Just a thought...

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Those who have had trouble with public schools, is it because your children are exceptional in some way? Like they may be gifted or hyperactive, or exceptionally shy etc...? I just wondered because, my kids really have very few complaints about school here in our area. Of course sometimes there are little things that can make you upset, but not enough to really get mad over. My kids are all good students and have many friends, and they mostly enjoy school with all of it's various activites. Or is it more a problem with the school district??... I guess I have been fortuante not to have many problems with their education here locally.

-- Melissa in SE Ohio (me@home.net), April 24, 2002


So far my kids seem to do ok. Marques is in speech class twice a week, he has a frontal lisp. They were good about seeing to it that his needs are met.

-- Melinda (speciallady104@hotmail.com), April 24, 2002.

I have a problem with what they're teaching. Revisionist history, rainbow curriculum, who do you throw out of the lifeboat if there's only room for 5 and there's 6 trying to live? There version of sex education-well we better not go there. What happened to the basics? It's like going to a grocery store, they still sell real food but, about half of what's there, isn't edible.

-- Cindy (S.E.IN) (atilrthehony_1@yahoo.com), April 24, 2002.

Cindy..I applaud your post. I think you are right on the money! Have a good day...

-- Sher (riverdobbers@webtv.net), April 24, 2002.

My problem with the school here is not so much with the school, but with the principal. She is ignorant about her own job and can never answer any questions I have. Whenever she doesn't know something, I call the state board of education to ask them. They ask my name, county, and school. Then they call her and explain the subject to her. Anyway, when they call her, she gets mad at me and makes up something about the way I treat my kids and calls Social Services. They have come out here over and over for 7 years. They have gotten tired of it and the workers are refusing to come out, so the supervisor has called in workers from 2 other counties to investigate me. They couldn't find a problem, either. Finally they are going to have a meeting with her and, basically tell her that they won't accept complaints about me from her again. In the meantime, I have tried to send my kids to school and 5 times I've had to homeschool. I am currently homeschooling on the advice of Social Services. Even though I am good at it, I resent it because I shouldn't be forced to do it if I don't choose to.

-- Gayle in KY (gayleannesmith@yahoo.com), April 24, 2002.

Melissa, I have been fortunate too. Our local small school is great, haven't had any problems. I feel my daughter is getting the best of both worlds, what she doesn't learn there, I teach her at home and vice versa. She has been reading well since she was 4, (she's 11 now) and the school doesn't hold her back, they let her go at her own level. She is learning French and Spanish at home, she's like a little sponge, and eager to learn. We take her on educational trips, and she has the benefit of school activities. I had thought that maybe all small schools were this good, BUT I have found that some are awful. I think I just lucked out! I want to mention too that we instilled a good set of values in her before she started school. Yes, I feel lucky, our small school is pretty good!

-- cowgirlone in ok (cowgirlone47@hotmail.com), April 24, 2002.

I agree with Cindy!

-- Jenn (none@none.com), April 24, 2002.

Melissa, my children attend a small country school here in VT. My youngest son is a special needs child with access to many services thru the school. I can't say enough for the care and attentiveness they have shown. We don't always agree, but that's okay too! I work in an after-school program in the next town. Wow! What a difference a few miles can make..... I would have serious qualms about sending my children there! All in all, I'm very happy with the school.

-- Terran in VT (homefire@sover.net), April 24, 2002.

I agree with Cindy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

When we lived in a large city several years ago---& I was room mother I was appauled that the teachers told me if they could keep the children in the room & they not kill each other/ she had a successful day----not my idea of what I want my children taught!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-- Sonda in Ks. (sgbruce@birch.net), April 24, 2002.

Oh---- my daughter homeschools as my son-in-law works for the large school district in the large city they live in as he works on the computers--in each class room--etc/etc/etc/--- & has had a chance to visit each class room many times & observe waht is going on in them--- -of the many /many/many school rooms he visits---in many/many/many/--- -schools in this district--he says there is only one teacher he would want teaching his children-----

examples are/ in one school room---the young male teacher has a couch in the middle of the room & each time my SIL has been in the room the teacher has either been napping---or watching T.V.---

I could give you about 6,000 more examples!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But all are basicly the same---

That is another reason I support homeschooling-----& most parents don't have aclue what is really going on in the class rooms in many school districts!!!! Large or small!!!!!!

-- Sonda in Ks. (sgbruce@birch.net), April 24, 2002.

Melissa, I think that one of the biggest misconceptions about kids who are homeschooled is that they didn't like public school. I know kids who got good grades and had a lot of friends whose parents took them home for school.

My son has nonhyper ADD and it is much easier for him to concentrate on his studies at home. Also, like Cindy, I have a BIG problem with the subject matter taught in public schools. Read the textbooks carefully. Also, the discipline problems with a lot of the students is robbing other students of the time that is spent on learning.

Kyle is an only child. He has made many new friends since coming home to be schooled. He is just not with them every single day, every waking hour. There are activities outside of school that I think are more worthwhile than the ones offered through public schools. I believe it is not normal to be with 80 other kids the very same age as you are day in and day out. How many adults are forced to be with that many people the exact same age? Our religion and our family is real life, public school is not.

Another misconception is that homeschoolers aren't letting the community help educate their kids. The opposite is true. I have the whole communities resources to use. How many field trips do school kids take a year. One or maybe two. We go somewhere almost every week. Public schools are the places where education is limited. Your child is limited to the school's curriculum. The amount of choices our family has to educate Kyle almost makes my head spin when we choose which books he will read and where we will go for field trips.

I've also had people tell me that their kid has had the best of both. Their in school during the day and at night the parents also are teaching them. Just try that with someone with ADD. The public school has had them during their best hours, they come home tired and grouchy and the last thing they need is hours more of homework and frustration.

