Sunday, March 27, 2016

Keeping Nostalgia in Its Place: The Past

Sometimes I like to show my kids things from my childhood: an old TV show, a picture book, a comic, a movie. It's fun to share these things with my kids; to see them anew through my children's eyes; to remember how they made me feel. 

For me, this is nostalgia. It is reminiscing about the past and sharing those happy memories. We all have those moments when we think about times or events in our past that shaped us into who we are. We remember the friends we had, the places we went, and most notably, our school experience.

Nostalgia about our school experience can be a reason for sending our children to school. Sure, we remember we had difficult moments in school--who didn't?--but those good times stand out. We were happy in school, and so we believe our children will also be happy there.

But is it fair to try to relive our past through our children? They are not us. Schools are not the schools of our youth. Even if we could give them the same classrooms, the same teachers, and the same experiences, it is no guarantee that they would experience it the same way we did. Our childhood is done. 

As an adult, as a parent, I strive for something better for my children. I want them to be who they are meant to be, not who I want them to be. I think the greatest gift I can give them is a chance to explore their world and discover who they are and what they can do. I decided to do it by homeschooling.

And for each of them, that meant homeschooling a little bit differently, based on their needs, not my desires. Because even nostalgia about those early homeschooling days are still moments better left to the past.

1 comment:

Inner Elder said...

I believe you succeed at letting your children live their own lives. It is one of the mothering skills that I most admire in you. So far as nostalgia, chances are that even we ourselves would not live the same experiences the same way. Love, Mom

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