Thursday, March 30, 2006

BookWorms and The Like

Homeschooling certainly has it's fine points and challenges. As I've researched the topic, I've found that there is no right or wrong way and that parental instinct is highly valued when working with your child.

While I mostly have taken comfort with those words, today I put the theory to the test:

We work with a formatted curriculum, and we have a structure around our day. Overall, the system has been working. When the sun rose this morning, though, things were a bit different. I wanted to review and take note of where the children were in thier comprehension grasp.

That's when things began to go awry. Aubrey was quite disconcerted with the break in routine ~ and certainly did not want me to instruct her to revamp some of her answers in trade for a higher grade.

Scowling and Crocodile tears were in full form.

I held my ground.

That is, until the sibling sniping began.

I had had it. I was done. Finished. No more.

Banishing the children to thier respective corners, I took to the local online yellow pages. There had to be SOME private school that was taking students this late in the year!

As Aubrey approached me to turn in her latest paperwork, she spied the screen.

Even though she spoke not a word, I heard her react to what she read.

She walked away, only to return with the whole host of Broussard children . . .

Then the questions began to fly.

Now, I did not really want to verbally commit to anything. I recognized I was frustrated! However, backed into a corner, I simply said, "I am looking for private schools."

The wailing began.

I will relieve you of the gory details of the next hour ~ but suffice it to say, sometimes one does not appreciate what they have until the prospect of it being taken away is presented.

Aubrey turned in the rest of her math.


sigh. Supermom does it again!


Anonymous said...

it's interesting how 2 people can have such different perspectives on a thing. When I read this, I thought, "How very sad for the children." Coercion at it's worse. All that the children have learn from that long term is you have power to manipulate and control them, and that their own feelings are not as important as yours. They should not trust their own feelings but bow to authority and power. I believe that there are more long-term positives if learning is motivated intrinsically rather than extrinsically. Many studies in progressive education have proven this theory. Threats are detrimental to both happiness and learning.

~ Angi :) said...

While I agree with your comment, dear reader, that: "there are more long-term positives if learning is motivated intrinsically rather than extrinsically", I am disheartened that as you read, you completely missed the point of this particular post.

This post is about a Homeschool Mom having a Bad Day. A child's ability to capitilize upon a parent's less than perfect mood is uncanny. (Much like the toddler who begins demanding Mom's attention the moment she answers the phone!) Hence, the use of such terms as "Crocodile Tears", "Frustrated" and the use of humor: "Supermom does it again!" was designed to draw the reader to the conclusion that is day was NOT the norm ~ rather it was the RARE day, indeed. This writing lends itself to the reality that Mom's are not perfect, but rather, are capable of having off-days, in which thier emotional responses to the days' circumstances lead them to a crumbled state. In most cases, a hot bubble bath and a good night's sleep recitfy the emotions gone awry. :)

Furthermore, I would like to bring to the table that my children are happy, obedient, and well-adjusted, void of the damage done by manipulation and control. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Everyone is different, and you see that in the way children turn out in the end. Some are taught to be good servants and others will be the leaders/visionaries. You say they are 'obedient' but not controlled and manipulated? I say the two go hand in hand. If they are totally obedient, that means they ARE controlled and manipuulated - can you not see that?? They're doing what YOU want - not what THEY want - They do what YOU want because you control them, and to control them you manipulate them. In this case, you successfully did that when you 'threatened' them with private school (you were aware that they knew what you were doing) unless they did their assigned seatwork that YOU wanted them to do. If you are really interested in, or even CURIOUS as to the long-term effects of this kind of parenting, please read authors such as John Holt, Alfie Kohn, Naomi Aldort, Rue Kream, books about Mindful Parenting (Everyday Blessings is a good one) and parenting using 'non-violent communication'. See outside of the box - These books might be real eye openers into how a child 'could' grow up - nurturing their little souls into becoming more of who they really are, vs being 'molded into who YOU THINK they should be'and someone who learns to not trust their own choices and instincts, but to do what some authority figure tells them to do...I won't write anymore...I am aware that you're doing the best you can with the information/knowledge that you have. I am just such a huge children's advocate and have practiced 'child-led' attachment parenting from the beginning that I felt I had to reply when I read that section in your blog. Most parents in mainstream society are not well read in the psychology of parenting, end up parent much the same way as you are doing - by using coercion, threats, bribes and manipulation, whatever it takes to "control" their children and/or get them to do what the parents wants them to do. effectively treating them 'less than' the adult - making them yield to YOUR choices - they have little voice in how or what they learn or do..You are the complete authoritarian, knower of all things :). There IS a better way...a way that creates a connection that is so way above what you now have with your children. A way they can feel your trust in them. There are many parents who honor children and believe that children deserve the same respect as adults. Since you are religious - try this experiment. Every time you interact with you children, or speak with them - Ask yourself "How would _I_ feel if someone were telling me this, with this tone of voice or against my will". "How would _I_ feel if my dh said this to ME". Hm - you'd feel like you were in jail - having to do what your jailer wanted you to do because they have complete control over what happens to you. they feed you and shelter you, and have the authority to send you to the hokey (well, you know what I mean - LOL) if you dare step out of line. Children have the same feelings as WE do, but many adults treat children as though they should not have the same feelings or reactions. Try that experiment - The DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD HAVE OTHERS DO UNTO YOU.... :) Children have the right to being considered as 'others', too - that was not written for 'adults only' :) Have a joyful day - hug your kids! ~~ p e a c e ~~

~ Angi :) said...

Thank you for your opinion of my parenting skills, and for sharing with me that your parenting style is child-led, which you view as the far superior way to raise children ~ all without leaving your name! While I do not condemn you for your parenting style, I see that I am being targeted for insult because I had a bad day, responded emotionally to the moment, and happened to write about it. Ah. Such is the nature of the web.

I read within your responses that at no juncture was it considered: "Do I really know this person, their day to day walk, behaviors, and heart motives?" No, you have selected to judge my parenting style and skill level based on a few paragraphs of my sharing, without regard to the whole person (or even of my entire blogspot! Read on, and find out just a smidge of who I truly am. Should you choose to not like me, that is ok. No need to visit my cyber spot any longer).

Our family is governed by the Word of God, whereby children are instructed to obey mother and father (See Exodus 20, Ephesians 6:1, Colossians 3:20). Our conversational tone with our children is level and communicative. Much regard IS given to their feelings, in further compliance with Scripture: Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, lest they be discouraged. Colossians 3:21 Our children, as we, their parents, have responsibilities. Everyone tends to their own responsibility. One of the children' responsibilities is school work. Therefore, whether I ask for compliance, or another adult (teacher) asks for compliance, compliance to the completion of schoolwork must be given. On this particular day anarchy was present. On this particular day, I was emotionally spent. On this particular day, I gave in to my emotional state. On this particular day, much conversation ensued, and resolution occurred (the majority of it NOT written here). On this particular day our familial bond was strong enough to endure a gale force wind called "Mom's Bad Day". We are happy. We have chosen our parenting style, and we will continue to grow and become and enjoy one another based upon OUR choices ~ not your opinion.

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