By the way, what do they do with all that time in school? Kyle does an algebra or geometry lesson in 30 minutes and understands it now. The longer we do homeschooling the more we realize how wonderful it is for our family.

-- vicki in NW OH (thga76@aol.com), April 24, 2002.

Don't have the link just now, but on my Random Variable weblog, there's a link to a teacher's inside view of the NYC school system. Real scary!

-- Randal in Brazil (randal@rhyme.cjb.net), April 24, 2002.

One child is twice gifted, the other is SpEd, LD/ADHD. I've had major problems with schools not accommodating my children, denial of FAPE.

-- Susan in MN (nanaboo@paulbunyan.net), April 24, 2002.

Melissa, it totally depends on the school district and the community. For my middle daughter's first 2 years, she was in a wonderful school and she loved it and we were happy. If we still lived in that community, my kids would be in that school.

We had to move and the next community AND school were very, very bad. My daughter did not feel physically or emotionally safe. Her religious convictions were ridiculed, she was intellectually unchallenged in the classroom and she begged me to homeschool.

She is 12 now and I expect she will pass the GED easily at 14 or 15 then start junior college. She is currently doing a lot of college level work although her elementary skills need polish and maturity.

I have no idea what our present school district is like. I know most of the teachers and some of the students are wonderful people, but we love the freedom of homeschool.

My youngest is HADD, but she is happy and she is learning. Most of these kids are quite angry in the public school setting until they are drugged and we are just not going there. Yes, she is 7 and doesn't yet funtionally read, but, she's not going to be left behind, either.

Besides the educational aspects of public schools, there are the social aspects, also. Our family does not watch TV, does not listen to secular music and we have nothing to do with anything remotely occultic. The Holy Bible is our standard to measure everything. This leaves my kids with absolutely nothing in common with 98% of the public school kids. Homeschooling give us the opportunity to have friends who have similar values and interests.

-- Laura (Ladybugwrangler@hotmail.com), April 24, 2002.

I see that the answers are varied as I had thought! I do read my kids books, generally the first week of school. I am a speed reader so it is not difficlut to get through them all in several nights. I guess it depends on the community standards as well... I am pretty well happy that my kids are being taught in a good way here in our school district. We are blessed with great teachers who hold Christian values in their hearts. I am generally happy with the variety of subjects they are taught too. We also continue teaching every day, many things in addition to what they have already learned. Thanks for all of the great answers!

-- Melissa in SE Ohio (me@home.net), April 24, 2002.

Did anyone watch 60 minutes on Sunday? They had a segment on the schools at the military bases--good pay for teachers, they spend 15% above the national average per student, parents are not only welcome ANYTIME in the classroom, they are given time off from their duties to come in. Only those who were in base housing could have their kids attend--I imagine because it would be too much trouble at the checkpoints otherwise. The kids also scored on the high end on standardized tests, and they brought up that the military has the best record for integration. So across the spectrum, rich or poor, the children were doing well compared to the rest of the country's public schools.

They talked about duplicating the effects in the real world, and said they could if companies gave time off for parents to get involved. But the schools have to WELCOME the parents, and short of begging for money all the time, I don't see it. You point out revisionist history, offensive sex ed, stupid fundraisers for questionable purposes, etc. and they won't listen to you, much less take appropriate action. The military also has the advantage of prescreening the parents before they enter the workforce (and then the schools)--public schools don't do that.

And also, it depends on where you live--you're going to get a different education in San Francisco than you are in the Bible Belt (not to say that either one is totally bad, by the way).

I think one of the biggest failures of the schools is the emphasis on teamwork and total rejection of being responsible for oneself. If people were taught to be responsible, we wouldn't have so many "community groups", "mandatory" volunteering of students (or they don't graduate), or the "it takes a village to raise a child" mentality (major cop-out here).

We're kind of adopting a "wait and see" attitude, beginning with kindergarten.

-- GT (nospam@nospam.com), April 24, 2002.

Melissa -- we pulled our eldest and never sent our youngest. My older son is advanced, and the school system simply would not allow him to progress at his own rate. Not only was this having an effect on his learning (he lost his spark of curiousity COMPLETELY -- and was willing to just roll with the punches -- equate to LAZINESS), and as such was often told to "go read" while the teacher dealt with students who didn't understand the material as quickly as he did. My son, in grade 2, spent entire days sitting in the corner of the classroom reading storybook after storybook -- because the librarian would not allow him to check books out of the library at his reading level (Grade 10 in second grade).

Because of this, he got labelled as the "weird kid in the corner who reads too much" -- and it was affecting him socially. He began to develop a stutter.

When my husband and I attended the school to see what we could do to help the teachers help him (I understand that one teacher in a class of 30 can't cater to every child's individual needs -- and was prepared to volunteer in the classroom full time myself, or go by their suggestions) we were basically told to leave his education to them, they knew best, they were, after all, the professionals with degrees.

Well, we left that classroom, and before we made it to the car we'd decided that life as we knew it had just changed. Joey left school one week later, and hasn't been back since. Our youngest was never enrolled.

It's been the best decision we've ever made. Our son has reemerged from the bad place he had gone -- and started smiling again. His daily stomach aches and headaches are a thing of the past -- and even his asthma, which was pretty much debilitating before, is practically gone -- I attribute this to not breathing the stale air of the school (the windows didn't open) and not being around thirty other kids bringing various germs to school daily.

His curiousity is back -- and the questions are endless. The first few weeks, as I encouraged him to ask questions, it was almost as though the concept were completely foreign to him. It finally came out that the teacher -- the one who was so high and mighty with us -- had essentially told the kids she couldn't answer questions -- they were far too busy to have interruptions like that. Amazing.

-- Tracy (trimmer31@hotmail.com), April 27, 2002.

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