Craziness!

After the recent daycare incident, I vowed not to send the girls back there on the days that NDP was there. As it turns out, NDP is there every day, so I decided it was time to check out a more 'alternative' (similar to Steiner) childcare centre with the girls.

As far as first impressions go, this centre was fabulous. We were greeted by one of the teachers as soon as we walked in. She talked to me about their 'child directed' approach to learning, told me about their programs and showed us around the building. Very impressive.
The girls were drawn to the 'library', which was a cute little corner space with lots of book shelves and posters on the walls. Miss F pointed to a poster titled "My Body", with a picture of a boy in boxer shorts and words with arrows pointing to different body parts. The teacher sat down to read the poster with her and helped her work out the words by identifying which body part the arrow was leading to. Again, very impressive.
When they'd been through all the words Miss F asked, "Is that a boy?". The teacher answered yes and then Miss F asked, "Why doesn't he have a penis?"

I was hoping the teacher would follow my "child's direction" and talk to her about public and private body parts. She could have even just acknowledged that Miss F had a point and moved on. Instead she replied "Excuse me, Miss - We don't talk like that here." Miss F was puzzled and asked, "Why not?". The teacher said, "Because it is rude."
Just as I was about to intervene, Miss F said, "No - Touching is rude. Talking is good."
We left not long after that when the teacher confirmed that they did not cover, or even acknowledge sexuality in any way, shape or form.

After this experience today I am seeing the whole daycare situation in a completely different light.
I am disappointed that a teacher at such an open minded and supposedly 'alternative' centre, has such closed and ignorant views on sexuality education. I am also enormously proud of Miss F and her super kewl line, "Touching is rude. Talking is good."
Seeing the the kewl girls grow into empowered little people, with active minds and BIG voices is exciting and rewarding beyond anything I ever imagined. It is a fantastic feeling, knowing that they are taking on the sexuality education and self protection skills I value so much.
But even though I love that the girls have these skills - they should not need to have them to protect themselves from carers at daycare. Their carers should be teaching them about sexuality and self protection, not the other way around.
I could talk forever about the reasons I place such a high value on sexuality education, but that's not the point of this post.

The point is that I think sexuality is one of the most important areas of the girls' development - But no matter which daycare they go to I will never be able ensure that their carers have or appreciate sexuality education.
And I've realised that this is not good enough for me.
I am no longer prepared to let other people be responsible for my children if they do not have the sexuality knowledge I think is necessary.

So
as of today, we are going to be home learners!

I've always intended to give the girls the option of homeschooling. Daycare (then kinder) was going to be our way of deciding whether this would suit us or not. Well, we have decided a little earlier than planned! The girls already go to a home learning group once a week and it is here that they really thrive, not daycare. They might be too young for 'schooling', but they love learning and I don't believe daycare is the right place for them to learn any more.

I'm excited about this decision, about what it will mean for the girls and for us as a family. No doubt things will get a little crazy while we work out a new routine, but we like a little crazy and I think we do it pretty well!

Of course, changes in the kewl house will mean changes for the kewl blog, and I'm looking forward to sharing the stories and the kewl home learning moments that we're bound to have. I hope that they don't put you kewl people out there to sleep and that you all want to stick with us, because I really do love sharing our moments!

Finally, I want to thank a few kewl bloggers in particular, who's posts have helped me with this decision...

Paula wrote about choosing to be with her son instead of advancing career. She said “No other time in my life will I have this opportunity....to raise my son as I see fit 24 hours a day. I am tired of leaving him with someone else. There is plenty of time for that later on." Although meant in a slightly different context, these words prompted me to reassess my own priorities and made me realise what a once in a lifetime thing this whole child raising gig is.

PreSchool Mama always has brilliant ideas and activities that are both fun and educational. I'll be using this blog for inspiration!

Montessori Free Fall is a recent discovery and one that has already taught me so much about home learning with toddlers. Upon reading this blog, home learning somehow seemed easy to see as a reality, rather than an ideal.

Megan posted about achieving a work / life balance. In order to home learn with the girls I will need to cut back on my work commitments and say goodbye to some people and places that I love. This post made me again reassess my priorities and also offered me a better perspective - I now see work as a hobby and home life as my job.

Thanks ladies!

Now I'm off to print out some activities for our first ever "preschool time" tomorrow...

Wish me luck!!!

12 comments:

debby said...

You are very lucky to have that opportunity, and very wise to take it. I'll enjoy reading about your future adventures in home schooling. My husband's cousin homeschools. She had 13 kids. The neighbor kids were also welcome to attend. They hired a school teacher after a while, and Pat helped in the class room. All the kids have gone to college so far, and are hugely self assured people with very sound values.

I've also got to say, there's is the only house I know that has a gymnasium. A real one.

debby said...

