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easing disappointment about schooling at home?


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My daughter attended a simple preschool program run by our local highschool and just recently finished the program. There was a lot of talk about starting K next year and going to school, etc. She has also often seen the school bus going by and started getting so excited about going to school. When I broke the news about us doing school at home she cried and cried and cried. Even after explaining all the fun things we'll be able to do too.

 

Now, what I find interesting is that this child is very socially reluctant but still socially eager. She wants to be with other kids and at places with other people, but often won't interact with anyone. In fact, it took 3/4s of the preschool year for her to consistently participate in their planned activities, yet she still was always excited and happy to go. It just confuses me how a child that appears to not enjoy social interactions can want them so much too.

 

I'm trying to figure out how to get her the social elements she so strongly desires and not having to leave the house every day. She really hates when we stay home all day. I think there are some broader elements of boredom going on, though she doesn't ever say she is bored, that I'm working on addressing but still also trying to think of ways to get more deeper-level connections too. I feel like we have lots of generic friends but attempts at fostering deeper friendships hasn't gone over as well.

 

We're not planning to do the local coop because while I know she'd love going, the cost is more than I want to manage. We have other homeschooling families as friends but they're a bit more a once-a-month hanging out variety and I'm thinking more like weekly would be nice. And if we do classes like dance or gymnastics, classes are still very short at this age group and not really much interactions beyond the class either (I really prefer hanging out with the families in our social circle/natural parenting group more than random folk we meet).

 

I need to work on being at home being less miserable for her, I think, while also trying to find a little more social interaction as well. I also hate that every time someone brings up Kindergarten or school, she gets all upset about the topic too, regardless of how fun I try to make it all sound.

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My daughter attended a simple preschool program run by our local highschool and just recently finished the program. There was a lot of talk about starting K next year and going to school, etc. She has also often seen the school bus going by and started getting so excited about going to school. When I broke the news about us doing school at home she cried and cried and cried. Even after explaining all the fun things we'll be able to do too.

 

Now, what I find interesting is that this child is very socially reluctant but still socially eager. She wants to be with other kids and at places with other people, but often won't interact with anyone. In fact, it took 3/4s of the preschool year for her to consistently participate in their planned activities, yet she still was always excited and happy to go. It just confuses me how a child that appears to not enjoy social interactions can want them so much too.

 

I'm trying to figure out how to get her the social elements she so strongly desires and not having to leave the house every day. She really hates when we stay home all day. I think there are some broader elements of boredom going on, though she doesn't ever say she is bored, that I'm working on addressing but still also trying to think of ways to get more deeper-level connections too. I feel like we have lots of generic friends but attempts at fostering deeper friendships hasn't gone over as well.

 

We're not planning to do the local coop because while I know she'd love going, the cost is more than I want to manage. We have other homeschooling families as friends but they're a bit more a once-a-month hanging out variety and I'm thinking more like weekly would be nice. And if we do classes like dance or gymnastics, classes are still very short at this age group and not really much interactions beyond the class either (I really prefer hanging out with the families in our social circle/natural parenting group more than random folk we meet).

 

I need to work on being at home being less miserable for her, I think, while also trying to find a little more social interaction as well. I also hate that every time someone brings up Kindergarten or school, she gets all upset about the topic too, regardless of how fun I try to make it all sound.

 

Well, it will help if you aren't overly sympathetic. Really. :-)

 

She is used to being out. She'll get used to staying home (so will you).

 

Weekly get-togethers with other homeschoolers would be more than enough. I promise.

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While dance and gymnastics classes are short at this age, don't discount that as a valuable social opportunity. There may not be a lot of time commitment, but having something she looks forward to each week counts for a lot. Are there any specific kinds of group lessons she is interested in taking? Could be a good carrot to dangle.

 

It helped a lot when my younger son started scouts and had that something to look forward to once a week. He stopped asking to go back to public school after that.

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We've had some luck with hanging out at the local park. I found that if you tend to go at about the same time on the same days you often fall into a group of other moms and kids who also tend to go on those days and times. Voila! Instant playgroup. You're more likely to find kids at around ages 4 to 6 than older kids, however.

 

We aren't particularly social, but the kids do like to complain about not having friends. Well, they DO have friends, they just don't get to see them every day. Heck, I don't get to see my friends every day either, and I really don't much care for the attitude and smart comments the tweens seem to develop after a session with the 'friends', so I don't have much sympathy. Scouting for us has been more about dealing with 'mean girls' than about positive social interactions. I think there is something to be said for keeping them at home locked in the basement until they turn eighteen. :001_rolleyes:

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Well, it will help if you aren't overly sympathetic. Really. :-)

 

She is used to being out. She'll get used to staying home (so will you).

 

Weekly get-togethers with other homeschoolers would be more than enough. I promise.

 

Why would being overly sympathetic (whatever that means?) be a negative? Personally, I prefer parenting with a strong dose of empathy and compassion for the emotional needs of my children.

 

And who is to say whether weekly get-togethers will be sufficient social stimulation for this child.

 

This is the second thread this week where I've seen remarks that completely discount the desires of the child re homeschooling.

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Now, what I find interesting is that this child is very socially reluctant but still socially eager. She wants to be with other kids and at places with other people, but often won't interact with anyone. In fact, it took 3/4s of the preschool year for her to consistently participate in their planned activities, yet she still was always excited and happy to go. It just confuses me how a child that appears to not enjoy social interactions can want them so much too.

 

I am an introvert that likes to be around people. That is why I always live in busy cities. However I will only talk when I wish to talk. I also enjoy people watching. My older is the same way. He enjoys watching lots of people but for interaction he prefers one to one and talking only to people he wants to. If it is someone he has no wish to talk to, he is polite but silent.

 

ETA:

Your two daughters are a year apart just like my boys. Maybe she just want time away from her younger sister.

 

ETA:

They have Saturday class and summer classes. They used to have weekly swim and gym class. They also attend classes/activities/workshops at the state parks with their peer group.

