Natalia went to a backyard Bible club hosted by a family in our church. She wanted to try out a group with older children and I figured, why not? She loves people and easily makes friends. Although she's not quite 4 she speaks very clearly and understands almost everything (often more than I realize!) going on around her.
The group ended up being much older. As I had guessed, Natalia wasn't fazed and she participated well, answered questions, asked questions, raised her hand and commented on the stories. She had a great time. But I didn't. I saw several instances of just mean from the older kids. From laughing at a little boy, to scoffing at Natalia when she would ask her questions. My hackles raised. It brought back my main memory from high school: people being mean when they don't even know you. They have no reason to be mean. They just are.
I went home disturbed. I didn't want Natalia to return. I really want to keep the day when she discovers mean people a long way down the line. I told Dave about it, and the question just popped out, "Why would any Christian parent not homeschool their kids? Why would they expose them to this?"
I'm not trying to sound condescending at all. I just really don't understand.*
A few thoughts to counteract things I've heard in the past:
I need a break from my kids.
Something I realized while on vacation with Dave's family, having a Gramby, a Pap pap, a Granny, two aunts and an uncle around to hold the girls (at this point the only grandchildren), play with them, feed them, etc. really changed my attitude. For the worse. When I have a lot of time for me, when I'm able to just do my own thing, and then am suddenly called back to motherhood, I feel like I'm being inconvenienced. "Argh, really, you need something? I was just about to..."
Normally, I'm used to having two additional shadows. When we are at home, or with just Dave and I caring for them, it's no inconvenience. They are no inconvenience. It's life. It's what I chose and I love it. I love helping and caring and being needed. It's interesting how a week can change that. I wonder if moms would like their kids more if they were around them more?
I'm afraid my kid won't know how to interact and be socialized.
Natalia loves people. She is obviously an extrovert. But after church and lunch with people on Sunday, maybe the pool or the park on Monday, ballet on Tuesday, Bible study Wednesday, another pool or park day on Thursday, grocery shopping Friday, and then time with dad on Saturday and maybe more errands, she really has had an awful lot of interactions with people throughout the course of the week. Sometimes she just wants to stay home but I want to go to the park or the pool this mamma (and extrovert) guiltily admits. She is learning how to interact with people. She sees a lot of people. She also enjoys downtime.
I'm afraid my kid won't learn well at home.
With this one, I just look at myself and say, I'm of a pretty normal intelligence and I did great. If you look at test scores homeschoolers come out just fine on all counts...so, if we can just get past our insecurities we'll be okay, right?
What are your thoughts? What, for you, is the reason you say, I won't send me kids to school? What would change your mind? What reason might you say, I really think they'd be better elsewhere?
Until next time,
*I get that there are always reasons for people to be outside the sweeping generality I just made. Please know that I recognize that it's a sweeping generality, but that I still am curious to know the answer. I do understand that some people have to work, others might be too ill or their children are, and that it is additional money out of pocket...I still wonder though...