Saturday, December 08, 2007

some babbling from out of nowhere

There seems to be a growing trend to home school. I read blogs devoted to it, or by moms who happen to mention that they do it. And they are, RIGHTFULLY, so happy and proud about it. I've read a blog written by a woman while she was making the decision to home school, and read about her discovered love of it, and continuing enjoyment from it. I've known a family with four kids who home schools, and their children are very smart, very well educated kids who seem to really enjoy learning, thanks to their parents.

One thing that bothered me was that a lot (not all by any means) of the mothers who wrote about homeschooling, seemed to exude a holier-than-thou attitude about it. Even those that claimed to be non-judgmental about it would say things like "we love our kids enough to make sure they get a GOOD education" as if sending your kids to a public school meant you didn't love them enough, but hey! they aren't judging you for it!

So for about 2.5 seconds, I considered it. I mean, I'm an intelligent, creative person. I could do the research, and get the materials....there's lots about it on the Internet. Then I almost fell over laughing (internally) over the idea. I just couldn't do it. For a bit I felt a little guilty about that. Shouldn't I want to spend that quality time with my kids? Shouldn't I care that much about their education that I take it upon myself, now that I don't have to work, to give them the best chance in life that I can?

To answer the second question first, yes, I should. and DO. And the way I can do that is not by homeschooling. Because while I am an intelligent, creative person, being the sole teacher of my children would NOT be beneficial to them or me. Now, before you get all indignant, I am not saying it's not beneficial to OTHER peoples' kids who are home schooled.

However, as many strengths as I have, being a good mother doesn't include being around my kids 24 hours a day. I have to have time to myself to be able to give them my best. Also, having finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up, I am looking forward to going back to school, then work. I know that I would lose my patience, lose my ability to be the best mom I can be.

And that kind of answers the first question. I love spending time with my kids. But I know that I am more fun, and more able to enjoy that time when it's not ALL THE TIME. And I have decided not to feel guilty about that fact.

So I went with a third option. I found a school that agreed with what I, in a more perfect and patient world, would teach my kids. They will learn multiple languages, they will study music and the playing of instruments. They will draw and paint on a daily basis, even in the higher grades. They will dance, and be in plays, and garden, and cook, and enjoy learning (hopefully!)

It's hard for parents to figure out the best for our kids. For some, homeschooling is the only decision. For others, public schools are a wonderful choice. For me, the Waldorf system is what I like best. It's another one of those things that we need to stand together as parents rather than judging, like the whole SAHM vs. working mom (can't remember the acronym for that, oh well.) Being a parent is hard enough without having someone look down on you for your choices.


Maggie said...

I totally agree. While I have nothing but the utmost respect for homeschoolers, I simply do not have it in me to be one. And, like you, I believe my kids are better off for it.

There is nothing worse than a holier-than-thou attitude about ANYTHING. It's probably my biggest pet peeve. :)

Ahermitt said...

No one should be made to feel guilty because they feel they made the best choice for their kid.

Traveler said...

Della, I am totally for you on this one. I think kids should go to school, not only for the academic education sake, but also for learning social skills, interact with their own ages and most importantly "know who they are" i.e. learn about themselves - we only learn about ourselves by interact with other people. I think Waldorf is a wonderful choice. I think you are a great mom.