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Is my dd a bad fit for homeschooling?


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Sometimes I just worry that she might be. What does it mean to be a "bad fit" for homeschooling? I don't know! All I know is that we've been gung ho about homeschooling since she was a baby, but ever since we started I just have a lot of insecurities about whether or not it's right for her. On the one hand, she's really social, so I feel bad about depriving her of all that social interaction that is built into school (yes, I have found several ways to help meet her social needs--gymnastics, church, Girl Scouts, we have a very active kid neighborhood). But on the other hand, she's really weird about participating in things--like, she just won't. She refuses to sing at church. If she doesn't want to do an exercise at gymnastics, she just refuses and stands there. She wanted to play soccer, but after the first two practices, she refused to participate--she would just sit on the sideline and watch. Even during school, when I ask her questions, she just refuses to answer. We've dealt with this refusal most of her life (and we have learned to deal with it when it involves chores and stuff like that), but sometimes I wonder if being in a public school situation might force her out of it???

 

I know this may have nothing to do with her schooling situation, but I watch her around the other kids at church--and even at gymnastics and Girl Scouts, which are both with homeschooled kids--and she just seems so...different. So of course my first worry is the most obvious one.

 

When do you think a kid shouldn't be homeschooled? I want this to be the right decision for our family, but sometimes I worry that I want it so badly that I may be blinded by it, unable to recognize indicators to the contrary. Does that make sense?

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My kid was like that at regular school, too. If he didn't want to do something, he just wouldn't do it, no matter what anyone said.

 

I definitely worry about that, too. Sometimes I wish I could just have a glimpse of what my kid would be like in public school without actually having to send her there and disrupt her life like that. Silicon Valley, I have a challenge for you!

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My kid was like that at regular school, too. If he didn't want to do something, he just wouldn't do it, no matter what anyone said.

 

IMO this is why your dd would be a good fit for homeschooling. In ps she's going to be one of dozens in a teacher's class, maybe several teachers depending on the grade level and school. Kids don't get worked on individually like you've been doing with her, after a while the teacher has to actually teach the other kids and they give up on problem cases or send them to the office as a discipline case. I can't see any of that making a kid want to participate more.

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Well I can tell you the insecurities you're feeling are NORMAL. If it wasn't over this, it would be over something else. Seriously.

 

No, forcing someone to do something they're not ready to do does not help. Well unless you're talking ABA. (which I know nothing about, so I'm not talking about it) Children grow best when nurtured and watered with love, attention, and interaction. No matter what the problem, the label, the need (typical or special), children grow best with love, nurturing, and attention. You, because you are giving those things, are going to be her best nurturer.

 

What would help you is to know if there's a *reason* for her behavior. Could be simple shyness or a remnant of a speech delay, could be something that has sort of been the elephant in the room and gone unrecognized. I think it would be more helpful to have that information and know whether it's something or nothing, rather than trying to solve something you can't put your finger on. If it's nothing, then gentle parenting will probably get you through it. And if it's something, then throwing her in a forceful school situation would only aggravate it and leave you dealing with the wake.

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She's really weird about participating in things--like, she just won't. She refuses to sing at church. If she doesn't want to do an exercise at gymnastics, she just refuses and stands there. She wanted to play soccer, but after the first two practices, she refused to participate--she would just sit on the sideline and watch. Even during school, when I ask her questions, she just refuses to answer.

 

[snip] I watch her around the other kids at church--and even at gymnastics and Girl Scouts, which are both with homeschooled kids--and she just seems so...different. So of course my first worry is the most obvious one.

 

What do you think is her underlying reason for refusing to _____? What kind of attention does she get when she refuses to _____? If she gets negative consequences, and still has the power to refuse, then her motivation is stronger than the consequences. IOW, from her perspective, there is a good reason to stand there and not participate.

 

I would do the opposite of what you're doing (sorry, but I would, honestly). That is, instead of getting her out to Girl Scouts, soccer, gymnastic, church choir, and whatever, I would stay peacefully at home. Yes, at home. There is nothing wrong with raising a young child at home, and you have two younger children, too. Her siblings are her peer group and playmates. They are enough. Play together at home. Kick the ball around the backyard. You truly do not need to be "in soccer" when you are five. Put on a Wee Sing CD and dance and sing at home. You truly do not need to be in the church choir at the age of five.

