Content Amidst the Chaos

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Who are these children??? April 5, 2010

Filed under: homeschooling — jps23 @ 10:08 pm

Now, before I even get started on this post, let me say that this observation is in regards to my family.  I’m not saying that this applies to everyone, so please don’t be offended.  Here goes…

Lately, my kids are acting kind of funny.  And when I say lately, I mean since we started going to school.  Now I don’t know if you’ve read earlier blog entries, but our schooling situation is unique this year.  We are a homeschooling family, but this year we are participating in a “homeschool co-op” through our church’s preschool, which I co-teach.  We have only 10 kids in Picasso and Cowgirl’s class, 11 in Mary Lou’s class, and the numbers are just under that for the boys’ rooms.  And these kids are pretty good kids.  No one curses, spits, or puts gum under the table.  They are wildly creative.  However, we have noticed a few things in the time that the kids have been amongst their new friends.  The first is that they don’t seem to value each other as much anymore now that they have “friends” they see daily.  They already had friends, but these are folks they see at church or an occasional get-together.  Having a friend they see four days in a row tends to lessen their “need” to have one another around.  As a result, they don’t treat each other as kindly, and they are not as patient with one another.  This isn’t anything these other children coerced them to do or anything.  They’ve just kind of re-prioritized their relationships with one another.  They got along better before when they spent more time with each other.  Now, after the weekends or a little school break, they do okay, a little more like they used to be, but they fight and fuss with each other like they never had before having these new friends.  The other thing we have noticed is the little things they’ve picked up on, which seem innocent enough, but they are just earlier versions of the really harmful and hurtful words and phrases people use with each other when they get older.  These are phrases that have never been said here, so I know they picked them up at school.  I also know they didn’t pick them up at church because they didn’t start saying these things until after school started.  Things like “You’re a meanie-bo-beanie!” and “You’re not my friend (buddy, cousin, etc) any more!”  And “poo-poo” is about as common as “and” or “the” amongst three-year-old boys, which I have one of, and his brothers like to keep up with him.  The girls don’t say inappropriate things so much, but they taunt one another or say “I don’t want to see/sit with/play with you anymore!”  One of the older girls’ classmates told a story about his dad stabbing a bull in his testicles, while another of their classmates likes to talk about his penis a little more than makes me comfortable.  And guys, I’m the teacher!  I’m right there, and I still can’t protect them from such things.  I know these kids’ parents a little, and they are nice, kind folks, but I don’t know if they use the same discernment in what their kids watch, listen to, or are exposed to.  We highly restrict what we let the kids watch for a reason.  There is so much that kids are exposed to so early now, and we as parents do it sometimes without even realizing what we are allowing to creep into our children’s hearts and minds.  We are old enough and discerning enough to know what to do with such information, but even we can be cast off track by letting too much unhealthy stuff influence our lives.  Now, I know that the kids will not always be perfect loving angels with one another, but we never saw this kind of interaction with each other before starting school, and while they need to be prepared to deal with stuff like this at some level, some day, I don’t want them to have to any earlier than necessary.  They are still very young, and while we are training them to be strong and bold in character, they aren’t quite there yet.

I am counting the days until the school year is over.  It’s been an experience, and we’ve made great friends along the way, but it just isn’t what our family is called to do.  Maybe God wanted us there this year for a special reason that didn’t have anything to do with us, and our presence was just a small part of a bigger picture.  Maybe I felt like I needed to do this to make paying for two houses possible, instead of trusting God to see us through that part since He opened that door for us.  I don’t know if I will ever know.  I do know that this year’s experience has further strengthened our hearts and minds regarding our decision to homeschool.  Yes, our kids learned a decent bit at school this year, but not all of it was good!  And who says they couldn’t have learned that here at home, and a little more?  We are so excited about conference time this year, and we have already signed up for both homeschooling conferences offered in our state!  Superman has decided to play a bigger role in our schooling adventures, and with the girls reading now, we have many different options in regards to curriculum choices.  Working independently is a huge step and a helpful tool in successfully teaching a large group of children on different levels.  Yes, I will still be teaching them, but there is so much kids can figure out on their own if you let them do it in an environment that honors their learning style.  I’m so excited, I can’t stand it!  We’re working on redecorating and rearranging the room we’ll be using as home-base for school, but we certainly will not be limited to learning in that room alone.  We will find ourselves in the kitchen, outside, and many other places for the optimal experience in learning.  There are no limits!!!  I wonder if anyone will say, “Oh, they are so smart!  They have learned so much at home!”  “School” gets all the credit right now.  I guess we’ll have to wait and see…


One Response to “Who are these children???”

  1. Good for you, Jamie! I totally understand what you are saying here. It’s always okay to re-evaluate and learn. What a good Mamma and Daddy your kids have. =)

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