Friday, July 10, 2009


I will never be a homeschooling mom. Here's why:

I received a thank-you note from my sister-in-law, and it was thoughtful and gracious. My nephew had taken the time to write a N, P, O, and J on it. My sister-in-law assured me that he did this without help. She wasn't being braggy, but rather was bursting with Mommy Pride.

I understand this impulse. You may notice that I write about my children from time to time.

However, since William is several months younger than Owen, it occurred to me that it was high time Owen started writing letters, too. Because I'm not competitive. Not. One. Bit.

We got out the paper and I asked Owen if he wanted to write his name. "Sure," he responded. So far, so good.

I wrote out the letters of his name, writing it in little lines so that he could trace it. "What does that say?" I asked, pointing to the letters.

"O-W-E-N, Owen!" he said. "That's me!"

"Do you want to trace the lines?" He nodded his head and picked up the pen.

And then, he proceeded to scribble until his name was a dark, black streak.

"That's a nice drawing," I said, being a patient, child-friendly educator. "What are you making?"

"Oh, Mommy," he said, laughing, "I wasn't making anything. I was scribbling over my name."

"Why did you do that?"

"For fun."

I took a deep breath and asked, "Would it be fun to write your name?"

"Yes, yes it would! Yes it would!"

Once again, I wrote his name, spelling out the letters. "Do you want to write your name or do you want to trace it?"

"Oh, I just want to write my name by myself."

Do you see how I gave the lad choices, thus empowering him?

My son was empowered to, once again, scribble his name into oblivion.

"Owen," I said, "Do you want to do this or not?" I felt a slight tingle of irritation.

Owen looked at me, burst into laughter and said, "You're wazzaliy," which is Owen's go-to silly word.

And.....that was the end of that lesson.

We went on to make a collage of Owen's favorite things (if you're curious, it includes: Nemo fish, baseball, cake, ice cream, mixers, vegetables, dogs, trees, and kitchens. And yes, the ONLY magazine we have in the house is Bon Appetit. I know. We suck.)

Everything was fine. I'm sure that despite this incident, Owen will, at a minimum, make it to the state college of his choice.

Nevertheless, I will leave the majority of his schooling to trained professionals who, while caring individuals, have a bit of necessary detachment.

I think everybody will be a lot more wazzaily as a result.

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