When bringing up the topic of homeschooling or engaging with online learning for your kids, many students have mixed reactions. Some have had negative experiences with traditional brick-and-mortar schooling and are excited about this new transition. However, some kids love their school and are more hesitant to homeschool when parents determine it is time to take the leap into this new phase in their academic career.
Obviously, parents make the ultimate decision for what is best for a family’s unique situation, but most parents want their kids to feel valued and heard when it comes to their concerns. Here are five reasons kids may feel hesitant to switch over to homeschooling or online learning and what you can say to reassure them as reasons why you think it is the best decision.
They’ll miss their friends.
School is definitely a place for kids to meet other students and develop those relationships. There is no denying there will be some level of sadness in their leaving behind some of these friendships. However, unless your family is moving away, there should be no reason for those relationships to not continue to grow outside of school. Additionally, new friendships will be formed when meeting other homeschool families or when starting the school year with your online classmates.
A large benefit of homeschooling, though, is that parents will have more control over their kids’ friends and those with whom they interact on a daily basis. If there is a child at school you know is bullying your kid or is a bad influence, bringing school into your home grants you the ability to better screen who your child is befriending and spending their time around.
They will miss all the activities at school.
Special times throughout the school calendar year will bring fun activities and assemblies at your kid’s school. Some kids may really enjoy the excitement that comes from these events, but homeschooling and online learning does not mean there are not equivalent activities in which they can still participate. Field trips are a fun part of online classrooms and homeschooling groups, and they can oftentimes occur more frequently because of the flexible learning environment.
Another bonus for many parents is that they will have more control over these activities and what is being taught. You have the ability to customize undertakings to enhance their particular interests and supplement what is being taught through the curriculum with more hands-on and real-life learning activities.
They don’t want to be taught by YOU.
Let’s face it—as kids get older, the less they want to listen to their parents. For some kids, the thought of having a parent as their teacher is not a positive idea. There are many wonderful teachers, as well, and your kids may be looking forward to being in their classroom. Frankly, many parents are also scared of the responsibility of being their child’s sole educator, so this may be a cause of concern for both of you.
Fortunately, there are solutions to this. For example, with online learning through K12, parents are Learning Coaches and their children are taught by certified teachers. Therefore, parents are not the teachers, so you and your kids don’t have the pressure of this additional dynamic in your relationship. However, as a Learning Coach, you are still able to be highly involved in your child’s education—a primary motivator for many parents.
They’ll miss the social environment.
Lots of kids enjoy group projects at school, social circles, extracurricular activities, sports, and after-school clubs. They feel as if the transition to homeschooling or online learning will mean the end to their social life. There are so many stereotypes and misconceptions around this that many kids have an inaccurate picture of what life is like for homeschoolers.
In fact, though, their social life may actually increase. With less time spent confined to a brick-and-mortar environment, they will reap the benefit of being more social with these same types of activities through community clubs, recreational or club sports, church groups, online learning clubs, and other youth programs specific to their interests. Their social world is not confined to or defined by their school. In fact, depending on the parameters of their local school district, homeschoolers can still engage with many of these social activities at school.
They like all the cool supplies and clothes.
Granted, while sometimes stressful for parents, buying back-to-school supplies and new outfits can be a lot of fun for kids. However, just because they will be attending school at home does not mean that they will have to lose out on all this fun. As parents, you can still get them excited about new supplies, especially when it comes to personalizing and organizing their home learning space. Also, many online students with K12 really look forward to their textbooks and supplies* arriving and are very enthusiastic to unpack those boxes!
Also, if you point out to them the benefits of an improved sleep schedule, of eating at better times and fewer “packed” foods, and of typically a much less stressful and hectic day, they may be just as excited as they were about their new backpack!
If you’re ready to take the leap into online learning and have these conversations with your kids, consider K12 as the solution to partner with your family to help meet your child’s specific academic needs!