Thinking About the Letter Q
This is about to be a ramble-y jumble of thoughts, and I’m sorry for all that mess.
This week in the Pagan Blog Project is the first week of the letter Q. I can’t believe we’re already at the letter Q. I was thinking about words that start with Q… like Quarters, Queens, and Quality, among others. The word “quality” led me into thinking about things that need to be “of a higher quality,” like education. (School started back for teachers, too, so this also spurred me into this thought process.
A quality education. It’s something that I feel that I have. It’s something that I feel I strive to give to my students. It’s something that I wish for my kids. Education is something that is important to both Erin and myself. Erin grew up knowing that if she wanted to “get out” from the town she was living in, that college was the only way to do it. I grew up in a family where education was the number one priority: it was expected that you go to college, which I did.
With the upcoming adoption, Erin and I have talked a lot about our parenting philosophy, which, for the most part, we agree on. We both want to raise our children with the expectation that they will go to college, just like I was. Education and school always come first for us after the Gods and family. Erin is working on her Master’s degree, and I already have 12 hours past my Master’s degree. There’s a lot of research out there that says the higher educated parents are, the better the child fares in school in regards to behavior and academic achievement, and some of it is because of that expectation that their kids will go to school and being role models for their children. Children see the expectations of college as the understanding that their parents believe they can do it and support them in doing it, so they strive to do better. The role-modeling by being higher educated gives the kids an example by which to live by. I hope this is making sense.
Insert a better transition here, but we were going through our home study packets the other day after sending off the consents, and one of the questions on the survey asked us about childcare if both parents are working, which we will be. I love my job as a teacher, and Erin is working her way through graduate school right now (she still have another year and a half left before she’s done), and she loves her job as well. This means that we’re faced with having to find childcare for Baby when he/she gets here.
Side Note on Baby: Went to the OB on Monday with the birth mother. The baby’s heart rate is 140. A lot of people are saying we’re having a boy, but we won’t find out until September 4th, which is the next ultrasound. We don’t plan on sharing the news until the baby shower so we can get as much gender neutral stuff as possible, and because a gender reveal baby shower sounds like a lot of fun. 🙂
When I saw the blank for the child care, I started thinking about what would be easiest to do. Erin and I decided together that a child care/preschool center would be the best option for us, and one that is close to where I work. My schedule this year allows for a little more time in the morning and a little more time in the afternoon, so I could easily leave to pick up baby and bring baby back to school with me to finish out the last class (which I don’t teach; it’s a planning period). We wanted to make sure that we have the absolute best quality of child care that we can get for the best price. Child care is NOT cheap.
I was really concerned about all the negativity that was surround so-called “day care” centers. I kept reading article after article about “behavioral problems” in children and “home schooling is better.” But what I started realizing is that most of these places that were “bad” weren’t technically preschools, which is what Erin and I are looking into. Preschools in the area start teaching your child communication and developmental skills from day one that they start coming there, and then add on more structure and lessons as they move forward.
I ended up contacting five different potential places. We have tours with four of the five (the fifth is brand new and not even open yet) on Friday, so it’ll be a fun and busy day.
Each of these places offers a lot of stuff, from baby sign language, to reading and music. There’s a lot of enrichment for all age levels, and they start teaching and helping kids from day one. One lady I spoke to said, “We start signing with your baby from the first day they come to us. This isn’t a day care, it’s a preschool, and all of our teachers are required to hold four-year college degrees.”
There is a lot of flack surrounding child care centers, but I don’t see what the big fuss is about. Would being a stay-at-home mom be better? Probably, but my mom worked until my sister was born, and I have turned out perfectly fine. Then I see some students who have stay at home parents who don’t help them, and they end up struggling a lot in school. Personally, I think it all comes down to what’s right for you, your child, and your family.
Are these centers raising my child for me? No. Not any more than any public/private school is raising anyone else’s child. A lot of teachers in my school have young children in child care during the school year, and then keep them home during the summers just like any other parent with children in school.
One thing I’ve noticed is that when you start having kids, a lot of people start having advice. I’ve heard everything from avoid centers and go with family care places to avoid X place all together… to you shouldn’t put your child in care at all. Some of the advice has been good, some I can just say “thank you” and forget about it.
The thing is: the baby is due February 3rd. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say the baby will probably be born at the end of January. (January 25th keeps popping into my head for some reason.) With how it falls with my school schedule, this means that we’d basically need 9 weeks of child care before I’m out for the summer. If the baby is born later than that, we’d need less.
While this isn’t such a big deal with the infants, if we don’t like the level of education as our baby grows, we can change schools or supplement what he/she is learning in school with stuff at home (which we plan on doing anyway along with learning about our faith from us and our church). We’re working on a book registry for children’s books we want in the house because reading is going to be a priority. My cousin read to her kids daily from day one of bringing them home. When the oldest, Lillian, started K-5, she was reading at a 3rd grade reading level.
Especially with the adoption, reading will be so important for the baby to learn our voices and for bonding. I’m really excited about getting some adoption-themed and same-sex-parent themed kids books so that the baby can grow up learning and reading about all different types of families. Everything is so exciting right now.
We got a bag of baby clothes from a friend: everything from newborn to 2T (all gender neutral) and we bought a little owl for the nursery from our church.
I’m going to keep thinking on this Q thing and come up with my PBP post for Thursday… Q is just a difficult letter to write about.