 

Let her fill herself up with the security and joy and warmth of being happy at home. She is so young, there will be plenty of time later to participate in activities. Why force what she doesn't want? Perhaps she hasn't had enough time at home, in relative safety and peace and solitude, to practice what she is expected to do in front of other people, who are basically strangers to her. If you give her more years at home, with time to become more comfortable being herself, she will grow in confidence.

 

I think that our culture makes parents feel as though their children will be "weird" if they are not "out there" often enough, in organized groups, getting all that social interaction. It's meaningless to some children. Home time is a gift to them. HTH.

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I don't think public school would pull her out of not wanting to participate. I honestly think she would get glossed over instead of forced to come out of her shell.

 

Give her time. I think that the majority of kids and parents are well suited for homeschooling, and it is a minority case that is better suited to be in a big school. Maybe she's social but overstimulated? If she is constantly doing stuff in a group, maybe she doesn't like that as much as just hanging out and playing. Maybe it would be good to scale back on the formal activities and just have more play days? I'm not sure because I'm not there, but just throwing it out there.

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Sometimes I just worry that she might be. What does it mean to be a "bad fit" for homeschooling? I don't know! All I know is that we've been gung ho about homeschooling since she was a baby, but ever since we started I just have a lot of insecurities about whether or not it's right for her. On the one hand, she's really social, so I feel bad about depriving her of all that social interaction that is built into school (yes, I have found several ways to help meet her social needs--gymnastics, church, Girl Scouts, we have a very active kid neighborhood). But on the other hand, she's really weird about participating in things--like, she just won't. She refuses to sing at church. If she doesn't want to do an exercise at gymnastics, she just refuses and stands there. She wanted to play soccer, but after the first two practices, she refused to participate--she would just sit on the sideline and watch. Even during school, when I ask her questions, she just refuses to answer. We've dealt with this refusal most of her life (and we have learned to deal with it when it involves chores and stuff like that), but sometimes I wonder if being in a public school situation might force her out of it???

 

I know this may have nothing to do with her schooling situation, but I watch her around the other kids at church--and even at gymnastics and Girl Scouts, which are both with homeschooled kids--and she just seems so...different. So of course my first worry is the most obvious one.

 

When do you think a kid shouldn't be homeschooled? I want this to be the right decision for our family, but sometimes I worry that I want it so badly that I may be blinded by it, unable to recognize indicators to the contrary. Does that make sense?

 

The public school situation will make whatever is an issue for her far worse than it is now.

 

I wish parents who were so worried about socialization for very young children (and I was probably one of them) would read the book, "Hold on to your Kids" by Neufeld and Mate. It really opened my eyes about some things that I had instinctually known, but disregarded because everyone else seemed to be saying other things.

 

If she refuses now, she will refuse when homeschooled, only then, there won't be a caring person encouraging her. She will just have to do it, or get labeled as having some kind of problem. At home, you can take her out a lot, interact with many others yourself (the main way children are are really socialized - by adults, not other children), and encourage her out of it, assuming it is some sort of temporary issue.

 

The only kids I think should not be homeschooled are those who are high school age and have specific reasons to attend a specific school (like maybe a performing arts school or something). I personally would never send a young child to public school; I just think home is better for the early years. We also did a great co-op when the kids were little one day a week and it was enough, along with occasional playdates.

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What do you think is her underlying reason for refusing to _____? What kind of attention does she get when she refuses to _____? If she gets negative consequences, and still has the power to refuse, then her motivation is stronger than the consequences. IOW, from her perspective, there is a good reason to stand there and not participate.

 

I would do the opposite of what you're doing (sorry, but I would, honestly). That is, instead of getting her out to Girl Scouts, soccer, gymnastic, church choir, and whatever, I would stay peacefully at home. Yes, at home. There is nothing wrong with raising a young child at home, and you have two younger children, too. Her siblings are her peer group and playmates. They are enough. Play together at home. Kick the ball around the backyard. You truly do not need to be "in soccer" when you are five. Put on a Wee Sing CD and dance and sing at home. You truly do not need to be in the church choir at the age of five.

 

Let her fill herself up with the security and joy and warmth of being happy at home. She is so young, there will be plenty of time later to participate in activities. Why force what she doesn't want? Perhaps she hasn't had enough time at home, in relative safety and peace and solitude, to practice what she is expected to do in front of other people, who are basically strangers to her. If you give her more years at home, with time to become more comfortable being herself, she will grow in confidence.