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When my kids are that age, we joined a field trip group. Something was organized twice a month. We also spent almost every day on the playground and made lots of friends there. Our Dept. of Parks and Recs offers many great short-term classes for little ones. Also, we have a number of nature centers that do as well. The library was a great resource. My dd participated in a program where they read a book and then did a cool craft once a month. We went out on the bike trail daily. There is a lot available at this age for kids that doesn't have to be expensive. We also did Community Bible Study. Ours had a lot of people homeschooling, so they had classes for homeschoolers. Again, very inexpensive.

 

I really have had to and continue to push myself out of my comfort zone to create social opportunities for my kids. And it's gotten a lot harder as they've gotten older!

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Why would being overly sympathetic (whatever that means?) be a negative? Personally, I prefer parenting with a strong dose of empathy and compassion for the emotional needs of my children.

 

 

 

 

Overly sympathetic is when a kid scratches their finger and is treated to "Oh Sweetie! Are you alright? Does it hurt a lot? It's ok to cry, really. Oh, come to Mamma. Oh, let's go inside and get some medicine for it, and you mustn't play with that naughty toy, let's give it a smack, any more so you don't scratch yourself again!"

 

I consider that type of thing rather disrespectful of the emotional needs of children, don't you?

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Just from my personal experience, I think being at home will foster plenty of social interaction with her family. My two little dd's are like peas in a pod, and my littlest gets in on the fun and playing as well. I wouldn't discount her feelings, but her being in the middle of all of everyone else looking forward to things she will not be participating in is naturally disappointing to her. She will adapt, as will you.

 

Right now, her hearing about it has more impact on her than what you are telling her about sometime in the future. You may want to do some fun schoolish things over ths summer (assuming you aren't planning to start formal lessons until fall) and do them with your dd's such as science experiments, nature walks, playing with math manipulatives and games, etc. She will soon enough figure out that being at home isn't so terrible and that playing with her sister is enjoyable.

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While dance and gymnastics classes are short at this age, don't discount that as a valuable social opportunity. There may not be a lot of time commitment, but having something she looks forward to each week counts for a lot. Are there any specific kinds of group lessons she is interested in taking? Could be a good carrot to dangle.

 

This was the first carrot to dangle and I did sign her up right as preschool was ending. She was very excited about it, until finding out her sister was going to the class too. There are just 2 short session where they'll be in the same age group. But she has been very excited about dance and I'm debating gymnastics. Unfortunately, the cost of these classes usually means that is the only extra we can add in.

 

Why would being overly sympathetic (whatever that means?) be a negative? Personally, I prefer parenting with a strong dose of empathy and compassion for the emotional needs of my children.

 

I don't think the intention was to ignore the child's feelings but instead having empathy without amplifying their emotional response. We parent with lots of care to their feelings but I do think there are ways we can recognize and support their feelings without encouraging them. And while I do feel giving children some say in their schooling is fair, I don't think at age 4 and 5 or when the big yellow bus is a primary factor is the time to do so, that just isn't a decision I can give to such a young child. I did give the decision to my teen who entered high school and often wish that I hadn't, but at this point I would probably still do the same for the younger children when they get older.

 

 

I am an introvert that likes to be around people. That is why I always live in busy cities. However I will only talk when I wish to talk. I also enjoy people watching. My older is the same way. He enjoys watching lots of people but for interaction he prefers one to one and talking only to people he wants to. If it is someone he has no wish to talk to, he is polite but silent.

 

ETA:

Your two daughters are a year apart just like my boys. Maybe she just want time away from her younger sister.

 

Bingo (!) on the wanting to be away from her sister --- this really is a big factor. But we can't really wave a magic wand and make her disappear but do work to give her a bit more one-on-one time she seems to need. But funny on an introvert that likes people, I remember having that conversation with my midwife. She is a major introvert but works with sooooo many people and she said she loved that it pushed her outside of herself all the time. For me, I like small concentrated doses of people and then a whole lot of alone time. :)

 

 

Just from my personal experience, I think being at home will foster plenty of social interaction with her family. My two little dd's are like peas in a pod, and my littlest gets in on the fun and playing as well. I wouldn't discount her feelings, but her being in the middle of all of everyone else looking forward to things she will not be participating in is naturally disappointing to her. She will adapt, as will you.

 

Right now, her hearing about it has more impact on her than what you are telling her about sometime in the future. You may want to do some fun schoolish things over ths summer (assuming you aren't planning to start formal lessons until fall) and do them with your dd's such as science experiments, nature walks, playing with math manipulatives and games, etc. She will soon enough figure out that being at home isn't so terrible and that playing with her sister is enjoyable.

 

We are actually starting in June. We all thrive on routines and she really loves the 'school' we did before she went to preschool. So it'll help ease us through our days too - full days of nothing but open play are a struggle for her. But I hope that there will be stronger sibling bonds at some point - while they play together constantly, there is a lot of animosity toward her younger sister as well that we're constantly working on helping her love cup get filled and helping them work together too.

 

I really have had to and continue to push myself out of my comfort zone to create social opportunities for my kids. And it's gotten a lot harder as they've gotten older!

 

Yes, this is really what it'll boil down to. I may even need to look into hosting something with the other homeschool families too. While being in large groups with kids is really overwhelming for me, I don't find that to be the case with our primary group of friends, their kids are far more chill than when we do things at the library and such.

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Overly sympathetic is when a kid scratches their finger and is treated to "Oh Sweetie! Are you alright? Does it hurt a lot? It's ok to cry, really. Oh, come to Mamma. Oh, let's go inside and get some medicine for it, and you mustn't play with that naughty toy, let's give it a smack, any more so you don't scratch yourself again!"

 

I consider that type of thing rather disrespectful of the emotional needs of children, don't you?

 

:iagree: Exactly.

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My daughter sometimes expresses that she wishes she were at public school when I know truly she does not. She had a very bad public K experience and would beg not to go to school every day. Yet when I make her sit down and do a particularly disliked task she will yell "I wish I were at a REGULAR school with other kids!". Really though, I know she would hate it and I think she knows that too even in her worst moments. Kids are not immune to the "grass is always greener" syndrome. Look around for a local home school group, if you can't find one consider making one. Going outside your comfort zone to make social opportunities is part of the picture too, which is really difficult for me.

