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Children's role in their education - Page 3

post #41 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post

 

But then this is hardly a case of "kids who have very different political/world views being thrown together and being forced to work together," which was your point concerning the value of school. Instead they're being "offered the option of working together" with others, which is exactly what my own kids get as homeschoolers.

 

Miranda


Miranda I am not responding to this thread to say that public school is the best option for all students, but instead to point out that much of what you value about homeschooling also exists in the public school..  When I say that students are being thrown together, I mean that they are going to interact with many people who might be out of their comfort zone both in terms of socioeconomically and culturally.  I think this is a value of public school.  If someone is made so uncomfortable by this that they do not wish to deal, or if a student just wants to be left alone to do their own thing there is room for that, either within the public school forum or within the homeschool forum.  Not all students will, or should, have the same experience.

 

As I said upthread YMMV.  I am not trying to tell you that home schooling kids is wrong, just that all public schools do not deserve the bad rap I consistently see in this forum.  I think there are advantages to homeschooling.  I also see advantages to public schooling (something I don't think I will get you to agree with me on, eh?).

 

 

 

post #42 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post

I also see advantages to public schooling (something I don't think I will get you to agree with me on, eh?).

 


One of my kids is in public school and has been for almost 3 years. It's working marvellously for her. So I'd agree with you that there can be advantages. I just don't think that the point you raised is one of them.

 

Miranda

post #43 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post


Miranda I am not responding to this thread to say that public school is the best option for all students, but instead to point out that much of what you value about homeschooling also exists in the public school..  When I say that students are being thrown together, I mean that they are going to interact with many people who might be out of their comfort zone both in terms of socioeconomically and culturally.  I think this is a value of public school. 

 



And I think that what many of us are trying to communicate is that this opportunity to experience diversity is neither unique to public schooled, nor is the public schooled version necessarily qualitatively superior to the what most people (regardless of educational choice) can experience outside of a school setting.

 

I think most homeschoolers will agree that based on our current societal model there is value in public schools. But I also think that most teachers will agree that the best education for an individual would be customized to meet the specific strengths, goals, needs, interests and learning style of the child.  This is something that is inherent in homeschooling and somewhat more challenging to provide within the confines of an institution no?

 

 

 

post #44 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karenwith4 View Post





And I think that what many of us are trying to communicate is that this opportunity to experience diversity is neither unique to public schooled, nor is the public schooled version necessarily qualitatively superior to the what most people (regardless of educational choice) can experience outside of a school setting.

 

I think most homeschoolers will agree that based on our current societal model there is value in public schools. But I also think that most teachers will agree that the best education for an individual would be customized to meet the specific strengths, goals, needs, interests and learning style of the child.  This is something that is inherent in homeschooling and somewhat more challenging to provide within the confines of an institution no?

 

 

 


I cannot say since I have never been homeschooled and my child is too young to give me any experience there.  My experience on the public school front tells me that it depends on the child (and I suspect that is the case at home as well).  No single method works for the needs of all children.

 

Is it easier to be flexible at home than at school?  I would assume so.  But this still does not translate in my mind as being an inherent way to meet all the needs of your kid.

 

 

 

post #45 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post




Miranda I am not responding to this thread to say that public school is the best option for all students, but instead to point out that much of what you value about homeschooling also exists in the public school..  When I say that students are being thrown together, I mean that they are going to interact with many people who might be out of their comfort zone both in terms of socioeconomically and culturally.  I think this is a value of public school. 

 

Really? I think it's one of the things about public school that fosters so much bullying. I was out of the other kids comfort zone, socioeconomically, in high school (ie. I was the "poor kid"). Maybe it was a good experience for them, but it really sucked for me. I saw kids who were thrown together to interact with people who were outside their comfort zone, and it generally just resulted in cliques, bullying and general nastiness.