 

I think that our culture makes parents feel as though their children will be "weird" if they are not "out there" often enough, in organized groups, getting all that social interaction. It's meaningless to some children. Home time is a gift to them. HTH.

 

This is such a good post and you have a lot of wisdom about this while your kids are still young. :iagree:

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She is only 5. When my dd was that age, I would fill her day with exploration, reading to her, playing with her, etc... Try giving her choices of what she wants to learn about and make her a partner in her schooling. Make it fun and games and hands on learning. If you are creative, she can learn all she needs to learn at this age with no book work or anything that looks like "school."

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Exactly this. I felt the same when my oldest was that age. Now he is 10 and if you suggest public school to him he runs away screaming.

:thumbup1: He's too cool. LOL. My oldest (not quite 8) does the same. I agree, though, the anxiety when starting off with the oldest is probably normal. At least, I experienced it, too, and many other HS moms say the same. I didn't even give it a second thought this year with the twins for K. They are PERFECT fits for homeschooling! :)

 

OP -- Good luck with your K year!

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Have you ever experienced reading something at two different times and viewing it from completely different perspectives - or perhaps, more likely, have you ever read or taken something one way and found another person read or took it in a completely different way? As a child I was a people pleaser who couldn't say no and now I am a parent of children who seem to often have no desire to please anyone so I have felt and thought that something was wrong with my children (until I learned that they are just like DH was as a child and I made a mental note to counsel my children in future to investigate any potential spouse's childhood/family history before making a commitment :tongue_smilie: ).

 

So, although I could have written your post in one sense on a different morning, today it hit me differently. How it sounded to me was - you have a wonderful, active and social child BUT she knows what she doesn't want and has the spine and confidence/security to say no and stand against large amounts of social pressure to the contrary and you are wondering if public school will break this strength and individuality in her. (I know you weren't thinking that .. but maybe try to think about it like that ..)

 

As a compliant child, I needed to learn the appropriate times and ways to not please people. As a child who has no problem saying no, she needs to learn appropriate ways communicate her desire (and there may be much going on inside to motivate her that she is having trouble expressing or it could be simple), the discernment to know when it is appropriate to be flexible and to give of herself out of consideration for others, and the ability to do so. I woudln't expect a five year old to master that nor for her to learn it at public school. You've got to be discerning too. She needs to honor her parents but parents need to not provoke their children. I'm still needing discernment there, also. For example (and you may feel this way, too) I wouldn't turn the issue of singing in choir into one of obeying/disobeying a parent. On the other hand, there have been a number of posts from parents asking about issues of sport or instrument, whether to insist upon commitment or let them quit. It can be grey but probably with a five year old, I'd personally let that drop also. Those are things you need to decide for your own family, though.

 

Anyway, just some thoughts. It's so much easier for me to put a positive spin on your situation while now I have to go face my own. :tongue_smilie:

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What do you think is her underlying reason for refusing to _____? What kind of attention does she get when she refuses to _____? If she gets negative consequences, and still has the power to refuse, then her motivation is stronger than the consequences. IOW, from her perspective, there is a good reason to stand there and not participate.

 

I would do the opposite of what you're doing (sorry, but I would, honestly). That is, instead of getting her out to Girl Scouts, soccer, gymnastic, church choir, and whatever, I would stay peacefully at home. Yes, at home. There is nothing wrong with raising a young child at home, and you have two younger children, too. Her siblings are her peer group and playmates. They are enough. Play together at home. Kick the ball around the backyard. You truly do not need to be "in soccer" when you are five. Put on a Wee Sing CD and dance and sing at home. You truly do not need to be in the church choir at the age of five.

 

Let her fill herself up with the security and joy and warmth of being happy at home. She is so young, there will be plenty of time later to participate in activities. Why force what she doesn't want? Perhaps she hasn't had enough time at home, in relative safety and peace and solitude, to practice what she is expected to do in front of other people, who are basically strangers to her. If you give her more years at home, with time to become more comfortable being herself, she will grow in confidence.

 

I think that our culture makes parents feel as though their children will be "weird" if they are not "out there" often enough, in organized groups, getting all that social interaction. It's meaningless to some children. Home time is a gift to them. HTH.

