A hundred years ago and back when I was child-free (not child-less, big distinction) and when I cared about my appearance, I held more than a few opinions on parenting. Idea's about how I would raise kids if I ever had any, which I wasn't going to, so that made it way easier to have the opinions. Judgements about the behavior of children and how it reflected on that child's parents. Theories about discipline. Certain of what to do, indeed what I would do, were my child to refuse to eat foods in any color other than beige. Just as a random example.
So here, in honor of Mothers Day, I thought I would share one of my better great ideas. From my child- free days.
When I was in grade school, well, let's just say, things did not go well. I had raging, I mean crazy extreme ADD (not a stitch of an H in me anywhere). Remember that over 100 years ago, there was only a hyperactive attention deficit and it was only in boys. So there was no chance of being diagnosed but I can clearly look back and see the signs, grenades blowing up, whatever.
The other clear thing I remember about school is the insane lack of school that occurs on any day. You have your lunch and recess and PE and music and art and those are all great things but they are not academic. Academic teaching and academic learning took up about 3 to 4 hours of an 8 hour day. And of the 3-4 hours, well, about half of that was repetition and practice. So I hated all that. I could learn stuff quick and have the assignment figured out before the teacher had finished giving the directions. But I gave up even trying to get good grades in high school, and barely squeaked out to college.
So that's a little background. Now, if I were to be a nice person I might warn you to set down your coffee. Unless your computer is brown (and, ew, if it is!).
I totally was going to homeschool my kids. (Remember, I was not having any.) My plan was to let them take in a year or two of elementary school for the socialization and homeschool the rest of the time. I could knock back a few hours of academics and then spend days at the museums with the art, instead of staring at a book of art. (I apparently was not going to be living here in the north woods with nary a museum or an 'art' for hundreds of miles). (Life size cutouts of Brett Farve are not art). Far more educating will happen by experiencing! That was my bright idea!
I believe the predominant error in my thinking process was failing to consider what the children in my home school might be doing. Since I was not going to be dragging them around in stupid car seats all day whining and annoying me all day with their needs. And they would be such an enormous pain in my ass at the museum! I sort of pictured myself as the home school teacher, a clean organized environment (obviously home school would not be taking place in my house) and some chairs by a table. Lots of clean stuff. I vaguely pictured myself as a child sitting cooperatively. Learning or drawing or something. Quietly. Not bothering anyone with stupid questions or an attempt to explore a concept, that's for sure.
Well, let me tell you folks. Genea was here for just over a month before I started hunting down 4 year old kindergartens. ACK! I shit you not. At the time it was voluntary in the state of Wisconsin. A school district could choose to offer it or not. Believe me when I tell you that I seriously considered both moving, and lying about our location after I discovered we did not have it in our county. But it would be up and running the very next year. Jackasses! Could they have done that on purpose?
So now Genea goes to kindergarten. Last summer she went to the pre-k summer school. Both girls will be attending the $10.00 7 week summer school sessions this year. Teena will be on her way to 4 year old kindergarten in the fall and Genea to first grade. Did you know they feed them at school these days? So I don't have to make lunch either!
So here is the challenge. Post your own best parenting idea from before any of the little buggers followed you home or moved out of your body. You can link back to me if you want ( I am not going to shamelessly dig for visitors! Even though I want too lol!) or in some way let me know about your story. You can tell your story in comments if you want. C'mon! I went first!