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Helping a Student Make the Change from Public or Private School to Homeschool

The degree of difficulty your child experiences in his or her transition from institutional schools will depend largely on the child's age and personality and the relationship you and your child have. The younger the child is when you make the transition, the fewer issues you are likely to deal with. Similarly, if you and your child have a good, close relationship, it is less likely that you or your child will have problems. If your child is having behavior problems, particularly those associated with a group (such as hanging around with the wrong crowd), you are more likely to have issues when transitioning that child to homeschool.

Although there is no way to account for every possible issue your child might have with a transition to homeschool, the remainder of this section explains some of the more common issues and suggests some things you can do to deal with them.

Dealing with Social Anxiety
The most common issue your child is likely to have with being homeschooled comes under a catchall of what I call "social anxiety." The basic root of this comes from children's fears that they will no longer have any contact with other kids or that they will no longer be able to have their friends. (In some cases, like when your child has been associating with kids that you prefer they don't, this is one of the reasons you are homeschooling!)

If your child is older and has been in institutional schools for a long time, peer pressure has likely taught your child to think in "group-think." In this mode of thinking, whatever the crowd is doing is "in" and whatever they aren't doing isn't in (or "cool" to use another word for it). You child might express this as "I don't want to be weird." While homeschooling is growing rapidly, it is still possible that your child doesn't know many homeschoolers and might consider people who homeschool to be weird (translated different, which is naturally bad under group-think!).



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Reproduced from Absolute Beginner's Guide to Homeschooling, by Brad Miser, by permission of Pearson Education. Copyright © 2005 by Que Publishing. Please visit http://www.informit.com/store/product.aspx?isbn=0789732777 to order your own copy.


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