I Don’t Want to Stay in Homeschool!
Hi again! I e-mailed you about a week ago about my thing of being scared all the time? I just wanted to say that I have been trying what you’ve suggested, and though it’s gotten a little better, it’s still not a hundred percent effective. Plus I’m really bad at coming up with stuff on the spot, so I still can’t go into the basement without being scared, but the Chucky thing is going fine. I also wanted to say I can’t really remember when it started, but I’m sure I haven’t done anything bad recently that I’ve been punishing myself for, but I’m going to keep thinking back, I really don’t want to keep up like this.
But anyway, this e-mail is about a different problem I’m having! :/ I’ve been homeschooled all my life, and this year, I’m really excited because I’m really intent on going to public school for 8th grade. My first reason is just because I REALLY want to go, and the second is because homeschooling isn’t really effective for me. My teacher says I’ve potential as a student, and I try and work my hardest, but my dad who’s supposed to be my home instrructor is always really busy, thus this past semester I’ve been pretty much doing all the lessons and stuff myself, which is not how homeschooling is supposed to be, and it’s just so difficult! Anyway, so yesterday, the form from my school showed up with the withdrawal form that my dad is supposed to sign if I’m not going to be continuing with the homeschooling program next semester, and I told him what it was and that he had to sign it and then write down the school I want to go to so that the homeschool can fax over my documents, and he said “Who said anything about a withdrawal?” and I’m serious my heart almost stopped! Mrs. Naylor, I really don’t want to stay in homeschool any longer! I don’t feel normal being stuck at home all day, teaching myself stuff, and not being able to really get any assistance from my teacher, because the school is in another city! I want to go on field trips and go to dances, but I’m really afraid my dad is seriously not going to let me anymore, even though I thought we’d agreed on it at some point. He’s always been really difficult about school, but how do I convince him that this isn’t about him? That going to school is something I really, really want and that it’s important to me?
Since I’ve not had any experience with homeschool, I’m not sure I can advise you. I’m hoping that if there are teachers or librarians reading this email, they might be able to offer some comments or suggestions. I don’t know your family, so don’t know if there is a mother in the picture, nor do I know your dad’s thinking in placing you in homeschool in the first place. You mention a teacher, but she is not close by? Here’s what I’m thinking: I believe that homeschooled students are tested periodically to see how they match up with those in public schools. If your grades are below the standard, or just so-so, I would use this as my argument for enrolling in public school. Don’t belittle your Dad’s help–he may already be feeling guilty because he’s not spending enough time with you. I would put my request, calmly, in terms of wanting to bring up your grades and to expand your education with field trips and in class discussions. If your dad thinks you just want to go to public school to have lots of friends and do fun things–even though this is a perfectly legitimate wish–he’ll be less likely to sign the paper. While I know that many homeschooled students do excellent work and have many social opportunities for extra curricular stuff, a question in my own mind would be to what extent homeschooled students are exposed to different points of view? To wonderful teachers and not so wonderful? To fair practices and not-so-fair? In other words, to the real world, so that when they go out into the job market, they know better how to get along with those of different beliefs, work ethics, and all the rest that make up humanity. But this may not be a good argument to use for your dad, because it’s possible you are in home schooling to shield you from other points of view. I just don’t know. I would also suggest that you put your feelings and your reasons in a letter to your dad and leave it on his pillow. I get the feeling from your email that he may be a man who makes quick decisions, and this would give him a chance to think about it before he issues a quick “no.” Later, when he discusses this with you, which I hope he will do, listen carefully to his own reasons so that you are really communicating with each other. Regarding the scary thoughts: keep turning a scary scene into something funny. You know how you get rid of a tune that plays over and over in your head by substituting another song? The same should work here.