"Mom, how does the Tooth Fairy fly through the air?"
"How do YOU think?"
"I think moms do it."
"But how can a Mom be a Tooth Fairy?"
"Good moms are lots of things, Princess."

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Buddy and the Bus

I have such mixed feelings about school. Even long before we were married, Josh and I both like the idea of home education. I love the idea of "unschooling," of moving at our own pace, of spending our time doing more interesting things than waiting, waiting, waiting.


The girls came right at the time we needed to make decisions about school for Buddy. We were licensed for two foster children, were expecting one, and ended up with three. Buddy was not quite five. The girls were 3, 20 months, and 4 weeks old. We were waaaaaaaaay overwhelmed. I am actually missing memories from that first six months. I felt like I just couldn't wrap my mind around teaching Buddy at home. I don't excuse or defend it.

I've been happy. I'm involved at the school, the teachers and principal are WONDERFUL. I could write for a year on their kindergarten teacher alone.

And today it happened.

I was working on a project while keeping a sick Buddy company. Looking at his freezy pop he said, "Mom, what does 's*it' mean? I told him, adding that it was not a word I ever wanted to hear crossing his lips. "Oh no, Mom. Just to ask you. I wasn't planning to say it again."

I don't feel angry, or like pulling them out of school. I'm not even really upset about it, which surprised me a little. I prefer to keep my children away from all the garbage out there. We only watch PBS and movies. We only listen to one radio channel and pre-loaded MP3 players. We're careful who we associate with and whom they spend time with. But I guess I don't really need them to be protected from everything all the time. I'm ok with, "thanks for asking. This is what it means. We don't say it. I prefer you don't, too."

That said, middle school makes me feel uncomfortable. I have my eye on a great private school in the area. I have two more years to figure out how to convince them to let my children go there for free or $5 a month. I'm working on it.

We take it a year at a time. We pray unceasingly. We keep our eyes and our minds open.


  1. You know how I feel on this... does the word bubble come to mind? When Alicia read the F word on the slide at school I thought my heart would stop. She went into a downward spiral wishing she had never seen the word and so mad at herself that she did. For now, her being freaked out by the words gives me some solace. Middle school is something I choose not to think about. Is that when we start our own home school co-op?

  2. After witnessing my own experience through middle school, my parents ended up home-schooling my other three siblings through the middle grades--not for elementary or high school, just grades 6, 7 & 8. I've never asked if they chose that path because of what I experienced, but I've always kind of assumed it wasn't a coincidence.

  3. Unless you plan to keep them under 24-hour guard and never let them enter a public bathroom unaccompanied your kids will encounter swear words, written and spoken. You can be very vigilant but swearing just crops up in the world like pollen or rap music. One minute you're standing in line at the Golden Arches, waiting to purchase your salad and bottled water, your adorable, innocent kiddies at your side and the next minute the teen in line in front of you turns to his friend and says, "@#% *&%! you, you @$%!"
    Actually, he says a whole lot of really dirty words to his snickering compadre, but you get the idea.
    Of course your little ones whose ears are as big as pitchers and who aspire to becoming really cool teens themselves one day, like the potty-mouthed young gentlemen in line in front of you, are tremendously impressed. They may not be able to recall their address or phone number but they'll remember to their dying day exactly what it was they heard and happily repeat it at every opportunity.
    So protecting your kids from bad language is impossible. However, private school is a wonderful idea. All three of my kids went to private school and they benefited enormously. I say go for it.