Wednesday, February 15, 2006

When I'm feeling discouraged...

I'll remember my 5-year old's face the other day. It was lit up with pure joy, and total pride in his achievement - he had just read his first word. This is one of the reasons that my children are learning from home and not in some institution. It's really selfish isn't it, wanting to be the one to experience those moments, instead of hearing about them from Mrs So-and -so.

Today my 8-year old daughter (the only one among 3 boys, poor thing), who has been pretty ambivalent about going to school, said to me that she thought it was good to be homeschooled, "because you don't have to be somewhere else if you want to be with your mother".

I was at a meeting recently, where the issue of educational freedom was being discussed. The people involved came from different parts of the spectrum, from religious homeschoolers, through eclectic homeschoolers and unschoolers to representatives of the Sudbury system and children's rights activists. For many of the latter two groups, this was their first introduction to homeschoolers and they struggled to fit this lifestyle choice into their worldview. One young Sudbury schooler made the comment, "I can't understand why someone would want to be at home all day long" (as if that were what homeschooling was about!) There was also the perception from this camp that parents would find it burdensome to participate in their child's education.

I think it's really cool that my children like my company - my 11-year old son (12 in one and a half hours) likes being with me and seems to value my opinions, unlike the son of a friend who just thinks his mother is so stupid. I like being with them. It's hard to explain to these people who think such a parent-child bond is some kind of crazy aberration.


MonicaR said...

I hear you on all of that. I LOVE seeing my kids faces when they grasp something. When first reading, and reading that word, the look and the little squeal are just such a joy and a gift. (They do that for awhile, too! :-D)

Many of my neighbors have commented that they couldn't stand being around their kids all day. They would go crazy being at home. One mother said of her daughter,'I would kill her if I had to spend that much time with her.' Of course I'm sure she wouldn't really kill her - but it's a strange way to think in my opinion. I enjoy my kids - I LIKE them as well as love them. It's a joy and a blessing and a privilege to be such a big part of their lives and it is as it should be.

The homeschooling community in America supports the Germans who homeschool and we are appalled at how your government is handling this. I will send that email and if there is anything else I can do please let me know. I REALLY wanted to write to that judge who was saying stuff about 'socialization' - I wanted to blast him with the studies done of homeschooled kids in America. He has no idea what it is he is talking about.

scatty said...

Thanks for your support Monica. Jan has now included my English translation in his webpage, so if you want, send the link to his webpage or the one to my blog entry about the appeal to as many email lists as you can. We want these bureaucrats to be inundated with emails so they realise that they are answerable to the international community.