 

The K experience your daughter is envisioning is very likely different from the one she would get anyway. I would just make sure that you focus on the fun parts of K at least as much if not more than the academic parts. K can be really fun! I am sad we didn't get to do a K year at home. I would also just simply acknowledge her feelings without dismissing or minimizing them and leave it at that. Instead of trying to immediately make her feel better about being home when she complains I would just say something like "I can hear that you are disappointed that you are not going to get to do X thing (like riding the bus or whatever it may be when it comes up) and then just stop there instead of adding on but we are going to do Y. That way she starts to see she can both be disappointed about not going to K as planned, and excited for what your doing at home and the two don't have to be linked.

 

Also can you figure out more specifically what she is sad she is missing? With a 4 year old it could be as simple as wanting to ride the bus, in which case maybe you could plan an adventure on a city bus?

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Overly sympathetic is when a kid scratches their finger and is treated to "Oh Sweetie! Are you alright? Does it hurt a lot? It's ok to cry, really. Oh, come to Mamma. Oh, let's go inside and get some medicine for it, and you mustn't play with that naughty toy, let's give it a smack, any more so you don't scratch yourself again!"

 

I consider that type of thing rather disrespectful of the emotional needs of children, don't you?

 

And where in the OP would we find examples of this kind of emotional disrespect? I couldn't find any. I see an introverted young child who wants to be with other kids at school and a parent who is concerned about the child's reluctance about homeschooling.

 

I am also an introvert who would miss the social aspects of traditional school had I been homeschooled. I most certainly would have received a better k12 education had I worked one on one with a passionate educator, but I'm not sure I would have been as happy. Obviously, each child is unique, but I personally prefer the education to be tailored to the emotional, social and intellectual needs of the child.

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Transitions can be difficult. She (and you) will adjust just fine, I'll bet.

 

During our first year of homeschooling, we all had to make many adjustments, me included. We made them, and all is well five years later. Also during our first year, we had a homeschooling friend with one child who invited us over to her house to do Atelier art. That gave us a weekly outing, and I enjoyed the grown up time with my friend. You may need to organize it, but I'll bet you can get other homeschooling moms to bring their kids over for an elective activity or just playdates on a weekly basis. Many moms with young kids are open to these sorts of activities. It doesn't have to be a huge undertaking.

 

Young kids tend to have big emotional reactions initially, but these fade. If her needs are met going forward, she should do well. Just play it by ear and take one step at a time.

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My DD went through this after homeschooling for a year. As it turned out, what she really missed were the "trappings" of school-she wanted the cute classroom theme, the mascot, and stuff like that.

 

So, we played "school"-here's some pictures.

 

http://makingmusicwithkids.blogspot.com/2011/08/homeschoolplaying-school-in-our-case.html

http://makingmusicwithkids.blogspot.com/2011/08/more-from-mount-parnassus-elementary.html

 

That helped a lot. I also did a print order and had a school shirt made, which DD wears on field trips, had some stuff printed with the school logo on it for DD to use and got a car magnet for my minivan :).

 

DD also has a lunch box and backpack for school-we use the lunchbox when we're doing field trip days out of the house that span lunchtime-we'll find a nice spot and have a picnic, and she uses her backpack when we school away from home. I give her a school supply list each year and let her pick out some supplies-and she can pick the fancy folders with Lego people on them or whatever.

 

I use our school name when I order books and materials for school-she LOVES getting boxes addressed to "Mount Parnassus Academy" (And apparently the National Mythology Exam folks got a kick out of it-we got a note commenting on the name with DD's medal.)

 

She now has no real desire to go back to a traditional school-but she is in the process of creating a reptile-themed classroom so we can "Slither into Fourth grade".

 

 

Another friend of mine had her DD, despite having been miserable in PS, really really make a plea to go back for 5th grade. It turned out that her reason was because in 5th grade, at her old school, you got a LOCKER and to keep your books in the hall and change classes (to start getting the kids ready for middle school)-and she wanted the locker. So, her mom bought her one, had it installed in the hall outside her bedroom, and made it the girl's responsibility to get her books and materials that she needed for that day's classes from her locker. Problem solved.

 

Sometimes, the best way to handle it is to give the kids want they want/need and play with them.

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Talk to her and find out exactly what it is she thinks she will be missing. One of my kids worried about being the only one without a class theme (ie "Mrs. Fisher's Frogs"). There was a cute calendar on the market at the time with a monster theme. We became "Mommy's Marvelous Monsters". Another child found out that at our local school, each classroom has a pet, and each kid takes a turn to take the pet home on a weekend. I offered to get gerbils. (Thankfully, they forgot, so I didn't have to!) Kid #3 just wanted to ride the school bus. I conveniently arranged some middle school kids to talk in his earshot about how dirty and smelly the bus was, and how long they had to sit on it each day when all they wanted to do was get home and play. In your case, it sounds like your child wants time away from her little sister. Can you arrange a weekly playdate with another homeschooler? I would talk to her, though, to see if that's really 100% of the problem.

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One more thing - I take opportunities to point out the advantages. "I hope that bus didn't wake you up this morning - can you believe how early it comes? Those poor kids had to get out of bed when it was still dark, and they've already eaten and gotten ready and gotten on the bus, while we were still in our cozy beds!" After we have been out playing for a few hours "here comes the school bus - the regular school kids are finally with school for the day! Aren't you glad you get so much more playtime?" Anytime we do a park day or playdate, I comment how lucky they are to get to be playing instead of sitting in a classroom. Etc. etc.

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Do you live in or near a big city? Check to see what programs your local libraries and museums offer. Sign up for a once-a-week sport. There's always Girl Scouts and/or 4-H (Clover Kids) when she turns five. You might check into short summer camps she could attend at the Y, etc.

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This was the first carrot to dangle and I did sign her up right as preschool was ending. She was very excited about it, until finding out her sister was going to the class too. There are just 2 short session where they'll be in the same age group. But she has been very excited about dance and I'm debating gymnastics. Unfortunately, the cost of these classes usually means that is the only extra we can add in.

