If you are just joining us, we have been talking about making the decision to send our oldest to the local Public School. You can check out our past posts on this, how we decided(Public School – Decision Time), planned(Public School – Planning), prepared(Public School – Preparation), and started his 1st day(Public School – 1st Day). Now that he is in Public School (while we still homeschool our other two kiddos), I wanted to go over some strategies we are working on to keep up communication with the school, and ways to make sure our kid is getting what he needs from the school. I hope these tips will help you, if you are in the same position. Whether it be by choice, or being unable to homeschool for whatever reason.
Keep a Positive Attitude
Even if you choose to go down the road of ending homeschooling and putting your kids in public school for their best interest, there may be a part of you that still really wants to homeschool. I know I am in that boat. The best thing we can do for our kids is to stay positive about the situation that they are in. Believe you made the right choice for your kids and focus on the positive right here, right now. Let the kids talk about their days and encourage them. It may be tough some days. There may be times when you will want to run over to the school and pull them out because of something that happened. Think of this as a learning experience for your kids and focus on the positive. What can they learn from this situation? How can they grow?
Rejoice in Their Successes
Just like you did when you were homeschooling, rejoice in their successes now. Take the time to talk to them about how well they did on their project or performance. Sure you can offer some tips or pointers to help them do better next time, but keep things positive. The reality is that there is a lot of negative at schools, and they need you to be their safe place. Sure, not every kid will see the negatives at school, but either way you want them to remember you by your encouragement through the years. They are now at school all day so enjoy the time you have with your kids, and keep it positive, as much as possible. You rejoicing in their successes could be the catapult to bring them further in life.
Be Diligent about Your Faith
The reality is that you may not know everything that is being talked about at school now. So when you hear your child tell you that they learned about dinosaurs, for instance, take the time to talk to them about how you feel about dinosaurs. Does your faith play a part in how you believe? How? What did the school teach them about dinosaurs? Why are there two different views on what happened? This can be a great dinner time conversation.
Take every opportunity you can to talk about your faith and tie it into whatever your kids are talking to you about. Some schools are good about being neutral, but most are not. They will have spent lots of time learning from their teachers about subjects you may not want them to learn about, or to have learned about the way they taught. For example, evolution. However, if the kids know that you have an opinion and that the teachers have a different opinion, as they grow up they are going to be able to see both sides and one day make the decision on what they believe for themselves. You are the key to keeping the information they have about God, equal to or more than what they are learning about Evolution. So keep the conversations going. It is very important.
Get Active and Push for What Your Child Needs
If your child has a disability of any kind, you are going to need to be their voice. Some schools are great about giving the kids exactly what they need, and some are not. You will need to stay active in the school to know what they are doing to help your child. When is your next IEP or 504 meeting? If you do not know, then get on it and find out. Be proactive, because most likely the school will not be. You know what is best for your child, honestly, more than most parents since you were their teacher as well. You will be able to help the teachers know what kind of accommodations work best for your child. Yes, they are professionals, but you are their parent. Make sure to speech up and push for what your child needs.
Obviously, following all these steps is going to take a change of mindset in our position from teacher to parent, but with time you and I both can succeed at this. If we can succeed at this, than we know our children can succeed in their schooling. Good luck on your new journey. I wish you all the best.
Now wait, don’t go just yet. We may have our kids in public school but hey we can do this together, right? So be sure to sign up below for our email list to stay on top of what is happening here at Faithfilled Chaos. I hope we can travel this journey together!