OK, They're coming home!
Great! Take a chair...cup of tea? Wow, things are going to change, huh?
Many people find that their child, who was once thrilled by learning, has lost the joy and begun to suffer in the school system. If you've decided to bring your child home to school, be aware that you are likely to need a while for them to "detox", or to get over the negative aspects of the routines and behaviors they have gotten used to. This is sometimes refered to as "decompression". Whether your child is simply frustrated by a system that will not allow them to progress at the pace they need to, or has been maltreated by fellow students or an inept teacher, the damage may take quite a while to begin to show signs of repair. Habits, even bad ones, are familiar, and change, even for the better, can be scarey. The longer they have been unhappy in the system, the longer it may take.
I strongly suggest that you take, at the very least, the first month that your child is home and just spend it getting reacquainted. Don't put any educational emphasis on anything, and spend as much time with them as you can doing things together that you both can enjoy (reading, walks, skating, video games, comic books, whatever you can find to share) and do a lot of talking. Whether it is about the child's favorite music group, their least favorite vegetable and why, or the emotional experiences in school, it will be important. Try very hard not be judgemental about any of it (tricky, I know) and just forge a strong understanding and bond between you again (even if you have maintained one, there may be much to relearn). Later on in the month (or whenever the opportunity really presents itself) you can begin to talk about what you *both* want for him/her in the future. Pay particular attention to *their* wants. Do you remember what they always wanted to be whenever people would ask "And what do you want to be when you grow up?" Maybe he or she still wants to, or maybe they have a new dream. Then, just do whatever you can think of to foster that dream.
I think it's never too early to start, *if* you aren't pushing. Pushing will just get you both frustrated, and build another wall that will have to be knocked down later. If you can help them find out what they really want to do, and make that seem possible to them, you just have to stand back and watch them go. Of course, getting them to eat now and again will be important too.
Care for another cup of tea?
LINKS FOR DECOMPRESSION
- coming soon -
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