 

If someone is made so uncomfortable by this that they do not wish to deal, or if a student just wants to be left alone to do their own thing there is room for that, either within the public school forum or within the homeschool forum.  Not all students will, or should, have the same experience.

 

I get where there's room for that in the homeschool forum, but I can honestly say I've never seen or experience (first or second hand) any public school forum that's okay with kids wanting to be left alone to do their own thing.  They talk a good game, and maybe they mean it if we're talking about a quirky hobby or something (ds1's juggling goes over well enough), but kids who actually want to be left alone? No room, ime.

 

As I said upthread YMMV.  I am not trying to tell you that home schooling kids is wrong, just that all public schools do not deserve the bad rap I consistently see in this forum.  I think there are advantages to homeschooling.  I also see advantages to public schooling (something I don't think I will get you to agree with me on, eh?).

 

These threads actually amaze me. I thought I'd long since dealt with the aftermath of public school (25th grad reunion is in two weeks!). Then, I read stuff about the "advantages" of public school, and feel the slow boil start, and realize that I haven't done as well with it as I thought. I looked hard for advantages for years, and never found any. Public school was an absolute nightmare for me. I'm sure it works for some kids, but it really just doesn't work at all for others. I actually don't think the same is true of homeschooling. I don't think homeschooling works for all families, but I think it has the potential to work for all kids, because it's inherently flexible, so it can be adapted to what a particular child needs.



 

 

post #46 of 76
Thread Starter 

Me too, Storm Bride. My public school experience has been horrendous throughout my school career, and I attended five different schools in two different countries. I was the "poor kid" in the rich neighborhood school, though my mom was poor by choice (a Hippie). I was the weird kid everywhere, because I was vegetarian, my dad died and when anyone asked about it, I would say so (and then become "untouchable"), and came from a non-religious family. Later on, when I was older and the other kids were old enough to notice, I was the weird kid because I was that diversity Chamomile talks about; mixed-heritage in an otherwise homogenous school. And a bit later still, I was weird because I was politically active and it's uncool to do that.

 

I didn't learn much in the way of academics in school, except from the school library smile.gif which was pretty limited too in most cases. I did learn that kids can be very mean to kids, and no matter how much I tried to fit in, I didn't. I learned that the real me is no good, so I should pretend.

 

Like you say, you being the poor kid was probably a good experience for other students, but not for you. For me, the mixed-heritage was the biggest issue. Now that I live in Eastern Europe with my children and am a single mom by choice, I don't want that for my kids. This is not my (only) reason for homeschooling, but it is certainly a nice bonus. Racism is not nice. Being bullied because you don't have a dad is not nice. My neighborhood kids, who are a lot older than DD, comment on both issues every time we see them. I do my best to explain that the world is a lot bigger than our country of residence, and that people come in all kinds of different colors and speak all kinds of different languages. And families are all different too. Last week, I was told that "family" is mom, dad and kids. Anything else is not family.

 

These children sure need some lessons in diversity, but I don't want my children to be that lesson, on a daily basis. It is not a nice experience.

post #47 of 76
Thread Starter 

On the other hand, my homeschool group is very diverse and everyone is accepting of one another - perhaps because we are all a minority in choosing homeschooling anyway. There are lots of other "foreigners" from all over the world, and parents from all ends of the socio-economic, political, and religious spectrum. My kids learned about religion, visited different Churches, learned about the culture of different countries, and even got to speak their own other languages with some of the kids. Many are single parents too, and are vegetarian. It's funny how one's diet is so important, but almost all of the standard local diet consists of meat. Mainstream folks think not giving your kids meat is neglect, often.

 

We only see this group once or twice a week, but it has made a great positive contribution for both my children and me.

