Friday, March 16, 2007

Call me excessive

Did you know that excessive mothering was such a problem?

According to an article by Laura Brodie in Brain, Child magazine, "excessive mothering" is "one of the most common concerns about homeschoolers." She also observes, after homeschooling her daughter for one year:
A third-party adult can often inspire a child more deeply than pleas from dear old Mother, which is why many homeschoolers hire tutors. In addition, the presence of a peer group in a public classroom can keep a child on task, who might, in a home setting, have problems staying focused, and the social diversity in the public schools can't be matched in today's homeschooling communities.
I don't really see an enormous difference between the distraction caused by a four-year-old marching through the kitchen and a fifth-grade peer shooting a spitwad. Either way, the problems related to staying focused need to be overcome, and overall, I'd say I've got the easier end of the deal.

And, I don't see a social diversity dilemma coming down to homeschooling vs. public schooling; that correlates more directly to geography and demographics than to one's method of education.

I'm not sure exactly who's concerned about the rampant excessive mothering that's going on, but apparently a lot of people are. I do hope they can catch the culprits who are guilty of such a thing and stop the practice from spreading.

Oh, wait ... I guess that would be me.

Never mind.

(Hat tip to Beth. Read her reaction here.)


Jennifer said...

Interesting. I agree on the distraction front. A screaming 2 year old is plenty enough for us. I do wonder if my chidren are overly attached sometimes. My daughter misses me sometimes when I am sitting right beside her on the couch. But I understand exactly how she feels. I miss her too!
And I agree with what you said about demographics. I went to school, but because it was a Catholic school I was exposed to a certain type of person. When I got to college, I was shocked to know that there were people (lots and lots of people) who don't like Catholics. Wow.

Beth said...

Re: social diversity, yes, geography, demographics and oh so much more. I went to both private and public schools and neither one could hope to replicate society as a whole! And neither can one family or one homeschooling group.

I would say as well, that (speaking strictly of my own experiences) more often than not, the school itself was responsible for *increasing* the racial divide.

Tolerance -- genuine, heart-felt tolerance and respect -- for various faiths, lifestyles, races etc can, in my honest opinion, be demonstrated and taught far more thoroughly within the family, than within a public school setting. But that's my bias. I don't expect all and sundry to agree with me! :-)

Faith said...

My dh grew up in an all black neighborhood. It was originally Jewish but when blacks started moving in, guess who moved out. You know that old property values line! Anyway, my dear in-laws don't have a bigotted bone in their bodies and so they didn't move and my dh grew up as a minority in his neighborhood. In grammar school, everybody played together regardless of race but he said that in jr high suddenly all the tables in the cafeteria were segregated, not by the school, but by the students themselves. So he'd hang with the white kids at school but when he got home, he'd go over to his neighbors' house to play, even tho they went to the same school! This was in late 70's/early 80's.

I think there is something about the groupthink in schools that made segregation worse. The area I live in is very culturally diverse so I do not think it makes any difference in this particular area whether one homeschools or not. I can't speak for other areas of the country. In our homeschool group we have African Americans, Hispanic, etc.