Posts Tagged ‘parenting’

The Power of Words

One of the things that we, as parents, are continually drilling into our children is the concept that our words have meaning. Or, to put it another way, “think before you speak”. Now we have this quote from Benjamin Zander to help support our harping.

I will never say anything that couldn’t stand as the last thing I ever say. — Benjamin Zander, Music Director of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra

I think if everyone kept this idea in the back of our minds, there’d be a lot less talking going on.

Where Bubbles Go

Last evening I was working on a freelance project at my desk in our bedroom. Chloe was taking a bubble bath in our bathroom downstairs. The tub is about 20 feet from my desk, so I could work while keeping an eye on her – and answer her 2,489 questions that she felt were more important than what I was doing.

After being in the tub about 20 minutes or so, she realized that all the bubbles were starting to disappear and asked if she could have more. So I turned the water back on and put in some more bubble bath liquid. She asked what happened to the bubbles and I just said, “Well, after awhile, they just go away.”

She must have felt I was trying to keep the real truth from her. She asked, in a completely serious tone, “Where do they go? Do they go in my butt?”

So I tried to explain to her that that is indeed not where they go – all the while keeping a straight face. The things kids think of! I love how their minds work. :)

Socialization

One of the biggest lightning rod topics about homeschooling is the socialization aspect.

When you list out all the great advantages there are to homeschooling, inevitably you’ll hear, “Yes, but what about socialization? Aren’t you concerned about that?”

No parent wants their kid to be socially awkward or isolated. Every parent wants their kids to be smart, funny, popular, responsible, etc. Who wouldn’t, right?

Homeschooling and socialization have absolutely nothing to do with one another. Nothing. Homeschooling has a bad reputation regarding socialization, but the cause for that is actually parenting. Its the parent’s responsibility – whether homeschooling or not – to teach your kids how to relate to the rest of the world.

I definitely want my kids to know how to act in public and how to speak rationally to other people – other children and adults. I want my kids to have a positive, but realistic, worldview. As parents, we should be teaching these things to our kids if we homeschool and even if we send them to public school.

It is our responsibility to raise our kids, not the state’s. Sadly, too often parents forfeit that right – no, privilege – and let the state teach our kids. And we’re not just letting them teach our kids math and science and history. We’re letting them teach our kids how to think, how to behave, how to relate to others and how to view the world around them.

So, how successful are public schools (or private for that matter) in terms of socializing our children? Watch the news each evening and you’ll see that its not going very well.

Cori recently picked up this book on homeschooling at the library. Its actually a pros/cons type of book and she knew there would be things in it that she disagreed with, but wanted to read all it had to say anyway. The book is titled, Home Schooling, edited by Cindy Mur.

In the introduction, there’s a bit about socialization:

Without the chance to interact with those of diverse backgrounds, critics are concerned that home-schooled student will fail to appreciate and understand one of the core values of American life: to tolerate and appreciate the differences between cultures or groups and among individuals. They fear isolation breeds intolerance, prejudice and even fanaticism.

Are you kidding me? That is laughable. That is seriously funny! Does the person who wrote that actually believe that going to public schools helps a child “tolerate and appreciate the differences between cultures”? That’s not what I experienced when I went to public school growing up. And I guarantee you that is not happening today.

Don’t get me wrong – that is a great ideal. One that we actively strive for. But that is so not realistic. Spend a day at Plano East Senior High School and tell me if that’s what you see.

Just in my neighborhood, I’ve seen kids that don’t respect property, they make fun of other kids that are different than them, they’re irresponsible, mean-spirited and have no idea how to listen or respect adults.

I’m sorry, that’s not the type of socialization that I’d like my kids to learn.