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Princesses and Homeschooling in the News

I read two stories this morning that might interest our readers.

The first talks about an ambition gap in the way that parents are raising boys and girls, and suggests that our girls are getting the message that pretty matters more than smart. The second, from Newsweek, discusses why educated, urban parents are taking a DIY approach to life — from chicken raising to homeschooling. It confirms something that I’ve seen with my own eyes — that homeschooling has become trendy, and that educated moms (mostly) are giving up their careers to dedicate themselves to their children around the clock.

The homeschooling topic has been on my mind a lot lately, as the Temples are planning to pack up and move to California for joint sabbaticals next spring! It’s an incredibly exciting proposition, and the homeschooling question looms large. We’re leaning toward enrolling the kids in school, but I’m still toying with the idea of a 1:2 teacher-student ration.

Do you have any thoughts on these pieces?

Comments

  1. Jenna says:

    I read Ms. Ettus’ article and while she makes some interesting points – I feel that I have to respond to each of her points – 1) I admit I have taken my daughter twice when I went to have my nail’s done. Just as my daughter loves playing dress up, having me design her hair with hundreds of clips – she would be just as happy to play “spies” with her friends during lunch, or dig for worms at the park or flag football in gym. I’ve tried to teach my daughter not about being dainty – but I go to the nail salon so my nails don’t look gross, but I’ll be just as happy getting them messy digging in the sandbox. 2) One of the first toys my daughter got was Thomas, she also got a toolbox. Now my son plays with them, but he is also happy to play with my daughter’s Rapunzel doll or put on a crown. My kids both play kitchen and shopping. My son has baby doll and he loves carrying it and pretending he is a daddy. So what if a girl wants pink legos, maybe she’ll have a younger brother who will end up playing those pink legos. I think it’s how we as parents react to these things. If we make it into a big deal, then it is, but if we don’t who really cares? When my daughter was a baby I bought a sleeping bag cover for the stroller – in pink. Now my son uses the very same cover. 3) Maybe it is economically prudent for women to work in case god forbid the man leaves them or dies, etc. But in our case nearly my entire salary would go toward someone else to take care of my children. So right now when I can, I’m going to stay home. In a few years when the kids are both in school I will go back to teach. So right now my job is my kids and when I go back to teach I’ll teach my daughter how she can she can be a mom and go back to work, and I’ll also teach her how each family is different and some moms have to or want to go back to work earlier and she will have to do what is right for her family. 4) Seriously? Maybe this is the case with some girls, but I think it has more to do with how the parents respond to the princess aspect. I don’t think there is anything wrong with the Disney Princesses. I always talk to my daughter and my son about is this real? Could this happen? I don’t think there is anything wrong with a little make believe. I would rather have my daughter and my son watching Tangled then watching shows like iCarly or the Zac and Cody Show where kids talk rude to each other and some are inappropriately dressed. 5) I’m sorry but I groaned at this one. I know there are some parents out there who think it is perfectly fine for their little girl to wear an outfit out of ‘Toddlers and Tiaras’ but I don’t and neither do any of my friends. We do have to teach kids that appearance is important – who’s going to get the job – the articulate applicant with the iron shirted and the clean manicured finger nails or articulate one with the wrinkled clothes and the dirty fingernails? Teaching them to care about themselves and how they present themselves is not wrong. Telling a little girl she is beautiful is not wrong, it just can’t be the only thing that she is. Both our kids are told how they are beautiful inside and out, and that they are kind and strong and smart. For me I don’t spend my time worrying about these little things because they are just that – little things. Because it isn’t the movies or the manicures that make the difference – it’s me and my husband. I think if we stop worrying about all the outside influences and focus on how we are the biggest influences on our kids lives we’ll have some pretty strong and ambitious kids on our hands.

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