Flashback Friday: Not Exactly Fond Memories of School

What’s your earliest memory of school?

Mine is that very first day. I remember it so clearly. I was not quite five, but had been reading for quite a while, so my parents decided I needed to be in school ASAP. Since our neighborhood public school (located right behind our house) did not offer kindergarten, my parents found a kindergarten offered at a church about a mile away, and signed me up.

I recall my nervousness as we approached the multi-sided building with a cross on top. It looked like a space ship, so I suppose it must have been fairly new, a reflection of early 1960s architecture. When we entered, a sick feeling came over me, because I could tell my mother was not going to stay with me.

Soon my fears came true. Mom said she’d be back in a while. The teacher offered me a seat at a nearby table, but I ran after my mother. When I tried to push open the door, it wouldn’t budge. My mother was holding it shut on the other side. All these years later, she says she remembers feeling bad that she had to do that, but that it was for my own good.

I eventually got used to going to school. I even liked it for a while. But I soon grew bored. I occupied my mind with daydreams to pass the time.

Another clear memory: the day school let out for the summer at the end of second grade. I was wearing a light green dress with a collar trimmed in lace, and as I balanced on the railroad ties lining the school’s parking lot, all I could think was, “I’m free!” I planned my summer as I walked home that day….playing, reading, more playing…..freedom! What an incredible feeling!

That was a long time ago. It makes me sad to think about that little girl. To be seven years old and longing for freedom…..I guess I never could bear for my own kids to have that trapped feeling, so I never sent them to school.

I wonder how many people choose to homeschool because they don’t want their children to feel like they did when they were kids. If you’re a homeschooler, did your own school experience have any bearing on your decision to homeschool?

Originally posted 3/2/07

One thought on “Flashback Friday: Not Exactly Fond Memories of School

  1. I once worked a capstan lathe – producing the same component four times an hour – I could do it without engaging my head – and you might pity me for having a boring job. Not a bit of it. During those two years, I spent my working hours daydreaming – random inspiration – and what I ended up doing was going back to school at 32 – taking my A-Levels in a sixth form college and then going on to university to studfy something totally useless to anybody else except me; I did a degree in Behaviour in Organizations – and it helped me to understand what I had been through over the previous fifteen years as an engineer. Others on my course tailored the same courses I took to make them into better candidates for employment in major retail outlets and the like.
    Me, I took off to Sudan and taught English for a year, then went on to Turkey, where I got married (still am 25 years on) and then on together to another six countries – getting myself an MSc on the way, writing and publishing books (3) and finding out what’s in my head – you’d be amazed what I know, and what I didn’t know I knew until I started writing Socratic Dialogues between me and myself.
    To me and for me, this is one of the best weays of discovering who you are and what you think – I’m not pushing this or trying to sell it – well, I suppose I am but not for any return.
    Wordsworth got it right when he said that ‘the world is too much with us, getting and spending, we lay waste our powers!’ Do things because you want to, and not merely because they are approved of my people in commerce who don’t really care about you or your aspirations – they are just out to capture your dime, as the great Paul Simon once sang. Don’t strive for wealth, strive for you to be – not to have! Old man Fromm got it right. I guess he got idea from Will W in the Lakes!!
    Many thanks

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