Encouragement - When homeschooling isolates the child

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Re: My daughter wants to go to public school... :-(

Unread post by DaniWestRN »

Can't help with the child wanting to go to public school part, but did want to encourage you to check out the co-op options in your area. The co-op I am part of does not require parents to teach. The co-op is for 3 hours. One parent is required to either teach OR assist in a class for 2 of the 3 hours. And assisting is just that... it is not teaching. Also if the co-op required you to teach perhaps you could teach the little kids? For example, while I don't feel qualified at all to teach the older ones, I have no problem doing a story time for the preschoolers.
Danielle, Mommy to DD#1- 3rd/ECC, DS#1 -2nd/ECC, DD#2- K, DS#2- pre-K, and DD#3- learning to toddle
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Re: My daughter wants to go to public school... :-(

Unread post by Yodergoat »

I wanted to second what was said above about co-ops. Please don't let the thought of teaching intimidate you... our co-op also just requires parents to teach OR help in a class (sometimes that just means sitting in and helping with discipline), or keeping babies or toddlers in the nursery, or with clean-up.

I wish that I had some encouraging words for you or helpful advice, but I'm only dealing with a very young child right now and so this issue hasn't come up. If it does in the future, I believe we would have to stick to our convictions to homeschool her even if she was not completely happy... because there are issues here much more important than happiness. I know some people don't even consider the idea of anything other than homeschooling to be negotiable, just as an option of no school at all wouldn't be negotiable. But I know that isn't hepful when there are real people and real emotions involved. :~ If you feel led to homeschool her, you can do all you can to extend her circle of friends. Here is a thought after reading your daughter's reasons for wanting to go to public school... she said she wants to be a missionary and that she can begin that by being in public school. But part of being a missionary is learning to accept being considered an "outsider" and "not fitting in," which were some of her other reasons for wanting to stop homeschooling. So she is already being prepared for the mission field in some ways... by being homeschooled!

Again, reconsider the co-op. I'm really thankful for ours... and it benefits me as well by being able to talk with other homeschooling moms (and a dad or two).
I'm Shawna...
... a forgiven child of God since 1994 (age 16)
... happily wed to William since 1996
... mother of our long-awaited Gail (3/15/2006)
... missing 6 little ones (4 miscarriages, 2 ectopics)
... starting Rome to the Reformation this fall!
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Re: My daughter wants to go to public school... :-(

Unread post by carlamom2ansnm »

Ahhhh, I think it's fairly common for homeschooling moms to be introverts. A hugely extrovert person would have a really hard time in this chosen lifestyle. With that being said, I think now is the time to take control and knock down that fear of getting out. Trust me, I get it. I'm an introvert, and my oldest (10) is a big ol' extrovert. She wants to constantly be socializing LOL. If I was in your situation (which I'm not yet, but have a feeling I will be in the not too distant future), I would take charge and get all the co-op information and just commit our family to it now. Don't give her a choice, just show her what new fun and exciting thing you're going to do. Don't put it off as an alternative to ps right now, just put it as a cool advantage to your current homeschooling situation. This might fill the void she's feeling, without her even knowing it. And who knows, you might get a lot more out of it than you think yourself ;) Prayers to you!
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Re: My daughter wants to go to public school... :-(

Unread post by mdarce »

First, of course, you must pray and seek God's direction. If you are then not at peace with the public school option, I would encourage you to give the co op a try. You mentioned your daughter feels left out when talking to her public school friends. I think any 12 y/o girl in that situation would feel a bit isolated ( just as the one public schooler would feel in a group of homeschoolers). Perhaps it isnt really about wanting to go to public school as much as it is just the need to feel " included" ?Being around other homeschoolers in a co op situation, would allow her the opportunity to associate with other kids with whom she has something in common ( homeschooling) , and probably even make some good friends. And , you, too will have the chance to fellowship with other homeschooling moms which is sooo important.

As for being intimidated about teaching a co op class... I can totally relate, but agree with the others that sometimes that simply means assisting in a class with the lead " teacher/mom" or helping with the toddlers and pre schoolers. And, in our co op, if its your first year, you aren't even asked to teach unless you feel led to do so.

And, if not a co op, do you have a local homeschool group in your area? Just another opportunity to get together with other homeschooling families , usually in some fun ways .
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Re: My daughter wants to go to public school... :-(

Unread post by CrystalM »

My suggestion is to get your daughter involved in an activity with others such as YMCA sports, art, or music; volunteer work in an area of interest to her; or American Heritage Girls (a solid Christian girl scout program). She seems to be more of an extrovert and it is important to foster this in her. Her sister if interested can get involved as well so that by the time she is reaching teen years you won't be faced with the same dilemma.
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Re: My daughter wants to go to public school... :-(

Unread post by davimee »

First of all, thank you all so much for your support, encouragement and prayers! I am so thankful for this board, and the people here!

