Saturday, September 22, 2007

A mother's heart

I write from many perspectives.

Sometimes, I write as an expert. Other days, I write as an observer. Once in a while, I write as a wife.

Tonight, I'm writing as a mother.

I'm worried.

More precisely, I'm worried about my son's future.

I'm not talking about anything too profound. I'm just concerned about the whole notion of school.

Unless you read my other blog, Quoibles, you might not realize that I've started him in a pre-kindergarten program at an academically-based, highly reputable franchise.

He goes to the school three days a week, four hours a day. I chose this direction for him because I felt he could learn a great deal from being around a more structured environment than I can offer him at home.

Specifically, I was hoping he'd:

- become more familiar with the concepts and expectations of a student-teacher relationship;
- begin to gain a new sense of independence and self-discipline; and
- learn exciting concepts/ideas.

But all that's happened so far is that he begs me every night before he goes to sleep NOT to send him to school.

He doesn't like it. He really doesn't like it.

And it's making me crazy.

Other mothers tell me to wait--in time, he'll adjust. He'll get used to it. He'll suck it up.

But I'm not sure I really want him to do that.

Maybe he shouldn't HAVE to like it. Maybe he cries for a reason. Maybe he needs something else, something different, something as unique as he.

I've gone so far as to investigate the possibility of homeschooling, at least for now and possibly kindergarten. That would mean more work for me and my husband, but I can already see it could be potentially rewarding.

What to do? (I'm open to suggestions.)

Though I plan to wait a few more months, I can't ignore this nagging sensation that what he's going through is unnecessary and somehow wrong.

To be perfectly fair, his teacher is lovely, the other kids are great... I just don't know if he's going to make himself so sick over going that it's going to break my heart in two.

A mother's heart can only take so much pounding before it shatters into a billion tiny tears.


Jennifer said...

I'd keep him home. I think it's somewhat disrespectful of kids who feel one way and yet we force them to feel another (or try to anyhow). This is in no way reflective of what I think of individuals just our society is so hell bent on structured ed. It's a bit insane.

Maybe he does need something as unique as he is -- don't all kids. I unschool Cedar for exactly that reason. He's not some cookie cutter individual so I don't see why he should spend the first 15 years of his life treated as such.

If you and him don't feel happy than there's something wrong.

Jennifer said...

Ps I hope you find a solution that makes you both happy :)

SzélsőFa said...

I homeschooled my son for half of a semester.

the individual voice said...

I'd sit in on a couple of his days and see what it's like, how he interacts, gradually moving out of the class for longer and longer intervals of separation. Also, the teacher should help you figure out how to make it more appealing. Would he like to bring a special toy? What's the policy on this? Can you invite a classmate for an afterschool playdate for continuity? I'd say check out all the angles before giving up.

The Quoibler said...


I thought of you and Cedar when I wrote this post. Though I'm not as comfortable with unschooling as you are, I'm beginning to ask myself questions that I don't think our parents ever considered regarding education.

Thanks for your ideas and well wishes--they mean a great deal to me!

Szelsofa: Interesting! Is home schooling popular in Hungary? Just curious.

TIV: The school dissuades parents from "sitting in", so that's not a great option for me, though it's a good idea. Also, my little guy would see that as a distraction and would absolutely hang on me for the entire time. He's a real pip!

We do bring special toys, make a lunch bag every morning with markers and crayons, and do everything to make it a special, wonderful experience. So far, he's bucking the system. :) But I appreciate your thoughts and will mull them over to see if I can make any of them work!

the individual voice said...

I'd actually be suspicious of any school that did not have an open door policy for parents to join in and help out, whatever, Sounds a little rigid to me.