The Real World.

Yesterday I wrote about how I don’t play with the littles very much.  I know some moms who drop everything for a supervised art project and they have play-doh making days and they get out the paints whenever anybody asks.  I wish I could be like that.  I really do.  I have every intent.

We have plenty of paints in the house but I am not often in the mood to clean up the mess.  I have pounds of purchased play-doh (I could make it from scratch.  And have.  But then somebody would fight somebody else to stand closest to me while I was mixing it.) but I hate stepping on the tiny crumbly bits that dry and become shrapnel to my heels.  We also have a fine collection of found objects that would make a wicked cool sculpture of some sort.  But then there’s the gallon of glue, roll of masking tape and scissor mishaps to contend with.

This is a personality flaw and I’m here to own it.

But I have always been good about creating experiences for them.  We have the zoo pass and the children’s museum pass.  Ella has been to the ballet and has seen a children’s opera.  They have ridden roller coasters, flown on an airplane, stayed in a hotel.  They have eaten at a restaurant that did not have paper napkins.  They have been to eight states.  We go to farms, pumpkin patches, butterfly gardens and animal shelters.  Both girls have been to preschool and sunday school and Kindermusik.

And then this statement showed up on Pioneer Woman’s blog this morning in the Homeschool section:

I personally believe the 36 to 54 hours students spend in public/private school-related weekly activities is not an adequate way to train children to become adults. That is not to say the children are not being trained elsewhere – by their parents, mentors, or genuine teachers, but I’m convinced it isn’t the socialization in the school setting that prepares students for the real world.

The “real world” prepares students for the real world.  (Written by a guest contributor, not by Ree herself.)

I am not a homeschooler.  Much like the aversion to messy preschool activities, I would not be good at homeschooling my children.  I am behind the concept 100% and if things don’t turn around for Ella this school year it will be a serious soul-searching consideration on my part. 

You know how sometimes you just need a “sign” that you are doing okay?  That you have made and are making the right decisions?  This was my sign.

Some parents are just better at some things than others.  We go and do.  That’s our thing. 

Next winter, I hope to add to that list.  I hope to be able to take the train to Texas to visit my brother and his family as well as Stephen’s dad and stepmom at their winter home.  I have never been on a train trip and I have always wanted to.

How cool would it be to be one of my littles? 

Footnote:  I saw Ree of Pioneer Woman fame on the Today show one day last week.  She was on for about 2 minutes and was supposed to be cooking something.  I have to say that her voice is totally different from how it “reads” in the blog.  Much more…feminine?  That’s not the right word.  But definitely higher pitched than I imagined.  That is, of course, my problem and not hers.  Oh, the power of imagination and the written word.

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4 thoughts on “The Real World.

  1. Okay I know you don’t know me really (it’s alyssa/unskulinmama from DSD) but I just had to say, as a homeschooling dropout LOL, that I could have written this post! I love my kids but man, I am just not good at all the little kid messes and activities and things that people make us think we should be spending all our time being focused on.

    My kids aren’t perfect but I think they’re going to be just fine.
    So will yours 🙂
    -Alyssa

  2. After being a mom for 18 years I foolishly thought that the race to be the “best mom in the universe” was over. I think each child has differing needs hence, one of mine went for a time to a private school while the other blossomed better in the public schools. And regarding socialization of the homeschooled child: There is family socialization (working with your siblings and parents) and then there is the “real world” socialization where children (in school) have to learn how to work with others who are being raised different from their own family system. There’s a flip side to the author’s idea on the PW site where she noted how odd it is to have kids of one age housed in a classroom together: how odd it must be for homeschooled children to “graduate” from their home and go out into the wider world where day to day they will be”housed” in an office with non-family members and have to deal with all of the different behaviors…I know, I sound grumpy about this but this whole issue feels like another way to raise the bar on perfection in parenting and to separate the “us” from the “thems”—
    That said, I’ve got an idea of how to foster creativity without the mess: Give each little their very own sketchpad/diary with colored pencils and let them document all the fun experiences you’re giving them.

  3. What I wonder is why we (parents) think we have to be good at everything. You give your children lots and leave more to be discovered later on. As a parent of grown children I know that I didn’t give them everything I wanted to ( and I did worry about that a lot) but see how they have grown up and feel good about the foundation I did give them. They can think for themselves, know where to go to find the answers they don’t have, and have lots of things to look forward to trying. Your experiences are the things your children will talk about ( as mine do) when they get older. Pat yourself on the back for the things you are good at.
    I admire you!

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