Advice for Child Wanting to Return to Public School

This was my first year homeschooling my children, grades 1, 4, and 7. My two younger children loved it, but my oldest wants to go back. I do realize it was harder for her–the learning curve for me for middle school was a bit steeper. I would really like her to try one more year of homeschool before giving up as I know the first year is a big learning year. Any advice?

I would have some long, thorough discussions about it. First, listen to what she has to say with an open mind–no defensiveness, and no “solutions” offered. Let it sink in for a while and really pray about what she’s said for a few days. Then have another discussion, and this time you can present your own thoughts and see what she says. In the middle school years, they really just want to be heard and have some input. If you push, she’ll push back (or at least, my middle school daughter would).

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Would she feel better if she could join the soccer team, join girl scouts, co-op etc etc.? (Maybe you are doing extracurricular activities already!) My oldest missed friends and all of the ‘wanting to go back to school’ disappeared after we got involved with some outside the home activities. We also added in many field trips to local places to help break up our days.

If she didn’t enjoy the curriculum last year maybe you can narrow down your top two or three choices for next year and allow her to pick what she likes from that. Kids like to feel like they have options and control. I offered my oldest a choice of learning a new language and that was a big hit and made school exciting. (Maybe your daughter loves horses, make a study of it. etc.)

Its a difficult time because 7th grade is right around that age where things start to get tough-homeschooling or not! At this age their bodies are changing, they have hormonal changes occurring. Sometimes they don’t want to like something just because you do! (Okay, I’m talking about my child there.) :wink: But sometimes it really is a matter of choosing to have a good attitude about something.

While my husband and I want our kids to feel like they have choices, we are firm that we are going to homeschool, and for our family that is the parents decision. I probably bent over backwards too much our first year homeschooling because I really wanted my oldest to like it, who had previously gone to public school. Sometimes flexibility helps. For example, I’m the kind of person who wants the kids up and dressed and hair done, teeth brush, breakfast eaten by eight… but my oldest isn’t like me. There’s no harm in making homeschool “cool” by letting it start a little later and having a pajama day once in awhile! We also look for lots of reasons for pizza parties. I think the number of pizza parties we have has great sway over my oldest liking to be schooled at home! HA! (Am I saying to bribe your daughter with pizza? Nooooo!) :grinning: No, seriously, maybe it can be made more fun in some way to help give homeschooling the upper edge? Maybe you could find her a pen pal on this site and she could make a new friend?

Maybe there are specific things she doesn’t like that can be changed or modified in some way? You also made a great point about the first year being a bit of a learning curve. Our first two quarters of homeschooling were so rough! I unknowingly picked the worst curriculum for my children! But for us, hanging in there did get better, much better!

I’ll pray for you, and your daughter, and family!