TRANSITION FROM PUBLIC SCHOOL TO HOMESCHOOL

QUESTION: This is our first year home schooling our daughters, ages 11 and 8. They have been in public school. Our first few days were met with, "When's recess and PE?" and, "This is BORING!" Is this normal and are there suggestions on how to transition and have the children enjoy being home?

We start the day off with Bible, history/geography, and dictation. We then try to do Language Arts, but the kids are crying they're tired, bored, or hungry.

After a break we start again with read alouds and comprehension questions, and then have the girls read their books, then do Language Arts, and Math. We have not gotten to science yet.

I may need to tweek the schedule a bit and rearrange it. I was hoping for some suggestions, I don't want to give this up. --Gail W.

RESPONSE: Two rules of thumb to remember:

1. Your first year will likely be the most difficult.

2. It will take one month for every year that your child was in public school to adjust to homeschool. So if you have a fifth grader, assume that the whole year will be needed to make the adjustment.

Hang in there. I've seen some amazing transformation in kids who have come home from the public school, but I have seen it over time.

Two examples, one my own and one a friend.

My son was in public school through 8th grade. He has a learning disability and figured out early on he didn't really have to work, as eventually someone would just give him answers. That first year was a bit of torture for him, having to learn to think instead of having the answers handed to him. This is his senior year, fourth year at home, and I have seen him become such a hard worker, a real information-gatherer in a way that is heartwarming. But let me say it again, The First Year Was Torture For Him.

My friend brought her ADHD son home for high school. His attitude was, "I'll take the 'C'," as opposed to the homeschool mindset of sticking with material until it is learned. But the biggest thing was his behavior towards others--he had been used to the dog-eat-dog world of public school and was always testing boundaries and pushing buttons. It took a year of homeschool, but when he realized that he wasn't going to be given a hard time by the boys that are homeschooled, he relaxed and grew in his own confidence and became a real joy to be around. But let me repeat: It Took A Year Of Homeschool.

Let me encourage you to hang in there--it will pay off. And at the end of the year you can tell yourself that you have made it through the toughest and it gets easier after that first year. --Serija

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