View Full Version : Got a hater? Pre-teen NOT excited about homeschooling...

08-18-2016, 03:42 PM

Would love it if anyone has stories to share whose child was REALLY not into the idea of homeschooling before they knew what it would be like (and hopefully loving it now).

My dd is 12 years old, and we are headed into our first year of homeschool. While a year ago she was really all about the idea because at the time, she was being bullied (someone was writing nasty things about her, very foul language, in the bathroom stall wall.) Luckily, she overcame it so well (even giving a speech to the class about how hurtful bullying is, yet never too late to stop the bullying and apologize). But now, she does nothing but mope about the fact she won't be going back there to school. And things I know she was once excited about she acts as though she doesn't care.

We are very fortunate that we weren't coming out of a bad school situation otherwise. The staff was great, dd loved her teachers and administrators. They loved her too (she's a bit of a brown-noser, lol). She was also pretty popular (and why she was probably the target of the bullying). Very social, and I would say a big fish in that pond.

We loved the school, but as parents decided that the evidence that homeschool kids fare so much better academically couldn't be ignored. And our work schedule (I'm part-time, dad works 4 days/wk) allowed us to be able to so. Plus, I think that socially there are too many negatives in school. Kids become ultra-concerned about the opinions of their peers above all else, and end up dedicating too much time mentally to those concerns rather than their academics. I also always wanted to homeschool, but now have the chance. There's a lot more than that that I don't like about conventional school, but sure I'd be preaching to the choir here!

So I've had her talk to my boss's teenagers that were homeschooled so she could get an idea of what it is like. However, they have only ever been homeschooled, so they weren't able to make comparisons.

I'm afraid that her attitude will really put a damper on her learning. WE've explained over and over that she'll still get to see her friends. I think she'll miss seeing them all as a group. But she is really resisting as much as she can and acting totally depressed about the situation.

I'm hoping someone out there has had a similar situation and can tell me how things went after actually beginning homeschooling.

Thanks in advance!!

08-18-2016, 04:07 PM
Hugs first esweet!

My dd was reluctant mainly because she just did not want to be separated from her school chums. But she was 8, not 12; her moping then wasn't so obvious (hah!)as it would be now, when her moods can bring everyone down.

We tend to think that 12yos need agency. Call me a harda*s but I don't think they do. They can help pick out the curricula (and she should!) but you're the adult here, you know what is best for her. My hubs alerted me to the fact that MI is #1 in school bullying. No idea how he found that out, but...even if we're near the top, yuck!

She'll settle. It might take her a while, but she will. And it might mean a few intense sleepovers and hanging-outs with her old friends first though. Once she sees how much more fun she has with her studies, and how quickly her day ends without homework, she'll come around :)

I read a couple absolutely awful books earlier this summer about teenaged girls in this culture: Peggy Orenstein's Girls and Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape and Nancy Jo Sales's American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers. Awful in the sense that typical school/media culture can be crushing to girls. Both books made me thankful I was homeschooling (not in a smug self-satisifed way) the teen years because, if anything, homeschooling has brought us a lot closer together as a family. We can fairly easily talk to each other about distasteful crap like online bullying, body image issues, etc. I am not saying at all that this is unique to homeschoolers...it's just that homeschooling kind of makes parents the arbiters, not peers. She'll ask me first because I am right here!

08-18-2016, 04:53 PM
First, thanks for the hugs!!

Yes to your post! Exactly the way we explained it. As your parents, it's not our job to just make you happy. We have the task of making sure you grow up to be an independent, self-sufficient adult. I have encouraged sleep-over, in fact she is going to a friend's house tomorrow. And last week, two nights at a friends house, a friend that happened to leave the school the previous year!

And I also just saw those reports about bullying in MI. And the experiences my husband and I had in high school - NOT putting my kids through that!

I have invited her to pick out curricula, but I do think that she'll be more willing once we get underway a little more. I plan on using the K.I.S.S method, lol!! So I don't, and won't, have the entire year planned, just some ideas for the year, and having a solid place to start. So, online math (and of course we will do "daily living skills" math with her), a tennis class, and after the tennis class is done, she is taking a class at the Grand Rapids Civic Theater (which I know is TEEMING with home-schoolers). And I've got some ideas for history (like researching events that were happening when grandparents and parents were her age, then interviewing us about our take on said events). She is already an avid reader too, so that is a big plus!

I also explained that one needs to have a balance in their relationships and time spent with family vs friends, as well as having relationships with people in different age groups. I do believe she will come around, especially when she begins to make friends with kids in the other classes she'll be signed up for.

Free Thinker
08-18-2016, 07:01 PM
I"ve got one that I keep threatening to send to PS if she does not get over herself with the math! It's week 6 here, and still complaining. I will say that all of my kids want to HS and love it. My oldest was pulled out at the start of 6th grade (so age 11), and I am sooooo glad I have missed the drama her grade has been through. I am still friends w/ the moms, and she is still friends w/ a few girls in the public school, so I hear all about it (also on facebook). Girls this age are awful, I was also bullied very badly in 7th grade, and I feel like homeschooling my girls through this time is a gift they will never fully appreciate! We try to see her friends once a week in the school year (some are HSed, too), but I admit we don't do a lot socially. Hoping to change that a bit! My DD says the best things are that she gets to choose her subjects and materials (mom- approved), and she only works a few hours per day then gets to read or do whatever she wants. She also gets to go on trips- those are field trips and also vacations w/ grandparents and we vacation in the school year. Also not having to get up and leave the house so early is my big pro- my kids are morning people so the early time does not bother them.

08-18-2016, 10:03 PM
Thanks for the reply!! I have brought up a lot of these points, and I'd say she's had a lot of emotions, good and bad, regarding HS. She was pretty happy about the fact that she'll get to sleep later. Another plus about HS, as I've read the new studies that have come out about how important it is for pre-teens/teens to be able to sleep longer and later. And me too, lol. Waking up everyday at 7 or before was bad for me too. Always irritable ant short with my kids in the morning when I was forced to wake up earlier than my natural circadian rhythm wanted me to. Now I wake up about 8:30, maybe groggy for a few, but never irritable!

But at her age - there is a tendency to focus on the negative, as well as the emotional element. But that's why we as parents have to focus on the rational. I know she'll come around. But preteens and teens like to wallow!! And omg did I wallow at that age, lol!!

I know what she doesn't yet though, and that's that she is going to spend her mental energy on academics and NOT the drama (already SOOOO much in 6th grade!!) and be far ahead of PS peers in the end. (Not that I really think that's so great - I'd rather ALL kids to "be ahead", unfortunately our current system is seriously lacking and leaving kids short-changed.)

08-18-2016, 10:32 PM
She's a 12 year old girl. I'm pretty sure she's going to hate whatever you choose because that's what 12 year old girls do. When she sees how stressed her friends are, how much they can't go out because they are studying for ANOTHER test, school will probably lose a bit of the luster. When her friends find out she sleeps in, can go on field trips, can go shopping in the middle of the day when the stores are empty, can go to museums, or skating, or whatever your local homeschool group is doing, all while they are stuck sitting in desks all day? I imagine THEY will be the ones envious and then she won't hate homeschooling quite so much. But 12 year old girls? are just drama llamas!

08-18-2016, 10:38 PM
LOLOL!! Drama llamas!! For real! Thanks for that. And you're right - once she and her friends compare their school days, they will be the jealous ones!

08-19-2016, 11:55 PM
Hi esweet, any chance you guys could get involved in a coop. Maybe meeting other homeschoolers would help? If that is not possible maybe an online class to connect with others. Hugs to you:)