YMCA Camp Ockanickon
Camp Matollionequay
& Lake Stockwell

Posts made in October, 2015

What I Learned About Learning from My 12-Year-Old Son

Posted by on Oct 19, 2015

This week’s blog post comes from Tara Marcus, a long time friend of camp.   I went into this proposition kicking and screaming. It really wasn’t until we exhausted all other possible options that I said yes to this one – home-schooling. My husband and I have three boys and have our own consulting practice together. For the first ten years of the business, I juggled my children’s needs against the business needs. They didn’t go to daycare, so I worked around their schedule and arranged for babysitters to come into our home. So when all of our kids were old enough to be in school from 9:00 am – 3:30 pm – it was nirvana for me, 6+ hours of uninterrupted work time. Whoo, hoo! I could finally give our business my full attention for pretty much a full day, without attending to the needs of my kids. Many of you may know as parents, one huge milestone in life is when all of your kids are in school for a full day. So when my 12-year-old son wrote my husband and I a long email asking to be home-schooled – I was deflated by the idea. Mostly, what I could see was that my hard-earned world of six hours of free time to finally dedicate to our business was being threatened. Even though I had met home-schooled kids over the years and found them to be intelligent and super capable of having meaningful conversations with adults – we didn’t have the time to home-school our kids and run a business. And besides, I was a product of the public school system and I didn’t turn out that bad. Our son’s plea came mid-year of his 6th grade – he wanted to be home-schooled more than anything. As a Mom, I saw the stress our son was under. His schedule was rigorous, up by 6:00 am, on the bus at 7:00 am, home by 4:00 pm, dinner, homework and time for bed. After about two weeks of this rigor, he would start to buckle. His school, although well meaning, adopted a paddy-wagon style of discipline. It would punish all of the students for the transgressions of a few – this meant days of no talking – not even in the hallways in between classes. Early on in his 6th Grade year, Dylan found himself swooped up with a bunch of boys at lunch time by an aid and sent to the Principal. He, along with some other boys, were reamed out by the Principal – for a pretty minor incident by one of the kids. Dylan wasn’t involved but was treated to the Principal’s tirade none-the-less. I found out about the incident because the school nurse called us. Dylan was so upset by the whole thing he had a panic attack – crying, hyperventilating. He had never been...

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