The decision that we make as parents, to place our child in the care of another adult for a few hours a day, to eight hours a day is one that I never took lightly. In fact in made me nauseous to think of another adult having influence over my children more hours than I did in a day.
It didn’t take me long to decide that I wasn’t made to homeschool in this season, I can barely get up early enough to shower. Let alone have the patience, or time to teach them the foundation of their education. Some women are blessed with this ability, and I love them for it.
When I received word that our 4 year old daughter was having trouble fitting in and following directions at school, I laughed. I mean I laughed hard. This is the child that says exactly what is on her mind at all times, and intends on being a ROCKSTAR when she is 16. She is the most fun and outgoing four year old I know. There is nothing about her AT HOME that says she is shy, reserved, or slow.
This was a shock to me, as all of our children are very social. I began asking her teacher questions, going further and further into a discussion I wasn’t prepared for.
They were concerned with her inability to interact with other children, take directions, and follow the curriculum. Looking at the paper they passed my way I was overwhelmed with negative words, negative truths about my daughter while she was at school. No bad behavior, no. But this was not the same child I knew.
I left feeling rather defeated as a mother, rather confused, and rather pissed. I let emotions take hold of my mind, and I called my husband immediately. Furious that anyone wouldn’t see the potential that we see in our little girl. Our smart, sweet, and highly creative child.
The hours passed by, as I began to seek wise counsel from other Mothers. My husband texting me from work, expressing his emotions on the subject. All the while I let myself be offended. I let offense take hold , and when offense has it’s foot in the door, then comes anger.
The afternoon was beautiful on our back deck, as I began to teach Rhema with some flashcards on her ABC’S. It turned out she knew every letter by heart and took over the flashcards. She began quizzing me, making my heart swell at her creativity to become the teacher. Her giggles began to outweigh the anger in my heart as I soon relaxed.
Her giddy smile, full of life gets me everytime. She puts life into perspective for me. Is it worth it to become upset over someone elses opinion of your own child? Isn’t that hilarious? Who knows them better than anyone in this whole universe?
Their parents do.
It was soon that I became calmer, more open to the idea that perhaps she does need a little extra help from me at home. Perhaps at school she becomes quiet and reserved because she IS after all having a hard time adjusting to a fast paced environment. This is ok. After all she is only but four years old. A baby, still relying on Momma to brush her teeth, and tie her shoe laces.
I saddens me the intense pressure schools put on children, even before the Middle school years. When I was this young, I don’t remember a bit of stress, nor feeling misplaced at school.
Because schools are so fast paced , it is teaching children to grow up faster. This is not the teachers faults, as they are told what they need to do to keep the test scores up, and the grades high.
In my perfect world, my sweet Rhema could learn at her own pace. Not feel pressured, even once to perform at a level she isn’t comfortable with. The stretching is for the older years, not now.
Do I teach my children respect, and ultimately responsibility? Oh heck yes. Are they responsible for cleaning the play room, and putting their plates in the sink after supper time? Oh yes.
But do I want them to enjoy this limited time they have as free children? Free to play and to enjoy running through the grass , barefooted, not a care in the world? Yes, I want that.
Life comes too soon for children these days. The stress of schoolwork and performance comes into play way before my day, when I actually enjoyed Elementary school. My homework load was nothing like those of these days in time.
In all of my ranting, I have learned the following:
I have deep respect for teachers, and all they do for our children.
What other adults say about my children is their opinion, not what I see.
Children are comfortable at home, of course they are. Of course they should be. This means they may not be the same child in school. This is normal.
I cannot be offended when a teacher corrects my child in any form. This is their job, and I need to be grateful.
And last but not least:
We are the ultimate decision makers in our children s lives. We know them best, and we know what is good for them in each season. A mothers instinct is seldom wrong. Contrary to others opinions, we are the best adults to choose what route of education they will receive. We made them, and in return we get to guide them. Love them, and support them.
I am choosing to not be offended at teachers opinions and facts about our children. They state what they see, but what I see is usually very different. This is ok.
We as parents should feel a deep comfort when teachers claim that our children are shy at school. This only means that we have CREATED A SAFE PLACE AT HOME. WE CREATED AN ENVIRONMENT WHERE OUR CHILDREN FEEL FREE TO EXPRESS THEMSELVES FULLY.
This is what home is all about. Love, comfort, and peace.