We’ve been in school for about a month now. In fact, we’re only a few weeks off from taking a week-long fall break! Yet, I’m enjoying reading the posts of many friends who are starting school more formally within the last couple of weeks.
Inevitably, I read about the mom, new or seasoned at this, who has to educate at home much to the chagrin of relatives and close friends. It so incenses me the way that some people make it their business to condemn you and your children based upon your decision to educate at home. I’m convinced that this has far more to do with their own insecurities than with our choices. Lord knows I’ve been there, and at times I’m still there! So I couldn’t help but smile as I reflected on our last few days and my “poor, isolated” children who are “doomed to mediocrity at best”:
For those who may not have read my blog for too long (which is most of you, gauging from my comment count), my son dances—ballet, tap, and this year, jazz. I wrote over a year ago about his and our adjustment to his love for dance. Well, when we arrived for his tap class, we found out that he has been selected to perform as a part of the competitive dance team. My husband and I laughed about having to increase our love of beans and rice more to outfit these kids for dance, but it’s worth the investment to teach them about passion, commitment, and determination. An equally awesome accomplishment, the oldest has been selected to the pointe class, for which we are also very grateful and proud. It’s just that the son’s promotion on Tuesday was a total surprise.
Yesterday was the oldest’s day for science—learning about density via adding salt to water and observing an egg that sank initially gradually float. She had to fight with her sister and brother to drop teaspoons of salt and the egg into the glass of water. As we read about Sebastian Bach walking 200 miles for the opportunity to attend music school, the same kid broke into a mini math lesson to see how long this walk would take for a child. Then there was today. As we read about the Holocaust, you could feel the hush of shock and sadness over the kids as they looked at pictures while I told the story. The youngest is learning about plants (thanks to bubbebobbie, we’ve got a great sweet potato plant that’s progressing much faster than the beans!) and putting together a felt pillow using tea leaves as dye. We had some great quality time together as she and her brother sipped on peppermint tea. Later, over a morning Fuji apple snack, the oldest exclaimed, “Thanks, Mom. These are my favorite kind.” I thought she said these are my favorite times, and so I smiled inside and out as I replied, “Yea, mine, too.”
The kids don’t fight each other for learning opportunities every day—oh, how I wish. But I’ll take these opportunities over the insistence that there’s something better about loading them on a school bus and into someone else’s care any day.