 

 

She definitely doesn't get negative consequences for not participating. We just kind of ignore it and tell her she is welcome to join if/when she wants to. The thing with Girl Scouts and gymnastics is that she LOVES them. We're definitely not forcing her. If I took her out, she would be completely devastated. She loves being around other kids and she does participate, for the most part. It's just that, when she doesn't want to, she completely refuses, and I don't see other kids doing that so I guess it bothers/concerns me. And she isn't in church choir--just church, which I'm obviously not going to pull her out of.

 

At home, we're a very singy family. We sing songs together every night, plus in the car. Even then, she usually refuses to sing along with the rest of us (me, dh, and ds). She has always seemed just really self conscious. This is going to sound ridiculous, but it seemed to be there even when she was a baby. If she did something cute or funny and we laughed, she would cry, and way back then we commented that it almost seemed like she was self conscious and upset that we were laughing "at" her. This was like eight months, maybe even younger.

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she's really weird about participating in things--like, she just won't. She refuses to sing at church. If she doesn't want to do an exercise at gymnastics, she just refuses and stands there. She wanted to play soccer, but after the first two practices, she refused to participate--she would just sit on the sideline and watch. Even during school, when I ask her questions, she just refuses to answer. We've dealt with this refusal most of her life (and we have learned to deal with it when it involves chores and stuff like that), but sometimes I wonder if being in a public school situation might force her out of it???

 

My daughter was like that at that age. Being in ps didn't help - if she didn't want to do something, she would refuse, even there. (Now, she also really wanted to please her teachers, so if she was refusing something, I knew she was experiencing real discomfort about it.) Plus, if the teacher handles it badly (in an authoritarian style), it could make things worse.

 

The only time I think ps might help in such a situation is if this behavior only occurs with you, but the child is willing to do the same things for other teachers or with their peers (and even in such a case, there would be other things to try first). That's not the case that you've described - she's refusing for her gymnastics and soccer coaches, too. So I don't think her behavior would be likely to change by going to school.

 

I understand why you're concerned; I was also concerned with my daughter at that age - I wanted to see her relax and join in and have fun. But in hindsight, I wouldn't worry about it at all, just be patient and supportive. My daughter needed to observe new situations for a while until she felt safe and comfortable, and then she would join in. Allowing her the space she needed to work through her discomfort helped to build her confidence. Any pressure or attempts to force participation would interrupt that process and be counterproductive. I can't think of a single instance where forcing participation was successful.

 

So, I would follow her lead; you are providing her with new experiences and she and you are discovering what she likes and doesn't like. I might ask about it gently, to see if you could get a clue what was bothering her to see if there's a pattern. But if she doesn't like to sing in choir, I wouldn't force her to. In gymnastics, I would assume she just didn't feel comfortable trying a particular move. As for soccer, maybe she thought it would be a lot of fun, but then she discovered she really didn't like it after all. That's OK - the main problem is you're out the money for the class but telling her that won't motivate her to participate; sometimes we try new things and they just don't work.

 

My only concern would be her refusal to do things at homeschool if it became constant and/or disruptive to her schooling. But at her age, I'd focus on changing my approach and experimenting with different teaching techniques, to see what works for her and what does not.

 

One day, you will be glad that she knows herself so well and is willing to stand firm in her resolve.

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She definitely doesn't get negative consequences for not participating. We just kind of ignore it and tell her she is welcome to join if/when she wants to. The thing with Girl Scouts and gymnastics is that she LOVES them. We're definitely not forcing her. If I took her out, she would be completely devastated. She loves being around other kids and she does participate, for the most part. It's just that, when she doesn't want to, she completely refuses, and I don't see other kids doing that so I guess it bothers/concerns me. And she isn't in church choir--just church, which I'm obviously not going to pull her out of. At home, we're a very singy family. We sing songs together every night, plus in the car. Even then, she usually refuses to sing along with the rest of us (me, dh, and ds). She has always seemed just really self conscious. This is going to sound ridiculous, but it seemed to be there even when she was a baby. If she did something cute or funny and we laughed, she would cry, and way back then we commented that it almost seemed like she was self conscious and upset that we were laughing "at" her. This was like eight months, maybe even younger.

 

my dd is like this. I think it was for two reasons. First, as a firstborn, most of her experiences are with adults. This means that she wants adults to take her seriously as a peer. Laughing at a "cute" thing that a person did is not how adults interact. I see that there are 3 years between your oldest and your second child. In my family there are 4 years between the first 2 kids. During those four years, she spent so much one on one time with adults, that she often still forgets that she's a kid.

