Getting Kids On Board With Your New Homeschool – MBFLP 252

New to homeschooling, and maybe your kid's not thrilled yet?

Are you starting homeschooling this fall? Was it always your plan, or did the pandemic make this an unexpected “best option”? Either way, are your kids on board with the decision?

Parents have the responsibility and the perspective to make this choice for their family, but sometimes the children aren’t thrilled. Even if it’s the best thing for them, it’s always more pleasant if everyone’s in accord about the plan. What can you do to help your kids understand and accept the lifestyle change you’re making? How is it different for young kids, middle schoolers, and teens? This episode, we’re talking about working toward harmony with your new homeschooling project!

An Avalanche of New Homeschoolers

The sudden shutdown of practically all public education in March, and the prospects of very restricted school reopening this fall, have prompted a lot of families to reconsider homeschooling as an option. How many? Several states are reporting double-digit increases in new homeschools, and when North Carolina opened its website for new homeschool filings in July, the rush crashed the site for an entire week. In June, researchers at the University of Michigan surveyed 1200 families in Michigan, Illinois, and Ohio, and found 12% already planned to keep at least one child at home this fall. Another survey of 2000 families by OnePoll found that 43% are “seriously considering the option of homeschooling” this year. Vermont had a 75% increase already!

With so many new families beginning homeschooling, a large percentage are taking children out of classroom schools. Their kids have already had some experience of school culture, developed friendships at school, and formed relationships with teachers. The change in school approach is going to be more disruptive for them than their pre-school and kindergarten-age siblings. That means you’ll need to approach the idea differently with the older kids. Even elementary school kids may complain, “I haven’t seen my friends in for-e-ver,” — though to be honest, that’s been heard in homeschooling families, too, during the lockdown!

So it’s important to acknowledge that your kids’ fears, concerns, preferences, and objections do matter, even if the decision has been made already. Take the time to listen and engage them on their levels–you’ll be glad you invested in the relationship. This episode, we’re talking about practical ways to address some of those concerns. Not incidentally, we’re also addressing some concerns you might be having as an unexpected homeschool parent, yourself–like socialization, your qualification to teach, and college prospects at the end! So join us —

Skeptical young girl thinking about her parents' idea

Articles Dealing With This Explosive Growth

[Side note: Many of the news reports on this subject have misread or misrepresented the actual findings; for once, they tend to overestimate how many people are choosing homeschooling. Some media reported the UofM findings, for instance, as “A third of parents may homeschool,” but the actual study says 12% plan to homeschool, and 21% were undecided. That’s a different picture. Still, 12% is a huge increase over the 3-to-4% homeschooling rate nationwide last year.]

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