Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Some thoughts on my recent re-entry into the homeschool world

First thought
Sophie finished two days' worth of lessons yesterday so that she could sew today.  I hauled out the sewing machine (which is sadly only about a once in every two years occurrence).  I got the it threaded and the tensions all set.  Sophie found some fabric someone had given the girls for craft type projects at one time. 

As I write, she's pinning two sides of a pillow together.  We've talked about seam allowances; marking them first or using the gauge on the machine; how and why to pin; and the pros and cons of running over pins vs taking them out. 

After she's done pinning, I'll have her practice on some scrap fabric, sewing straight lines and then progressively harder curves for a little bit, before she works on her pillow.

It makes me kick myself a little bit, "This is so easy and so fun.  Why haven't I done it more often?"  But then I must stop to remind myself, "Most of your years of mothering, Mary, have been spent in pregnancy, nursing babies, and teaching many children at multiple ages.  Now you can relax and enjoy it a little bit more with these girls.  You only have one preschooler, and two to school."

Second thought
As I came into the living room after getting Sophie started, I saw a little pile of school pictures on the counter.  I assume they are some one of the kids brought home from their school friends, since I don't remember seeing them there before. 

Which then made me a little sad because of something that happened the other day.  The day they got their pictures back.

Poor little Donna!  She was so sad.  Traumatized even, when she realized that I hadn't ordered any pictures and she just had and empty envelope with a black and white proof to bring home.  The other kids all had pretty color pictures that they could share with their friends.  She sat on my lap and just cried out of sadness.

This almost broke my heart.  And over such a silly thing, too.  It's just one of her first little lessons in peer pressure and wanting to be like everyone else.  And have what others have. 

But I simply can't get myself to spend money on school pictures.  Firstly, when I think about the cost, it's crazy, ... multiplied by three kids, it could by a weeks worth of groceries for us.  But besides that, I see how they lie around my house.  The kids want to keep them nice, they intend to keep them nice.  But they lie around.  They get shoved here and there; torn and scratched and otherwise beat up.  Sometimes pin holes in eyes and mustaches drawn on.   Until kids are old enough to treat them well, why should I pay my money so my child can give a picture to someone who's going to treat it like I see my kids treating their friends' pictures.  Or are not all kids like that?

Yes, I could get them to send to friends and relatives.  But I know myself well enough to know what would happen to those pictures.  They'd sit here and rot, because even with my best intentions, I know full well I'd never get them in the mail. 

And so my kids don't get pictures.  Is that depriving them too severely?  I don't think so. 

Until we have moments like Donna's the other day. 

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