While sitting at my dining room table about to bite into my scrumptious chicken lasange I heard very passionate dialogue taking place at my kitchen table. I took a few bites of my delicious meal and listened intently for a moment. Now I don't tend to eavesdrop often, okay, that's not completely true, if your conversation is within earshot from me and/or I'm interested in the topic or the players of the discussion then I will most probably take a listen.
Truth be told the conversation was riveting for me on so many levels. Dialogue, sisterhood (brotherhood too ;) community, discussions, passion, education, parenthood, and love are some things that inspire and motivate me greatly. I daresay they are integral values and part of the foundation that makes up the person I am.
I put my plate aside momentarily and made my way over to the kitchen table. I politely interjected, "Hi. Sorry to barge into this discussion but I've been quietly listening from over there *coy-fully smiling and pointing to my empty seat at the dinner table* and I have a perspective I'd like to share." The two lovely ladies smiled and graciously acquiesced. One of the ladies immediately asked me if I believed in homeschooling. I can't remember her exact question but I had to interrupt her as my response wasn't that simple (is it ever?!?).
The debate: Homeschooling vs. Public or Private School Education.
Both ladies were so passionate about their stance and so respectful of one another that I was not clear on which one stood where, which one believed what. I shared my experience, perspective and part of my opinion.
I was certain I didn't want to be a mother until I was about 33 or 34 (I was late in that regard only by two years, my son was born when I was 36). I have a three and a half year old son who will be starting daycare this week. For many years I told myself I would homeschool. I thought it was the appropriate thing for me although I had never met anyone who homeschooled and don't really remember how I became exposed to it. From the age of 17 to about the age of 30 I told myself I would be a Home Schooling Mom.
For me, there was a problem, a "disconnect." The "disconnect" has only recently become apparent to me. I realized I NEVER consciously wanted to be a stay at home mom. I wanted to be a career mom. I wanted to have the best of all worlds, this is what I told myself. Maybe because both my mom and grandmother were stay at home moms I organically, without thought or effort found it to be the way to go. I don't know for sure, I couldn't really say. What I can tell you is that these aren't conversations I ever had with anyone but myself. See, that is reason number one that I was so thrilled to hear this conversation taking place between two twenty-something year old career women. The fact that they were talking about it just says they are truly thinking about it. This is something very important to consider if you know you want to be a parent. Having the discussion with a variety of folk brings you different perspectives and helps to clarify your authentic needs and desires. And once you become a parent a lot of what you originally thought remains that, just a thought.
Now thanks to the "Magic" of all the social networks available to me, I have been able to connect with a couple of ladies from my past who have homeschooled their children and have done an amazing job of it. When my son was a few months old I spoke to one of the ladies and mentioned I thought about homeschooling. I told her I wasn't going to be able to do it for numerous reasons and she actually broke down many possibilities and for a brief moment I was back to thinking I may just homeschool. Homeschooling has so many benefits for all the parties involved and it leaves some stuff to be desired and perhaps in my next life I will be prepared to be an extremely effective home schooling mom.
Ultimately the choice is that of the parents. Ultimately there is no right or wrong there is only what exists. The ladies both seemed to be quite open to dialogue and hearing other peoples' experiences and perspectives. All in all the only reality for me is, "It takes a village." Homeschool, Schooling outside the home in a private school, in a public school, we need to be clear that now matter what each parent decides, It always takes a village. Oh and that chicken lasagne, oh boy, it really hit the spot!
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Respectfully & Sincerely yours,