I homeschooled my kids for most of their lives. A few weeks ago, they decided to go to public school. I have had a lot of people write me and say, “My homeschooler wants to go to school. What do I do?” I want to give some honest advice as well as share a few questions you can ask yourself. This post is not to convince you either way. Instead, the goal is to help you see your situation clearly and make an educated choice.
My Homeschooler Wants to Go to School
I want to be clear that these are my opinions. I know some will disagree and that is ok. I can only share what has worked and failed for us.
Why does your child want to go to school?
This is one of the biggest questions you have to ask yourself and your child. Do they want to go to school because they are curious about it? Is it because they think they are missing something at home? Is your home a healthy environment for them? Sometimes homeschoolers will long for school in hopes of getting something they don’t at home.
Socially – A lot of kids are sold the socialization myth. If you are not deliberate about them getting time with people their own age, they may be longing for those relationships. If you are not ready to move to school, is there a way for you to honor their hearts and add in more social interaction thru clubs or co-ops?
Academically – Sometimes kids ask to go to school because they don’t learn well from you. This doesn’t mean you can’t teach. This doesn’t mean they can’t learn. It just may be a conflict of learning styles. If you aren’t willing to put them into school, look into other curriculum options. Sometimes a curriculum shift will solve this problem.
Emotional – While being with your kids can be amazing, it can also suck all the life out of you. Towards the end, my daughter and I were butting heads over everything. She and I were always mad at each other during school time. If you have a situation where your relationship is being damaged by homeschooling, it may be time to consider another schooling option to preserve your relationship. You don’t want to lose your kids to your educational choice.
Why don’t I want my child to go to school?
I think it is as important to look at our own hearts on this issue. Why do we want to keep our kids home?
Socially – With all that is going on in our world, it can be easy to look at the schools as a terrifying place socially. However, it can also be incredibly dangerous to keep your kids home only because of this. Make sure that you are making this choice based on what is best for them educationally instead of because of fear.
Academically – Not all schools are created equal and not all kids learn the same way. Does your child have a learning difficulty? Is the school they are zoned for a quality school? Answering these questions can help you decide if they are going to be advantaged by going to school. For some kids, it may be a good option to go for a season and fill in any learning gaps.
Emotional – I have heard many homeschool moms say they aren’t sending their kids to school because of how badly bullied they were when they were kids. I can understand that. However, you need to look at your child’s overall emotional health. Would being in a school setting be healthy for them?
Do I believe my child should have the right to choose?
Now, this is an area where I am opinionated so I will try to state my opinion as respectfully as I can. Your kids deserve the right to decide if they should be homeschooled or not. Now, that doesn’t mean they get to choose the school they go to. You are still the adult. There are things you can try before making the move to public school. However, you have to decide if you will honor their heart or not at the end of the day.
My kids haven’t loved school. That said, my daughter has come up to me multiple times and said, “Mom, even though I don’t love this, I thank you for respecting me enough to let me choose.” I taught her more about who I am and how I am in her corner by letting her choose than I would have by forcing her to stay home when she really didn’t want to.
What schooling option is there?
Not all schools are created equal. I wish we would have waited until we got into a higher quality charter school instead of the school they are in. Look at the schooling options before making this decision. Find the best possible option for your child. It may be that you homeschool until a spot opens at a charter or private school. It is completely ok to take some time to research schools and different options before making the final choice.