Sunday, February 26, 2012

some general musings

I think the real reason people are afraid to homeschool is that all influences in child's life become family-centered. You cannot blame teachers, morahs, babysitters, friends, bullies, etc for the way the child turns out. YOU, as a parent, are solely responsible for that. It is true even if your child is not homeschooled, but then it is easier to blame problems and lack of success on others. When the child is with you, day in and day out, you just see yourself and all your character traits reflected back.

Our local dayschool printed a letter from the principal, reinforcing that while school provides academics, the middos ( positive character traits) come from home. Schools do not teach kids to behave, parents do. Now, the thought of that sometimes leaves me so overwhelmed, that I want to hide under the covers and not see the light of the day. I am really afraid of irreparably screwing up my kids. But, on the other hand, this is a real opportunity to work on yourself. Your kids will learn not only from your nice moments, but also from the moments when you are short-tempered; when everything is falling apart; when you lose it. I think there is a lot to be said for learning how to lose it consciously. Say to yourself: I am losing it; this situation is infuriating, but what do I want my child to take away from it?

This "working on yourself" brings me to another issue which I keep observing in myself, as well as in others. Where do your energies flow? When kids are tiny babies, all energies naturally flow to maintain them: to feed them, to change them, to get them to sleep. Once they are not so tiny, all of a sudden you find yourself with surplus of energy. (For me it happens around the time the youngest is two). What are you doing with it? Do you place it into making your house spotless and your kids prisoners of only one "messy" area? Do you place it into Shabbos meals to stun others, while your kids would happily eat chicken and potatoes? Do you feel that now you need to find a job, so that you have approval of others while the little people who look up to you are now forced to look up to someone else? Do you find a new fad to follow, which will take your energy and then you will be too busy and tired to read a book to your kids before they go to sleep? Or will you take that energy and use it towards your family's needs, whether it means playing a board game, taking your kids to ride bikes, reading umpteenth book for the umpteenth time, or answering your child's question in a thought-out manner.

I am not for people martyring themselves for the sake of the children, but I am against accidental parenting.


  1. May I share this on my blog?

  2. Totally agree! I would also add that while being with kids you open so many things for yourself and it is such an excitement to learn and change together with them - like looking at the world with a fresh view. So homeschooling is not just "an exhausting routine" for Mother as some people think - it is a great self improvement and exciting learning for the Mom. Depends on your motivation and involvement. I just feel that I personally gain much more from this "work" than from any other most creative and challenging work in the world. Sorry, I can't formulate my thoughts as nice as you do, but I'm sure you understand what I'm talking about.