Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Mom I Want to Be

It's funny.  We go through these ups and downs with homeschooling.  Questioning our decision. The end result of the questioning is that we end up more committed to the decision than we were before.  (You know what they say about the rough patches making you stronger).

I have always wanted to be a mom.


My entire life.

I played dolls and house constantly when I was a little girl.

And I dreamed of becoming a Mommy.

I dreamed of the cuddly, sweet smelling baby cooing and smiling at me.

I dreamed of the precocious toddlers chattering and tripping on chubby legs.

I dreamed of doing things with my children.

Reading books, seeing plays, going to museums, putting on productions, making elaborate sets, doing crafts, watching movies, talking, sharing, experiencing...

When my girls were small we enjoyed many of the moments that I had fantasized about.

I am not exactly sure when it changed...

I can not really blame school...
but there was a lot of homework.

There were the extracurriculars...
and the pressure from other parents and children and the PTO to do things...

I bought Allie the American Girls The Care & Keeping of YOU book when she was nine.  I thought we would read it together.  We started it...but we got sidetracked...

Now the girls and I are reading it together.  It is part of our science curriculum and we make time for it every day.  We are enjoying it.  I am answering a lot of their questions.  I think this is opening a line of communication between my girls & I.

I taught pre-school before Allie was born.  I have binders stuffed with craft ideas.  I've subscribed to Family Fun magazine for almost twenty years, and I have many of those magazines on bookshelves in my office.  But time got away from us and we never did any of those crafts...until this year.  Until we started homeschooling.

I had dreamed of reading Little Women with my girls.  The Secret Garden, The Little Princess, Stuart Little ... we would start those books.  But the next night there would be a PTO meeting or a late Brownie meeting or we would have friends over or have practice for sports...and we would not read another chapter and before long, we forgot what we had read and put the book back on the shelf.  But now I can make those books part of our curriculum, whether we read them or listen to them on audio.  We can share those beautiful, ageless masterpieces.  We can discuss them.  They can be woven into our dreams.

When I was in high school, I was privileged to have an absolutely amazing teacher who encouraged us to think for ourselves.  She encouraged us to question authority and the establishment and to make decisions based on what we thought, felt, believed.  She taught us that that was the real point of research and learning: to be able to think for oneself.  I will never, ever forget that.

 I want to encourage my girls to learn so that they can make decisions that are best for them.  I don't want them to just accept what someone else says.  By homeschooling, I am teaching this by example.  I don't accept the dictates of the American Education system right now.  I don't agree with not teaching for mastery.  I don't agree with so much emphasis on testing.  I don't think that education can be measured quantitatively.  I am also teaching my girls to think by the curriculum and the lessons that we are learning.  I encourage them to form opinions and back their opinions up with facts.

Homeschooling is allowing me to be 
the mother
 that I always dreamed of being.