Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Thing1 told me he would like to go to public shool for first grade.

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."

6 comments:

AMAY said...

What a great conversation! I love those moments with my children. Good job pausing and listening, mom!

Claire said...

Ha that's great. If you need some more positives for him. I can send Collin and Nathaniel over to give him the cons from their eyes. lol There are deff pros and cons. I loved being home schooled though I do look back now seeing mine in public school and wonder if I missed somethings, I had no way of knowing it at the time. I just remind myself of all the things I gained instead.... free reading was one of the best. ;) We were blessed this past year with wonderful teachers but I know there is always a chance it will not work out that way. Collin's Teacher allowed them lots of free reading time something he LOVES he read over 300 books this past school year, however this is not the norm in public school teaching (I wish it was). You have a made a great choice in home schooling your boys. They are lucky to have you.

Claire said...

Ha that's great. If you need some more positives for him. I can send Collin and Nathaniel over to give him the cons from their eyes. lol There are deff pros and cons. I loved being home schooled though I do look back now seeing mine in public school and wonder if I missed somethings, I had no way of knowing it at the time. I just remind myself of all the things I gained instead.... free reading was one of the best. ;) We were blessed this past year with wonderful teachers but I know there is always a chance it will not work out that way. Collin's Teacher allowed them lots of free reading time something he LOVES he read over 300 books this past school year, however this is not the norm in public school teaching (I wish it was). You have a made a great choice in home schooling your boys. They are lucky to have you.

AIMA said...

Claire, you are so sweet! Thanks forto the encourahgement. Hopefully you get great teachers again this year...and next! Whether homeschooling or public schooling, the parent's involvement is the key to success.

Tracy said...

Love this post! Sounds like God gave you great wisdom for that conversation, and I'm filing it away in my mind for the day when that issue comes up at our house. Thanks for sharing!

Heidi said...

What a great conversation! I like how you steered clear of putting down other schooling choices. I try to do the same. My son always wants to go to school (his best friend, who is also his cousin, goes to public school). We've had the conversation many times. His reasons for wanting to go center mostly around recess. ;)