i don't believe in school as a system that can efficiently deliver education effectively for all children.
i believe that the public school system is an archaic system in desperate need of a change
and before i go on to give my reasons as to why i believe this; let me first state that this is an opinion and choice, and should be respected and taken as such. this is no less and no more than that. it is not intended to offend anyone or start a debate- this is quite simply an answer to a question. this is our choice...our answer. i am sharing this in the hopes that it may help someone who may be asking themselves the same questions we were about the public system.
here's what i believe...
*all children...in fact...all people...learn differently
*schools are designed to only teach to one learning style
*children are not efficiently engaged in school
*testing is not an accurate measure of how well someone knows the material
*that one shoe does not fit all, so why should education be any different
*that children who struggle often fall thru the cracks and/or are labeled any number of ways, which often is not accurate, but the schools way of ignoring the fact that that particular child has a different learning style
*that parents should have the right to govern the amount of tv a their child watches, that if i do not use tv as a babysitter in my home, then why should i tolerate it for my children at school?
* that kids have huge gaps in their education upon graduation
*that schools do not efficiently or effectively show or teach what the real world is like, life is unfair, there are winners and losers, 3 strikes really means you're out, you do not get rewarded for opening a door or saying please and thank you, etc.
i am the result of a child who learns in a way the schools do not teach. my loss of faith within the public education system came from being someone who struggled with this from grade 3 to grade 12. my grades reflected this...but yet, i am not stupid. huh. i can read...write...add...subtract...but let me say, this was not due to a D received on a exam, holing myself up in my room to study relentlessy...this is due to the fact that regardless of what my grades reflected...i am intelligent person.
i have watched my son struggle with this system since kindergarten. i have been involved with his schools...teachers...principals...t.a's...and still, he has been assessed, labelled, held back, pushed forward, special programs, intervention programs...the list is endless. you would think he's a slow kid. the thing is, he's incredibly intelligent...just not in a way the schools recognize. he has an incredible engineering brain and learns visually and kinesthetically. he is filled with restless energy...this need to move constantly. he needs to feel, touch, move, do to absorb information. but to the schools he is a problem. his confidence has been shot and he has started to feel like there are only certain options available to him in life...he's 11.
why do we measure success by academics at this age? when in the real world we measure success by so many other markers that have nothing to do with the grades they received in elementary, middle, or high school.
so after the last 2 years of the most horrible education received to date at the hands of teachers within the only school in the town we live...the last year being the worst...not only educationally but mentally as well, he was, along with the rest of his class pushed thru to the next grade. after the schools justification that it's not just my son, but the whole class who is behind like this...we decided to take action. my son is in grade 5 and at a language arts level of grade 3. just because his entire class is functioning below grade level does not make this okay!! that is not a valid justification and one i refused to be told continuously.
both my husband and i have been active involved parents within our children's education...this is not a decision that was made lightly but we were tired of seeing our son suffer at the hands of system that was failing in it's duty to him. we decided that homeschooling was the best choice for us.
i could get into details about how bad the teachers and principals and school has been...the political drivel that has been crammed down our throats...the defense of teachers when the teachers have crossed lines...the hypocrisy...but at the end of the day we made a decision based on the needs of our child, where the schools make decisions based on the vote of a school board.
we are starting our third week of homeschooling and i have already seen an incredible change in my son. and all those voices...in my head and from external sources that have had me questioning whether or not i...we...can really do this? and the answer is yes we can. this was a decision made as a family. and we are not alone, the support for homeschool families is incredible. the fact that homeschooling is a huge as it is should say something in and of itself.
i am looking forward to sharing our journey as it goes. it will not be without it's mistakes, frustrations, and moments of madness...but the ups and benefits will far out weigh any of that.