Monday, January 29, 2007

Teacher! He hit me! And other reasons why I would homeschool if I wouldn't actually suck at it

Wednesday, January 24th

Today I spent a couple of hours taking pictures of elementary school kids during recess. My goal was to capture candid photos of young children laughing and playing and enjoying each other, and was surprised at how difficult this task would prove. I watched fourth grade boys play touch football, and by “touch” I mean they tackled each other on five inches of ice to get the ball. While they argued over first downs, a tumultuous exchange of serious accusations arose between two girls gone wild near the tetherball court. Once I realized that the yard duty teacher had that under control, I ventured to the field to observe the action there. That resulted in my breaking up a wrestling match gone wrong between four boys. I made them stand and apologize and lectured them on how to treat their friends. Two girls followed me around for nearly half an hour because when you’re a mom with a camera at a school taking pictures that might end up in the yearbook you’re actually considered cool by surrounding ten-year-olds. And I also think they were lonely. After spending my two hours in a commercial for home school I decided to move on.

Then later tonight I was doing my job with my youth girls from church. It is my favorite job to be with them. They are the kind of girls you either hope your daughters grow up to be or that you hope your sons choose to marry. But while listening to these girls interact with each other I learned something that should come as no surprise – that despite the fact that these girls are being raised in loving homes with sincere values and commitment to each other, they are not spared from all the crap. In fact, they’re hardly spared from any of it.

My oldest is only months away from Middle School and this reality is completely starting to freak me out. Will she survive with her esteem in tact? Will she be strong when her values are challenged? Will she recover when certain friends turn their back on her? Will she finally start to question my sanity? (Let’s face it, it’s only a matter of time.) I can’t help but ask these questions. I’m hoping for three “yes’s” and one “no”. What do you think of my chances?


RachelDMC said...

I don't know if there is any way to get through junior high without some significant blows to the self esteem. But it can definitely be rebuilt over time! Have you read Reviving Ophelia? If not you must read it before Sam starts JH and adolescense. It is the perfect prep and just a fabulous book!


RachelDMC said...

By the way, I keep changing my blogger name because I can never remember the passwords that I put in, hopefully this will be the last change.

Anonymous said...

After toying with homeschool so many times, I finally figured out that you go on faith. Will she hate me and herself at some point? Yes. Will she love me again and herself in the process? Yes. It is like the roller coaster. Sometimes you have to hit the lows to really appreciate the highs.