Motherhood + Educating Your Child

I know that it is much too early to be talking about Tad's education, or is it really? His mind is making new connections daily, something that I enjoy watching him do. His discoveries are endless, and my pride swells each times he realizes that a certain puzzle piece fits inside its designated hole. Our pediatrician was surprised at his one year check up that he had not yet found any meaningful words other than a whined, "Mama," when he was in desperate need of something. Since then, he has added two other words to his vocabulary, "hello" and "dog". But it still irked me when she showed her concern. "Most children have meaningful words by now," and with that statement I was suddenly thrown into the turmoil of, is my child different, behind, not excelling like a normal person? which suddenly led to, My child is perfect, my child is fine, a lot of one-year-olds don't talk. But neither of these statements are correct. Each child intakes knowledge differently, learns at their own pace, and discovers things in a time frame that is not to be decided upon by anyone else. 

In my own experience, I never enjoyed school. The year I started first grade, the No Child Left Behind Act was passed by Congress, and I do feel that it was entirely noticeable throughout my elementary and middle school years. In second grade, I was a part of a small group of children who were considered advanced learners and were separated from our class daily for about an hour to go over new work that challenged us to move farther. Within a year, that program was ended, and in fourth grade my parents had a disagreement with my teacher who never assigned me any extra work because I finished the homework within minutes of receiving it. Middle school and high school were no different. I had teachers whom I loved for reasons that had nothing to do with my assigned education, but because they were interesting people who helped me learn things about people and about life. I never felt like I ever learned anything I couldn't have experienced myself. But that's just my experience and opinion on the US education system.

I go back and forth wondering what I want for Tad. Sometimes I think that a homeschooled education would be better for him. I once saw a Ted Talk by Logan LaPlante (who is only 13!!) who discusses his homeschooling experience which he calls "hackschooling." What he discusses has to do with the separation between our country's educational system and learning how to be happy and healthy in our everyday lives. One of his major points is that most of what is engrained into our minds to reach this eternal happiness is to complete your primary and secondary education, get a job, marry, have kids, and then achieve happiness. But no one is teaching us that happiness comes from experiences, spirituality, exercise, relationships, and nature. In our education system, there is hardly room to go out into the world and explore, to delve into subjects that you can become passionate about, without being restricted to the system's box.

I know that sounds like I've already made my decision. But I have doubts with homeschooling, many. I doubt that I will be the proper person to guide my son through life and to teach him the proper things he needs to know if he ever wishes to go to a college or university. I know that I can teach him how to achieve happiness and health, that is something I do not doubt, but physics and calculus? Not so much. Will we reach a point in homeschooling where I can no longer teach him, where my own limitations essentially limit him? And what about the social aspect? This is not me saying that all homeschooled kids are different from children who attend public or private schools, but I have met many and all of them have been behind on social skills, more sheltered than any people I knew that went to public school. That is something that makes me concerned. Then there is my own selfish needs. Public school means that I get eight hours of free time, eight hours to myself to work and think and clean the house without a little boy needing my attention. But I don't know if this is important enough for me to quit on his experiences.

{This farm's cat, Winky.}

Tad's Outfit:  Bloomers (Wild Winnie), Sandals (Saltwater), Bonnet (Rain People)

My Outfit:  Shorts (Lucky Brand), Wellies (Hunter)

In my mind there has to be a happy medium somewhere, but I still haven't discovered where exactly that is. I know that I have a few years to figure that out. For now, we are reveling in the world that is before us. We make new discoveries daily out in this farm country. We play and learn with our hands, make foods with ingredients from the earth, and visit new places with open minds and wandering eyes. It is what I can do right now to make an impact on his future.

xoxo Kayla