 

 

Here is my advice on this end - check into the gymnastics over dance. Dance will get expensive faster, with gymnastics you can stay rec and then won't have all the "stuff" like they do in dance - costumes, recitals.... In our area gymnastics is CHEAP compared to dance (and, it might not be in your area depending on your studio) and I could have my kids go to multiple classes a week and still come out over $100/mo cheaper.

 

My youngest entered K in late January when she started, she learned almost nothing, but it was social time for her. She is finishing up 2nd and over most of it, just the whole friend/recess aspect remains as what she likes. She had a poor academic year this year (first year teacher) and I really want to make sure she has a good 3rd grade - so with any luck her Dad will relent to K12 Virtual. She is excited about that potential - and also doesn't know that she has been invited to team gymnastics (still cheaper than dance here!). Which means 4 hours a week in the gym - she will be tired! WHile i am sympathetic/empathic to her wishes, my biggest concern right now is her academics.

 

SOme of the other posters have good ideas for figuring out what she wants.... good luck!

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One more thing - I take opportunities to point out the advantages. "I hope that bus didn't wake you up this morning - can you believe how early it comes? Those poor kids had to get out of bed when it was still dark, and they've already eaten and gotten ready and gotten on the bus, while we were still in our cozy beds!"

I had to remind my high schooler about this this year - she was thinking about public. I told her, "That bus comes by my window at 6:40, I am NOT dragging your behind out of bed to make it daily. THis will be all on you....." She just looked at me. LOL!

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And where in the OP would we find examples of this kind of emotional disrespect? I couldn't find any. I see an introverted young child who wants to be with other kids at school and a parent who is concerned about the child's reluctance about homeschooling.

I agree with you that it's common on the boards to see a dismissive attitude towards public schooling and children who want to go to school, with the assurance that homeschooling is so much vastly better, and often the reasons are things like getting up early in the morning or whatever. Well, in high school, I caught a bus before 7 am, and, no, I didn't like school, but I would not have been sleeping in even if I had been homeschooled. My parents got up, and still get up, at the crack of dawn. My mom considers sleeping until 7 am "sleeping in." So I do think, even if we don't change our approach, it is worth acknowledging that this child is disappointed. Doesn't mean we have to be indulgent or encourage it, but I think her feelings shouldn't be ignored just because they don't fit in with our plans.

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I agree with you that it's common on the boards to see a dismissive attitude towards public schooling and children who want to go to school, with the assurance that homeschooling is so much vastly better, and often the reasons are things like getting up early in the morning or whatever. Well, in high school, I caught a bus before 7 am, and, no, I didn't like school, but I would not have been sleeping in even if I had been homeschooled. My parents got up, and still get up, at the crack of dawn. My mom considers sleeping until 7 am "sleeping in." So I do think, even if we don't change our approach, it is worth acknowledging that this child is disappointed. Doesn't mean we have to be indulgent or encourage it, but I think her feelings shouldn't be ignored just because they don't fit in with our plans.

I did not mean to imply that we homeschool just so we can sleep in all day - you are right, that is clearly NOT a valid reason to homeschool. The bus comes by here at 6:25. We don't get up til 7. :) "Sleeping in" until 7 is just a nice benefit to homeschooling, and not the purpose!

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Why would being overly sympathetic (whatever that means?) be a negative? Personally, I prefer parenting with a strong dose of empathy and compassion for the emotional needs of my children.

 

And who is to say whether weekly get-togethers will be sufficient social stimulation for this child.

 

This is the second thread this week where I've seen remarks that completely discount the desires of the child re homeschooling.

 

 

 

Because sometimes, parents DO know best. Kids have a lot of desires and not all of them are healthy. What my kids thought constituted 'sufficient social stimulation' usually meant what I considered ridiculous and excessive, especially as they got older. It was also disruptive to the family and made any kind of academic learning difficult or impossible since the child was more focused on his or her social schedule than on pretty much anything else.

 

Just as I do not give into my kid's desire to eat candy for most meals I do consider it my responsibility as a parent to curb or limit any other desires I consider unhealthy and the 'desire' for increased social activity is one of those desires I do regulate. My kids get candy when I deem it appropriate, and they socialize as often as I deem appropriate. It's called 'parenting'. And yes, sometimes you do have to be the 'bad guy' and not an enabler.

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She is sad because she is grieving the loss of what she thought she was going to be doing. It doesn't mean that she won't be happy at home once it becomes familiar. I think you really have to accentuate the positive. Children thrive off of our confidence. I talk to my kids all the time about what we get to do that kids at school do not. We have friends that go to b&m school, as well as homeschooled friends, and it isn't hard to notice that the b&m schooled kids can't join us as often.

 

We have a particular library in our area that provides lots of services to younger kids and their families, so it has become a hub of sorts for all the homeschooled families, even though many of them live in a different library district. I have met most of my friends there. We put our kids in the same classes, and us moms hang out while the kids are in their classes or play. Once I got to know a few moms, we put together a play group that meets 2x/month during the school year and weekly during the summer.

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One of my daughters big things was field trips this year - the only ones she has gone on were the ones I pulled her out of school to go on. She never had more than one a year - but is still talking about how they didn't get to go on any.

 

School 0 vs homeschool 1 (ok, 3 if you count pulling her out early last week to go see friends at Disney that bought us tickets :D I'm thinking that a day at the Studios and Blizzard Beach is better than anything she would have gone on at school! And we did the Pioneer Village with the HS group.)

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Why would being overly sympathetic (whatever that means?) be a negative? Personally, I prefer parenting with a strong dose of empathy and compassion for the emotional needs of my children.

 

And who is to say whether weekly get-togethers will be sufficient social stimulation for this child.

 

This is the second thread this week where I've seen remarks that completely discount the desires of the child re homeschooling.

 

Yes, and this is the second thread this week where I've seen remarks that unfairly label and judge parents who choose what they think is best for their children instead of letting their children make major decisions on the basis of what they think would be most fun.

