Monday, August 18, 2008

Let the countdown begin

By the time I have this post up it will be about 48 hours until I have to pack my kiddos up in the car and take them to their first day of school. Lots of my mom friends are incredibly happy that this day is finally almost here. I, in the most pathetic way, am very sad. I will miss my kids and I will miss the days where we were able to learn and get things done without being on someone else's timetable. I think often of homeschooling. But then I think again. I know that my children are receiving a fantastic education. And as a former student of that awful liberal art known as psychology I also know that it is incredibly valuable for my children to learn things from people other than me. My ultimate job as a parent is to turn them into proper functioning adults. I really doubt that I could achieve this goal by homeschooling them. I smother, I baby, I am quick to spare them the pains of life. It's my most primitive mothering instinct. I am a momma bear. Now don't get me wrong, I am fully able to stand on the sidelines and watch them go through the emotional and physical pains of childhood. I only try to step in when the need it. I try to be the voice of reason. But it is so hard, and I think that the act of letting them go to school away from me is the way that I am able to accomplish this.It is a process of letting go and growing up for ALL of us. No one ever told me how hard it would be to let them go after you carried them and cared for them. But it has to be done. And for me, it has to be done this way. Sigh.

I have very fond memories of my school days, especially grade school. My grade school was a small private school that was filled with fantastic staff. I still remember the name of every teacher that I had even though I graduated from that school over 22 years ago. I learned so much from them, more than just reading and writing. My hubby and I hope to accomplish the same thing with our children, and that is why we make the large financial sacrifice and send them to a private school too. They are very happy there, they get a great education, and they have a great social support network that extends beyond just the children who attend there. Our choice of education has so many advantages for our family. But I still dread the first day of school.

(Disclaimer: I'm not saying that any one method of education is better than another. Homeschoolers are great! It just won't work for us so we go the private school route.)

Well, it is time for me to quit bellyaching and get moving. I have to go get a blood test today (TSH, t3, t4), clean the car and house, go shopping, and be back by 4:30 so that the tile guy can work on the bathroom.

8 comments:

Unashamed said...

Way to stir the pot, KitKat. KIDDING!!! My kids went to a private Christian school for the junior grades and then to public highschool. It never even occurred to me to homeschool. To those who would say that I am somehow less of a mother because I didn't homeschool, I say: you obviously don't know me very well. I have no regrets whatsover about the schooling choices we made. Nor do I judge others for theirs!

Tia said...

Well, considering you made the decisions that are best for your family I'd say you're being a darn good mom. There is not one way to educate your children any more than there is one way to raise them. Bullocks to anyone who attempts to tell you differently.

a soldier's wife said...

Mine started today...As soon as I got home from dropping them off, I was missing them and ready for them to come home :) The house was soooo quiet, too quiet!

Tracy said...

wow.. can't believe your kids already start school... that is crazy!!
Mine don't start until the day after Labor day and its always been that way in our part of Minnesota, do your kids end early or something? I know in ND they get out quite early in May and in MN our kids go up to May 31st and sometime June 1st.

KitKat said...

Hi Tracy, the school started quite early this year here in IL. It seems like it starts earlier and ends later every year. This year we start on August 20th with half days this week and full days next week. I think that the last day of the year is June 5th. Crazy crazy!

sara said...

Since we're sharing, here in NY, we start in early September and end in late June.

a soldier's wife said...

We started here in Va. on the 18th and the last day of school is June 4th or 5th....just wanted to chime in too

Kelly said...

Where I live, we have "year round school" and it started on August 5th. The kids only get about 8 weeks for summer break, but they get several week long breaks spaced throughout the year.

We've had my daughter in school one year, and I'm on my 2nd year of homeschooling. I'm fully supportive of your decision to send them off to school.

But I did want to say, that knowing I was responsible for my child's education really motivates me to work on any bad habits I have with them. I really didn't even consider that I would become a better person through homeschooling (and trust me, I still need a lot of work), but it was a very pleasant side effect.