I get asked over and over, “how long do you plan on homeschooling?” My classic answer-“As long as they want to and we are able to financially. The kids can choose to go back to school at any time.”
So what happens when they actually ask to go to school? Well, first I try not to freak out (of course, there is a crazy fest going on in my head). Second, we stop what we are doing and find out what is going on. So far this year, two of my three have inquired about school.
The first child wanted to have more kids to hang out with. I think my kids envision school as an episode of Saved by the Bell or High School Musical. We went through his/her like and dislikes and what type of activities he/she is looking for people to do stuff with. Needless to say, the activities he/she wanted to do had nothing to do with hanging out or anything to do with the indoors (no shocker since my kids are ALWAYS outside!). Next we looked at the school schedule. Here, the public schools are in session for 7 hours each day with a 30-45 minute bus ride each way. This means being away from home for a minimum of 8 hours each day. Wow! (This discussion always makes me realize how fortunate we are to be able to home school.)
The second child simply wanted to experience school. Why can’t we just go for a day? He/she wants to know what is going on behind the closed doors. Again, I have to stop and breath. What do you want to experience? Kids hanging out in the hallway. Playing all day with other kids. (Uhmmm….again, I think TV shows are influencing my kids, and we don’t watch much tv-Saturday mornings, that’s about it.)
Finally, I have them research the local schools. Rules-No talking, No getting out of your seat, Raise your hand, Be respectful. Schedule: Reading, writing, enrichment class, lunch, math, science, recess, reading, dismissal. Homework: Homework assigned on Monday and turned in on Friday. Nothing, they can’t handle and possibly a lot of fun.
So what next? Well, so far for us-the next step includes looking at what you will be missing when you do go to school (because so far, everyone hasn’t wanted to try school at the same time so at least two others will still be at home which means that we will still be homeschooling). Those not going to school can sleep in (well, sort of. at least until 8), research areas that they are interested in, complete school in a few hours a day, hike weekly, hang out with kids who enjoy the same activities as they do (although, the hanging out isn’t quite as frequent as when you are at school-it is with kids who have the same similar interests), learn using the learning style that fits them best, and have very little stress.
I am not sure where each kiddo will stand next year in their decision to school. However, every time we have this conversation (which isn’t too often), I realize how grateful I am that I get the privilege to teach these awesomely amazing children. I also realize how lucky we are to set our own schedules, pick our own studies, and create our own stresses-such as what am I missing at school!
Have your kids ever asked to go to school? How do you handle it?