or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Archives › Miscellaneous › Natural Family Living Workshops › Workshop #11 Public Schooling
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Workshop #11 Public Schooling

post #1 of 73
Thread Starter 
Workshop #11 Public Schooling

Welcome to our Eleventh Natural Family Living discussion: Public Schooling; This discussion will key in on
Part 6 – Educational Alternatives from Peggy O’Mara’s book Natural Family Living.

Some of the topics we'll discuss are;

Chapter 21 - Public Schooling

Where Do You Fit Into Your Child's Education?
  • Request a teacher
  • Observe your child's classroom
  • Volunteer in your child's school
  • Share your expertise
  • Keep in touch with your child's teacher
  • Support teachers who are doing a good job
  • Look into your school's discipline policy
  • Get involved at policy level

Reinforce Learning At Home

Talking To Your Child About School
  • Ask Open-ended questions
  • Offer acknowledgment and empathy
  • Address hypothetical questions
  • Bring family news to school

Being Your Child's Advocate

When To Start Your Child In School

Standardized Tests: Poor Measures of Success
  • They are not a valid measure of intelligence
  • They are not obective
  • They are biased
  • They favor the wealthy
  • They are used to perpetuate damaging tracking systems
  • They encourage teachers to, "Teach for the test"
  • They inhibit development of the intellect

Making the Grade
  • Nurture your child's talents and motivation for learning
  • Let your child now that you consider grades secondary to learning
  • At the same time, let your child know that grades are the way success is measured in schools
  • Discuss your views with your child's teacher
  • Supplement learning at home

The Learning Disability Debate
  • The Attention Deficit Epidemic
  • The problem with labeling
  • Alternative approaches to learning disabilities
    • Public schooling alternatives
    • Alternative schooling
    • Improving attention span
    • Homeopathic treatment of ADD
    • Other alternative therapies for ADD
    • The Tomatis Method

Education in the Twenty-First Century
  • Commercialism in schools
  • Multiculturalism
  • Arts Education
  • Technology
  • School Lunch Reform

College: It Isn't Over Yet
  • Encourage your child to consider why she wants to go to college
  • Choose a school based on the quality of the education it offers
  • Consider size and location
  • Consider alternatives
  • Don't let cost be a deterrent

Please join us in discussion on Public Schooling. We welcome everyone to share their personal experiences, what works for your family, your struggles and your ideas. This is an open dialog and we ask that everyone be respectful of others' opinions. Take what feels right to you and leave the rest behind. Please be respectful to all our members so that the workshop can be a place of meaningful and respectful discussion for all our members. If you have a favorite quote from Natural Family Living, please share it.

We would like to invite everyone to join us no matter where you are in your thinking or feelings. These discussions are meant to be nonjudgmental so please keep in mind when reading members' responses that this is a true discussion based on Natural Family Living and not a place to debate or criticize. For more ideas and information, please see our Learning at School forum.

We’re excited to offer this workshop and hope it will give our members a glimpse into the grassroots of Mothering magazine and Natural Family Living.

This workshop will be facilitated by allgirls, QueenOfTheMeadow, lauren, Rhiannon Feimorgan, and Abimommy. They are here to guide the discussion and keep it on topic. They will occasionally post references or ask questions to keep the conversation flowing. Please feel free to contact them at any time with questions, suggestions or concerns. Please keep in mind our workshop guidelines and current user agreement at all times.

We are compiling a Natural Family Living Resources Sticky which we will update with each workshop. Please feel free to refer to it for more information.
post #2 of 73
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone and welcome to our newest workshop. I am looking forward to discussing this with everyone.

My dd is in second grade in public school.

Please keep in mind this workshop is for Public schools, Homeschooling and Alternative Schools will be forthcoming.
post #3 of 73
From what I've seen (and we homeschool), using the public schools in our area is what you'd call "an uphill battle." I tutor two children who go to Baltimore City public schools, and it seems that the school just isn't willing or able to meet thier needs academically.

Our local school was on some list for being really violent, and I believe it. Ds' friend was in fourth grade there last year. He was constantly being beat up at school, either for being Mexican or white, depending on who was throwing the punches. Apparently the school told his mom that there wasn't much they could do to protect him and that she should consider homeschooling.

