Thursday, September 09, 2010


Lately, Athanasia and I have suffered disagreement over the homeschooling of our son Anselm Samuel.  She is someone who likes structured programs.  So she signed our son up for a California at-home charter school called K12.  It is an amazing program.  A computer, a scanner, a printer, and dozens of books arrived in the mail.  There are lesson plans, and websites, and a teacher who stays in touch.  It is exactly the kind of program my wife loves.

I am someone who does not like structured programs.  I especially dislike a teacher who stays in touch. I always think I am right.  I don't like being told what I have to teach my children because I already know what I want them to know.  I have signed Anselm Samuel up for a program of workbook-based courses in math, English, social studies, and science from a company called ACE.  My mother used ACE for my high school education.  My plan was to use ACE workbooks, but really only insist he do the math and English, and augment that with art, science, and dance classes offered through various organizations in the city, Church, and the Cub Scouts.  This plan is very worrisome to my wife.  She thinks our son won't learn anything. She has no confidence in the ACE work books.  She is very very upset about it.

I am very much not worried about our son's education.  He's bright and curious and will, I think, learn the things he wants to know.  Really, I don't even believe in what people call elementary education, except for reading and writing.   But my wife sees his education as something existential. Her entire life is oriented to her children.  It is why she is so up-set with my semi-laissez-faire attitude. 

I am beginning to think this is because she is a mother.  My own mother was like this.  I was a year ahead in my schooling but my mother would get very upset if she saw me doing something other than school work during the day.  I remember one time she saw me reading a non-school related book and she yelled at me, shaking a wooden spoon at me, "You are not going to be 25 years old and still in high school!"  I graduated from high school 2 months after turning 17.

What I am certain of is Athanasia and I can not both be responsible for homeschooling. I am also certain that my wife will not leave me alone and let me do it the way I want to do it.  So, I am looking for a different job, one that pays as much as my wife earns at Stanford.  This will let her quit Stanford in order to manage the apartments and also be "The careful Mother Inftructing her children."

Looking for a new job won't be easy.  All I've done for the past few years is manage apartments.  I don't even have the clothes needed to get back into advertising.  And I think I am probably too old for it now.  Everyone in advertising is under 35.    I am not looking forward to this job search but I am looking forward to an absence of conflict.


Athanasia said...

Is compromise between you two not possible when it comes to Anselm's education? I would think that there could be a happy median between the two school's materials and you two different styles.

Rhetorical question not necessary to be answered publicly my friend.

DebD said...

My husband and I had similar struggles...but our personalities were switched (there goes your theory about it being a mom thing!LOL). But mostly, my husband supported me in my efforts. The struggles were very few. I hope you can both find a happy medium.

Self motivation goes a long, long way toward a well educated child. I used K12 with my youngest daughter and we liked it very much (but we didn't have the charter school and deadlines hanging over our head). I kind of see ACE as being very similar to K12(workbook based), but perhaps I am wrong.

Good luck with the job search.

Dan said...

As long as you always feel you are right (your words) and cannot compromise you will have conflict in your marriage. God gave children a mom and a dad for a reason. Because both view points are important for a child to have a well rounded upbringing it is imperative that you and Cyndi learn to work together to raise your children.