This week I have been struck by how (unknowingly) dependent I have been on the opinions of my care providers. I like to think of myself as a pretty independent woman, and yet I’ve noticed that I keep thinking that I need to check with my midwife on things I already know.
My example for this week:
At GCM we are blessed with a wonderful retired midwife whose opinion I trust more than any doctor. She recommends a few supplements from time to time, and I decided to pick them up after she made some personal recommendations to me. I noticed that my first instinct was to jot down a note to ask my midwife if she approved. The more I thought about it, the more odd that I realized my thinking was. I knew my midwife would leave it up to me – she’s not the type to force her opinion. She will give me her thoughts if I ask for them, but it is not that I need her permission to do something.
I’m not sure how I got into a habit of not thinking for myself, because that is one of the last ways that I’d ever want to be described. It has happened though. Somehow I lost trust in myself and decided that I needed validation from “experts”. When I ask questions, I usually get responses that I already know, and yet I somehow have been desiring the comfort that comes from hearing my own thoughts coming at me from a more respected source. How bizarre!
Really… there is something very wrong.
The older that my kids get, the less that I am worried about “socialization”. I went to a mix of public and private schools. My dh was homeschooled up until 7th grade and then went to private school. I never even considered homeschooling before my children were born, because I thought that the way that I was raised was the best way. Meeting my husband definitely changed my mind on that one Today I was reading some more Charlotte Mason while at the park with my kids, and I really loved this section on children with their peers.
The Society of his Equals too stimulating for a child.“Let us follow the little person to the Kindergarten, where he has the stimulus of classmates of his own age. It certainly is stimulating. For ourselves, no society is so much so as that of a number of persons of our own age and standing; this is the great joy of college life; a wholesome joy for all young people for a limited time. But persons of twenty have, or should have, some command over their inhibitory centres. They should not permit the dissipation of nerve power caused by too much social stimulus; yet even persons of twenty are not always equal to the task of self-management in exciting circumstances. What then, is to be expected of persons of two, three, four, five? That the little person looks rather stolid than otherwise is no guarantee against excitement within. The clash and sparkle of our equals now and then stirs up to health; but for everyday life, the mixed society of elders, juniors and equals, which we get in a family, gives at the same time the most repose and the most room for individual development. We have all wondered at the good sense, reasonableness, fun and resourcefulness shown by a child in his own home as compared with the same child in school life.
I love this. It is so true. Why is it that our country has become so fixated on the thought that healthy development can only come by being surrounded by people only your own age? John Taylor Gatto addresses this in his book, Dumbing Us Down, and I wrote about it once before.
Discovering meaining for yourself as well as discovering satisfying purpose for yourself, is a big part of what education is. How this can be done by locking children away from the world is beyond me.
Yesterday I went to the library and saw the vast number of books in the collection that were devoted to getting kids excited about going to Kindergarten. It was really really sad. Kids aren’t made to be taken away and taught by their peers just because they turned 5. Now that my son is 5, I am feeling more sure about this than ever.