Help, My Homeschooled Child is Asking to Go to School
Is your homeschooled child asking to go to school? If so, you are not alone. Over the years, I have seen the desire to attend school expressed a few times by my kids. I have also known moms who fear their child will ask to go school or become saddened at the request. The request never made me sad. I simply answered that in our family we have made the decision to homeschool until such time we feel the situation has changed. For older children, middle school through high school, I will give a more detailed response citing our conviction and reasons for homeschooling.
Is it My Child’s Choice to Go To School?
Educational choices are best left to the parents. Moreover, best left to praying parents. As long as your child is a minor living under your roof, you have ultimate and unquestionable authority. It may not gain you popularity but God never asked us to be popular with our children (or anyone). My hope would be that the parents are exercising the will of God in their children’s lives. As long as you feel led to homeschool, do not feel swayed by your child’s pleas or you are mishandling the charge you were blessed with. Remain loving, continue to listen, and respond with Godly conviction. Your child respects solid answers even if she does not like the final say.
Is there a time you allow a child’s input?
A child who respectfully approaches a parent with a willingness to pray and humble herself; should be allowed an opportunity to state her reasoning. She should understand that her request may not be granted and no amount of pleading will decide the outcome. She should also understand that she is to follow the path God has set before her regardless of where it takes her. Conversely, the parents must agree to do the same.
Did I Fail My Homeschooled Child Somehow?
A child’s request to attend school is not confirmation of parental failure. You did nothing wrong. Did you read that? You did nothing wrong. Desiring school is not a reflection of poor homeschooling. It reflects an independent mind that is curious about the considered “norm”. It is natural to wonder if you are missing out or what a day in the life would be like.
Let me tell you something that may shock you; children do not appreciate homeschooling in the same way we do. We have the amazing blessing of watching our children blossom in front of us. We experience the joy of watching them discover new things. We relish the click that occurs when a lesson finally sinks in. They learn phonics, addition, and all about the Civil War. They feel the frustration of not understanding a lesson. We may catch those tears and make phonics fun but to them it is school. They may love it. I loved public school. We have a way of making the best out of things and finding something to gravitate toward. They do not have our perspective. The appreciation will kick in around the same time as appreciating when you said “no” to spending the night at a friend’s house.
Yes, there are plenty of kids who appreciate homeschooling or express that they prefer it to school. Even so, there is a distinction in what it means for mom to be the one to teach addition, the book of John, and where China is on a map and for the child to be corrected, tested, and assigned book reports. My daughter says that she does work because I give it to her and even when she enjoys it, she never wants to do it. They are kids. Rarely are desires of a child to be taken personally because they differ from us.
I Sent My Homeschooled Child to School and I Feel Guilty
Perhaps you made the decision to allow your child to attend school already. It can be a painful decision or it can be relieving, depending on the situation. It may give you peace if you know that it is the right choice. Be encouraged, most kids will either decide to come back home or thrive in their new environment.
Maybe you are fighting feelings of failure or feel outcasted by homeschoolers. You feel this way because your heart is with homeschooling and you need time to come to terms with the choice. It can be much harder when the decision was out of your hands. Just know that through prayer and obedience, God will give you a peace beyond understanding.
Most homeschoolers are passionate about homeschooling but that is not to be mistaken as superiority or a loss of love for you. We are not a secret society that will revoke your membership and change the secret handshake if you send your child to school. Homeschoolers value freedom. We value choice. We may not always agree but we always support one another. And if there are a few rotten eggs who want to judge or criticize you with a mean spirit then pray for them. Someone’s bitterness has nothing to do with you.
Keep it simple and pray. Fear and doubt will prevent you from hearing God’s lead.