 

If children always knew what was best for themselves, then we would emancipate them at birth. Apparently, our society as a whole does not believe that children always know what's best for themselves--that's why they have parents who love them and who have enough life experience to have some perspective on major decisions such as schooling. Can we please stop making people feel like disrespectful tyrants just because they embrace their charge as parents, to do what they think is best for their children? If you think that what is best for your children is to let them make all their own decisions, fine. That's your call as a parent. But if someone else thinks that sometimes what their kid wants ISN'T the best thing for them, that's THEIR call as a parent. And it doesn't make them disrespectful or tyrannical.

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Just 2 things. Here and I guess moat places they really push school for the last 6 months of preschool - they want them excited and enthusiastic. Can her younger sister not go to the preschool next year? That way your daughter gets some one on one time with you.

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My DD was in preschool from age 2-3. She is now 5.5 and occassionally when we walk past the school she used to go to she still says she misses her friends. The first 9 months after I took her out she would often say she missed it and when she was about to start K she said she wished she could be back in that school. I asked her what she missed and it was mostly playing outside on the equipment and being with friends.

 

So she does dance and gymnastics class each once a week and we go to a homeschool group once a week also. We take both girls to the park fairly often and she gets to play on school outdoor equipment after Sunday school each week too. She has plenty of friends from all these activities but does not see them every day. The homeschool group is basically for free play too.

 

I do think it is important to recognise the child's feelings and also to find out what it is they think they are missing and if there is a substitute. In the end though the public school kids complain and their parents just tell them they have to go to school - that is the parents decision and the same applies to homeschooling. The child's feelings should be acknowledged and respected, but the child still has to accept the parents decision. It is not always necessary to make a child feel happier or less of what they feel by replacing it with something else - less angry, less frustrated, less disappointed - this can lead to problems later on. They need to explore these feelings and feel them, and then they need to be helped to solve them in some way that they can think out themselves (or with suggestions).

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And where in the OP would we find examples of this kind of emotional disrespect?

 

 

Sorry, I'm not good at picking up on rhetorical questions over the internet and missed the last one. This one is obvious. We both know my response to you had nothing whatever to do with the OP and was answering a point of yours.

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I do think it is important to recognize the child's feelings and also to find out what it is they think they are missing and if there is a substitute. In the end though the public school kids complain and their parents just tell them they have to go to school - that is the parents decision and the same applies to homeschooling. The child's feelings should be acknowledged and respected, but the child still has to accept the parents decision. It is not always necessary to make a child feel happier or less of what they feel by replacing it with something else - less angry, less frustrated, less disappointed - this can lead to problems later on. They need to explore these feelings and feel them, and then they need to be helped to solve them in some way that they can think out themselves (or with suggestions).

 

 

Exactly. I think it's important to figure out what is troubling a child if they are truly upset by something, but in the end I don't feel that young children know what's best for them.

 

There's absolutely NO way a preschool child can comprehend all the complexities of making an educational decision like that. An adult, a parent, has the perspective of understanding to various degrees things like public school scheduling, standardized testing, PS curriculum, school ratings or scores, availability of certain services, crime, school violence or bullying, health related concerns, legalities, personal finances, costs of private schooling, and long term effects of being in public school vs. homeschooling and weighing those pros and cons to make a choice.

 

A preschool child only knows that it was fun to play blocks and have circle time with some other children. Something that can be done again using community resources.

 

It's up to an adult to make a choice that they feel is best. I give most parents the benefit of the doubt that they know what that is (barring abuse etc).

 

I don't understand why a kid who hates public school has to suck it up and go because the parent does not choose to homeschool or explore any other option, but a parent who homeschools in spite of a child's wish to go to school is being disrespectful?? After all it's a 4-5 year old child we're talking about here, not a teenager, who I could see giving a bit more of a choice.

 

Missing some friends is not a traumatic event that can't be overcome. Friends and various people are going to come and go throughout life.

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I have had to face the usurper issue several times now. The most recent has been the most challenging. Number 3 was happily entrenched as the baby when Number 4 decided to show up and take over our world. There are still some issues but it is getting better. For me, no relationship supercedes sibling relationships so if we aren't getting along with family, we aren't going out and finding friends we like better. That doesn't mean the kids don't have social opportunities or alone time, but I don't offer those if we've not worked hard at overcoming our differences at home.

 

If time away from sis is a huge issue, then rather than pay for outside activities, I would probably make sure that the oldest child gets time away with just mom.

 

Try to avoid pointing out negative feelings about her sibling but focus on the positives you see. Give her "jobs" if she seems interested. When my two younger sons are fighting over a toy I can sometimes get middle DS to come around by "assigning" him the job of teaching the little how to play with the toy, etc. Come up with some "big kid" privilege or responsibility (maybe pair the two) that comes with turning 4 or 5. Middle children really are a challenge and they need their own unique niche to fill.

 

ETA:

Do you think she feels like "big kids" go to school since big sis is going? Maybe you could show her some of the books you used with big sis at home when she was 4 and 5, or talk about what big sis learned at home?

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You need to find something and call it "school". So...if you will go to park days once a week cal it "park school" and be very excited about it. Or go to the library once a week for story time and do some of your work there, and call it library school. Get her a backpack and lunchbox for "park school" or whatever, and make a big deal of it.

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I think homeschooling has to have its own identity. If it's just not going to school, then your daughter is looking at a net loss. So you need to make her life interesting on its own terms. I think/hope we all are saying some variation on this, just in different ways.

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One thing I did with my daughter when she was moving from preschool to hs/k was to sign her up for a 2 morning p/week art program at the local arts center. It was called "Art Start". That's the name we always referred to it as and so did she. When other kids talked about "school" (K) she talked about Art Start and she never seemed to feel "left out". It was a good way to transition. (She's 11 now)

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MomatHWTK made a very good point. Sibling relationships are very important. You know how much your DD wants to go to school now? That is probably 80% due to positive propaganda she heard at preschool about school. Now that you will have your DD home, you can wage your own propaganda war on loving sibling relationships and family time. It sounds like you just hope she will come around on it with time. I would parent heavy in this area (and have) to encourage love and support of siblings. It will pay huge dividends as a family in the future, and in peace in your home as you homeschool.

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Weekly get-togethers with other homeschoolers would be more than enough. I promise.