I've spent a lot of time praying and thinking about this the past few days, and I've decided that homeschooling is definitely where God is leading our family. And I feel peace about it. At first I was thinking I wanted to consider doing what my daughter wanted, but then I realized I'm the Mom, I need to make my decision based on what I feel God wants us to do, even if it's not her ideal solution. :-) So I talked with her about this, and I think she's ok with our decision to continue homeschooling.

I took your advice and made some phone calls and left some messages, trying to find out if there are any co-ops in our town, and also to see if there are other clubs or organizations she could join through the school system. I haven't gotten any answers yet, but I'm sure people are just busy right now, and will get back with me.

Sandi, I talked with my daughter about who she would like to get to know better. She said there's a girl in her Sunday School class she'd like to get together with, so I told her she can invite her over during Christmas break. Hopefully they can become better friends. :-)

Homeschooltabby, thank you for sharing with me about your son going to public school for a short while. I'm tempted to let her try public school, but after reading your story, and talking with my husband, I'm pretty sure that wouldn't be the solution. It's not worth the additional heartache that could cause, just so she could see that public school isn't as great as she thinks it might be.

Jacquie, I like the idea of Keepers at Home! I looked on their web page and didn't see anything in our area, though. That would sure be fun... I'm almost halfway tempted to try starting something like that, but I'm not quite ready to move that far out of my comfort zone yet. :-)

Julie, thank you for the links of other topics! I'll check those out this evening. I can hardly believe she'll be junior high age in a few short months! I was talking with my Mom yesterday and she reminded me how difficult that time was for me. I'm just so thankful we homeschool, so at least my daughter doesn't have the added pressures she would face being in public school. And I think eventually she'll realize we're making the right decision. Hopefully. :-)

Danielle and Shawna, hopefully I can find a co-op like what you described. I teach preschool at church, so I'd feel much more comfortable with that age group in a co-op.

Carla, I like your thoughts of presenting a co-op as part of homeschooling, rather than an alternative to public school.

Mdarce, I'm not sure what homeschool groups we have in our town. We are part of an email group of homeschooling families in our county, although we haven't gotten any newsletters in a long time. I'll have to contact the lady who sends it out and find out if we're still on the list, and ask her if she knows of any groups in our town.

CrystalM, I looked online and we don't have American Heritage Girls in our area, and I don't think we have YMCA locally, either. I'm going to check with the public school to see if there are any clubs or activities homeschoolers can be involved in.

Again, thank you all for your encouragement and prayers!

Emily - Wife of one wonderful man, Mommy of two terrific girls (11 & 8 )

This is our second year with MFW, using Creation to the Greeks. :)
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Re: My daughter wants to go to public school... :-(

Unread post by gratitude »

I am glad that things are going better for you. I would recommend that co-ops can be helpful as well. The one we did last winter only asked that I assist one of the teachers and did ask age preferences.

I received the following link today in an email and thought of your thread that I had read yesterday. I thought this might be helpful for you to read. It has many Bible verses to reference as well if you so desire.

http://homeschoolenrichment.com/article ... -you-think

We haven't faced your issue yet, but we did sit down last summer when our oldest turned age 9 and explained to him the reasons that we choose to home school. Now that he is showing more and more interest in social interaction I am glad that we did. Perhaps explaining to her your reasons may be helpful for her to hear.
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Re: My daughter wants to go to public school... :-(

Unread post by amelasky »

I wanted to join in and share what we have chosen to do. Our children are involved in 4-H that meets at the local elementary school once a month. They show animals and love that brief (45 minutes) interaction with their friends. They also take piano lessons each week. A local Baptist chruch has a Small Fry Sports program. Indoor soccer and basketball for kids in a great Christian atmosphere. They have learned how to play the sports, but don't have the intense competitiveness that the Little Dribblers programs have.

We also have them enrolled in two enrichment classes on Friday afternoons. That is quite a commitment, since the classes are an hour away from home. My husband and I really felt the Lord's leading in this though. They have made some wonderful friends and do not like to miss their classes. They have wonderful, sweet, Christian homeschooling parents as their teachers AND they get to interact with other homeschoolers. I am very grateful for the opportunity for them.

We are looking into karate classes for our son. He needs something to do year around for exercise. He is a very active little boy and has much energy to burn. :-)

My daughter wants to begin a B.R.I.G.H.T. Lights bible study at our home. I would look into that for you and your daughter. We are hoping to begin in January. Madison loves the Bible study and cannot wait to start sharing with her friends.

