Tuesday, January 21, 2014

How Do I Get My Kid Excited for Homeschooling?



Our plan is to homeschool our kids.  Sly is only three and a half, so I haven't started anything formal with him yet.  But he's at the age where he's starting to become aware of this mysterious thing called "school":

- We see school buses on the roads, and he always asks about where the kids are going, and why.
- Certain books and shows that he's read/seen depict kids in school.
- People at the supermarket often ask him questions about whether he's excited to go to school when he gets bigger.
- Some of his second cousins who are a little older than him stop home for a lunch break from school while we're visiting.

So to Sly, school is this great thing that "big kids" get to do, and he assumes that like the other kids he sees, he'll be going there soon as well.  He's even said a few times, "when I get big, I'm gonna go to school!".  I've tried to gently suggest that there might be alternatives.  I've said things like, "well, Sly...I think we're going to learn things at home instead.  It'll be fun - we can do things that you wouldn't be able to do at school."  But he just gets upset, and insists that he will go to school.

I still have some time, so what can I do to help him get on board with our decision? 

Maybe I should ask my cousin who homeschools (her nine kids, with another on the way!!) if we can come hang out with them more :-)

***

On a related note, if you haven't seen it yet, check out Homeschool Barbie (no, it's not real!).  This hilariously hits on many of the stereotypes of homeschoolers.

12 comments:

  1. I feel like I've seen Tom in that exact same outfit...

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  2. I'm a new reader, but I just had to comment to say that I'm having the exact problem! My son is three and a few months, and school is so alluring to him. He's been fascinated with school and school buses for about a year, and, to make matters worse, we enrolled him in a half-day Montessori preschool this past fall (while I still had to work, thinking that situation would continue indefinitely) to provide some extra enrichment to supplement his babysitter's efforts at home. When my husband unexpectedly got the job that enabled me to finally stay home, we had to move to another city. He was so upset about leaving his school, and I wasn't sure I would be able to provide enough at-home interest to keep him stimulated and happy while in the process of moving (we also have a baby girl), so we enrolled him in a half-day, two-days-a-week parish preschool, "just for the rest of this school year." While he was between schools, I mentioned having "school" at home, and he firmly stated that he wanted to go to "real school." I've been trying to figure out this problem, which I had never anticipated. I know that I would have loved to do homeschool as a kid, so it never occurred to me that a little kid would prefer (the idea of) conventional school!

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  3. I'm just a few years ahead of you so I just barely figuring this out as well. But it seems so far like our son just wants to do what his friends are doing. We sent him to preschool, which he loved. One would think that would set him up to be begging to go to kindergarten, but most of the kids who were in his class and all of the ones he was closest to are homeschooling so that's what he wants to do too. He does beg for playdates and outings though, which for now we can fit into our schedule just fine.

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    1. hmm...so maybe hanging out more with other homeschooled/future-homeschooled kids is a good idea.

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  4. Coming after Liz (and I'm pretty sure you're not considering preschool, Christine) I will say, be very very careful if you put your child into school, even a few days a week, if it's not necessary. #2 did that and it's taken a full year to win him over to our homeschooling life.

    Luckily, at 3 1/2, everything is a passing fad. Why don't you take him (or have Tom) on the bus or trolley for a ride? I know it's not the same thing but if you could go to the library or to the museum and show him that this will be school, it may be a cool thing.

    I think you're right about spending time at the large homeschooling house (and you're welcome here anytime). You could also point out that kids don't actually have to go to school until they're 8 in PA ;0)

    Ultimately, I think you have enough to worry about now. Continue answering as you have and doing a few things at home once you're settled and it will all be good. (If you struggle later, my homeschooling friend of 5, youngest of whom is 4 now, said the boys were her hardest battle but once they realized that they could do their work in 3 hours and have the rest of the day free, there was no turning back!)

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  6. My school-aged kids are 9 and 6 and never went to preschool or any type of school. They were also intrigued by the idea of school and especially the bus when they were younger. It was never a major issue though. I agree that hanging out with other homeschoolers/people who plan to homeschool is a major help. The majority of our friends are homeschoolers. Also, we went on a historic bus tour of our suburb once. They were so excited about it at first. But it turned out stuffy and boring. That put them off the idea of wanting to ride a bus everyday ;-)

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  7. I agree that making friends with homeschooling families is a great idea. Kids do like to do what their friends are doing. But my oldest three all went to preschool two mornings a week. They enjoyed it, I found it helpful, and they all transitioned to homeschooling just fine.

    Everything is a little tougher with the eldest it seems, I feel like mine suffers everything a bit more. The others just follow along.

    For us, it's been about establishing a family culture. My kids get it when we say "Tierneys do x" or "Tierneys don't do y." Because we have a family culture. They don't have an expectation of being like all the other kids, because they know we're Tierneys.

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  8. Congrats on the house, you guys! *Knocking on wood* I can't wait to hear more details!

    Even though Claire just barely started talking, I have been thinking about this lately too. Just because I noticed we read a decent number of books and watch quite a few shows that feature school prominently. Hmm....

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  9. My third child started kindergarten this year, and I still am surprised when this issue arises. :) She is a social thing and really likes being in a crowd of kids, so we have searched out a couple of "classroom-ish" activities that fit into the week...PSR classes at our parish, and a weekly "homeschoolers" day at the library. If you can eventually feel out what experience he feels like he is missing, you might be able to fill that another way. My kids all get a really big kick out of packing a lunch and eating at the park with friends. It is very important that they have their own lunch bags for this, just like they would at school. :) A friend of mine had a child that wanted to ride the bus. We don't have public transportation here. But she took him down to the university and they spent the day riding the bus around campus. :)

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    1. That's a really good suggestion. I know I've seen flyers for homeschooling classes at the library, the museum, and other places around. I'll keep those in mind if that's something that could help!

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