 

A weekly home schooling get-together would absolutely not be enough, let alone more than enough, for my daughter. She's social. She would love the social aspect of school -- possibly so much that any academic aspect would be a stretch. She needs a social life. This is despite having siblings at home that she enjoys playing with and gets on well with.

 

OP: mine is an extrovert, so she just wants to be around people. Any people. The more the better. Introverts tend to need close friendships. Your dd is probably not the type of kid who plays at the park for a few hours and comes home with three new friends, right? She needs to see the same people, over and over. She doesn't form instant intimacy.

 

I think your best bet would be to find the type of activity that builds up a community around it. It's hard to explain this, but certain activities -- usually the ones that take a great deal of time and effort -- form communities. The same kids are around several times a week, and they get to know each other over the years. Others -- usually the types of classes you take at community centres -- don't.

 

Examples of the first type would be music through a good music academy or symphony orchestra, math competitions/clubs, religious involvement at a demanding church, serious sports, and so on.

 

The problem is that with the exception of religious involvement, all of those are likely to be expensive, and some aren't appropriate for a very young child.

 

If you're going to go the community centre route, I think you need to be proactive in setting up play dates with other mothers. If you're an introvert (as I am), this is going to be a bit murderous, because it means I have to get to know these women so that my dd can socialise with their daughters. Eeek. But I think it's necessary.

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You said in your post that she doesn't do well with lots of unstructured free play at home, and that she expresses some reluctance to be with her sib. Maybe that's how she envisions homeschooling--nothing fun to do and she has to hang with her little sister all the time.

I found a huge change in how fun "home" became once we started homeschooling--it was interesting, time went fast because we were busy, there was personal involvement/attention, it was MUCH more engaging than typical home-time had been.

ITA that she is being marketed to by the preschool--that's normal, but you will probably have to actually do homeschooling for her to get the idea that it is just as fun as school; afterall, the preschool has the advantage of describing something pretty similar to what they were already doing. Homeschooling is a total unknown to her.

 

I hope she comes around quickly.

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A weekly home schooling get-together would absolutely not be enough, let alone more than enough, for my daughter. She's social. She would love the social aspect of school -- possibly so much that any academic aspect would be a stretch. She needs a social life. This is despite having siblings at home that she enjoys playing with and gets on well with.

I agree with you. My kids are much happier playing with a group of neighborhood kids outside for hours. I never succeeded in finding a homeschooling group.

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I was really worried about my DD being disappointed about not going to "real school," because she's grown up hearing a lot of talk about school from her cousins and aunt who all go to (or in my sister's case, teach at) a small, closely-knit private school, and i'm sure it's always sounded as a very fun place for her. We moved temporarily, during which she's attended a preschool program that she, for the most part, really loves. But I basically have just been really talking up homeschooling to her, and making it seem like the best thing that could ever happen to her, lol. Mine is similar to yours in that she loves being around other kids but is actually quite shy and introverted and takes a while to warm up. But she did very very well in school. So I look at it as a challenge for me to provide her with activities with other kids so she doesn't feel like she's missing out on that aspect of things (even if our desire for her not to spend all her day with other kids is one of the reasons we are going to homeschool). That means that I may have to be the one to organize parties and play dates and things.

 

So far, she has not actually expressed any disappointment to me, and since we haven't started homeschooling quite yet (I guess we will officially start in the fall when the other kids we know are starting their schools), it remains to be seen whether she will express disappointment later. But I think I worried about it a bit more than was warranted.

 

Good luck!

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My DD is also an introvert, and that's one reason why we tend to do the same activities every season. For example, she's had the same little circle of 4 girls that she's danced with since she was 4. It's hard because DD has gotten to the point where she doesn't like dance much, but she doesn't want to leave her friends. We also have a small group within our homeschool group who have been together now for 3-4 years, and that helps, too-but it did take time to establish those friendships.

 

Truthfully, I think DD would benefit socially from being in school with the same kids daily because she DOES need time to warm up. But it's not an option here right now.

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My Kindy dd attended Pre-K at our local elementary school last year and had a blast. I had planned to homeschool her for K like all my other kids but she was so insistent on trying school out I felt like we'd give it a try. I have also been very busy with my 8 yo with dyslexia this year so having my younger dd out of the house during the day turned out to be a good decision. My 6yo is advanced in reading and just assessed at 2nd grade level. She is ahead of her big sister which can create some issues. However my dd does not want to go to school for 1st grade. She says she misses the fun stuff at home and the school day is very long. I think she just wanted to go because they talked up Kindy so much last year.

 

My oldest dd went to Pre-K too and was so sad when I didn't send her to Kindy. The first couple years of homeschooling are the hardest and getting into our groove took awhile. Not to mention we moved 4 times and added 4 new siblings between Kindy and 4th grade. She is 15 now and never wants to go to school (she did go for one year- 7th grade and hated it). She even plans to homeschool her own kids someday. In hindsight I wish I had really talked up homeschooling more before we started. My dd's first year we did very little outside the house and I think that was what she missed having done 2 years of preschool. When my kids were younger we used to throw a "not back to school" party and they always got excited about that.

 

I find our best years are the ones that my kids feel like they get more social opportunities. It could just be my kids personalities but the hardest couple years were ones where we did very little outside and the kids felt like they didn't have friends. My younger kids are more content with just doing activities but my teens want to hang with their friends and that type of thing requires more planning than it did when they were younger.

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Yes, and this is the second thread this week where I've seen remarks that unfairly label and judge parents who choose what they think is best for their children instead of letting their children make major decisions on the basis of what they think would be most fun.

 

If children always knew what was best for themselves, then we would emancipate them at birth. Apparently, our society as a whole does not believe that children always know what's best for themselves--that's why they have parents who love them and who have enough life experience to have some perspective on major decisions such as schooling. Can we please stop making people feel like disrespectful tyrants just because they embrace their charge as parents, to do what they think is best for their children? If you think that what is best for your children is to let them make all their own decisions, fine. That's your call as a parent. But if someone else thinks that sometimes what their kid wants ISN'T the best thing for them, that's THEIR call as a parent. And it doesn't make them disrespectful or tyrannical.

