Friday, March 06, 2009

The weirdo that I am...

This Tuesday was one of those days when I felt like the weirdo that I am. =)

I was at a playdate with my MOPs small group, and everybody started talking about preschools. There was much discussion of waiting lists and things about particular ones that they liked or didn't like or how many days to put their two-year-old in. And I just sat quietly and listened.

Now, I went to preschool. My great-aunt taught me in her class, and I still remember her coming around with the honey bear and squirting all our little fingers with just a dab. (She was known as the town Bee Lady.) My mother was the music teacher, and she came to our class with her song book and autoharp. It was great!

But I think it's unlikely that I will be enrolling Seth in preschool. For one thing, he already spends 1-2 mornings a week in nursery at my Bible study and at MOPs. He gets his own Bible teaching at one, and I think he will at the other next year. So I think he already gets as much social play time with other kids as he needs to, and I do get a break those days.

For another thing, I know myself. I don't have a ton of self-control. And I think that if we started down the road of me letting Seth be taught at preschool by other teachers, it would make it that much harder for me to take things in hand when its time to start home schooling. I think I would get used to all that "me time" and resent losing it, and I could possibly get intimidated by thinking about how his teachers did things. That being said, I'm not saying it won't happen; just that I'm not planning to send him anywhere at the moment. Who knows what life could throw our way...

But we're not planning on sending him to public or private schools after preschool because our philosophy of education is just different than that taught in either. We think that children learn a variety of things better in a good home school than in most other educational situations, so that's where we're headed with this thing.

So I guess I felt like this little preschool discussion at the playdate was the precursor to a divide that I may feel more and more as my children get older. Was anyone mean or unkind to me? No, not at all. Nobody wanted to make me feel left out. But I'm seeing that I will soon be making some choices that take me a very different direction than most of the other moms I currently know. I will have less time in my schedule for socializing with them because I won't be on the typical stay at home mom school schedule. Things will be a changin'.

As I was getting ready to leave the playdate, the mom who was hosting asked if Seth had ever seen a particular kid's show that was coming on. I casually replied that he didn't really watch tv. Now, whenever I do this, something inevitably happens. The mom who I'm talking to immediately starts apologizing for her kid's tv habits and explaining them.

And I sigh an inner sigh. I wasn't telling her that Seth didn't watch much tv to make her feel bad. I just wanted to explain why I wouldn't be able to converse with her about Dora the Explorer. And why my son might plant himself in front of her tv with his nose about 1/2 an inch from it. I have not taken an oath signed in blood that Seth will never watch television. And if I did, I'm sure that would be my downfall.

When Seth was born, David and I said that our goal was that he watch as little tv as I could possibly stand. So I worked really hard at doing other things with him and trying to make it through the tough times of day without tv. And I'm not saying I've always succeeded. There are days when I've popped in a video for half an hour. Those days have come once every few months or so, and I haven't felt guilty about them. It's a goal; not a hard and fast rule. And if baby no. 2 comes, and I can't take it anymore when he asks me to read a book for the 12th time and throws himself screaming to the floor when I can't because I'm nursing, Baby Einstein may start looking really tempting.

So I explained all that to Playdate Hosting Mom. And then she said, "You were homeschooled, right?" =) Is it really that weird not to watch tv? I guess...

All that being said, I don't want to create an unnecessary divide between me and other families over the issues of schooling, tv, food choices, etc. Sometimes a divide might be necessary, but I think it can be avoided a good bit of the time, if we're tactful. Because I don't think if I do x and y, and you do s and p, I'm guaranteed a particular outcome, and you're guaranteed another one. I can do everything I believe will create the perfect, self-sufficient, intelligent, spiritually mature Christian man, and I might get something completely different. Because I can't know for sure what creates that in a particular human soul, and I can't control that anyway because humans have free will and an insatiable love of rebellion. Ask me how I know. =)

Anyhoo, I know I'm rambling now, and I hope you get my point, but I thought of all this when I read this post by MckMama. She said it better than I can, so go there. =)


Momma B. said...

To some degree I totally understand that divide. Sometimes it just can't be helped. I often feel the divide when other mothers start talking about their jobs or the 5 team sports their 4 yr olds are playing right now...

They always ask me what our kids our playing this year and I usually make excuses to help keep everyones pride in tact instead of just saying what I feel...but a little of that is necessary too, right?

DOn't give's good to be different. That's what I keep reading in my bible anyway.

Shannon said...

This year (as you know) I've been on the opposite end, where almost all the other stay at home moms I know homeschool...and since I don't, I can't go to their activities.
And the other public schooling moms often work outside the home...or, like Kelli said, have their kids in so many other activities, sports, or specialized lessons, that I can't help but wonder when they ever see their kids. :)
Next year, we're looking at homeschooling...but I'll be in a completely different area where that will probably be the "out" thing to do. Sometimes it's hard to be content with being the "odd man out," even when you know you're doing the best thing for your family.
Oh, and I don't think you're weird for not having the TV on. While we probably watch more than 30 minutes of videos every other month in our house, I can't keep up with Dora or Backyardigans, or...whatever else everyone talks about either. And I'm WAY annoyed that my kindergartner watches "Kenny the Shark" AT SCHOOL. ...but that's another story. :)