 

Second, my dd is a perfectionist. Also linked to spending much one on one time with adults. If she can't do something perfectly or thinks she might not be able to, she doesn't want to try at all. She feels that she ought to be as proficient as an adult right off the bat and feels like a failure if she can't. I don't know the cure for this, but one thing that I wish I had done at that age was to only brag on my daughter for attitude things. See, personally, my dd (as the oldest child and oldest/only grandchild on both sides for many years) got lots of attention for being "so smart" "so bright" and knowing so much. I wish I had downplayed her innate intelligence (or at the very least been very matter of fact about it) and emphasized effort, character and toughness when she stuck to something and worked at it until she got it, even if she failed along the way. I wish I had made a big deal about my failures (burning supper, breaking things, etc.) showing her that adults mess up all the time but keep trying. I wouldn't press the point with your daughter about why she won't participate, (she likely doesn't have the words to state it that way anyway. It's just a nebulous feeling to her)

 

But in your shoes, I would express to her that its okay to not want to participate every now and then, but if it is a struggle every time or most of the time, mommy is going to have a hard time paying money and taking hours out of my day to do these things. I'd also tell her that Mommy is happy to do these things for her so that she can have fun, but if she's not enjoying the activity, then it may be time to back out. And that's okay with you.

 

You may also want to track the days that are "bad" days. On those days has she not had enough sleep? When was the last time she ate? What did she eat within the last 24 hours that might be contributing to her not feeling like participating?

 

Anyway, none of this may apply to your family, but I thought I would throw it out there for your consideration. I read Lehman's Birth Order Book and it really opened my eyes to the way that my oldest perceives the world. I'm a compliant middle child and my oldest processes the world differently. Of course most of the book is generalizations, but it was very helpful for me.

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OP, what you are describing makes me think she is an extreme perfectionist. Perhaps she isn't participating because she realizes she can't do it "right," and either doesn't see the point in doing something imperfectly or doesn't want to fail in front of others. She will need help overcoming that, although it will probably always be a part of her personality. At five, I wouldn't worry about not participating in soccer, though. It isn't uncommon for kids that age to do what your dd is doing. At least she is watching! Some kids just wander off.

 

You may want to read Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck to help with the perfectionism.

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my dd is like this. I think it was for two reasons. First, as a firstborn, most of her experiences are with adults. This means that she wants adults to take her seriously as a peer. Laughing at a "cute" thing that a person did is not how adults interact. I see that there are 3 years between your oldest and your second child. In my family there are 4 years between the first 2 kids. During those four years, she spent so much one on one time with adults, that she often still forgets that she's a kid.

 

Second, my dd is a perfectionist. Also linked to spending much one on one time with adults. If she can't do something perfectly or thinks she might not be able to, she doesn't want to try at all. She feels that she ought to be as proficient as an adult right off the bat and feels like a failure if she can't.

 

Yes! This is her, exactly! And we actually figured out this perfectionist thing a few years ago. It is the reason she took her time with most of her developmental milestones--she wouldn't walk, wouldn't walk, wouldn't walk, and then one day started walking perfectly. She did that with everything. It was like she was secretly practicing things in her crib until they were perfect before she would let us know she could do them.

 

I've never made the connection, though, between this behavior and her time around adults. That makes so much sense. And you're right, she still has a really hard time understanding that she is a kid.

 

So I think it is a self-consciousness thing. She doesn't want to do things in front of people unless she knows she can do them perfectly. I was honestly the same way (still am), and as an adult I can see that it was a real handicap to me. I only tried out for things or ran for things if I knew I would win. That is obviously limiting. I really want to help her get over this so she will be free to try interesting things without fear of failure.

 

You guys are right--public school probably won't change this tendency. It certainly didn't fix it for me.

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My son was just like this and, it's why I started homeschooling. LOL. I got really tired of all the visits to the principal's office. My son was not around adults all day and he was still like this, and WORSE. He had a brother 20 months older than him and lots of neighbor children and 6 boys cousins all just about his age, and I ran a home daycare for most of his infant and preschool years. It was wall to wall kids, from 5:00 in the morning to bedtime.