 

 

The only unfair labeling I'm seeing is yours. I said that the OP was a concerned parent. Where you get disrespectful or tyranical from that I have no idea. Those are your words, not mine. I also never said that I allow my children to make all their own decisions. Frankly, I don't understand the Hobson's choice here. Why are the only options tyranny or children making all their own decisions? I was simply advocating a middle ground, and noting that there have been two threads recently where the child's desires re homeschooling were completely dismissed by some of the commenters. The OP is clearly concerned or would not have started the thread; I'm glad she has received advice on how to help her daughter.

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No one said that the op shouldn't home school. What a few of us have been concerned by is that some encouraged the op to disregard her dd's feelings and to assume that one get-together a week will be plenty. The op can make this work within the context of homeschooling. But she's right to recognize, as she has, that her dd wants more social interaction than some home schooling regimes provide. So the question is, how can we may her parental choice work without dismissing her dd's social needs?

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You may not want to leave the house every day, but as you know, when you homeschool you take on the responsibility of intentional socialization rather than the by default socialization of an institutional school setting. It'll require more work on your part than sending a kid to the bus stop and letting the institutional school do it for you. Expect to spend several days a week taking your kids to activities that they enjoy with other kids-most of us do. If they don't already exist, then you'll have to make the opportunities yourself.

 

In your neighborhood-

 

What type of community do you live in? Can you invite the neighbors over to get to know them so you can host the kids playing in your house and feel comfortable with your kids at their houses? Is there a park in your neighborhood where the kids congregate? Keep an eye out for when it's full of younger kids and go over there with your daughter, meeting the neighbors and their children. What about a community pool? Having neighbor related activities a time or two a week can be great for your kids.

 

At your house-

 

Can you volunteer to a watch a child or two now and then for someone (friend, relative, neighbor) who could use a break one afternoon a week? Can you plan a very easy low maintenance, low or no cost co-op or playdate at your house a couple of times a month for other homechoolers? Can you invite another family with kids over a time or two a month for a meal or dessert?

 

At your place of worship-

 

Are there children's activities or family activities at your place of worship? Are there seasonal activities? Can you volunteer to help with them so your child can do something with other kids? Can you host a service activity followed by playtime like an Operation Christmas Child packing party?

 

In your homeschooling community-

 

Are you plugged in? Can you host the kind of activities you want for your daughter at your house for homeschoolers in your area?

 

 

Here's a sampling of things we've done to get our kids social time:

 

1. American Girl Club book discussion. Parents volunteered to do two of the following: lead a book discussion of the book assigned for that month, come up with a related craft, come up with a related game, come up with a related snack.

2. Homeschool Park Days once a month.

3. Neighborhood block parties with city issued road blockades.

4. Inviting the neighbor kids over to play water balloon/squirt gun wars.

5. Volunteering to be the parent supervising the neighbor kids playing in the street in front of our houses.

6. Volunteering to host the kids for homeschooling moms for a full afternoon (they brought their own lunches) while the moms did a little Christmas shopping. The kids also made a super easy ornament and the older kids helped the younger kids.

7. Switched churches. We found one with a much larger youth group and joined in the activities.

8. Set a standing time and day of the week (decide on it once so there's no coordinating each time) at the local public pool so the kids can see their friends. In this case it's friends from homeschool PE at the same day of the week and time that PE meets the other 9 months of the year.

9. Watch the cousins one day a week so Gramma doesn't have to do it every day my SIL is at work.

10. Tween toilet paper and tape party. I have a maiden form and a hoop skirt from an old costume. They worked together to make an elaborate wedding gown. Since the maiden form had no head, we had each girl stand on a stool behind it to make it look like they were wearing it and took a picture of them.

11. Hosting the annual Valentine's Day party.

12. Volunteer to help with the week long music camp at a local church for kids 5-12.

 

I always make my kids contribute significantly according to age and ability to making the social event happen. Chores; brain storming activities and setting up; making and giving out invitations; helping with food; contacting people; researching options and admission for venues, supplies and directions for crafts; emailing homeschooling networks; etc.

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I have not read all of the other posts.

 

This is where I was with my dd a year ago as we anticipated our K year of homeschooling. She is our oldest. Dd6 had spent two years in a MWF morning preschool, and all of her friends were on their way to public K.

 

I think the toughest part was that even though we had been doing math and phonics at home on non-preschool days, dd had no idea of how a homeschool identity fit. It's like starting a new job, but not really knowing what the job description is; and being 5.5, with only the emotional and intellectual toolbox of a 5.5yo. How do you fit into a conversation when your friends are saying, "I'm going to Harding School!" or "I'm going to Garfield School!"? As with the OP, our preschool teachers had prepped the kids for the yellow bus, a new teacher, and the lunchroom. How do you prep for homeschooling?

 

My strategy:

1) We found homeschooling friends. Even if we only met at a birthday party or other public get-together, on the way home, I would say, "You know that G and S are homeschooled, too?" or "You know that H is homeschooled, too?" This helped her to see that kids just like her were being homeschooled, too, and that homeschooling was not such an unnormal choice.

 

2) Point out the advantages of homeschooling. Others have shared examples of this. Some of our favorites are sleeping in, getting to play games or go to the zoo or park on random days, studying as fast or slow as we need on a subject, studying what we want, wearing pajamas, and feeling bad for many yellow buses full of kids that have to go back to school to work after seeing a play....while we are on our way to pizza with friends.

 

3) Many afterschool activities: This past school year, dd6 (as a Ker) has been in gymnastics, swim & gym, Frontier Girls (like Girl Scouts), 4H, K1 Enrichment (free through the local public school coop), and field trips. Our beautiful, shy, introverted girl has learned how to make friends in each location. She has met enough kids to recognized them in other venues, and she has enough confidence to approach them and say, "Are you in Swim & Gym? Is your name Rebecca?" She also has learned how to approach totally new kids and begin playing with them. This is something I never learned in my abusive public school world.

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A couple of my five children have had a desire to start kindergarten. When I had a discussion with them about it, what I found is that their idea of what K would be like was far from reality. One child thought he would get to play with his friends all day if he went to school with them.

