If there is a subject that sparks much controversy among homeschoolers, it has to be the struggle of whether or not you should send your child to public school.
I hear from new bee homeschoolers and struggling homeschoolers who tell me that their child misses his friends, they don’t have any friends now that they are homeschooling or their child just wants to “check out” public school.
You are not alone. Even seasoned homeschoolers wrestle with the same decision some years.
What You’ve Got to Know About Struggling When Homeschooling
One school of thought touts I am the parent, you’re the child, so you are not given the choice to make that kind of decision. It is our God given right and responsibility as the parents and we will decide.
The second school of thought touts talking to the child to get his opinion, not making the decision a matter of a power struggle and letting a child test out public school.
From my experience in helping homeschoolers, it seems the answer is always a balance of those two schools of thought.
However, I do not agree with the fact that one has to experience something to appreciate the negative or positive affects. We don’t have to experience pain to know it hurts.
It is true that any child regardless of what age does not have the experience to make such an important decision about their education.
The responsibility for raising our children with not only academic standards, but Godly values falls squarely on the parent’s shoulders. The child or teen is not the third partner to the parenting and I have never seen anything positive come from elevating a child to that status unknowingly.
On the flip side, children deserve dignity and respect for the things that concern them. They need to be validated. This means they need to be heard. If we don’t listen to them, yes anything, could become a power struggle.
Children need to know that we will listen to them even when we hit homeschooling struggles.
7 Questions Worth Asking
What can parents and a child do to make their homeschooling situation improve?
Here are a few tips and questions to ponder.
1. What brought you to homeschooling in the first place?
The reasons probably still exist. Will they go away if you send them back to public school?
2. Did you explain your decision to homeschool your child in the beginning?
It doesn’t mean you are including your child in on the decision that is yours alone to make, but it shows them that you care about their feelings and future when you do explain your decision.
Children can understand our reasons even though they may not agree with the decision at the time.
What they will agree on later, if they don’t now, is the love you showed in pouring out your feelings to them. There is nothing wrong with showing our children that we are vulnerable.
3. As parents, can we trust in our God given ability to teach our children knowing that nobody loves them more than we do?
We are perfectly equipped to homeschool for a lifetime. Too, there is no stronger force than love. I say this now having graduated two of my sons.
Love moves a parent to make ANYTHING happen that needs to so that your child gets what they need. You don’t have to know everything, you just have to be willing to try anything.
4. Are the teachers and peers at school the kind that we want to influence our children?
5. Are families ties strengthened at public school or is there a deterioration of parental respect and authority?
6. Have I discussed with my child what public school is really like?
Some children have misconceptions thinking perhaps their days will be spent in bliss.
7. If what you are using now is not working regarding curricula and your child told you so, will you S-T- R-E-T-C- H yourself beyond your comfort zone?
Each person has to prayerfully and carefully weigh their circumstances.
Any advice has to be sifted through as we possible can’t know the personal circumstances of others.
Examine your circumstances, reconfirm your love for homeschooling and for all the reasons that brought you to homeschooling.
Remember homeschooling is so much more than curricula, academic endeavor and grades. Those are important, but the heart of your child is of far more worth.
Use your life’s experiences and remember like any journey, we can all lose our way.
Stop, reevaluate, reconfirm and reboot.
I enjoyed this quote by Henry Ford that puts things in perspective for me each year.
Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.
Hugs and love ya,
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