Monday, July 12, 2010

a school year ended

:: self portrait, collage with recycled materials by Tobin, aka, the Monks::

It was not long after I began blogging that I came to realize that many of the mama's I read, or who read me also homeschooled or unschooled their children. I can't say that the idea had never danced through my mind, but all the same, I became a bit of the champion for traditional schooling. You see, we live in a wonderful small town, with the most lovely small school; our decision had been made. Ofcourse, I realized that there would always be hurdles, especially socially when it came to the differences in how people raise their children. The Monks is quite gifted and while he did brilliantly in the arena of academcis {as academics go in kindergarten}, we also had our bout with the social as well {as socialization goes for 6 yer old boys}.
It has been four or so weeks since the school year ended. All in all, I'd say the experience was...fine. {Yes, the proverbial, fine.} If you asked Tobin, he would say it was great; If you asked me, I'd say that I am glad it is over. What was the most disappointing about this year was the learned behavior of "telling". At home, I've always been one to tell the kiddos to "work it out" whenever there is a scuffle, but in school, if something happens, you go and tell on the other child. The children learned quickly that it was better to be the victim; that if they did not tell that they were being pushed, etc. often enough or atleast as often as they are told on, it may appear that they are the agressor. I know, this alone is enough to make anyone want to homeschool, right?

But I'm not homeschooling. After having a few weeks to wind down from the school experience and reflect, I'm really looking foward to the first grade in September. Tobin will be in class with many of his friends {and by a lucky happenstance, not with any of the children whose parent's and myself had not seen eye to eye this year}, and since the focus is more academic with less down time {aka, no toys}, I think he will do wonderfully. For now, I am savouring having him home each day; letting him stay up late, sleep in, play, move in his own rhythm. And once I am able to get the Monks and the Fif to stop telling on each other every 5 minutes, I'll be golden, right?
For now, I am the one that needs to be hitting the books, preparing my lectures + whatnot for the Fall semester. {I've been juggling between this work and my art for my shop; neither of which are easily accomplished while I am being Monked + Fifed.} You know, I have a sinking feeling that September will be sneaking up on us rather quickly...


  1. One of my teaching friends (2nd grade, so they could write by then) had a turtle shaped container with a big sign that read "Tell it to the turtle." All tattles were to be written on paper fed into the turtle's slot, or they could whisper to it. I always thought it was clever, though I don't know how well it worked

  2. I loved this post! I too have had conflicted feelings about homeschool vs. traditional, and for many reasons, we've decided that traditional school is the best option for us. But you are so dead on about the tattling! We usually take the same approach at home as you -"work it out" - but that is not how it is handled in the public schools. As a result, I find my kids constantly wanting me to play both judge and jury in their disputes, and quite frankly, it's exhausting. Not to mention, they don't learn anything themselves about how to sort out their differences.

    My 9-yo son recently had a bit of a scuffle with a 13-yo neighbor boy (need I say a very immature 13-yo??), and my son's solution to the problem was for me to go and "tell on" this boy to his mother. Clearly, we have a lot to work on in the conflict resolution area! But you're right; school does not really help kids in figuring out ways to negotiate solutions to disagreements, and it seems they actually only make things worse for us.

    Wouldn't it be great if there were some sort of hybrid mix of homeschool and traditional?!?

  3. We also choose to go the traditional route. It has worked for us so far, but we are also looking into a Waldorf school nearby. One step at a time I guess. Great post.

  4. This post really hit a personal note for me- we also have chosen a more traditional approach to education-
    I was also happy when this school year was over-
    Anyway lovely blog- and nice to meet you!


I would love to hear your thoughts...especially if they are nice! So post away friends, post away!