Last week, I discussed how sending children to school can be a change for moms. Change is also inevitable for the children as well. However, children seem to be more adaptable than parents. With a little bit of knowledge, though, we can help them navigate these new waters. Of course, I don't have all of the answers; These are just the changes we have experienced. I am sure there are many others as well.
1. The learning environment: This has been a big challenge for most of my children. Being homeschooled, they were rather "free range" in that they didn't have to ask permission to use the bathroom or raise their hand to ask a question. They could take a break if they needed one or get something to eat. A classroom does not run this way. They have had to learn to wait their turn, ask permission, write assignments in their planner, bring home what they need to for homework, and remember to turn things in on time. All of these things can be good things to experience because they will use them at other times in their lives, but it has been a challenge for some of my more easily distracted or forgetful children.
2. Accountability: Along with the learning environment, my children are learning accountability for themselves. Like I said above, they have to turn in their homework on time, study for tests, and meet all of the deadlines required. This is one thing I love about them being in school. They are no longer just accountable to me. There is an outside force that they don't want to want to get in trouble with, and I am not seen as the bad guy.
3. Testing: As homeschoolers, we did not do many tests and some of my children had never even taken standardized tests so they had to become familiar with the formatting and how to study for them. This has been a bit of a challenge for my one child that has a bit of performance anxiety. I am trying to stress the importance of studying but not to the point of tears. I have explained that tests are not always an indicator of how smart you are. There are other factors like not reading the directions that can determine how well you do.
4. Noise: My children had only a little bit of trouble with this one. Being in this large family makes for plenty of noise and activity. However, for some children it is an interruption and bothersome to them and may take some getting used to it. Again, I don't think that is a bad thing, but it may be stressful for some sensitive souls or those in a small family or only child.
5. Socialization: This is the thing that homeschoolers fear (because of criticism) and scoff at as well. Although most homeschoolers are well socialized, I believe they are socialized in a different way meaning they know how to interact with a variety of ages. They also tend to be well behaved. However, there are some small nuances they may not be familiar with. For example, one of my children didn't understand why the others weren't talking to her and including her. She never encountered that among homeschooling children. Previously, she had just been able to jump into an activity with homeschooled children, and she was immediately able to be included. At school, most of the children have been slower to warm up to her. This same child has found out that young teen girls tend to be very cliquish. She also discovered that it is not cool to talk to siblings at school or friends in younger grades. Again, homeschoolers are better at including children of all ages. I make sure to reinforce the need to keep friendships of all ages including siblings.
My children have also learned a lot of team work and dealing with less than pleasant students and teachers. Quite often there are group projects which force them to participate. This has been helpful for my shy children.
Please feel free to discuss any other changes your children have faced in going to school after being homeschooled.
About Rest for the Weary
I hope you will find this little spot a place of rest and refreshment for your soul. My intention is to build up women in the trenches of homeschooling. This includes veterans who are burned out and former homeschooling moms who have decided for one reason or another to put some or all of their children in school. Thanks for stopping by. Take a deep breath of refreshment for your weary soul.