Going to School

My homeschooled five-year-old wants to go to school for two weeks. Or ten weeks. Or, at the latest count, it’s up to 16 weeks now.

So we started today–after spending the morning working on his science project on bats. He pulled up a TV tray table and put a chair by it. This was his

school desk. When I told him that some school desks have space under the seat to store things, he put his pencil box, an eraser, and a notebook under his chair. He sat down and asked for a math lesson and tried to tell me what it should include, but I explained that in school, the teacher gets to decide what the lesson will include. I pulled out a workbook, which disappointed him somewhat, but then I got out an inexpensive balance and some bear counters and we worked on learning how to tell which number is bigger using the balance–well, until he got tired of messing with the balance and did the problems just using numbers.

He then decided to make it more school-like. He grabbed his backpack and hung it from the chair and brought in a lunch bag to store under his chair with his other supplies. He started addressing me as “teacher” and “ma’am” except for when he needed to call his mom (using a remote that he pretended was a phone) and then I was Mom once again for a few minutes. He loved it when I told him that he couldn’t have a snack, even though he was hungry, because it wasn’t snack-time on the school schedule yet. And when I went to get him a snack later, I’d morphed into the school cafeteria lady. We pretended his cup of water was a drink at the water fountain, and when we got into our car, it was now a school bus and we were on our way to a field trip (to get groceries). He wanted a field trip assignment to do and settled on drawing pictures of things seen along the way, including a speed limit sign, a stop sign, and a poster about a lost dog.

I’d given him a math page to do later on his own because he wanted some homework. And he spent time diligently writing the letter h repeatedly for a writing lesson. When I needed time to go to the bathroom or make supper, I had to announce recess time. And when he wanted to watch a video so I could lie down and rest a bit, we declared it was time for film class. And he asked if film class can include making his own films and I said we’ll have to work up to that.

He’d wanted to go to school. He was thrilled by his day of school. He asked me to do it again and again because he wants to learn how schools work. I’m not sure how long this game will last. When my oldest was this age and wanted to go to school, he just wanted to ride a school bus. So I took him on public transportation and the loud engine and smelly fumes inside the bus, combined with a long wait in the heat for a connecting bus, quickly cured him of wanting to go to school and he happily homeschooled after that. I’m not sure how long it will take our youngest to get past it, but he was having a lot of fun today and it reminded me a great deal of when I was a girl and I played school by teaching my younger siblings all sorts of things from basic algebra to knitting.

Cheryl Trzasko


One thought on “Going to School

  1. Best Mom ever! What a joy to continue reading how a homeschool parent incorporates natural, interest-based learning into daily life. Of course kids are curious about other ways to school or live- it’s a wise parent who gently shows them the way.


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