This is my first year homeschooling my children. My daughter was in public school for kindergarten last year. We discussed homeschooling frequently over the summer to pump her up about it. The first week began well, but now that she has truly come to realize that she will not be going back to public school, she gets really hum drum about everything. She makes comments about how she can’t wait for the weekends and that she hopes we don’t homeschool next year.
I know it’s really early in the school year and I suspect things will go well once we get into a good routine, I’m just wondering the best way to go about these feelings. Has anyone been in this situation before?
*An added note- while we can’t afford to put her in a lot of extra-curriculars, she is in a dance class and AWANA. So she does get moments throughout the week to interact with other children (as well as play with her siblings.)
Hi there! I’m sure many on here would agree that you are not alone with this issue. I have 4 boys, ages 9-2, and we’ve been “officially” homeschooling for about 4 years now. When we first started homeschooling, I had it in my mind that homeschooling should be enjoyable and that my kids should always feel excited that we get to do school at home instead of them having to go to school 8 hours per day. That isn’t what has happened. In the beginning I got so discouraged every time they whined about doing school. I wondered if I just stunk at being a teacher. I’ve come to learn that kids are going to go through phases as they cycle through their own developmental stages, with some stages enjoying “school work” more than others, but the truth is that they just aren’t going to love doing school most of the time. There are subjects that I want them to really enjoy (history and science) and there are other subjects that I just hold them accountable to doing, whether they enjoy it or not (math and language arts). Over time, in spite of all the grumbling, they have come to appreciate the predictability of the school work, even if they don’t necessarily enjoy the work itself. You will find a balance that works for you and your kids, but don’t get discouraged if they don’t jump for joy every time you tell them it’s time to do their work. If a program truly isn’t working for your family, then you can find one that is a better fit. We went through about 5 or 6 math programs before I found one that just really clicked. Hope that helps. Maybe others will have more advice for you as well.
Maybe she is afraid that because things are not the same; books, schedule and duration of the day, as public school, she isn’t learning or she is afraid she’ll get in trouble from the school.
My boys know now that we have our school routine and the pace is our own, but because of some medical social worker meddling the first year we homeschooled we heard from them some of the things you are hearing. It was fear, pure and simple little kid fear.
When we got to the root of their comments, they feared that they would be taken away from us, put in foster care and sent to school because we did things differently than the public school method that the medical social worker was familiar with and demanding we follow.
What is the root emotion behind her comment? The answer may take time to uncover. With our sons getting to the reason took a good six weeks. Once we talked about it and reassured them off and on through the rest of the year, the second half of the school year went really well.
At this age, perhaps find homeschool families to connect with and focus more on experiential learning with park days and field trips. Get out of the house as much as possible. Not sure where you are located, but here in Southern CA, many museums have free homeschool days throughout the year.