Put school first. That sounds pretty good huh? "Put school first." That motto will help our children build knowledge and become productive citizens. We all know that "education" is the key to success and happiness.
Put school first. I do hear that a lot. "Education is the key to success." Yes indeed, I hear that a lot too. I hear a lot of things...that are a crock of waste.
"Put SCHOOL first."
Quote: "Public school children receive almost 11,000 hours of secular indoctrination from kindergarten through their senior year compared with only 264 hours spent in meaningful conversation with their parents within the same 12-year period."
THAT sounds like a crock of waste too doesn't it? I don't care for some of the beliefs of the person I just quoted there, but I have to give credit where credit is due because that quote got me thinking.
When Kazz and Brisan went to school, I was the mom who bugged them to wake up in the morning and hurried them out the door to leave. Then when they got home I was the mom who bugged them to do their homework and do their chores. Then I was the mom who told them to get off the video games so they could go to bed early. I bugged them to shower, to brush their teeth and to go to bed.
I bugged them. I am their mother. I was bugging them all day long....well all the day that I saw them anyway. Why was I bugging them? To get them ready to go to school and cater the the schools schedule. Our ENTIRE lives were delegated by the schools calendar.
"Can Kazz come down to visit his grandparents Shelly, we have an unexpected vacation from work?"
" No mom and dad, he has school."
"Hey I got a long weekend off of work, let's go camping!"
"I'm sorry Brian, they have school and Kazz has a test that day. If he misses he'll be behind."
Our vacations, family time, camp outs, extended family gatherings, even funerals were somehow impacted by having to notify the school. After we notified the school, we had to worry about how much homework would pile up from the day(s) missed. The fun time was overshadowed by the knowing that homework would come home and cause stress, tears and anger! Even when we paid to send them to a private school, Brian and I were working many hours as volunteers and spending many hours fund raising.
Man, I Do Not Miss That!
It dawned on me today, after I read that quote, that I have a tight relationship with my children. We don't have the irritation we had back when they went to school. We don't cry over school work. Why? Because they don't have to know it by Friday when the test is scheduled. They can know it next week or next month or next year! Homeschooling is so freeing. We can have class in the evenings, in the car, on the weekends. Yes, we spend a lot of time together. Is that a bad thing?
I wonder about people who think parents should not be a big part of their children's lives. I wonder why they think that? I wonder if they are afraid that our children will grow up to be like us? Maybe they are afraid that our children will think differently than the rest of the world? Maybe they are afraid that our children will not be able to think for themselves?
All I know is that when my children were in school, I was building a relationship between them and the school. My days were spent thinking about how to get them there and keep the teacher satisfied. I had way less time to build a relationship between me and them because... School came first.
It came before our family. It came before our children's hearts, because we kept pushing them and pushing them to be "better." It came before our relationship with our children...period.
Somewhere along the line I realized that getting my children into Harvard was not my goal as their parent. Getting them into Heaven is my goal. Their character means more to me than any dog gone math exam or spelling test.
I'm happy to say that in our home...School does not come first.