Friday, January 12, 2018

Thinking About Pulling Your Child from Public School?

It's just about halfway through the school year, and I'm seeing lots of posts on homeschooling FB groups. Posts from parents who are watching their kids struggle, and feel completely drained by the daily grind of overwhelmed kids, homework, and 7:30am start times.

Lots of these parents are considering homeschooling. And that is one big, huge scary thought.

Maybe you're in that place too. 

I wrote the following response on a homeschooling board recently when a fellow mom posted about her fears in taking her child out of public school. Despite the fact that she was watching her child crumple under the pressure, she was afraid that she wasn't equipped to be her child's teacher.

I just want to encourage you and say you have everything you need to be your child's teacher. You know your child, and that is the prerequisite. You have time. You love to learn yourself.

You will explore together, read books, learn about dinosaurs and the water cycle and how you can't pole jump on Venus because it's a gas giant. You'll go to the library, the park, and maybe a homeschool co-op. You'll find there's a community of homeschoolers around you

Homeschooling is the best decision you will ever make.

I no longer think of myself primarily as a teacher. I am, sometimes. But I'm also a facilitator, an opportunity-giver, a resource finder, a strewer of interesting things, a game-buyer. I'm a question answerer, a science-experiment-supplies-buyer, a late-night story reader.

Learn and enjoy life along with your kiddo!

The relationship you have with your child is the most important foundation s/he can have for success. And that will only grow when you take your child out of an environment where they only focus on deficits.

Socialization is one of the biggest myths ever.

Socialization does not happen in a forced situation where you are surrounded by same-age peers. Socialization happens in LIFE. You go to the store together. You go to the park together. You compliment the purse of someone standing behind you in line, and you are modeling for your child. People do not need school to learn to be social.

Family comes over along with that annoying second cousin and your child learns to work through situations with difficult people. It's actually much healthier for her to be learning socialization with all ages in social situations than in school -- where, in adult life, are you entirely with groups of people your own age? Never!

Also, many kids break down in the evenings because they are using every ounce of emotional control they have to get through school days. Mine was. Once you bring a kiddo home, she can completely surprise you and (after a bit of rest and maybe some deschooling) have a joy for learning that you never saw in school.

I tell my husband that I think just now -- one full year after pulling my 8-year old from school -- are we really beginning to see who she really is, because she's secure, happy, and well-rested. Most days, anyway. It's not all sunshine and roses, but it's worlds better than public school for her.

Do not underestimate the value of your child getting great sleep every night. That one thing can totally change the dynamic of how you and your child relate to each other! :-)

Big hugs as you work through a tough decision. Sorry for writing a novel. I'm pretty passionate about this. I was completely terrified -- but now, on the other side, it's been the best thing ever for our family.

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