 

Homeschooling was the ONLY option left by mid 5th grade. All other options had been explored. And we were not inviting him to do things. We were demanding and punishing. He was so angry and physically ill (he stopped eating) by 5th grade that none of us could stand it. All of us were just exhausted. I demanded obedience for important things, but I chose my battles wisely. The school on the other hand was asking him to do illogical and harmful things. School is not about the children and not about individual children. He just was not capable of blind conformity.

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What do you think is her underlying reason for refusing to _____? What kind of attention does she get when she refuses to _____? If she gets negative consequences, and still has the power to refuse, then her motivation is stronger than the consequences. IOW, from her perspective, there is a good reason to stand there and not participate.

 

I would do the opposite of what you're doing (sorry, but I would, honestly). That is, instead of getting her out to Girl Scouts, soccer, gymnastic, church choir, and whatever, I would stay peacefully at home. Yes, at home. There is nothing wrong with raising a young child at home, and you have two younger children, too. Her siblings are her peer group and playmates. They are enough. Play together at home. Kick the ball around the backyard. You truly do not need to be "in soccer" when you are five. Put on a Wee Sing CD and dance and sing at home. You truly do not need to be in the church choir at the age of five.

 

Let her fill herself up with the security and joy and warmth of being happy at home. She is so young, there will be plenty of time later to participate in activities. Why force what she doesn't want? Perhaps she hasn't had enough time at home, in relative safety and peace and solitude, to practice what she is expected to do in front of other people, who are basically strangers to her. If you give her more years at home, with time to become more comfortable being herself, she will grow in confidence.

 

I think that our culture makes parents feel as though their children will be "weird" if they are not "out there" often enough, in organized groups, getting all that social interaction. It's meaningless to some children. Home time is a gift to them. HTH.

 

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Oops... I was trying to quote Sahamamamma... not quite sure what happened there!

 

Anyway, her advice is great! You've got a stubborn one on your hands. Let her mature, teach her to overcome things she doesn't want to do. In time, she will be ready to do all that stuff. She sounds like she might be overwhelmed but things, but I really don't know. I have some really stubborn kids, of course they are a challenge. Unless, she had a wonderful teacher, she wouldn't be nurtured into performing, she would be broken into a mold. (That is some sort of weird mixed metaphor, but hopefully my point is coming across!)

 

We started off with all our kids in school. When we brought everybody home, there were some things that they were able to really relax about. Because you don't have that experience to compare things with, you don't realize how freeing the situation you have right now is!

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My kid was like that at regular school, too. If he didn't want to do something, he just wouldn't do it, no matter what anyone said.

 

 

Yup. DD13 was like that. In first grade she had daily detention, 1 suspension, no recess, no gym class, no music class, no end of year field trip because she was like that. She has been home from grade 2 on. She still tries it. It doesn't fly here. I will go toe to toe with her, when she gets that attitude and make her comply. Now at 13 she rarely balks at trying new things and is excelling at most of what she tries because anything less than her best is not acceptable and that has been driven into her head. Had she stayed in ps, she would have learned that mediocrity and refusal to even try is acceptable. Not because they teach that but because there is nothing they can do to make a kid like that try. Where as I as her mother could. In our case, her refusal was a result of ODD/conduct disorder. When she joined something new she had no choice but to finish the season/year, that was a commitment made and she was to finish it. If she never wanted to go back that was fine but if all she did was sit on the sidelines the whole season that was fine but she was there. It didn't take long for her to realize she may as well join in and have fun there because she was going regardless. Schoolwork in the beginning she would sit in her desk or at the table for hours and hours and hours refusing to do her assignment. I never gave in. I was considered horribly mean by my unschooling friends. But due to her issues, she would push and push to test if the boundary was real or not. It was not fun at all. But she learned, and eventually the battle of wills got less frequent and for shorter periods. She still tries it from time to time, to see if that boundary still exists. It does. ANd I still last longer than her when she digs her heels in.

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I did not read all the replies, but years of teaching Sunday School have taught me one things: kids that refuse to participate are almost always HIGHLY INTELLIGENT, and like to get a good feel for what is going on before they dive in. My one concern is that your dd might be highly gifted and in that case ps is not a good fit for her, you need to be able to work at a different pace. Your experiences with both Girl Scouts and soccer suggest to me that your dd looked at those situations, knew she did not know enough to contribute, was unwilling to make mistakes to learn (big issue for highly intelligent children sometimes) and wanted to step back until she completely figured it out, not knowing at her young age that some things must be dived into.

