Thursday, December 13, 2007

Kids do the strangest things

We've always homeschooled. My older children have had no interest in attending public school. My youngest is in a different place. She very much wants to imitate "school."

For example, a few years ago, she really wanted have a lunch box. To humor her, we got all the kids lunch boxes and used them to take our lunch to homeschool co-op. This was enough "school-like" to satisfy her.

More recently, when we do her school work, she wants me to mark her papers and give her a letter grade. That is not something I normally do, but I've tried to humor her. So, I will put a letter grade on her assignments.

Here's where it gets strange. My youngest daughter will purposely put the wrong answers down. She will pretend that she didn't understand, and then ask me, "So, this would be a B- in school, wouldn't Mommy?" or 'Is this the average grade at school?"

I've noticed her deliberately writing wrong answers on more than one occasion. Getting a grade isn't enough for her. She wants to get different grades. I can tell when it is deliberate because she won't get upset when I mark something wrong, but will pretend to be disappointed.

Today, she did a math fact mostly correct, but there were a few very easy questions wrong at the bottom of the page. She was trying so hard not to smile every time I marked a problem wrong.

This is also the kid that likes to dress up in a black pleated skirt and a white shirt (because she thinks it looks like a school uniform.)

I blame some of it on watching PBS shows like Arthur and Dragon Tales and reading/listening to books like the Berenstain Bears and Harry Potter. I believe she is pretending to be a character in a story.

For now, I will let her have her fun. I will mark her papers and pretend that I don't know what she's doing.

Technorati tags: homeschooling, homeschool, home school, home education, parenting, children, education


Jacque Dixon said...

It's kinda' cute if she wants to be a part in a play. Like using her imagination.
I totally understand what you said about the older kids not wanting to go to ps, but she is younger and wonders about it.
Do you think it has to do with the age and uncertainty of finding her place in the whole homeschool/public school thing? I know that's how Amanda was for awhile. She had friends in ps, and she just wondered what it was about.
Maybe she (A) thought there was something she was missing. I can see acting it out just to see if it really is something they're missing.
I enjoyed this. :)

blessings, J
Seeking Rest in the Ancient Paths

Anonymous said...

I can totally see my youngest doing this in a couple of years. :o)

Janine Cate said...

I know part of the attraction to school is that she wants to be different from her sisters.

Another influences comes from a homeschool friend that wanted to go to school.

A third possibility is the way school is romanticized in the stories she's read or seen.

I think if she actually went to school for a few days, the fascination would be over.

It still is so funny how she wants to get a bad grade once in a while.

MonicaR said...

Oh, they are funny sometimes. lol.

Both of my girls now want to go to school. I'm horrified, of course. We are looking into the local Catholic school in our new area. It's very small and quite nice. We have decided to try it for a year. I think the early mornings are going to kill them.

Phil said...

My son went to public school for K through 2nd. He's now in 4th grade and loves being at home. He says there's nothing about school that he misses, which I know is true because he wasn't all that thrilled to be there for those first three years.

My daughter wanted to go to school like her brother, so she went to kindergarten last year. She loved it, really the complete opposite of her brother. When 1st grade was looming, she said she wanted to go "all day" like her brother did. She wanted the experience of eating lunch with friends and having daily recess.

What I'm seeing in her is that she thinks school is all about friends and recess, not about the learning. Every day she comes home and talks about which girls likes which boy, and what everyone was wearing, and who played what on the playground.

We've already decided to start her in homeschool next year, for 2nd grade. It's going to be tough for her at first. But I have to do what's right. The focus of school can't be about friends and socializing.

Hopefully, as the years pass, she'll be content having had the experience of attending a public school for a few years.

Sunniemom said...

My kids and I have done afterschool Bible clubs, and they don't want to go to school AT ALL. They find the idea of sitting at a desk in a room with a closed door for extended periods of time positively claustraphobic.

However, my 9 yog will sit my 6 yob down and 'play school'. She is drilling him in math fact families. I figure when she's done with him, I will be able to skip first grade entirely. :D

Janine Cate said...

>What I'm seeing in her is that she thinks school is all about friends and recess, not about the learning. Every day she comes home and talks about which girls likes which boy, and what everyone was wearing, and who played what on the playground.

I'm sure that is what would happen to my youngest too, which is why I'm reluctant to send her to school, even for a few days.

I've had a few homeschool friends who have sent their kids to school just for the experience and have come to seriously regretted it.

Gem said...

It took one week of public (charter) school for our girls to start begging to homeschool again. Now that the semester is ending, they are a little sad to leave school -- but very excited to lose the early mornings and uniforms!!!

Janine Cate said...

>However, my 9 yog will sit my 6 yob down and 'play school'.

It's funny, but my kids like to play school too. Though, they usually pretend to be pioneers or something old-fashioned like that.