see which kids ds had hit it off with and got along well with and then invite them over for playdates or out on a one on one basis to just hang out and play in a non-structured situation.

 

So, my advice before school would be to pick a couple of kids she has met and gets along well with, connect with the parents and then set something up so they can get to know eachother better. :).

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Guest submarines
I disagree.

 

Being around crowds of people (as in a classroom) doesn't guarantee that you'll have more "friends." Your dd already does that now, right? With all of her activities?

 

You cannot trust the advice of a professional who is not himself a homeschooler, or has not worked extensively with homeschoolers and believes that homeschooling is the best. Really.

 

 

:iagree::iagree::iagree:

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Guest submarines
A counselor telling a homeschool child to go to school to solve their feelings/loneliness is actually a cop-out. It's the easy route - the lazy way to handle it. The counselor should be giving advice on how to help the child through this taking into consideration the current situation. He (or she) should be giving you advice on what you can do, while homeschooling, to help your daughter. If, nothing works and all possibilities are exhausted, try public school (or private school).

 

I imagine a counselor sitting at his desk never looking up as a line of homeschool children walk into his office one-by-one:

 

Counselor: What is your problem?

Child: I'm lonely.

Counselor: Put him in public school. Next.

New child: I don't like doing my homeschool work.

Counselor: Put her in public school. Next.

 

Anyway, you get my point. Ultimately, going to a school may be what is best, but it should not be the first and only option. While your daughter may agree with the counselor it is hard to say if he put the thought into your child's head first.

 

Maybe it is time for a new counselor. A second opinion never hurts.

:iagree::iagree::iagree:

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I don't know about school specifically but it sounds like she would benefit from some kind of an activity where she would share a common interest/enemy/project with a bunch of other kids, and ideally there would either be talking time built into the activity, or a proven history of families/kids connecting after the activity/whatever for further interaction.

 

I think maybe start smaller than full-blown and see what she gets out of it and what disappoints her, and then grow the experience into something bigger based on what you both learned.

 

I didn't really understand how to make friends properly until I was an adult (it happened as a child, but through no real intention on my part) and the whole "shared common interest" is key. The doing of the work together allows for topics of conversation to flower and the friendship grows from there. IMHO. :)

 

Good luck.

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I also want to recommend the Love Languages book. It's really helped my family. Dh and I express and receive love totally differently and our children are also completely different.

 

I've noticed that ds (8) has gone though various stages where his needs changed. A big thing for him his one-on-one time with Mom or Dad. It's hard to make that happen sometimes, but we have a happier and more loving child when we make it a priority. This isn't to say one-on-one time is what your dd needs, but as an example of how a child can change when their "love tank" is being filled...when he doesn't get that special time, he complains about his lack of friends and being board and lonely.

 

If you want to read the book, you can probably get it from your library. I hope things get better soon! Another book you might like is Your Nine Year Old by Ames and Ilg. I recently read it and the authors state that 9 yos in general are moody and withdrawn, but that it's a stage that will pass, so hopefully that'll be true in your case.

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Actually, I have read The Five Love Languages (and the one about children). Thanks for that suggestion! It's our book club book this month, too. :) Dd's language is quality time, and I do admit that's a tough one around here with a two year old and an infant. She did get more quality time before they were born. We make lots of efforts at doing special things with her, like dates, though. She usually won't talk to either dh or I.

 

We have tried encouraging close friendships, too, like having people over several times in addition to seeing them at the activities. They have a good time, but all the other girls have other "best friends". And they make that known to dd. Then when they see each other at the next activity, most of the time, the other girl continues to leave dd out and play with her "best friends" instead. IMO, most of them are just not good friends. They can be pretty mean, and it would hurt my feelings, too.

 

So the grass being greener on the other side, I was thinking that this school would give her a new set of friends. A close friend of mine who used to homeschool sent her kids to this small, private school this year and said that all the kids have been very welcoming and sweet to her shy, awkward kids. So I was hoping for the same.

 

Thanks for all the input.