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Yes! This is her, exactly! And we actually figured out this perfectionist thing a few years ago. It is the reason she took her time with most of her developmental milestones--she wouldn't walk, wouldn't walk, wouldn't walk, and then one day started walking perfectly. She did that with everything.

 

You guys are right--public school probably won't change this tendency. It certainly didn't fix it for me.

 

Ds is like this. When he started to crawl, he got up and crawled, no rocking, no falling, perfect the first try. He didn't walk until just after 12 mos, but when he took his first steps not holding onto anything, he walked down the hall around the corner and never crawled again.

 

He is a perfectionist and won't do things that he doesn't believe he can do well. We tried ps and while it had positives and negatives, it certainly didn't help this.

 

I'm afraid I am the same way and my time in ps made it far worse because of the social consequences of doing anything less than perfectly.

 

Lots of patience, lots of encouragement, lots of MODELING how fun it is to try and mess up and laugh about it.

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In the short time during which we have been homeschooling, I have noticed I hold the key to the solution of the issue whenever something goes wrong. Worries about my own abilities to teach, to provide my kids with a social life, and about society's reaction to homeschooling can get in the way. When the worries go away and your confidence increases, learning together becomes a lot more fun.

 

 

This is so true. I agree with Dialectica's wise counsel. :iagree:

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kids that refuse to participate are almost always HIGHLY INTELLIGENT, and like to get a good feel for what is going on before they dive in. My one concern is that your dd might be highly gifted and in that case ps is not a good fit for her, you need to be able to work at a different pace.

 

:iagree:

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My oldest was/is like that, she would flat out refuse to participate in some things or talk to some people. It was especially visible in sunday school/youth group, because all the kids would sit in the circle and play the games, she would sit in the corner! Instead of singing with the kids, she'd stand there silently glaring at everyone!

 

Now she's older and I think it was a combination of things:

1. Personality. She's a lot like her father, he'll still sit in the corner if he can! 2. She was often one of the younger/littler ones and felt overwhelmed. 3. She needed time to feel comfortable and confident, especially with new games that she had to learn, and new people she had to get a good feel for.

 

I never pushed her, but I would periodically encourage her to try. It was more important to me that she learn to trust her own feelings knowing that mum would back her. Fast forward 2 years and she's fine, absolutely fine. She participates in all the rough and tumble, even with the bigger boys (unthinkable!).

My boys are nothing like that, they don't hold back, but they are infinitely more stubborn than she ever was! :boxing_smiley: However, everyone was questioning how on earth I'd ever hs my oldest son, because of his personality. He has been a dream this year!

 

I think a kid shouldn't be homeschooled if the parents aren't willing to engage with their child.

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I'd force her out of it without school. Refusing to answer questions? She'd be doing push ups until she felt like answering.

 

My son opted out of something that made him look bad last month for no good reason, and I told him in so many words that it made him look like a snot or an obnoxious brat, and is that how he wants others to think of him? He decided he didn't.

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Enjoying this conversation! 3 thoughts:

 

1. There's plenty of unsocialized, non-participatory, troubled, _______ kids in public school and everywhere else.

2. All group situations are not the same: my DS excelled in swimming lessons (4 students and fantastic teacher), did not do well on swim team (even though fantastic teacher was one of the coaches) because it was too big, too chaotic, had some bullies, etc.), and he is now doing great on a different swim team (stricter, effective coach who gives more individual attention, no bullies and nicer team mates, less chaotic, less noise, more effective team-building from coach). Same kid, experiences all back to back, different groups, different results.

3. Everyone matures at different rates. 5 is young. My DD couldn't stand being in babysitting or toddler room at church, so I kept her with me. In kindergarten I helped/taught Sunday school. Now she loves going to church/Sunday school and doesn't need me there at all. DS opposite at same ages--didn't mind leaving me at all.

 

I think its great your thinking about problems and trying to figure it out.

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My point being, that maybe the watching and looking is part of where she is developmentally, maybe she is learning and enjoying in her own way. Especially if she loves being there. And she might participate more when she gets older, more comfortable, or in a different group or setting.

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I went to school with a girl who would not talk at all during school. She would talk when she got home but wouldn't talk at school. We were friends she would always write things down. She was like this from elementary school to high school. She was picked on.

I wouldn't think school would help your daughter. I think she would be singled out and picked on when she opted not to particpate. I hope this helps.

