The Gnome (and his buddy Rousseau) started part-time day care last week.
And then L started kindergarten on Monday. Much to my surprise, he was all smiles!
And so begins our experiment with public schools (as my sister says).
The school’s goal, I guess, is to make sure that my boys end up “college and career ready.” That’s the current slogan, anyway. The focus, of course, is on academics. I’m not too worried about academics. Because we are privileged to have access to good schools and neither child seems to have any difficulties learning, I trust that sooner or later they’ll learn to read and do math and all that other good stuff.
My laissez-faire attitude seemed to surprise L’s preschool teachers. In parent-teacher conferences, I never had much of an answer to their question about my goals for them. I’ve thought about it quite a bit since then, and if anyone asks what my goals for my boys might be, here’s what I’ll say:
I want them to be patient, generous, and kind.
I want them to live in the understanding that this Earth is their body.
I want them to have the self-reliance and creativity that is necessary for living in accord with their own values.
I want them to maintain their curiosity and enthusiasm for new knowledge and experiences.
I want them to pursue and flourish in their own interests and projects.
I want them to be able to learn from their mistakes and failures.
I want them to be fully open to their own emotional life, even when what they are feeling is difficult to hold.
I want them to be able to live alongside, engage peacefully with, and befriend those who are different from them.
I want them to have friendships that last for years.
I want them to know how to care for a home, plan and make meals, and make and follow a budget.
I want them to know how to fix things.
I want them to be able to make their way in unfamiliar territory.
I want them to be OK with not knowing everything.
I want them to know that it’s never too late to learn more.
What are your goals for your children?