Posted by: Tracy Barsamian Ventola | January 25, 2013

The Well-Adjusted Child

photo well adjusted child

I am reading this book about home schooling called The Well Adjusted Child (The Social Benefits of Homeschooling).  The book is really good so far…but two mothers’ stories about their home schooling experiences especially touched my heart…

One homeschooling mom wrote, “One thing that changed a lot when my daughter came home from school was just an ease in our own relationship…It just got so much easier than when I was having to get her out of bed way too early in the morning and she was grumpy and cold and not wanting to be awake.  Then when picking her up from school she was more grumpy and more out of sorts and just kind of de-programming and de-stressing from the day – it seems like that was mostly our relationship when she was in school.  And now we have a really easy relationship.” (p. 78)

Another mom wrote, “…I eventually realized that it <homeschooling> was more about the fact that they belonged at home with me.  Now I just realize that no matter how good the school was or no matter how bad the situation was – whether it was a bad teacher or a bad curriculum – that it doesn’t matter what the curriculum is, what the structure is, or socially what’s going on.  Everybody could be perfectly nice, and I would still want them at home.  Some people think that I would send them to a private school if I could afford to, but I wouldn’t.  I wouldn’t send them anywhere.” (p. 77)

Have a great weekend!  Tracy

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Responses

  1. These quotes make me nerveous. I think we as parents need to be sure we are doing the best for our children and not for ourselves (ease or personal happiess). This behaviour can lead to be becoming overprotecting or a helecopter parent. We need to be honest with ourselves and see the end goal.

    In my opinion, the goal of raising children is to 1. Help them find their passion in life 2. Be happy with who they are and 3. Self-sufficient and independant.

    • Hey Jeff. I would whole heartedly agree with your three goals of raising children!! But the more that I read about homeschooling, the more I question whether there is a true need for our children to be in a school all day to achieve any of these goals. In fact, I am worried that school distracts children from your first goal – finding their true passion – as we have an education system that teaches facts from a set curriculum. There is no way for a teacher to follow a class’s interests deeper…and really, children are exposed to only set subjects and are kept separate from the world. As I re-read the two quotes I could see how you would be nervous about the second quote “keeping the kids home with mom”…but I think it’s a matter of our society (me included until about a week ago!) feeling that SCHOOL, the institution is a required part of growing up. But why has our society created an institution that keeps children and parents so separated all day? Our children are just that – children. They’re not little adults. Our culture has engrained in us that the institution of school is more qualified than a parent to educate children. Perhaps some teachers do have a better toolkit for educating large groups of children. But is there really any benefit to individual learners to our assembly line educational system? I have done a lot of reading on homeschooling and the research seems to be quite clear that children are both academically and socially on par or stronger than their peers that attend school. That first quote about waking up a grumpy child, dragging her to school and then picking up a shattered child and finding a way to make ’til dinner and bedtime really hit home for me. Of course as a mother, I would do the “dirty work” and drag/pick up with a spatchula my child. I love her. I would move the earth for her. BUT what if our assumption that children MUST go to school to become healthy, independent adults is false? Then why are we torturing our children and ourselves?? I’m so glad we’re friends, Jeff!

  2. You make excellent points. The truth is whatever road you choose, there will be obstacles to overcome. You might be able to anticipate a few, but there will be surprises – and as always it will take the strength of your family and community to rise above these challenges.


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