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This is such a good post and you have a lot of wisdom about this while your kids are still young. :iagree:
She definitely doesn't get negative consequences for not participating. We just kind of ignore it and tell her she is welcome to join if/when she wants to. The thing with Girl Scouts and gymnastics is that she LOVES them. We're definitely not forcing her. If I took her out, she would be completely devastated. She loves being around other kids and she does participate, for the most part. It's just that, when she doesn't want to, she completely refuses, and I don't see other kids doing that so I guess it bothers/concerns me. And she isn't in church choir--just church, which I'm obviously not going to pull her out of. At home, we're a very singy family. We sing songs together every night, plus in the car. Even then, she usually refuses to sing along with the rest of us (me, dh, and ds). She has always seemed just really self conscious. This is going to sound ridiculous, but it seemed to be there even when she was a baby. If she did something cute or funny and we laughed, she would cry, and way back then we commented that it almost seemed like she was self conscious and upset that we were laughing "at" her. This was like eight months, maybe even younger.

 

My dd, who is now 15, was similar to this. When she was 6 or 7, I made her get up on stage at a church to recite a Psalm that I knew she knew. I thought this would be good for her (she is shy) and cause her to rise up out of her shyness. The result? She ended up sobbing on stage, she was so terrified of being in front of others and having to perform. I was mortified (all about me) because I had to go up on stage to remove her.

 

I have had the "conversation" with her more times than I could count about how she appears to others (looking like a brat, uninterested in others, etc.). Because much of it was said in anger and embarrassment (on my part), it had a very negative result in her. I am so sorry I hurt her in these ways.

 

I have since learned that she has some social issues, that she doesn't pick up the cues that others give easily, that she doesn't make the connection between what she is doing and how it may be perceived. It is only in the last few years (say from ages 12 on up) that we have been able to make some headway on these issues. And that's only because I realized that she struggles socially and that I read some books and learned how I can help her in these ways. She does not purposely hestitate to participate in new situations and/or with new people (one of the posters aptly called them strangers - -I had never realized that is what they are to my daughter) or to purposely shy away from the unknown. That is just how she is put together and it is my job to gently give her the skills and then gently introduce her to those safe situations where she can use those new skills.

 

In my experience, it can be very difficult to determine whether or not your child is doing these things out of stubborness, disobedience or because she is not equipped to handle them. But time will tell. Your dd is very young and so there is lots of time for you to figure all of that out. Be gentle with yourself and with her.

 

I would tread very carefully. I would not punish your child for not particpating. I tried that and realized too late it was so wrong for her. I would treat her with kids gloves. I love the many responses here. I would stay home with your small brood and just enjoy your family. Let her shine at home and enjoy having you all be together. She is only 5 and will shine in the years to come. Just love her and nurture her and hang in there. There really isn't much a 5-year-old needs to do but play and interact with your family.

 

I would very much agree that ps would just exacerbate all of this. When I used to ponder ps for my dd, I would realize time and time again, that it would have just caused her to would just pull inside her shell even more. It would have so made it all the worse. The only way to pull her out of her shell (get over her shyness and learn the necessary skills) was to use loving gentleness to teach her what she needed to know and then give her safe opportunities to try out her wings.

 

I would agree with the poster that said we all have insecurities about something. Either it's parenting, homeschooling or both. I don't think any of it every goes as we think it should or we how we plan it out.

 

I'm sure you're doing fine and will figure it all out as it comes.

 

Make homeschooling just an extension of your family and it'll work itself out in time.

 

God's blessings to you

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I have an oldest who is/was very much like this. She loves being with other kids and joining activities, but she never wants to be the center of attention. She prefers to stand back and evaluate (for a long time) before being comfortable enough to join in. Since she's my first, I used to be concerned for her, but now I'm not. I'm OK with her being herself. She looks like she's not participating, but she's always thinking...evaluating...making choices. She also has a strong, confident streak so she's not a pushover or a wall flower.

 

I've read a few of your posts when you post concerns about your oldest. Most of the posts seem to be phrased in a negative way. For instance, instead of "refusing to particpate" why not rephrase it as she is "holding back." I mention this b/c I do this type of thing to my oldest sometimes. Instead of seeing her personality in a positive light, I choose to view it in a negative light. For some reason I have to work harder to see the positives in my oldest. Perhaps you are the same way?

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