 

Besides the neighborhood kids, who we bump into perhaps once a day for a minute, the kids have not had to deal with racism from other kids yet. My children's Indian friend, who is in preschool, has plenty of this. I am grateful that this is not a part of their life (yet).

post #48 of 76

I went to 25 schools before I dropped out of high school in the middle of my junior year.  I exclusively attended public schools, that's what poor kids do.  I was wrong *everywhere*.  I was wrong in the projects because I was white.  I was wrong in the rich, yuppie, white school because I am poor and a repeated trauma survivor so I am overly intense.  I was wrong in the rural schools because I was  city kid.  I was wrong in the urban schools because I was too rural.  And I would actually say that I had an easier than average time with bullying *in school*.  

 

I also taught for a few years.  There are absolutely advantages of public school.  I used to be a fucking awesome teacher so I was a big advantage in public school. ;-)  But as I looked around and noticed how little respect I had for 75% of my coworkers I am not willing to risk my kids going through 1/10 of what I did.  It's just not ok.  I think public school would need a pretty massive overhaul before I would be willing to consider it for my kids.  Or my financial situation would have to change dramatically.  If I had to, I would put my kids in school and I would do everything I could to help make it actively better by volunteering in the school.  But it still would feel like a distant second choice option I wasn't happy about.

post #49 of 76

Yes, I had a similar experience in school to what some of you are describing.  My elementary-jr.high years were the worst years of my life because I was bullied so intensely.  I used to cry every morning and refuse to get out of bed because going to school was so awful.  And to me the worst part was that the teachers were complicent, and often used the dislike of everyone else towards me as a reason to pick on me themselves. And being a gifted kid made it worse because my teachers felt that having gifted kids(especially me) was an irritating burden.  There was no justice and no recourse (it is burned into my mind that when I complained about a particularly hurtful incident my teacher told me "You must be doing something to deserve it" and turned her back).

 

And this is a big reason why I became a teacher.  Plus I think that the ideal of a public school system is the closest thing we have to socialism in this country and we need to foster and support it. And because I value the ideal I'm going to do what I can to effect the change from inside.  Modeling is a pretty powerful force, especially from an authority figure.  And, yeah I have seen the old-school ossified disinterest to change as the rep from our school to district meetings, but someone needs to stand up to that crap.

 

If I thought my kid would be in the same situation I was in school I would never let him go.  Because, frankly, I am scarred for life and harbor deep resentment that my mother was never my advocate.  She didn't know how to be because her school experience was even worse than mine (a member of a very poor family who attended the one of the most presdigious private schools in San Francisco).  She told me to do what she did which is suck it up and move on.  I absolutely want better than that for my kid.  But schools have changed, at least the ones I have now seen from the inside.  So my kid is on the public school track.

 

For me the answer is not homeschooling because I think to opt out of the educational system does a disservice to the system shrug.gif.  Besides I can't see myself ever being a good homeschooler because as it is all the things my kid in into bore the snot out of me, and I can't see that changing anytime soon.

post #50 of 76
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post

 

For me the answer is not homeschooling because I think to opt out of the educational system does a disservice to the system shrug.gif.  Besides I can't see myself ever being a good homeschooler because as it is all the things my kid in into bore the snot out of me, and I can't see that changing anytime soon.



Personally, I don't see homeschooling as opting out of the (local, horrible) system, but rather as making a conscious choice to provide a positive, individual education for my children. Homeschooling for me is not about avoiding that which I consider to be negative and thereby opting out of the default, but rather opting in.

 

I think your points are very valid. I do understand, and even agree. For me though, I could not care less about doing a disservice to a system that has little to do with us - (Is saying this actually controversial? Hope not, it's certainly how I feel) this is not our culture, not our system, it's very corrupt and not very beneficial.

 

"If I thought my kid would be in the same situation I was in school I would never let him go.  Because, frankly, I am scarred for life and harbor deep resentment that my mother was never my advocate.  She didn't know how to be because her school experience was even worse than mine (a member of a very poor family who attended the one of the most presdigious private schools in San Francisco).  She told me to do what she did which is suck it up and move on.  I absolutely want better than that for my kid.  But schools have changed, at least the ones I have now seen from the inside.  So my kid is on the public school track."