 

The preschool has given her an idea of what school would be like. Have you done the same for her about homeschool? What fun things do you have planned? Plan fun activities with other families. Go to the Zoo with other families, plan a park day, go to story time at the library, see if there is a nature center, museum program etc.

 

I would plan out independent activities at home file folder games, art/science projects, bake together, find fun things to do after schooling is complete at home. Make a schedule to keep dd busy. Make the school day different than just being at home.

 

It is hard at first. I had a nephew that was staring K same time as dd and many neighborhood children in the ps system. Dd is an extrovert and it was hard to have others asking her about "going to school". Once we stared our year we were having fun and dd no longer cared about K. That child will be a Senior this fall and is happy we chose hsing. She has not lacked for friends or things to do. Oftentimes we have had to cut back because we were out too much and needed more time for academics.

 

 

I also agree that building a strong family/sibling relationship is important.

 

One step at a time. She has the whole summer to adjust. You'll find a way to make it work.

 

 

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Why would being overly sympathetic (whatever that means?) be a negative? Personally, I prefer parenting with a strong dose of empathy and compassion for the emotional needs of my children.

 

And who is to say whether weekly get-togethers will be sufficient social stimulation for this child.

 

This is the second thread this week where I've seen remarks that completely discount the desires of the child re homeschooling.

 

 

There is a sort of syrupy sympathy, similar to Rosie's description, that is infantizing and, IME, if done regularly damaging to a child's ability to roll with things of an unexpected or unpleasant nature. I took Ellie's post to mean this kind of sympathy.

 

Will once a week be enough? Maybe, she won't know until she has tried; she can always add more outside activity if more is needed.

 

As far as discounting the child's wishes in homeschooling.......

 

I did not start out homeschooling because I thought my kids would like it. I hoped they would, I prayed we would not sit here in a mass of unhappiness and angst over our path, but I did not make my choice based on thier reaction to the idea.

If her child were 15 or even 10 I would say that considerations should be made, but at age 5/6? I am assuming most parents do not decide to homeschool just because it looks like fun, they do it for more substantial reasons that are usually, at the core, about either academics, parenting style, religion or a mixture of the three. Those are not things that young children get a lot of say in. There are things in life we push our children to do that they would not independently choose, not because we are ignoring thier wishes in a heartless way, but because we are in charge of the big picture and have thier long term best interests at heart.

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I have not read all of the other posts.

 

This is where I was with my dd a year ago as we anticipated our K year of homeschooling. She is our oldest. Dd6 had spent two years in a MWF morning preschool, and all of her friends were on their way to public K.

 

I think the toughest part was that even though we had been doing math and phonics at home on non-preschool days, dd had no idea of how a homeschool identity fit. It's like starting a new job, but not really knowing what the job description is; and being 5.5, with only the emotional and intellectual toolbox of a 5.5yo. How do you fit into a conversation when your friends are saying, "I'm going to Harding School!" or "I'm going to Garfield School!"? As with the OP, our preschool teachers had prepped the kids for the yellow bus, a new teacher, and the lunchroom. How do you prep for homeschooling?

 

My strategy:

1) We found homeschooling friends. Even if we only met at a birthday party or other public get-together, on the way home, I would say, "You know that G and S are homeschooled, too?" or "You know that H is homeschooled, too?" This helped her to see that kids just like her were being homeschooled, too, and that homeschooling was not such an unnormal choice.

 

2) Point out the advantages of homeschooling. Others have shared examples of this. Some of our favorites are sleeping in, getting to play games or go to the zoo or park on random days, studying as fast or slow as we need on a subject, studying what we want, wearing pajamas, and feeling bad for many yellow buses full of kids that have to go back to school to work after seeing a play....while we are on our way to pizza with friends.

 

3) Many afterschool activities: This past school year, dd6 (as a Ker) has been in gymnastics, swim & gym, Frontier Girls (like Girl Scouts), 4H, K1 Enrichment (free through the local public school coop), and field trips. Our beautiful, shy, introverted girl has learned how to make friends in each location. She has met enough kids to recognized them in other venues, and she has enough confidence to approach them and say, "Are you in Swim & Gym? Is your name Rebecca?" She also has learned how to approach totally new kids and begin playing with them. This is something I never learned in my abusive public school world.

 

 

 

These are key things for us too. Rebecca actually didn't want to go to K even though she loved her 2-day a week preschool program, which shocked me as I never said anything negative about K. So her transition was easy, but I was sure to do the bolded things for both girls.

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It seems like every pre-K church event, TV show and reader book includes enthusiasm for "going to school"! I think people want kids to get excited about education and hope the excitement carries them forward for a while. And then there is such romance in the big yellow bus! There is even a preschool song about buses! At age 4, my kid started talking about "when I go to school" and "when I ride the school bus". What helped was telling her cheerfully, "You know your friend, E? She does homeschool! And so does B, and A. Lots of kids go to school away from home, but you are going to do homeschool like E." She has embraced it thus far.

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  • 3 weeks later...

My DD is also an introvert.....she's had the same little circle of 4 girls that she's danced with since she was 4. It's hard because DD has gotten to the point where she doesn't like dance much, but she doesn't want to leave her friends...Truthfully, I think DD would benefit socially from being in school with the same kids daily because she DOES need time to warm up.

 

This! Even when the other kids are mean to her, she forgives them because they're old (since before they could walk) friends. She makes new friends, but mostly one on one, and rarely. She only does stuff like gymnastics or dance because there are friends there, not for the activities themselves---but if the class is more than, say, 8 kids, she gets all tense and begs not to go.

 

I worry about socialization at school, because I'm worried that if she gets in a class with 32 other 5-6 year olds, she'll just fade away in the background. I'm apparently the only parent who emphasizes paying attention to your teacher, and getting a good behavior report, so she's always well-behaved, to the point where the teacher literally doesn't notice her -- as happened in her private preschool with 11 kids in her class this year.

 

I worry about socialization at home, because I'm afraid that a) she'll want to stay home and never go out again, and b ) she'll get immensely bored of her own company. I'm unable to have another child, and it kills me when when she's lonely.

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