Friday, September 07, 2007

First day of school

Tuesday was Michael's first day of preschool. We're putting him in 2 days a week, mostly so he gets used the idea of school before he has to go every day next year. This isn't a huge deal to us but it is a huge deal to Matthew. Matthew's 15 months younger and these two play together constantly, so Matthew cries when Matthew goes to his class and then constantly asks about going to get Michael until it's actually time to get him. So now Matthew wants to go to school too. To which I respond, 'No, you don't. You'll have at least 17 years of school once this gets started. Enjoy playing while you can.'

That got me thinking two things. The first is this: 4 years of play, 17 years of school, and then you're ready for life. I've never had this thought before, but does it really take 17 years of formal education (13 without college) to get someone ready to be a productive member of our society? I mean, life is organized around school during those years. Being honest, I had good schooling, but that doesn't completely make sense to me.

And the second was to make me appreciate the 4-5 years we have with the kids before they start this process. Next year, when Michael goes to kindergarten, will be a big deal for me because once Michael goes to school full-time, I feel like we will lose a significant amount of the influence we have over him, and his teachers and peers will gain what we have lost. That scares me. And part of it is that a lot of times it's hard to appreciate the time we have with them now. Parenting three little kids often feels like an act of survival (some days ours... some days theirs) not an act of training and developing kids, and it's not always easy to step back and appreciate how short this time in our lives will be.


At September 07, 2007 5:55 PM, Blogger kaelius said...

My wife asked me the question "What is the purpose of educating our children?" and then patiently waited (possibly a year) until I arrived at the answer she started with.

I'll submit that the answer isn't "to make them a productive member of society" and is more along the lines of "to cause them to love and glorify God." And it's scary, because as you point out, passing them off to school relinquishes a lot of the influence we have on our kids, and I doubt that schools really understands the purpose of an education (assuming of course, that I do).

I empathize with the questions you're asking.

At September 08, 2007 7:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

dear jeff and Bobbi Jo,
Education and 'going off to school' gave us new ways to teach and train and love our children. You will find that is true as well.
We are all created to learn how to live and work with others.Your kids will be empowered as they learn to read and learn new things. I loved being a part of Corey and Traci's 'schooling'. There were so many opportunities to practice our faith (when i look back i wish we had taken advantge of more of them) and for kids to learn how to respond to difficult people etc. It also brings up primal parent protection issues that cause us adults to stretch, grow, submit, be courageous, question stauts quo etc. Plus it's so cool to see the new people and adventures God puts in your lives in this educational process. Your ability to influence your kids increases actually, and when you do some together as a family you get to give each other strength for the journey and new bonds are formed. Of course there are many heart aches in this letting go process!!!
but all of these experiences can lead you to experience scripture and prayer and love in whole new ways!!(plus you'll get lots more stories for your sermons!!!)We are excited for you!vicki and david

At September 17, 2007 11:07 AM, Blogger Aaron said...

^ That's a beautiful post. I'm not a parent yet...but you really got me excited about being one someday.


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