Friday, September 19, 2008
Balancing "Mom" and "Teacher" - Heart of the Matter Friday Meme
Part of being a parent (I say parent instead of Mom since my husband also does some schooling) is being a teacher. When the kids were little, I helped teach them to talk, walk, and go potty. As they have gotten older, I have taught them manners (well, maybe not enough!), how to do chores, and about Jesus. So, why is there tension between the roles of "Mom" and "Teacher"?
Frankly, I don't think we have a lot of problem with role differentiation in our home. Our kids have never been to school, so they don't think of parents as separate from teachers. In our society, the teachers are held up as the keepers of knowledge, while the parents are marginalized. When the kids spend most of their time at home, they learn that adults have different areas of knowledge specialization, but that most adults can help kids learn almost anything.
We also don't separate out "school" time from "home" time very strictly. The kids' school lists also include their chores. When I record the week's school activities, I also include cooking meals, outside activities, and other interesting things (like star-watching while lying on the trampoline).
I do find that there are some places where there is some role tension, though.
1. As the kids are getting older, we run into subjects where I would prefer to be the cheerleader instead of the coach. I would rather cheer my kids on and be purely encouraging sometimes instead of pointing out where they made mistakes and need to improve. This can be a learning experience, though, where we learn how to communicate, even about difficult subjects.
2. Giving grades is tough as the mom. I don't give grades because I expect the kids to work at something until they have mastered it. When I do a high school transcript, if I have to give grades, they will probably be very high grades. This is because they work at the subject until they understand it. If they don't do the work adequately, the subject won't go on the transcript.
For more on this topic, check out Heart of the Matter - there's lots and lots of good stuff.