We continue our series on breaking in the new, unsure homeschooler.
Fourth—deal with the feelings. Someone who is freshly released from a prison, or an unarmed police state, often will have difficulty handling absolute freedom.
Well, your child has been in an environment of rigid conformity that probably was much like a military base. Uniforms, bells, lines, roll-calls, schedules, harsh authorities, numbers, assemblies, lock-step, attention, fear-motivation, institutional colors, institutional food, lockers, compartments…how much does it take to dehumanize a person?
These tactics belong in the military, which needs to move like a machine.
Your newly rescued “cog” may balk at his new, normal life.
- not feeling guilty about getting a full night’s sleep, while the bus rumbles by.
- having time to chew and enjoy your breakfast.
- being okay without shoes on.
Although it might seem incomprehensible, very much of this can make a newly freed person feel like the bottom has dropped out.
Of course, you have rules, but they may seem too lenient for this child, at first.
Alternately, he may have been starving for just this type of freedom, and decide to resist any type of boundary.
Either way, be prepared for testing, since you will find yourself a “new” authority in the eyes of your child. Rules, firmly but gently enforced, should help.
The gentle approach is very important.
One of the most comforting, uplifting, and rewarding things you can do for an unsure home school student is to point out all the objectionable activities, treatments, and attitudes, that he is missing. Smiling while saying things like, “Well, it’s time for math at the school,” will help him remember unpleasant occurrences that he was glad to leave. If you can manage to be working on a fun art project or baking bread when you drop such a reminder, he will feel doubly blessed by comparison.
Yes, “perks” are very important in a home school.
Actually, they are important to everyone, everywhere, but so few people work to provide the important things for children. This is one way that a home school can be better.
Although we do not want to give a child a demanding attitude, we can make him feel pampered or even slightly spoiled with something as simple as a small bouquet at breakfast or even just a cookie, judiciously applied.
Other perks might be:
- schooling barefoot
- owning a new pet
- studying in a tree
- skipping one afternoon per week
- schooling with a new friend or at Grandmother’s once a week
- having a source of income during the day
- taking a week of vacation with Dad’s business trip
- ice cream after every tennis lesson
- expanding his personal hobby via his studies
Long recesses on a snowy day, followed by hot cocoa with a marshmallow could not fail to make the new homeschooler feel a little more human. He knows his old friends are sitting in a stale room, looking at the snow outside, and wishing.
Great field trips, even in the summer, can help him realize his importance in your eyes. He knows how tedious and seldom the field trips were, before, or he may even have failed to qualify for them.
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- Homeschool home run: Education News report tells us homeschooling is thriving (eagnews.org)
- Home Schooling Is Increasing in Virginia (blackchristiannews.com)
- Homeschooling My Children Because I Was Bullied (therealsupermumblog.com)