Friday, January 16, 2009
As a parent it feels like every now and then we come to a crossroad. When children are little it can be as simple as the first sleepover. Are they too young to sleep at someone else's house or is it time to loosen the apron strings a little and let them experience something new? It seems after these small milestones are reached and passed something changes...just a little.
As they grow, heading off to school is a huge crossroad. I remember feeling a sense of vulnerability as I sent my first child off to school. I was handing over protection of her to someone else. Someone I didn't even know...the most precious thing in my life would be in someone else's hands. I wouldn't be there to protect, comfort and encourage. You could say the first few weeks of school were difficult for the both mother and child.
Now having packed my last child off to kindergarten you would think that I am a seasoned veteran who didn't even give it a thought. But the truth is, now more than ever I have doubts. Doubts whether the school system really is the best thing for my children. Doubts whether it is good for their little personalities to have to deal with bullying, social clicks and the endless peer pressure to grow up too fast. Doubts as to whether their academic strengths and weaknesses are really being properly addressed and managed. And doubts as to whether the school system really helps them learn to think outside the box and discover their passions. I know my husband and I both fell into careers that held no real joy for us. Our jobs paid the bills but gave us no real sense of fulfillment. So is this what is in store for my children if they travel the same educational highway as we did?
My friends will tell you that this is not a new concern for me...it seems to simmer in the background and come to the surface every year or so. And so this time...in the spirit of the New Year...I am determined to try and address these issues and get some resolution.
Here I am...... at the educational crossroads...time to put away the map and try to figure out the way by myself.