Jacob made a statement the other day and at first it went right on by me but when I thought it over again it struck me as one of those things That We Need To Address--and it's just sort of lingered around on the outskirts of my brain just waiting to be re-visited and dealt with.
On our way home from somewhere we drove by a building and Jacob asked if that was a school. I replied, yes it was.
Is it my school?
No--unless we manage to stay here for a good while longer. Then it'll be your school.
But I want to go to school
My own experience with grade school having been so traumatic, I was curious as to why my son is so interested in school.
Well, why? What do you think happens in school?
A teacher talks.
A teacher talks
Where and how did my almost 3-year-old son come up with this concept?!
A classroom where my son is expected to sit and listen to a teacher talk would be a dismal failure of a learning program with nothing sort of disastrous results. He needs to be challenged and encouraged and given the chance to express himself. His father wasn't given any of these things and grew bored and restless--and what do bored and restless kids do? They act up and get labels slapped on them. Disruptive. Inattentive. Hyper. Lack of Impulse Control.
I had those labels as well. All because teachers just assumed I was reading and comprehending at the same level as my classmates. Not exactly an easy thing to do when I could barely read. So I was inattentive and disruptive.
I realize that I'm supposed to be thinking about my children's future and figuring out their avenues for education. But how did it sneak up so quickly? I don't even know where to begin. And did I mention that these children are still babies? Yes, Jacob's 3rd birthday is in two weeks--but he's still a baby. Can't I just allow them to be? Must we start formal education right away?
Husband and I were both, for the different reasons I already brought up, failed miserably by "traditional" education. He in public schools and I in private church schools. He is extremely biased against the local public school system. Having seen our bank statement, I realize it is unrealistic to think we can afford private school. And Virginia is not one of the states that has elected to help parents pay for alternative education with state funds. Not only that, I am really against a church school which would teach its own doctrines as part of the curriculum. I want to encourage my children to find their own answers in regards to faith and religion. I don't want them being preached to in a classroom--it's too easy to believe that that then is the only truth when there are in fact a great many truths.
Which brings us to the idea of home school. And that terrifies me to my very core. I am completely and totally unqualified to teach my children in that way--in knowledge, temperament and psyche. Yes, there are co-ops and such to help with homeschooling, but the brunt of my children's education would fall on me. Husband and I swapping roles is out of the question. Despite my resume being a mile long I have no real marketable job skills--at least none that would fetch the type of salary required for me to be the one bringing home the money and allow Husband to remain home as the care-giver and educator.
So here I am at the end of this long ramble and I'm still conflicted and confused. I want my children to be safe and learn in a loving, caring and stimulating environment--and excel to their fullest potential. Does such a place exist? Or have I once again entered my fantasy world?