I am interested in the "improving attention span" bullet point on the list, as the parents of one of the children I tutor are being told by the school to put her on medication for ADD, even though her doctor says she doesn't need it.
post #4 of 73
I am very interested in participating in this workshop. My dd is currently homeschooled but planning on part-time enrollment in a public, charter school in the fall. I am interested to hear the views on tracking. While I agree that rigid tracking is detrimental and doesn't allow for late bloomers, gifted but poor test takers, or asynchronous learners to get the placement they need among other issues, I also think that some sort of fluid ability grouping does benefit learners. The studies I have read and my personal experience seems to indicate that kids learn better in groups with similar abilities/skill levels. It will be interesting to follow the Colorado school system that is going to eliminate grade levels and follow a mastery based system. I believe the age/grade lockstep is detrimental in many ways.

I have been considering beginning a second career in education. My career as a biochemist has taken a back seat while we have been homeschooling. I have found I love teaching math and science and would like to pursue that as a new goal in a few years, perhaps along with school reform.
post #5 of 73
I have three children in the public school system(here in Canada) and it has it's challenges but what I've discovered is that very good things can come out of a public school depending on the administration and the school board.

I have a daughter in kindergarten every other day right now, a daughter in her first year of high school(who LOVES it) and a child about to enter junior kindergarten in the fall. I have an older daughter who is finishing her final two credits of high school and she has had the greatest challenges with school although I believe a great deal of her problems were due to stress in her life, bad decisions on her part and to some degree the school's inability to inspire them to want to attend. Who wants to go somewhere where you are yelled at? Why would you suspend a child for skipping school? Things like that.

I have found that working with the schools is the way to go but I've also found that getting involved with the school goes even further. I volunteer a lot and I'm a presence at the school. I will continue to be.

Public school can turn out some wonderfully well-adjusted, well-rounded and well-educated people. It has it's flaws but it can be positive and enriching as well.

I'm looking forward to this workshop!
post #6 of 73
I'm very interested in this workshop because my dd will be beginning public school in the fall. She will be going to the neighbourhood French Immersion program. We are supposed to have a very good school here, but I am concerned about how our fairly relaxed life at home will translate. I think dd will like school and do well, but I don't agree with lots of the school policies. I want to go in with a positive attitude, though; since it has been decided she is going to school.

I'm confused about how to enroll in the workshop, though. Is there a list of required reading or anything? Do people come online at certain times? I'm probably just missing a very big, obvious sticky about this!

Oh, okay. I see it's based on chapters from Peggy's book. Is that all I need to read?

post #7 of 73
Welcome carfreemama. My oldest went through a partial French Immersion program a few years back for several years. I"ve not enrolled my 5.5 year old in FI though because she'd have to switch schools and french isn't spoken in my home. My older daughter was at a disadvantage that way however when she was older and we had moved and she wasn't in the FI program any longer she did core french and her french was way ahead of other kids who hadn't done FI. She would be chosen to read things in french whenever required because she had the best pronounciation and grasp of the language. It really benefited her.

I'm in Ontario.
post #8 of 73
Hi, I'm Karen. I have one dd in public half day pre-k and she is thriving. My 7 yr went to kindy anpre-k at our public school, she is homeschooling now. I plan to send my 15month old to pre-k if the same teacher is at the school.
I also work with associations who work towards policy change, policy improvement and support for public schools.

I am friends with many public school teachers and have heard of there concerns. I think public schools can be great under good administration/leadership, trust in the abilities of those who teach and when parents become involved.

I am looking fwd to this conversation
post #9 of 73
I'm so glad to be able to read all of this helpful info. Our son will be 3 in April, and schooling is very heavy on my mind lately. Thanks everyone!
post #10 of 73
I'm going to lurk around here because I'm still deciding whether to send DS to a public school or keep him home. He's a baby, so I have a while, but I'm interested in the discussion.

post #11 of 73
Hello! I am a 6th grade teacher in a public school and my son attends day care at a public high school as part of the school's vocational training.

I am interested in discussing the challenges public education faces, particularly standardized testing issues, and the learning disability debate.

post #12 of 73

Although I homeschool my children, I went to public school here in NH and worked in the public school system for a number of years. We tried the public school system for DD2 who is autistic & decided against it.

I would not be against DD1 going to school if I knew she would be protected and not subjected to teachers/school systems wanting her on medications for ADD.

