Reading Between the Lines

Posted by Annie on Feb 9, 2010 in Education, Parenting |

A young mother of three asked Diane the following question and it brought back very fond memories of my own son’s early years.


She asks, “I have a child who has already started school. I am considering homeschooling all my children, two of which, have not yet started school. How do you suggest I go about telling my child he will no longer be attending public school and that we will be homeschooling. Thank you.”

My son is a cute little redhead, who loved Blue’s Clues as a child. He would skidoo for anyone who would watch, and I do not recall anyone ever refusing to be entertained with his little dance.

When it was time for him to begin school, I was dismayed because The Magic School Bus was at its height of popularity and when he wasn’t “skidooing” he was playing with his large collection of miniature school buses. He could not wait for the day; he too would climb onto that big yellow bus and roll on down the road to school.

Going to school was not an option for our son. We felt that we are his parents and we knew what was best for our 6-year-old. There was no way, we were allowing our son to spend his days with total strangers, that we neither knew nor trusted. Disappointing our son was also not an option.

So, we took a vacation day and drove to San Francisco. We spent an afternoon riding the trolley cars, and then we took him on a boat tour to Alcatraz. He had a ball.

He loved his school buses and from time to time, we would take him on a bus ride, just to satisfy his longing to be just like other kids. In our case, it wasn’t school that was so important to him – it was riding the bus. Once that was checked off his to do list going to school was a non-issue. Sometimes parents just need to be good detectives in order to help meet the needs of their children.

Diane responded with some sage advice for the young mother.

Children are often happy to learn they will not have to go to school. If there is something your child dislikes about school, you can simply tell him that he won’t have to put up with that nonsense anymore when you begin homeschooling.

If he/she worries about their friends, tell them they can still see them after school and on weekends. HOWEVER, get connected with a homeschool support group and start going to Park Days IMMEDIATELY – so that you will all make lots of new friends and get support and encouragement from other homeschool families. In the long run it’s best to start fresh and surround yourself with like-minded individuals – other homeschoolers.

If your child doesn’t like the idea of homeschooling – then it may come down to this: Who has more life experience and wisdom to know what is or isn’t best for your child? Who is the parent? You simply exercise your parental responsibility to make sure that your child is educated in the best environment possible. You empathize with your child’s feelings and explain that they will just have to trust your decision as the mommy.

Again, get connected with other homeschoolers right away – It will make the transition much easier for all of you.


Diane Flynn Keith,
Editor, Homefires
Author, Carschooling
“Your Homeschool Coach and Mentor”

Sounds like terrific advice to me.

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