Saturday, August 23, 2008

not too cool for school after all



I just recently penned a blog post over at Momformation, lamenting the fact that summer was ending and , most importantly, school was beginning.

I left no doubt that I was a rebellious school hater as a child. Not averse to learning, mind you, learning is everything, learning is life, but averse, almost viscerally, to the institutional setting in which most of our formal learning takes place.
So why don't I homeschool?

Exhibit A:
"Mommy, is The Wizard of Oz old?" Esther asked me at lunch today.
"What do you mean, Essie?" I responded. "Are you asking if the movie is old, or if the Wizard character is old?"
"The movie," she said. "Well that depends on what you mean by old," I said. "There's five years old, and there's 100 years old. The Wizard of Oz is considered to be an old movie."

"Well is the guy who wrote the story still alive?" she said, growing impatient with me.

"No," I said. "As far as I know he is long since dead." I said, impatient myself, mostly because I had no idea if what I was saying was true. "At least I assume he is," I added.

"Well if he was still alive," she continued. "How old would he be."

At this point I became the irritable, twitchy person I often am in these types of exchanges.
"Esther, if I knew that, I would have to know exactly when he was born, but I don't so I can't answer your questions, can I?"

Esther’s questions once soothed and interested me and made me proud. They still do, to a point. But now, often, as her little brain develops exponentially rather then incrementally, I find myself under fire from a constant, rapid -fire, barrage of seemingly unanswerable questions. Questions that leave me saying, "I don't know," at least 20 times per day.

And I can't help feeling inadequate, even when some of them, like "what's the smallest lake in the world?" are so incredibly random they should just make me laugh and wonder.

On that note. Esther is, and I am, soooooooo ready for school.

9 comments:

momma's heart said...

My son turned six a month after Esther, I believe. He is the same with the questions. Drives me insane usually too. I often answer them, not quite knowing if I'm right or not. Sometimes I just say we'll look it up on the computer when we have a minute. Unfortunately, we usually forget. He'll have to start keeping a notebook of his questions. LOL

Jolyn said...

amen. I've long gathered I'm probably not the patient sort to be able to homeschool. At least not successfully.

Vered said...

I know what you mean. I dislike school very much, but I don't think homeschooling is going to work for us.

Liz said...

I love this post! I can so relate. How can my own little year old, with so much left to learn, leave me feeling stupid so many times in a day?! There are so many times I want to snap at her and say "who cares?", but I know that's not right. My favorite out is to write it down for to look up on the computer WITH DADDY. If it makes the list, she's interested and she's interested then my dear hubby can spend the time and my brain can rest....

Liz said...

Oops -- my daugher is 6 years old! No wonder they give the option to preview....

Emma said...

I could never home school, it would drive me nuts!! As much as I love my kids, I loooooooooove them being at school. I just wouldn't have the energy to do all the stuff they get done in a day at school.

Mama P said...

I know what you mean. I'm glad I'm not alone. Good luck with school.

Joy said...

Don't you love seeing those gangly arms and legs sticking off of a tricycle. My middle two still occasionally drag ours out and it cracks me up to see them riding it. :)

Kim Moldofsky said...

I married a walking encyclopedia, so I often send my boys to him for answers. Of course, I have cornered myself into a position as the parent who knows nothing....