Patty didn’t homeschool. I am not saying she didn’t support my decision to engage with home education, she was alive when I began to homeschool her oldest grandchild for Kindergarten. She did, however, have several reservations concerning this form of education. We discussed the issue at length as I was working through the subject myself and I could indeed give credence to her concerns.
For one thing, she knew her limitations and she knew mine. She would never have homeschooled her boys because she always felt inadequate with her intelligence level. She was sweet and caring to her very core, but Patty struggled with quick thinking. It took her a little bit of time to work through an issue. She needed to consider a problem, work through the problem, ask questions about the problem, and then she would come to a solution. She also suffered from a common scenario of being a youngest child in a large clan. Her older siblings routinely teased her about her slow wit, thought heaven forbid someone outside the family say anything about it!!! That wasn’t tolerated, of course, but older brothers to tease mercilessly at times 😉
She knew very well my lack of patience. We discussed this often as I struggled with those first time parenting issues. She knew that homeschooling would mean butting heads with my very linear and logical child. She also knew that once I started homeschooling, I would probably continue with my daughter. My daughter at nearly 2 was already well known for her strong will and stubborn mind. She and I battled over every little thing, it seemed, starting at her birth! Patty knew what it meant to be home all day long with children and how much energy and patience that took. Patty was an in-home childcare provider, so she fully understood the concept of trying to get a herd of kids to work on a schedule. She also had many educational parts to her daycare. She would sit down with the kids at her kitchen table to work through writing letters or numbers, and as well as many art projects. So she knew from first hand experience just how hard it could be doing such things day in and day out with no time off.
She also didn’t want anything to hinder her grandkids’ education. She had high hopes for their higher education to open doors that had never been available for her. This didn’t insult me because I had the same wishes and concerns about my ability to possibly mess the kids up! She nearly burst her buttons when her boys graduated college and tech school. I can imagine her joy at watching her grandkids accomplish the same thing!
Thankfully, time has helped to smooth my teaching edges and I believe that Patty would have been quite proud of her grandkids’ accomplishments in their homeschool education. Danny is still the logical engineer. Bekah is still very creative and artistic. Joshua would have impressed her with his athletic ability and found it cute that she finally had a left-handed grandchild. I think she would have been proud of their educational accomplishments! I just wish I could have shared them with her.
This post is part of a blogging series “Remembering Patty“.