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Topic: Do you let your kids do things by themselves?

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Subject: Do you let your kids do things by themselves?
Date Posted: 10/24/2007 1:01 PM ET
Member Since: 4/26/2006
Posts: 3,201
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I know a part of homeschooling is being with your kids more. But do you allow them some space for themselves too?

I ask this because I have another homeschool friend whose son never will do anything by himself. He goes to the same art class at Michael's as my daughter. It is an hour and a half (where she is now) but this boy will not go unless his Mom stays with him. He also wanted to play soccer since my daughter was, but since there are no co-ed teams in this league and no chance of them being on the same team he wouldn't play.

My daughter likes a little space from me and I think she needs that (sometimes I do too:) I drop her off at the art class and go back to get her. I don't think she needs me hovering over her. At soccer practice sometimes I will go run an errand or I will just sit in the car. After all, I am not coaching. I just think they need their space to do things too.

I would never say anything to this other mother, but I think perhaps she babies him?? Maybe I am wrong? I just feel that even though you are homeschooling you do not have to be with your kids every second of every day.

What do you think?

Date Posted: 10/24/2007 1:33 PM ET
Member Since: 2/23/2006
Posts: 4,505
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We have some activites "apart".  On Sunday, older DD goes to Children's liturgy during Mass, DS goes to Sunday School, and younger DD goes to the nursery. 

On Wednesdays we have a kids faith group we participate in.  The kids all go to their "groups".  I lead music at the beginning of the evening, and fill in where needed for the rest of the evening.  Sometimes I'm with my kids as a helper, sometimes not.

Older DD also goes to CCD and Brownie's weekly without me.  And they all have playdates occasionally with out me.

OH, and I can't forget my youngest goes to daycare 2 days per week so I can get my online classwork done (I teach at the community college).  The older two are still home with me at that time, but they are much more self sufficient than my 2 year old.  My older two will let me work!  :)


Date Posted: 10/24/2007 2:00 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2007
Posts: 158
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I think that each child is unique.  What works for my child may not work for someone else's child.  What works for one of my children might not work for another.  Homeschooling allows us to nurture our children regardless of their needs.  That's one of the benefits. 

Date Posted: 10/24/2007 4:56 PM ET
Member Since: 10/3/2007
Posts: 1,056
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Children mature at different rates. You should not compare one child to another (easier said than done). Also, boys generally mature later than girls.

We homeschool and all of our children have had outside activities that involved time without us. Currently, our 12 yo daughter is taking an Art Class. I just drop her off and go run errands. I am considering sitting in sometime because I would like to see how this teacher instructs her students. She is getting excellent results and my  21 year old daughter says that these art classes are the best of the 3 different ones she attended. I won't be sitting in to "babysit" my 12 year old, but to see what teaching tips I can pick up. As a teaching Mom, I value input from teachers.

P.S.  I have hesitated to sit in on the class because I  think my 12 year old may feel uncomfortable having me be the only parent present. I still need to discuss it with her.

Last Edited on: 10/24/07 5:09 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/24/2007 10:33 PM ET
Member Since: 4/26/2006
Posts: 3,201
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I suppose your right. I wasn't really trying to compare children, but I guess I was without realizing it.

Date Posted: 10/24/2007 11:02 PM ET
Member Since: 6/10/2007
Posts: 10,401
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I think every kid is different, and boys tend to mature more slowly than girls.

Date Posted: 10/25/2007 12:35 AM ET
Member Since: 7/6/2006
Posts: 184
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As he is getting older, I let him go by himself. He is 12.  If we are at the strip mall, I let him go to EBGAMES by the bookstore or craftstore while I shop.  If we are in - say - the bookstore - he can go off and do his own thing while I read.  As long as he tells me if he is leaving the store, where he is going, and when he'll be back. At tennis, I leave him for his lesson,a nd I walk the track next door.  Stuff like that.



Date Posted: 10/25/2007 3:56 PM ET
Member Since: 10/3/2007
Posts: 1,056
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Another thing to consider as far as parents leaving their young children alone is that some parents tend to want to see how their children are interacting with other children so they can deal with any character issue problems that come up.They see this time as an opportunity to help shape their childs character for the best - help them to be kind, honest, generous etc.  For example - if their child is too agressive with other children teach them to be patient and kind - if anyone lies or steals from another child correct that.  Some parents have the mindset that the more you leave young children alone playing with their peers the more opportunity for there  to be issues come up that do not get dealt with so you have a child that has not been corrected when misbehaving, causing problems to become more ingrained.  The idea is that it does not take a lot of time for children to develop bad attitudes and/or behaviors. Many parents see their children as being in a state of "development" - they can develop desirable qualities of course, but we must also be diligent to correct the undesirable attitudes and behaviors that come up. It's easier to help steer a young child towards good attitudes and behavior than to try to correct an older child that has been left undisciplined for years and has many deeply ingrained attitude problems.


There is the mindset that a little bit of peer interaction goes a loooong ways. There is the thinking that it really only takes a very short time and very few instances -maybe even one instance - of a child being exposed to a wrong way of interacting with peers - for the child to pick up bad habits.

You may have guessed by now that personally, I think children need MORE interaction with their parents and little time with their peers, to develop in a healthy way socially.

I did get off the subject and rambling. This may or may not have anything to do with why your friend doesn't leave her son at class alone. But in general - with young children - some mothers do see the interaction of their child with other children as a good opportunity to do some character training, if needed.



Last Edited on: 10/25/07 4:06 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/26/2007 8:37 AM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2007
Posts: 88
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I try and take my cues from my children.  My daughter is 12 and is involved in horseback riding lessons and volunteering at a farm that does therapy for people with MS.  At times she would tell me that she wanted to be dropped off, or that I should stay in the car.  If I feel comfortable leaving her (meaning is she safe) I will honor her wishes.  She is very confident and independent, but needs to feel comfortable in her surroundings.  But if she wants me there, then I stay because I enjoy watching her progress and seeing how she handles herself. 

Generally we do things as a family as often as possible.  There are four of us.  My son is not involved in any extra-curricular activities and we do not push. He is also very confident and independent.  We feel that they will do what they need to do when they are ready.