This year I was ready to embrace the dual role of public school and homeschool parent.
I was prepared and determined to rock this new stage.
And rock it I did.
For seven. whole. days.
And then my daughter’s journey into the public school came to a very abrupt end when she realized that it was not the best fit for learning during her high school years.
In all honesty, she realized it within the first three days but we encouraged her to keep going.
By day six, she shared her very clear reasons with us and asked to come home.
Her reasons made sense. They confirmed some of our own suspicions. And we knew that waiting much longer to make the switch would mean trying to shift gears midyear.
The realities weren’t going to change so we decided to pull the plug that week and get her started at home right away.
We all agreed that it was the best decision and here are the top five reasons my daughter decided to return home:
Public school is timing consuming. It consumed her day and then it consumed quite a bit of her evening. She realized that much of her time was being consumed by school and the heavy workload had not even kicked into full gear.
I am sure our 30-minute drive to and from wasn’t helping, but I know lots of kids that sit on buses for 20-60 minutes one way, so a 30-minute ride for school isn’t too uncommon.
But she was done with it all. She wanted her time back.
The classroom is not the most conducive to her learning style. The teachers do not teach the way she learns best.
There were so many distractions and the pacing was too fast at times. Teachers often said things verbally that weren’t written anywhere and they expected everyone to keep up and write them down.
This isn’t ideal for anyone with auditory processing difficulty.
This meant that she “learned” things in a classroom and then had to learn them again at home with me teaching them. She was perfectly capable of learning the information, but not in the school classroom setting.
There were certainly paths we could walk to get her support and help in the classroom, but the process was clearly going to be long and tedious even though we already had all of the testing results ready to share.
And ultimately, she has a mom who was willing to homeschool her so the frustration wasn’t worth it.
She was eager to branch out and meet new friends at school.
And she did!
But she quickly realized there was a limited amount of time to actually socialize with them. (The irony of a lack of socialization time in school wasn’t lost on me…)
Ultimately she realized there wasn’t a “hole” in her life the way she felt at one time.
She turned in an application to this school during a time when she felt lonely and a bit lost at home. It was at the beginning of our “throw the noodles at the wall” stage and we were working hard to find groups and activities for her to enjoy.
Working hard to find her passions had paid off over the year and she realized that she no longer felt lonely and lost at home, but she was still curious enough to give the school a try.
With her curiosity satisfied, she returned home with confidence.
Let’s face it. Sometimes life is boring. And sometimes that is true of her time in our homeschool.
She has a lot of free time and isn’t able to drive yet to go on adventures, so there is a lot of time spent just sitting at home.
And she was bored.
Turns out that school has plenty of boring moments too.
And she preferred the boredom of home.
BONUS: She doesn’t complain about being bored at home anymore. (HA)
Five: Her Passions
She gave up a weekly master class for musical theater, voice lessons, and drawing classes to leave margin in her life for school. We knew that school would fill in the gaps because her schedule included both a Musical Theater and Visual Arts course at school.
Unfortunately, despite her two years of private art lessons, they enrolled her in the level 1 drawing class and she was bored.
Her musical theater class required projects and writing assignments (as do most classes in school). She was excited to sing, dance, and act in her theater class, but didn’t expect so much written work. After spending a complete class doing written work, she felt pretty disappointed.
She didn’t want her learning weaknesses to destroy an area of strength and enjoyment. And we didn’t either.
We were convinced. Even though we had planned to push her to finish a semester, we knew that wasn’t the right choice.
And we let her change direction with confidence. And we cheered her on again.
Because the biggest lesson I hoped she learned is that we will always be her number one cheerleaders.
But What if My Child Doesn’t Have a Passion
Homeschooling Teens: One Mom’s Transition
Connecting with your Kids
Silencing Shame and Embracing Good Enough
Growing Up: A Weekend Away with your Teen
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