Do you ever make a decision and you are convinced is the absolute best decision you could make on the subject, only to later find out you might have missed the boat entirely?
As older (30 something), first-time parents, we taught our firstborn everything early. She was counting to 20 and singing her abc’s before she was 2. It progressed naturally to teaching her to read, at 3.5 years of age. At the age of 4, she read Charlotte’s Web completely twice. She hasn’t stopped reading since. The problem now is finding books at her reading level that are age appropriate because she is 10. While she can read and comprehend books on an adult level, she doesn’t need to read adults books at 10.
In light of learning everything they teach in kindergarten before she was 4, and because of Mr. FullCup’s tremendous desire to educate our children at home, we choose to home school. It seemed to be a no-brainer at the time. Even though I wasn’t as desirous of home schooling, I choose to submit and so we home school.
When I read, in Discovering Your Child’s Learning Style, that in a kindergarten classroom children are “classified” and carry that classification with them throughout their entire school career. The children are divided into the “gifted”, “smart” and “dumb as rock” groups. These are groups they are put in while in school. At first I thought the author was crazy for saying that, until I remembered one day in second grade. I was in the “advanced” reading group when I stumbled over a word. My teacher yanked me up by the arm and said, “Anyone stupid enough to stumble over that word, doesn’t deserve to be in this group.” She marched me back to “beginners” group. I was humiliated. And I said, “Not my child!”
Someone just asked me today if I ever thought of putting the girls in a school, and I said “Every day.”
Today something happened that really made me wonder if we’re doing the right thing. The girls are friends with two sisters who live in our neighborhood. We had the idea to do a “girl swap”, on of them would come here and one of mine would go there. We set it up for today, when busy schedules meet, Momma’s forget.
And the play date was forgotten. Not intentionally at all. These things happen. Every tick of the clock brought longer faces for my girls. I had my 10 year old call to see if would still work or not. When she got off the phone, she fell apart like she hasn’t fallen part for quite sometime.
As I sat and held her on my lap, I thought on the decision to home school. I realized that my girls do not get much interaction with children their age. Because setting up play dates has been a hassle for me in the past. It’s easier for me to stay at home. I can get things done when I’m at home. I don’t have to take anyone to someone’s house, or take someone home. I don’t have to wonder if what I make for supper will be liked by our visitor.
In other words, I’m selfish. And it’s costing my girls. It’s costing them the value of making friends that will last.
And what does all this have to do with home schooling? If my girls attended school, they would get the interaction they crave. Yes, I know about the evils of peer pressure, I know about the alpha dog on the playground and I know about bullies. But to avoid all of those is costly too.
Please do not read this as a “The FullCup Family is no longer home schooling”, because we very much are. I just got science books in the mail today to prove it. But I will be moving out of my selfishness and making play dates for my children. Because friends are important!