Monday, September 13, 2010

Parenting and Educating

I've done attachment parenting (AP) with my son since he was born 3.5 years ago. Some of it has worked great, others of it hasn't really worked for our family, but we have adapted and rolled with the punches. My pregnancy was relatively normal, labor and delivery was very rough on both of us, and my little guy ended up spending about a week in the NICU right after he was born. However, he was a fabulous breastfeeder. I breastfed him until he was 2 years old. I was also a proud public breastfeeding mama, and I totally rocked the Ergo. He still co-sleeps with us, and I think thats totally awesome.

A few weeks ago while I was at Sunstone, a friend had her newborn with her and she was nursing him. A found myself more than once having the tingly breastfeeding "let down" response when her baby would cry. It was strange to experience those physical responses 18 months after weaning, and it made me a little nostalgic for nursing a little one.

When we were at the catholic retreat last week, there were two other families there who also had done AP. Both families were now homeschooling there children, and I felt like I got a lot of pressure to homeschool as well.

Now, this is something I have considered in the past, but not for the reasons that these other parents would think. For most of them, it was a far-right wing "I want my child to be taught about God! Government is evil!" sort of reason for homeschooling. These are the parents teaching their kids that scientists are the devil. Me, I just think it sucks to have to sit still in your seat for 8 hours every day, and I can't imagine my kid would like it either. I also felt bored senseless in my classes, and skipped class whenever possible while in college. Plus we travel so much as a family that it would be great to continue traveling a lot without much concern for what time of year it is - whether school is in session, etc.

The problem is, despite thinking it would be great for my son, I think I would just go psycho if I did it. Actually, I am pretty sure I would go psycho. I've had le Petite with me for 7 straight weeks now. Although not technically going insane, I do miss having him in school and will be glad when his new playschool program starts next week. I miss time to myself and I miss dedicated time to work each day. I miss being able to nap in the morning as well.

I'm not asking for advice really, just musing to myself. I used to think I would be a great eco-feminist, and that I would do wonderful as a homesteader. But I am beginning to realize that I am just so selfish and like my time to myself too much.


Quiet Song said...

Dear Madame,

You would be a fabulous homeschooling parent. I also read between the lines, that yes it is something you would be interested in, could you avoid be entirely subsumed as an individual in the effort. These are real concerns. However, as our moody biblical friend once said, to everything there is a season . . . . Homeschooling does not need to be a commitment for La Petite's entire education. The options for homeschooling are fabulous these days compared to the early days. We've kind of done it all at one time or another, public school, private school, homeschool, unschool, online school, tutoring and now partial day homeschool with partial day public school. Choose what fits best for you at the life phase you are in.

Nor is every segment of the homeschooling community oddballs who are on the far right of the spectrum. If you haven't already, you would very much enjoy reading the works of John Holt. Cheers to the return of the school year and, apparently, some deserved Mama alone time.

Yours truly,

Quiet Song

C. L. Hanson said...

The value of a degree in early childhood education -- and of years of experience following the development of scores of children -- shouldn't be dismissed as worthless.

Personally, I have a Ph.D. in Mathematics, and I am good with kids; empathetic and responsive to their needs and interests. But there is no way I'd presume that I am as qualified as a professional elementary school teacher to teach them what they need to learn at each level as they grow and develop.

Lisa said...

I'm with you.

I've never felt any pressure to home school (well, nothing more than a fleeting thought) and so tell people I'm just not into it. Now if I knew my child would be better at home than at school, then we'd be rethinking everything.

I know--know I would lose my shit. Fast.

And I'm entirely too anti-social to do that to my kids. They need to be around people and learn those skills.

But that's just me. You do what's best for you, you know?

mandi said...

I'm right with you on this one. #1 son would thrive at home, but I would shrivel. Daughter would shrivel at home, but academically really needs the un-structured environment of home school. #2 son? Not sure yet. They will all most likely continue to be shuffled through the public system with a LOT of home reinforcement. AFTER I've had my time to myself.