So though, we have decided to homeschool our children, I am very interested in both sides. Especially the testing (as many know homeschooling is under fire here in NH, but that's another thread )

I am looking forward to these discussions. I am all for ANYTHING that helps my children learn better - no matter where it comes from.
post #13 of 73
I'm kind of lurking. Both of my kids will be in public school next yr. Youngest will be in public preschool (tuition) and oldest will be in 1/2 day K. I have mixed feelings. The public school they will be going to is one of the best in the area, BUT we live in a rural area, so I think the stds are low. I'm afraid that our public school system won't be very competitive and I guess I don't have a very positive opinion about public school (negative socialization) in general. I went to public school and had a horrible experience overall, it was social suicide, and although I did well academically, I realized when I got to college that my education really wasn't as great as I was told it was (I went to a public school system that was supposedly well regarded). If the tuition for the private secular school we like wasn't so high (would req me to return to work to pay the tuition), we would have sent our kids to the private school. At this point, I am willing to give public school a try, if it doesn't work out, I plan to homeschool, which we did do on the preschool level last yr.
post #14 of 73

hi all!

We're leaning very heavily towards homeschooling my 7m/o DD (and all subsequent LOs) when the time comes.
But I know that public school may (or even probably will) come into her education at some point. It's also a hard decision for me to make to hs because a) its such a commitment and b) practically every member of my family is a teacher--so I'm not used to the idea of school at home.

Anyway, I'll definitely be following along and asking questions about how to create a fulfilling public school experience when you're in a district that is less than stellar.
post #15 of 73
my oldest is starting kindergarten next year. He and his younger brother have been at a great cooperative preschool for the last few years, and he loved it. I am a tad worried about him getting lost in a big class.

The good news is that we live in one of the best school systems in the country, and we have some friends who are teachers/administrators, so we are getting the "inside scoop" on good teachers, things to look for, opportunities for magnet schools, the Gifted and Talented programs, etc.

Both DH and I went to public school and our biggest issue with our education was how our parents didn't pay enough attention to how we were faring, with a general assumption that the school would take care of educating us. DH and I want to be very involved in our kids schooling.

We work full time and don't have the capacity to home school, though we definitely plan on supplementing and extending what the kids learn in school.
post #16 of 73

I have three little boys. My first son is in public school in a special ed program. My second son is in a regular ed program, and ds3 is still at home until next year.

So far we have been incredibly blessed with the two school districts we've been in. The current school they are in has blown me away. I see a lot of willingness in the teachers and administrators to let the children really mature in their own way and time. I love the educations ds2 is getting, but I'm even more impressed with the education ds1 is getting in the special needs classroom.

I tend to be very involved in my kids education. I am in contact quite frequently with my kid's teachers. I let them know what is and isn't working for my children and either make suggestion of what would work better or ask them what they think would help. I haven't had one teacher been at all resistant to my suggestions or working with me to come up with a solution.

That said, I think it is very important to do your research and be very clear about what you need and want for your child. I tend to be a mama bear when it comes to things like this, and I will not allow myself to be shrugged off.
post #17 of 73
My child attends a public school and I work for a different one. I'm interested to hear from teachers or other school officials to see if my experience with public school is similar.
post #18 of 73
Hi, I am in the process of deciding whether we will send our 5yo DD to public school for K next fall. My DSD(10yo) is currently in the 5th grade. She is BP/ADHD and we are pulling her through school right now. It has ALL of us incredibly frustrated by the lack of support for her. It really has been hit and miss with her teachers. That has seemed to be directly affecting whether she has a good or bad year. I hate that we can't hand pick a teacher that works well with her personality.

DSD's mother works FT and is very mainstream. She would never dream of allowing us to homeschool her. I have stopped fighting that battle. I am just trying to decide which way we will go with our girls.
post #19 of 73
Hi- I'm a mom of teens who have experienced private school, homeschooling and public education in that order. I started working outside the home after a 17 year hiatus from a career in the medical field. I'm now working as a part time teacher's aide in a 2nd grade public classroom and love it.
post #20 of 73

I have one in 1st grade and one in 1/2-day.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Natural Family Living Workshops
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Archives › Miscellaneous › Natural Family Living Workshops › Workshop #11 Public Schooling