Friday, September 14, 2007

Haunted by Old School Requirements

While I'm very much determined to homeschool Marguerite using the most natural method of "teaching" I can muster, the truth is that the process won't come naturally to me. I'll have to consciously set out to do it. I'll have to curb certain instincts that I have. I'll have plenty of moments wherein I'll find myself pausing, squeezing my eyes shut while giving myself a vigorous mental or literal shake. There will be naturally-occurring (to me) thoughts that I have to shoot down as soon as they pop in my mind. There will be rushes of emotions and sentiments that I'll have to fiercely struggle with. There will be moments of doubt when I'll question how capable I really am of being alternative. I know these things yet I remain resolved in this decision.
I have my reasons - innumerable, in fact - for wanting to homeschool. They all have strong, solid, and objective foundations. I have constantly growing lists for the two implied points of this decision: why I want to homeschool and why I don't want to send my daughter to traditional school; exploring both positive and negative lights. I can probably present the argument for advocating learning at home convincingly and logically. However, when asked, the first thing that enters my mind is a recurring dream that I have. Even at thirty, I still get this dream, which makes me wake up with a jolt, hyperventilating and panic-stricken.
The dream takes on different supposed settings and characters (it doesn't matter, I always end up in the halls of St. Scholastica), but the premise or the prevailing plot remains the same: I get to school and realize that I had forgotten to study for an important test (or to do an assignment or project), which is to take place (or is due) in exactly an hour, plenty enough time to do something about it. I keep on wanting to get started, but I just can't seem to, so the overall atmosphere in the dream is fear and frustration (just two of the ugly f-words I know). I cannot begin to describe the immense relief I feel when consciousness takes over and I remember that I'm no longer in school.
You would think that I didn't enjoy school at all when I did. A lot. Undoubtedly, there was some trauma involved, but I can still look back at those years with fondness. You could also assume that I probably didn't do too well, nodding understandably about multiple intelligences and learning styles, but it still is with some pride (this concerns one of the instincts I am trying to overcome, along with the concept of competition) that I'll have to tell you that I was an honor student. I graduated salutatorian from high school and cum laude from college (at this point my Mom would point out to anybody who'd be willing to pretend to care that it should have been magna cum laude - 1.5 GPA for magna, mine was 1.54 -, except that I got myself a boyfriend and got distracted. On this note, she probably blames Husband, lol. Honestly, ten years later and even much earlier than that, I found that all the scholastic achievement ballyhoo really didn't have much bearing in life.). I had good study habits and was usually prepared for school. On the social aspect, I couldn't complain either. I don't think I achieved the pinnacle of popularity (which in some cases is synonymous with notoriety), but I had great friends and was very much involved in clubs and other extra curricular activities. And yet, I still didn't consider school a pleasant place or concept. There's probably some deep psychology involved here (or shallow, but I still won't go into it) and I have very little time left to complete this post before Marguerite wakes up. The point is, despite the good times, I still dreaded school, didn't like my teachers (collectively), and regarded the prevailing culture with distaste, so much so that decades after leaving, I still relive all these feelings in my subconscious and when asked about homeschooling, I end up blurting out, "My daughter will not be plagued by THE dream."
These are just musings and I wouldn't be surprised to find you not swayed by this post towards homeschooling. I'll write about the more credible reasons why it is the best option for my daughter another time.


tin said...

Ivy! I have nightmares about school as well ever since I was a kid.
In elementary, I dreamt of going to school wearing only a towel.
I don't remember any from highschool.
Madami nung college, on the top is missing first subject and it was already midterms! Which I dreamt about again just a few months ago.
But yeah! If Midge is homeschooled she wouldn't be having the same dreams at our age...hahaha