Sarita Holzmann made an offhand remark on extracurricular activities at a homeschooling convention. One listener felt freed.
"She explained that she had just come from another session where the speaker said she should never put her children in extracurricular activities. He had said that good homeschool moms keep their children with them at all times."
"I know that different approaches work for different families. And many do well with no outside activities. But when I had my kids at home, a select few extracurricular activities provided a great blessing to my family and those around us."
Umm... Sarita is too kind to the other speaker. Or maybe this is why *I* am not a speaker at these things. I'da said that barring some unusual circumstance, this whole idea of never letting your kid out of your sight is really wack after he turns about 3 or 4. "Good homeschool moms keep their children with them at all times??" Do those words jump off the page to anyone else but me? Nevermind the extracurricular activity thing a sec.
I'm not saying that leaving your kid in day care 50 hours a week when he turns six weeks old is a great idea if you can help it, either, but wow. This is not normal, folks. It almost sounds like someone is afraid the child will get away and start talking, really talking, about what is going on at home. I mean, read this. Imagine yourself as a child in a family where all the children have to be in the room with Mom and she spanks your siblings when they misbehave. You also get spanked when you are naughty right in front of everyone. Notice there is no time limit on this little session or guidelines on when to stop slapping. Well, let me correct that. I guess this torture session goes on and on until the kid learns to mind. (I hope not!)
And maybe the home discussed here is a very nice one and things never get truly awful. Maybe the people who write these things have generally more compliant children and things never got out of control. I don't know... I just think to myself that encouraging someone to 1. keep her children with her at all times, no matter how frustrated she is; and 2. administer corporal punishment for misbehaviour, is practically begging for someone, somewhere, to snap. I think having friends to call on to take your child when you're about to lose it is a good thing. I think having someone your child could build a relationship with outside your family is a good thing.
Not that our family has any of those things and I am speaking down to anyone else who can't find it. When Elf began public school, he was locked in a closet by staff. Don't tell me it's homeschool parents who are abusive; it can be anyone. I homeschooled Elf for several years and he is now attending a different school that we trust. I also stopped allowing my children to go to Sunday School not because I want to "tomato stake" or anything like that, but because the children's pastor restrained my son. This pastor then refused to sit down with me and make a plan about what to do or take any training whatsoever. People like that do not get my child and I don't care what spiritual title they have.
So, I do understand keeping your child with you always if you have to or if no one wants to have compassion on your family. I do. But like Sarita, I think it's a good idea to let your children out of your sight every now and then if you can reasonably trust the adult in charge. I would love for my children to have friends they can visit with or even activities that don't always involve *Mom.* Why not??