I pray that your daughter will fall in love with being home. That she will see God's plan and that she will trust you and your husband's decision. My daughter is also in 6th grade, so I can understand perfectly where you're both coming from. As a Junior High Youth Pastor's wife, I will tell you that you honestly don't want to open that door if you can keep from it. We just returned from youth retreat and the stories that were shared, the heartbreak that was poured out, the questions asked....gut wrenching. I have promised to do whatever it took to keep mine at home. Clubs, practices, driving for classes, having homeschool friends over once a month, park days, skating.....small price to pay for the freedom to keep GOD as the center of our school day.
Married to my best friend and high school sweetheart for 18years. Blessed momma to my princess (14) and little warrior (10).
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Good friendships/teams/clubs etc??

Unread post by MelissaB »

~MK~ wrote:I have a 5 yr old and her father and I have gone back and fourth since she was born on our decision to homeschool or public school. It's time for me to make a final decision now and here are the things weighing heavily on my mind/heart.

Will she have the opportunity to make good friends and develop deep interpersonal relationships with other kids if homeschooled? I have always been on the shy side, and have never had lots of friends. I want her to experience making good friends to grow up with! What about teams and clubs and all of the extra curricular s they get in school?

Thanks for any help:)
Great questions. YES, at least in our area, there are SO MANY opportunities for socialization. And you'll see such a difference in the type of socialization.

You might start by contacting the South Carolina Home Educators Association (SCHEA). Other HS Moms are a great resource!

Also, it looks like Greenville's holding a major homeschool convention March 14-16th at the Conv. Center. I wouldn't miss that. ;)

Enjoy!! :-)
Melissa B. (Arkansas)
Girls ages 16 & 13
Completed K, 1st, and Investigate {ECC; CTG; RTR; Expl.-1850; and 1850-Mod. Times}
"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,.." Titus 2:4
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Re: Good friendships/teams/clubs etc??

Unread post by TriciaMR »

{Hugs} as you weigh your decision.

For "socialization" here's what we have done: dance classes, Sunday School, AWANA programs, Keepers at Home, Life Groups (through church), and homeschool support groups. This spring I will be adding baseball for my sons.

My dd has friends from all those places, and many over lap. There are plenty, plenty, plenty of opportunities. Sometimes you have to make a little more effort. But, I don't think sending a shy kid to public school will make them less shy. And, keeping home an outgoing kid isn't going to make them less outgoing!
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
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2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
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Wendy B.
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Re: Good friendships/teams/clubs etc??

Unread post by Wendy B. »

I have 2 grown kids who were homeschooled their whole life plus the 2 that I am currently homeschooling. Finding and keeping friends has never been a problem. My social butterfly kids had many friends, and my more introspective children had fewer. Their personalities would not have changed with a different school environment.

Teams and clubs are abundant. In addition to the homeschooling versions of the typical school type groups, there are also many activities that are not associated with schools such as scouting and sports. Homeschooling does not limit your involvement to homeschool-only groups. Some of our favorite groups and activities are local and all inclusive.

Homeschooling does broaden the age range of friends which can be both good and bad. One of my kids has friends of both sexes with an age range of 3ish to 13ish. This child doesn't quite understand that having a slumber party with ALL of them isn't appropriate.
Wendy B.
Graduated ds '08 & dd '09
Homeschooling ds 11 & dd 8 using RtR
completed: MFW 1, ADV, ECC & CtG.
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Homeschool Lonelies

Unread post by MelissaB »

MuzzaBunny wrote:Last night, my precious 7 (almost 8 ) year old, confided in me that she's lonely. Now, our girl is on only child, but she's been blessed to live with my parents and my Dad spends special time playing with her each day. She loves our neighbors and spends time visiting them, but they are older ladies, not children. She loves our cats, but they are not children. She has a new pen pal that she loves writing to. She's been involved in library storytime club, Kid's Klub (at church) and Sunday School for years.

She assures me she loves all three - however she revealed to me last night that the three other girls her age (at church) exclude her. This wasn't tearful or dramatic. Just a very calm conversation that they have never included her and make her feel left out of everything. I did see that, but the littler girls adore her and play with her and the older ladies are always bringing her treats and gifts and so I ignorantly thought she was happy. My mother's heart is broken and I am reaching out to find a homeschool club or something and praying for a local friend. I was hoping a been there done that mom might give some advice. Thank you!
We were there a few years ago. In fact, our dd was about your sweet daughter's age at the time.

