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.
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.
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.