 

The quote thingy suddenly disappeared, sorry. I hear you. For me, I am convinced my children would have a worse experience than I did, for reasons I already mentioned. So, we homeschool. These are all very individual decisions of course, and everyone does what they think is best.

post #51 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by MittensKittens View Post For me though, I could not care less about doing a disservice to a system that has little to do with us


Yes.  I don't see why it is considered "opting out" to homeschool.  That's kind of like telling Protestants that they should rejoin the Catholic Church and effect change from within.  It's simply not accepting something being offered, no more, no less.

 

post #52 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post

Yes, I had a similar experience in school to what some of you are describing.  My elementary-jr.high years were the worst years of my life because I was bullied so intensely.  I used to cry every morning and refuse to get out of bed because going to school was so awful.  And to me the worst part was that the teachers were complicent, and often used the dislike of everyone else towards me as a reason to pick on me themselves. And being a gifted kid made it worse because my teachers felt that having gifted kids(especially me) was an irritating burden.  There was no justice and no recourse (it is burned into my mind that when I complained about a particularly hurtful incident my teacher told me "You must be doing something to deserve it" and turned her back).

 

And this is a big reason why I became a teacher.  Plus I think that the ideal of a public school system is the closest thing we have to socialism in this country and we need to foster and support it. And because I value the ideal I'm going to do what I can to effect the change from inside.  Modeling is a pretty powerful force, especially from an authority figure.  And, yeah I have seen the old-school ossified disinterest to change as the rep from our school to district meetings, but someone needs to stand up to that crap.

 

If I thought my kid would be in the same situation I was in school I would never let him go.  Because, frankly, I am scarred for life and harbor deep resentment that my mother was never my advocate.  She didn't know how to be because her school experience was even worse than mine (a member of a very poor family who attended the one of the most presdigious private schools in San Francisco).  She told me to do what she did which is suck it up and move on.  I absolutely want better than that for my kid.  But schools have changed, at least the ones I have now seen from the inside.  So my kid is on the public school track.

 

I guess the thing I find is that I've heard about how schools have changed - according to people like you, who are on the "inside" as teachers. But, what I'm seeing as a parent, and what ds1 is seeing as a student, is pretty much same shit, different day. There are a few changes in exactly what rules are being enforced, but there's no visible change in the underlying attitudes and approach. I honestly get the feeling that the prime motivation behind the school system is to turn kids off as early and as completely as humanly possible. I don't get that from most of the teachers, but the overal structure is just poisonous. I put ds1 in, because at the time, I had no options. I honestly felt as though I was abandoning him on the first day of kindergarten, and that I'd failed as a parent, for not finding a way out of the school system. Fortunately, for both me and ds1, he's not me. Public school hasn't been as damaging to him as it was to me, but it's because of the difference between us as people (ie. ds1 is, unlike me, social, outgoing, athletic, self-confident and creative - all traits that lead to success in public school, and I had/have none of them), not because of a difference in the system itself.


My mom was my advocated. That didn't do me much good, though. One parent can't change the whole system...especially when that parent is already swamped with other things in life.

 

For me the answer is not homeschooling because I think to opt out of the educational system does a disservice to the system shrug.gif.  Besides I can't see myself ever being a good homeschooler because as it is all the things my kid in into bore the snot out of me, and I can't see that changing anytime soon.

 

I guess I see that idea as being roughly equal to the idea that we, as parents, owe more to the system than to our own children. I think the system is effed up beyond repair. In any case, I see no reason to do a major disservice to the people that I chose to bring into the world, in order to benefit a system that did its institutional best to destroy me, for the heinous crime of not being "normal". The system is still doing that, and acting in the system's best interests, instead of my children's best interests, would be like sucking up to the local bully, instead of the victim, even though the victim is/was one of my closest friends. It just doesn't work forme.

