I always assumed I would be a home schooling mom to my kids. That’s how I was raised, after all. At least, until 8th grade. That’s when I hit the public school system. That’s not my story for today though. Today I’m talking about home schooling and my mom and my daughter.
Mr. Sexy and I are finally seeing a specialist to help us with Marie. It has already proven helpful for me to hear somebody knowledgeable tell me things like, “It definitely sounds like she has pica and here’s why,” and “It sounds like what’s happening is this: (mind blowing advice that we know but didn’t KNOW).”
However one thing we hit hard on was homeschooling versus going back to public school. In a nutshell, it is strongly suggested that we re-enroll Marie full time in school because that gives us a break from each other and Marie gets to be social. The social aspect was mentioned over and over and over again.
What I heard was: The only and best way for Marie to improve socially is to enroll her in school full time right away. The best way for your relationship to improve is to become her mom full time instead of her part-time or full-time teacher.
I have reservations. They don’t matter for the sake of this post, however.
Here’s the struggle: It’s about her social life? Really?
Mr. Sexy and I have been less than active in encouraging Marie to join social activities. Typically this is my area. However as things have been difficult, I decided to let Mr. Sexy take the lead on this. He is a busy man going to work every day then coming home to be a husband and a father. Needless to say, we have failed in this area. I am as much to blame as anyone for my selfishness.
My mom started homeschooling me when I started second grade. The public school system we were in was apparently full of gangs and the private school I attended for first grade had punishment techniques my parents weren’t comfortable with. This is my recollection, anyways. My dad was a pilot (still is, actually) so this meant when he was working, he was gone. There were no regular family dinners or the promise of a buffer when 5:00 hit.
It was just my mom and me. And math. Math was the worst. I can’t count how often our lessons ended with both of us in frustrated tears. (Hmm it sounds familiar.) She was explaining a “simple” concept to me. A concept I was not getting. Not even a little. So she showed me again. And again. And again. On the occasions that my dad was home, he would be called into the school room while my mom took a breather and I sat feeling like a failure. Well, being a pilot means my dad is pretty good at math. Within a short time with him I was understanding the concept, doing it well and even enjoying it.
Fact: My mom and I are a lot alike. This can cause chaos particularly when we were home all day together.
However, my mom always found a buffer for us. We were part of a homeschooling group and were heavily involved with it. That’s where I met a handful of my “true loves.” That’s where my first best friend was. I was involved in theater, dance classes, singing classes and social actives outside of the school group. I even did sports – though you wouldn’t know now unless I told you. Those many memories continue to flood my mind even today.
I was blessed to be home schooled. And I’m grateful for it.
My mom and I didn’t always get along. In fact, I think we butted heads more often than not. Perhaps this is the balance issue. Perhaps she struggled balancing being my teacher AND my mom. Perhaps I had a difficult time bonding with her while I was young, causing rooted frustration that continued to flower into the chaos of the relationship we seem to have today. Perhaps…
So what if I can be like her and learn from her at the same time? What if I can remember from my own childhood what worked and what didn’t? Maybe I can give Marie the wonderful memories I had while being her teacher and her mom. Maybe I can choose a time every day where no matter what is happening, I am not her teacher, I am her mother.
That is the challenge. Will I be able to let go of our school day and choose not to remember it? Can I choose to instead put my feelings aside and do fun things with her where she will laugh and enjoy herself?
This is the challenge my friends. This is the challenge.
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