We don't watch a lot of television or movies, so a lot of the conversations that the girls were having, our daughter wasn't living that lifestyle and didn't really relate to. At the time, Miley Cyrus's show was really popular. She didn't watch that show and couldn't participate in their conversations. That has actually worked out very well, because now the young ladies her age are talking a lot about boys. Since our daughter is choosing to wait for courtship rather than dating, the popular mainstream conversations about boyfriends and romantic relationships are not something that she would fit into now.

So, since that is the route we've taken, our sweet girl went through a period of time when she just didn't have a special friend she could open up to. We just prayed for a few months each night, very lightly - a lot like your daughter, no drama, just a simple prayer for a special friend. And the Lord brought some new families into our lives. Not one, but three special, sweet girls were a part of her life.

Then, one of them moved away. And another. And we found ourselves again praying for like-minded friends. It's been great blessing. Within just a few months each time the Lord has brought a new family into our lives with sweet girls to be friends w/ our daughter. He is faithful that way. :)

If it's alright with you, I'll ask my daughters to pray with you for special friends for your sweet daughter. Sometimes, when we choose to not do what others are doing, it can make things more difficult. But The Lord is always faithful to provide what we need, when we ask.

Praying with you ...
Melissa B. (Arkansas)
Girls ages 16 & 13
Completed K, 1st, and Investigate {ECC; CTG; RTR; Expl.-1850; and 1850-Mod. Times}
"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,.." Titus 2:4
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Re: Homeschool Lonelies

Unread post by mom2threeBoys »

We are not homeschooling yet, but already, our 8 year old's biggest concern about it is making new friends. I have been praying for a best friend for him. We have a great community of families and lots of homeschool groups and families in the area, but he still longs for that one person who "gets" him. I like the idea of having the child pray too!
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Re: Homeschool Lonelies

Unread post by Yodergoat »

My heart breaks for you and your sweet girl too. How wonderful that she came to you so calmly and honestly and shared her heart!

I can relate in that I also have an only child who is surrounded by many pets and lots of people. My parents live next door, we are active thrice weekly at church where there are other children, we participate in a monthly homeschool group, and my girl has a fantastic new pen pal ;). But my daughter doesn't have a special local friend her own age. She tends to play with the much younger children at church because her age-mates are not consistently there and they share very little in common. Like Melissa, we do things differently and my daughter can't share in the conversations that revolve almost entirely around television programs and characters. If Gail were to voice it as your daughter did, I think she'd say she is longing for a "bosom friend."

Gail has not come to me to talk about being lonely, but I can see this in her. I think she may be afraid to bring this up because she does not want to make us feel badly because she has no siblings (she knows that we have tried for years and have been unable to have more living children). Not that siblings would mean no loneliness.... I was a lonely child and had two siblings.... but just that she doesn't like to admit to loneliness because she is afraid this would hurt our feelings.

So we are there too, but it is not something that has been voiced aloud.

I have heard that there is a new American Heritage Girls troop in our town, so we may go and see if there are any "kindred spirits." Our homeschool group has some great little girls close in age but we only meet once a month and live a bit spread out... and of course everyone is "so busy." My own shortcomings in this would hinder close friendships because I have a thing about people coming over to our incredibly wee-small, cluttered home... it makes me (and my husband) incredibly anxious and nervous. So "having children over" is not something I feel prepared to do. :~ I need to work on that.

Let's all pray together for like-minded special friends for our lonely children....
I'm Shawna...
... a forgiven child of God since 1994 (age 16)
... happily wed to William since 1996
... mother of our long-awaited Gail (3/15/2006)
... missing 6 little ones (4 miscarriages, 2 ectopics)
... starting Rome to the Reformation this fall!
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Re: Homeschool Lonelies

Unread post by MuzzaBunny »

God bless you, ladies. Thank you so much for your words and experiences and advice. It's so hard to see our little ones hurting. We are very much the same. DD very limited in TV and has no video games, we dress modestly and don't allow "boy crazy" into her life, no secular music, etc. It sets her apart... and it's right for her to be set apart, but it's hard when she feels unwanted. Like you said, Shawna, a local friend, a bosom friend, would make so much difference. Then the experiences at church wouldn't sting so much.

Melissa, thank you for your story and reminding me that God is faithful and will provide a friend. I would be so thankful if you and your daughters would pray along with us. It will make all the difference. Praise God for the friends He has brought to your daughter.
And mom2threeboys, we'll be praying for you as well. I think transitioning into homeschool has it's own challenges, but again, God is faithful and He will walk with you each step of the way.

Shawna, I understand your concerns with having children over. We have different reasons (related to my being a caregiver to my sweet mama) but I do know how you feel. I'm so thankful for summer weather and playmates that can play outside. :) When I was young, we were never allowed into other children's homes; it was expected that we play outside.
I'm so grateful for your prayers and your understanding and we'll be holding you up in prayer as well.
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