I’ve mentioned before my desire to homeschool my kiddos. Did I mention my husband is not on board? I thought I did. Well he isn’t. He has worries, just as he should because he is also an intentional parent. He’s trying to make the best decision for our kids as well. I can’t homeschool without his support, but I’m still putting in the work just so I’m ready if he decides to be in favor of it.
His number one complaint on the subject was socialization. That is actually one of my complaints about sending my kids to school outside our home. My main focus is on my family… above anything else. My family consists of my husband, myself, and our children. In trying to gather up all the values, goals, etc. we want for them, I’ve discovered self confidence at the top of my list. (I had a great childhood, I loved my school, I loved my classmates, and all of that has molded me, but I did lack confidence.)
Confidence in my eyes, is someone who doesn’t question their worth, their abilities, and the like just because someone says they’re wrong, stupid, or any explicit word that could come out of a human’s mouth. I feel my husband and I are the ones who should be teaching our kids this. There’s no doubt in my mind that most parents feel the same. There isn’t anyone who can teach our kids lessons like these or along these lines than we… the parents. So, I have my reservations about sending my child to sit with these children who, like my kids, haven’t mastered many of their key social skills, and then allow these children to shape my children’s attitudes. In my opinion, that would be sending my child to live with wolves and expect her to come back with human habits.
It really is the blind leading the blind, and I do believe great things are learned from peers, but at the elementary age I see a lot more attitude and disrespect than I care to correct in my children. I’ve already seen it’s negative impact on our four year old daughter. She’s started pouting, and storming off, and much more just in the last month. I’ve watched her interactions with kids her own age and have seen them give her dirty looks, or talk about her after she walked away. I’m not trying to shield her from that, because those are learning experiences, but I don’t think I want her to be around even just one kid like that for 6+ hours, day after day, for 180 days out of a year.
Once, when we were playing at our future school’s playground on a weekend (this was a few years back) a little girl, she looked to be about first grade, struck up a conversation with me while assisted my two year old up a ladder. This little girl told me this was her school. I said, “How awesome, We’re hoping to send this little gal here when she’s old enough.” In so many words the little girl told me it was too expensive for us to send her there. Never in my life had a person this young make me question myself so much. I wondered if I was dressed in a way to make her think I was poor. I knew she was just repeating what she had heard grown ups say. She was just telling me as a matter of fact, she wasn’t trying to be rude at all. but it was one of those moments when I realized how important it is to teach your child certain things.
In this scenario I don’t fault the child’s parents, they probably would have immediately corrected her had they been there. I’m not saying my child won’t say stuff like that to someone else or potentially teach another child to be disrespectful. What I’m saying is that young children are sponges and they learn everything, good and bad, from everyone and everything. I’m not being overprotective because I want to give my kids the ability to be confident in their words and actions, or giving my kids the power to show love and kindness in hard situations. I don’t see how I can teach my kids all they need to know before sending them to kindergarten, especially when they’re still learning these values as adults.
I’m not shielding my kids from all interactions with children, I want to give them more “real world” experiences with people of ALL ages and guide them as they learn who they are and the tools they need to function in society. The tools they need in college are the same tools they need in their careers, and they’re the same tools needed for making friends, meeting new people, having neighbors, and interacting with anyone in their daily lives. No matter how interactive a classroom is, there is just no way to teach each individual child how to act in society.