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I would try to organize a reading group with other girls, and as part of the club, have everyone bring a snack food to share. Then they can all sit around and gab and get to know each other. Then I would invite ONE over for a one-on-one playdate. I do think some kids need one-on-one time with one other child to "connect".

 

:iagree::iagree: Especially with the bolded. My sister has her kids in school. She intentionally invites certain children over to play after school OFTEN so her children can build friendships. There are many kids in school who are just as lonely. :sad:

 

ETA: I just read your above post. It sounds like your dd does need a different pool of girls in which to find a good friend since her current friends are "taken." I really detest girl drama, btw. I'm no good at it but I do recognize that it exists and you have to work with what you've got. You can sit back and wait for a new girl to move in and latch on to her hoping for the best or you can sign her up for a different activity where she could meet some other girls to form that special bff bond with.

Edited by silliness7
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Another book that might help you make your decision is 'Hold on to you kids: Why parents need to matter more than peers' http://www.amazon.com/Hold-Your-Kids-Parents-Matter/dp/0375760288/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1321466377&sr=8-1

 

I wish I had that book about fifteen years ago when my older daughters were that age, it would have made a world of difference. In fact, my Dh works with our local CPS and he recommended that book to the administration and they ended up purchasing five copies for the CPS caseworkers to read. Apparently it has already been very helpful for a few families who are receiving services for 'difficult' children.

 

:grouphug:

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My teen was very lonely and depressed while homeschooling. We had just planned on doing it one year (8th grade to prep her for high school) and she was SO much happier when she went back to PS. She really loved the community she had at school. We couldn't replicate that with "playdates." PS gets a bad rap here (especially with socialization) but my dd had a large group of wonderful, supportive friends whose biggest attempt at peer pressure related to which bands they thought she should like.

 

Now this year she is in a tiny school with only 7 other high schoolers. They are all cousins, so she is definitely not part of their clan. Again, she really misses the community she had back home. She will probably move back and live with grandparents so she can go back to her old school.

 

Different people need different things to thrive. Don't feel bad if your daughter needs something besides homeschooling to thrive - just do what's best for her.

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Actually, I have read The Five Love Languages (and the one about children). Thanks for that suggestion! It's our book club book this month, too. :) Dd's language is quality time, and I do admit that's a tough one around here with a two year old and an infant. She did get more quality time before they were born. We make lots of efforts at doing special things with her, like dates, though. She usually won't talk to either dh or I.

 

 

Maybe the dates are too formal to encourage talking? My dd is only little, of course, but I don't see snuggles in bed in the mornings petering out any time this decade.

 

Rosie

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I have always said that my kids get PLENTY of socialization. I have never worried about that at all. But now my 9 year old daughter is in counseling, and she feels lonely and unloved. She doesn't have any close friends even though she's in lots of activities. So she and the counselor think that if she were in school, it would really help her because she would be able to interact with kids her own age and the teachers all day, every day. She would hopefully develop relationships with many of those people.

 

She is usually home with me and her brother who is 11 and our baby. Homeschooling her has been a struggle all along. I'm just really at a loss and the grass is looking much greener on the other side. Is it possible that it is in this particular case?

 

I had the same exact dilema with my 9 yo. He was seeing a counselor for anger issues, and it seemed that it stemmed from social problems, he felt like he didn't have any good friends. We moved to a new state this summer, and my husband was adamant about putting my 9 yo and 11yo in school so they could make friends. It was upsetting for me, but I finally went along with it. They now attend a very nice private school, and they are doing well, but my 9 yo came to me the other day expressing hurt feelings because he doesn't have any close friends in his class. So, school really hasn't solved the problem, and I'm still on the fence as to whether we have made the right decision. On the flip side, my husband is really happy with the decision we made.

 

The reason I like homeschooling is because it is an environment where each child's individual needs are met, and I'm a big believer that there is no "one size fits all" approach to education that works for everyone. What works for your family might not work for another, so don't feel you have to homeschool just to homeschool. At the same time, school might not fix this particular problem, so you have to decide if what you are giving up is outweighed by what you will gain.

 

Good luck!

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