 

Sometimes, I wish my kid's interests bored me. DD1 is fascinated with all things spider-related. She wants to study bugs and spiders when she grows up. This has been her major area of interest for 3-4 years now. I'm fairly severely arachnophobic, and just opening the library books she chooses freaks me out! Homeschooling can be a little intense sometimes.



 

post #53 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post

 

 

For me the answer is not homeschooling because I think to opt out of the educational system does a disservice to the system shrug.gif.  Besides I can't see myself ever being a good homeschooler because as it is all the things my kid in into bore the snot out of me, and I can't see that changing anytime soon.



But my number one priority is to my child - not the system - so if I do not the think the system will be of more benefit to my child than Hsing it is not going to happen.

 

 

 

 


Edited by purslaine - 5/4/11 at 2:06pm
post #54 of 76

My public school was not diverse, didn't talk politics, and group work consisted of me doing all the work because the 95% the teacher was responsible for didn't reach their brains. I was not allowed child-led education and was bored out of my mind. I was part of the top 5% of my class and I convinced my parents to let me leave public school in my 10th grade year to home school. Best decision ever!

 

My in laws are both public school teachers, as well as two aunts and my mom is a para - they are "cooler" than most teachers but they still "teach to the test". Everything they teach is focused on getting the kids to pass the standardized test.

 

My kids are and will be unschooled until they request otherwise - either by their verbal request or an obvious need for something else.

post #55 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View PostFor me the answer is not homeschooling because I think to opt out of the educational system does a disservice to the system shrug.gif.  Besides I can't see myself ever being a good homeschooler because as it is all the things my kid in into bore the snot out of me, and I can't see that changing anytime soon.


Why do people only use this argument to argue against home schooling? I never hear anyone say that opting out of WIC (if one qualifies) does a disservice to the supplemental food system, or opting not to use public transportation does a disservice to the public transportation system, or opting out of getting vaccinations at the health department does a disservice to the free immunizations system. This is an argument reserved specifically for public schools, used by people who say they believe that home schooling might be better for some kids, then turn around and say that no child should be home schooled, because doing so does a disservice to a "system". So you either don't actually believe that home schooling could ever be better for anyone, or you do, but we have a "system" to protect, and that "system" is apparently more important than any individual ever will be. I'm not trying to put words in your mouth; I just see no other explanation for a statement like that, and having heard this argument many times over the last few years, this isn't a conclusion I reached in the last five minutes. I've given it considerable thought and hashed it out with many, many other people who have said the same thing. Never once have I received a satisfactory explanation for how one could value the child over the system AND believe home schooling might be better for some kids, yet STILL say that no one should do it because it's basically just wrong to opt out of public schools. There is no way to reconcile all three of those beliefs. Something has to give, and it's either got to be the idea that home schooing might actually be better for some kids, or the idea that the individual is more valuable than the system. Those beliefs are mutually exclusive with the belief that no one should opt out. (Well, unless the person saying so is a UAV who recognizes that the first two are true, but just doesn't care.)

 

That pretty much reinforces my belief that I don't want my kid in public school. You may be a fantastic teacher. You just have your own agenda that doesn't match mine, and while my kids certainly need to know there are people like you out there, you teaching them isn't going to meet that goal anyway, because presumably you don't go to school and tell your students that home schoolers are failing the system by opting out, because that would be crossing a line a teacher has no business crossing. I realize that you said 'for me', but your reason had nothing to do with your circumstances, but rather your philosophy, which in this case is a belief you apply regardless of circumstance. You didn't say 'For me the answer is not homeschooling because my child is a [fill in the blank] who would prefer school," or some other such thing. You said it wasn't the answer for you because you were opposed to the very idea of it, essentially. If there is some other way to spin that, I'm not seeing it.

