This was not the first time he has mentioned it, but since we were alone this morning and things were calm, I thought it would be a good time to talk about it.
The challenge was to convey the advantages of homeschool to him without being negative about public schoolers. I would feel horrible if after touting the advantages of homeschool, he left our conversation with the impression that his public school friends are disadvantaged. Then I would feel even more horrible if he repeated the conversation to them as if he were more privileged than they were. (I knew some kids like that growing up, and it was not nice.)
I started by telling him that I was glad he told me his feelings. I would much rather hear the kids' feelings, likes, and dislikes in a respectful way than to think they are scared to tell me. Then I told him that although there were good things about public schools, The Husband and I have prayed about it and believe that homeschooling is the best option for our family right now.
Finally, I tackled the sticky part: How to cause Thing1 to appreciate the advantages of homeschooling without feeling prideful about it. I told him that I thought he would get excited about the things I had planned for first grade. "Like what?" I was happy he was interested. I told him about my plans including music lessons and emphasized the reading he would do (he loves stories and has already read some of the historical books I have accumulated for next year), Next I explained the public school schedule compared to our schedule and listed some things that he would have to give up if he committed to a public school schedule. He seemed to accept the information positively, especially when I focused on his favorite time of day, free reading during rest time.
As the conversation dwindled, I had an afterthought that I am so thankful for now. I asked him what part of public school he thinks he would like. I discovered that he thought he could go to his cousins' school (not our school district) and that he knows that they do a lot of crafts because he saw the craft room once when we were there. Ahhh. I'm glad I closed my mouth and listened. I explained to him about school districts and proposed that we plan a weekly craft for first grade.
Thing1's conclusion was, "I'd like to homeschool."
"By the way," I mentioned as Thing1 started up Mario Brothers on his DS. "They don't allow you to take a DS or any other toy to school with you, so you can't do this after your work is done like you can here."
Thing1's mouth gaped in surprised. "I didn't know that, but now I do. Thanks for telling me."