Monthly Archives: September 2012

Questions about Education

Jack has been attending Cherry Lane Preschool for over a year.  When he was turning 3, I took my mom with me to a Cherry Lane open house to simply inquire about their program and ask questions about sending 3-year-olds to school. I fell in love with the teachers, and with my mom’s preschool-teacher advice, I decided Cherry Lane would be a good addition to Jack’s little life as a three-year-old.

(on a pumpkin patch field trip)

I used similar words like “structure” and “socialization” to justify sending him to Cherry Lane (and I’m still 100% behind this particular choice), but now I’m doubting these over-used terms.

As I sent Jack into his little red school, I began asking pretty big questions without really pursuing their answers. These questions have thick, deep roots in issues of family life and faith (which I think most people don’t realize, ignore, or are numb to), and their answers have startled my belief in God’s purposes for family life.  I’m asking them here because even in asking these questions, I learn something about myself.  I also feel I will benefit from discussion. It seems I’m gradually turning away from many of my teacher-rooted beliefs about what it means to actually educate (not just influence) a person and who should really be doing the work.   (And it’s no secret Josh has significant opinions about these issues and is brewing over these questions, coming to conclusions more quickly than I am…)

I’m inviting discussion about each of these, as I’m still trying to find my stance.  I want every parenting decision to be grounded, fully intentional, and focused on the glory of God. The decisions about education seem to be my toughest yet.

 

QUESTIONS

1. What is the ultimate purpose and goal of educating a child?

2. What is the purpose and goal of parenting?

3. How much of Jack’s education will be my responsibility?

4.  Is “socialization” really an excuse for preschool and/or kindergarten? Or is it a response to our culture moving toward two working parents being “the norm”?

5.  As Christians, should our decisions on education be the same as everyone else’s?

6. If I take a step back away from my gut reactions…can I honestly say that a school is responsible for educating my children more than my own self?

7. Public school? Charter? Private? or Homeschooling?  WHY?

8. Since all day kindergarten is now mandated, what in the world do I do next year?

Regardless of opinion or response to these questions, I find my answers–yet to be determined–will speak VOLUMES about my parenting philosophy.  These answers will say great deal about what I believe about motherhood, education, and family.  I welcome your responses to any or all of these questions as I sift through each and every choice, as well as every complex implication behind it.

Little

A thousand times, I’ve thought about writing a blog post these past 2 weeks. Whether it’s been during my reading sessions of either the Book of Acts or Alexander McCall Smith’s 44 Scotland Street, or during the countless feedings of Little (aka Oliver), or the trips to Eighth Day Farm or the pediatrician’s office, or during to the quick music sessions I sneak into the day, or in my ever-steady cleaning and caring for our home…my mind has been absorbing and entertaining.  The more time I spend anchored at home, the busier my dreams and thoughts become.  And yet, the hours evaporate so quickly and I slip into bed at the earliest possible moment of the evening.  I easily forget that I’m only 4.5 weeks into the newness of two children, which in the grand scheme of things is barely dipping my toes in.  I want to write more, read more, sing more, create more, and thrive in the silly busyness that somehow makes me smile.  Instead, I put these ideas on hold, hoping I will remember what they are when I finally *do* tune my guitar again or face my sewing machine.  And I have two charming, consuming distractions from the frivolousness of my own ambitions.

 

 

Somehow we worked in a successful photo shoot with my dear friend Jen, who’s photos are tear-inducing, heartwarming, and lump-in-the-throat impacting. As I scanned the photos for the first time, it reminded me that every note on the piano, every stitch of thread, every weed in the yard…it can all wait.  I’ll return to my interests eventually, but right now I’m happy

here…

in this place…

with my two small boys who are such a blessing to me it makes me fall down in gratitude.  The responsibility and privilege of nourishment keeps me busy enough, and it’s more than okay to resist taking on more.  I never want to miss out on the unseen beauty similar to what is captured in these breathtaking pictures.

 

 

 

 

Perhaps I overdo it on talking, writing, and processing my struggle with being, resisting the clouds of pressure I feel around me.  There are lots of blog posts I was excited to write that are shelved, if not canned, for a long while.  Oh well.  I’ve got Little to look after and his big brother to play with.  For now, these are the greatest ideas to sustain.