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Explaining Your Choice to Homeschool to a Young Child
Q: How can I explain to my three-year-old daughter that she isn't going to a regular school like her friends? The parents of her five-year-old friend, who is in kindergarten, keep telling my daughter, "When you go to school, you'll get to play with the kids, or ride on the bus, etc.," even though I have told them we are homeschooling our girls. I feel like I'm confusing her and worry that she'll feel left out when her friends go to school. Help!
A: I suggest you connect with other homeschooling parents and join a support and/or resource group where your daughter can meet other homeschooled kids. You can also politely but firmly explain to your schooled friend's parents that you understand and respect their decision to send their kids to school, and you'd like that same respect in return. From what you describe, this hasn't been the case. I was very honest with my daughters about why we chose homeschooling, and often discussed the many benefits we enjoyed. When we return home after a day full of exciting homeschool activities, and my children see the school bus pass by, they are truly grateful for the freedom homeschooling allows them. They have never expressed a desire to spend their days in school.
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Isabel Shaw is a freelance writer and homeschooling mom of 15 years. She and her husband Ray homeschool their two daughters, Jessica and Amanda. Besides being a contributor to FamilyEducation.com, Shaw has written for Home Education Magazine, The Link, Homeschooling Horizons Magazine, The Homeschool Gazette, and other publications.