Tuesday, March 24, 2009
It's easy to fall prey to them, especially when home schooling. You start talking to other homeschoolers and suddenly you feel like you aren't doing enough. I have a serious tendency to be a slacker-or at least I did academically. Everything came easily, so I did enough to stay in the top ten percent of my class through school and college, and that was it. I never really cared to do more than that. I loved to learn and was there more for that purpose. But something in me, as a mother, wants overachiever, brilliant children. Thing is, I probably have them. I just start feeling like we don't do enough, and then I start to push, and once I start to push, they push back-and get upset. Totally one of my reasons for keeping them home. It is so easy to do. Mary's family made an awesome craft yesterday. Jane's fam went to this cool museum and got a behind the scenes tour. Lisa's family can already read-at age three! Okay, so none of those are real families I know. The thing is, I believe in children leading where they need to go, and in order for that to happen I have to trust them, and not constantly compare us to others. I think that tendency stems from my own schooling. In public schools you ARE ALWAYS being COMPARED to somebody. Why don't' you do that like Sally? Look everyone, Mikey did this perfectly, isn't that great? Oooh, everybody, do your papers like Lou. See, kids in public school are made to learn by forcing them to be competitive with fellow students, and also to live up to prior family members (siblings, cousins). If they don't compare, they feel awful and turn into the "problem" children. In a lot of home schoolin, the drive for learning comes from a desire, a love for knowledge. They don't need to competition, though they do enjoy it from time to time, but never in a forced atmosphere. So all this was made ever so clear last night. I thought I would play with some flash cards about numbers with Pony Gal while Dad watched something less than appropriate for the kids. So, almost as soon as we started, she felt the pressure to achieve something and wouldn't even concede that counting from the number one on was doable. But, I know, from eavesdropping on her while she played that she can count to almost 15. Yet, last night just counting her fingers to tell me how old she was was nearly painful. I stopped it all, she pouted for a bit and I left her alone. I could hear her later counting the number of fishies in her magazine. I just have to remember my job is to create opportunities, not to program her education.