Learning

I keep thinking about homeschooling Joey. It’s too early to make a real decision, of course, although I would have to decide somewhat in advance in order to have time to make my case to the Mister, who is skeptical—but I keep spending a little time thinking about it. I’ve heard that parents try to give their kids what they themselves wanted, and while I don’t wish that I had been homeschooled (my relationship with my mother was too volatile, for starters), I had a miserable time in school. I was emotionally immature (and always younger than my classmates), stubborn, and more or less completely unwilling to do anything that I wasn’t interested in. It’ll be some time before I know whether it’s just twoness, but right now and so far, Joey is very much the same way; if he doesn’t want to, he isn’t gonna. He’s also young for his age. Watching him sometimes, I think, I can teach you to read. Maybe we can buy you some time before throwing you into the shark tank. The idea of anyone being less than gentle with him makes me anxious. My mother, upon hearing that I’m thinking about homeschooling, told me that I can’t protect him from the real world—but I’m unconvinced that elementary school resembles “the real world” much at all.

Doing preschool-y stuff with Joey at home is going better and better. We’ve been derailed for some long stretches recently (the holidays, the flu, more the flu), but he’s increasingly interested in learning to color and use scissors and make music. He loves music, and his dancing is getting more and more funky; he’s so enthusiastic and unselfconscious. It’s wonderful. I know that I must be just about the thirteen billionth mother to have this feeling, but I just want to follow him around and glare at anybody who looks at him funny. I am pretty good at controlling this impulse. I want him to roam and explore, and so far I have only glared at one little girl (five years old, maybe?) who was being aggressive with him at the library. So: How much of my desire to homeschool is a reasonable response to his needs as I understand them, and how much is about wanting to protect him from normal unpleasant human experiences? I’ve got a few years. Hopefully that will give me enough time to answer that question.