Theirs. Gads. More coffee, please.

baby~amore' said...

good luck on working a routine to suit you and the kewl girls.
I read Paula's post too.
I think as a mother you have to do what you think it is best and I am quite interested in following your adventures.

have you seen this post - though your Kewl girls are older some would be appropriate

http://howdoyoudoit.wordpress.com/2008/04/17/staving-off-boredom/

baby~amore' said...

opps try again here

Stephanie said...

I'm so happy and excited for you! I've just recently discovered your blog and I'm looking forward to learning and sharing with you. Have fun!!!

Pencil Writer said...

I think your decision, as a now single parent, to 1. homeschool your children, 2. not daycare, curb some of you income--tough. I just cringe at the day-care option myself. As a mother of 4--now all grown, and one with 3 of her own children--I have serious issues with such a vast number of children in "day care." Like one mom who commented, or you mentioned, why allow others to raise the children you chose to bring into the world?

It's a tough decision in today's world when for many households it takes two incomes to provide for the necessities--well sometimes it's more than necessities. Many years ago (33 actually) I was accepted into a great program to attend nursing school. If I remember correctly, it was a scholarship I'd received. I was very excited to be accepted since I didn't have funds to go on my own. The college was 60 miles from home. I was married--had been for almost 5 years. All my life I'd wanted to be a Mom! I was working two jobs at the time; my husband was working, too. I thought I'd make a great nurse. Because I wanted to enjoy my pregnancy AND being a Mom, I opted to forgo the nursing school, work till I gave birth and then enjoy being a Mom. That's what I did.

In the intervening years, I worked some and stayed home some. Whenever I worked, I had a trusted friend care for my children.

We moved a few times. When we move where we now live, I finally put daughter #3 in a day care we could walk to so she could make friends before starting Kindergarten. I have mixed feelings about the whole experience. I even substituted as an instructor there a time or two.

When my son was in 3rd grade, there were too many problems at the local public school, so I removed him from their rolls at the end of that year and homeschooled him for 4 years. He went back to public school for high school--a mixed blessing. (Had I known when he entered 9th grade what I know now, I'd have worked my hind end off to get him tested and enrolled in college. Yes. At 10 or 11 years of age. But that's another story.)

I think your decision was inspired. I firmly believe that the Good Lord encourages (maybe not a serious enough word) Mother's to raise their children. How else can we, as mothers, be sure our children are raised with our values?

"Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalms 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, to teach them to love and serve one another, to observe the commandments of God and to be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations."

That comes from a document our Church published in 1995, titled: "The Family: A Procalmation to the World." I certainly couldn't say it that well. That's why I shared the quote. Hope it helps validate your decision. May you find great joy in raising your precious 3 KEWL GIRLS! I can't imagine having to go it alone. Do you have parents/in-laws that assist you with raising your daughters?

You're in my prayers.

PreSchool Mama said...

You're going to be so great at this, I just know it! And from the sound of the frigid teacher, the kewl girls would be much better off learning from you. Your girls are lucky to have a mom who's so engaged in their lives.

Alison said...

Debby, oh my gosh - 13 kids! Sounds like a great community with neighbours involved, too. We are very lucky to have this opportunity and lucky to be part of our own supportive community here.

Trish, thanks for the link. The article is very kewl and the blog looks great, too.

Stephanie, I'm so glad to have found your blog, I've already picked up some great ideas! I'm looking forward to many future posts :)

PW, I so enjoyed reading your story, thank you for sharing it! Your son certainly sounds like an inspired man. Thanks also for sharing that quote. It is another source of validation and inspiration.

PreSchool Mama, thanks for your encouragement! It's such a relief to know that I won't be handing the girls over to any old frigid teacher any more. Being engaged in their lives is easily the best part of my life!

Megan from Imaginif said...

KEWL!

Alison we seem to walk a parallel existence at times. I home schooled Boy for a while - the same child that was suspended from Day Care for saying "penis". It was that incident that set me onto the development path of the BITSS model of protective behaviours.

Far out!!!!!!! How can I best support you in your at home and natural learning. Tell me what you need/want and I will see what I can get for you.

This was our home schooling blog: http://homeschoolingaspergers.blogspot.com/

Alison said...

Awesome blog Megan!
I remember reading somewhere about Boy's daycare incident. I didn't know you'd homeschooled though - Kewl!
Thanks for your support, it's very much appreciated :)

Lin said...

Even if I think my choice to send my girl to daycare was the right one and have not had any regrets, I admire your commitment and I know you're going to do a great job.

Good luck!

Alison said...

Thanks Lin.
Just because daycare isn't the right choice for us, doesn't mean I think it's the wrong choice for everyone else! I think you and Ella are super kewl!