 

As to your second point...just lol. I do what's best for my kid, in my situation, regardless of whether or not I find every minute of it exciting and fulfilling. That's just being a parent, which I'm sure you already do every day anyway. I find it interesting that you have this faith that your child's teachers are somehow going to cater to all of his interests. It's not like teachers ask every kid what they like, then spend each day doing unit studies on the interests of every child. If your belief is that he'll be allowed to do projects on his interests, yeah, that might happen, but tell me, is his teacher going to be teaching him that stuff? Nope. You'll be the one gluing stuff onto his posterboard with him, right after you help him find books and you help him read them and you help him decide what to include in the project. If he's able to work independently, he'd be able to do it at home, too. If not, then YOU are going to be the one catering to his interests, no matter where he gets his education.

post #56 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plummeting View Post




Why do people only use this argument to argue against home schooling? I never hear anyone say that opting out of WIC (if one qualifies) does a disservice to the supplemental food system, or opting not to use public transportation does a disservice to the public transportation system, or opting out of getting vaccinations at the health department does a disservice to the free immunizations system. This is an argument reserved specifically for public schools, used by people who say they believe that home schooling might be better for some kids, then turn around and say that no child should be home schooled, because doing so does a disservice to a "system". So you either don't actually believe that home schooling could ever be better for anyone, or you do, but we have a "system" to protect, and that "system" is apparently more important than any individual ever will be. I'm not trying to put words in your mouth; I just see no other explanation for a statement like that, and having heard this argument many times over the last few years, this isn't a conclusion I reached in the last five minutes. I've given it considerable thought and hashed it out with many, many other people who have said the same thing. Never once have I received a satisfactory explanation for how one could value the child over the system AND believe home schooling might be better for some kids, yet STILL say that no one should do it because it's basically just wrong to opt out of public schools. There is no way to reconcile all three of those beliefs. Something has to give, and it's either got to be the idea that home schooing might actually be better for some kids, or the idea that the individual is more valuable than the system. Those beliefs are mutually exclusive with the belief that no one should opt out. (Well, unless the person saying so is a UAV who recognizes that the first two are true, but just doesn't care.)

 

That pretty much reinforces my belief that I don't want my kid in public school. You may be a fantastic teacher. You just have your own agenda that doesn't match mine, and while my kids certainly need to know there are people like you out there, you teaching them isn't going to meet that goal anyway, because presumably you don't go to school and tell your students that home schoolers are failing the system by opting out, because that would be crossing a line a teacher has no business crossing. I realize that you said 'for me', but your reason had nothing to do with your circumstances, but rather your philosophy, which in this case is a belief you apply regardless of circumstance. You didn't say 'For me the answer is not homeschooling because my child is a [fill in the blank] who would prefer school," or some other such thing. You said it wasn't the answer for you because you were opposed to the very idea of it, essentially. If there is some other way to spin that, I'm not seeing it.

 

As to your second point...just lol. I do what's best for my kid, in my situation, regardless of whether or not I find every minute of it exciting and fulfilling. That's just being a parent, which I'm sure you already do every day anyway. I find it interesting that you have this faith that your child's teachers are somehow going to cater to all of his interests. It's not like teachers ask every kid what they like, then spend each day doing unit studies on the interests of every child. If your belief is that he'll be allowed to do projects on his interests, yeah, that might happen, but tell me, is his teacher going to be teaching him that stuff? Nope. You'll be the one gluing stuff onto his posterboard with him, right after you help him find books and you help him read them and you help him decide what to include in the project. If he's able to work independently, he'd be able to do it at home, too. If not, then YOU are going to be the one catering to his interests, no matter where he gets his education.


Well in regards to the second point...that may be true but at least I won't be stuck at home doing nothing but that.  Because I hate being a SAHM.  It is dull and soul crushing and I am bored out of my mind doing nothing all day but reading books about trucks, playing at trucks, and looking outside for trucks.  Oh and running after the garbage truck.  My child is too young to know yet what his needs are, he is not yet two, but you're darn tooting that I have both a philosophical and a circumstantial reason why homeschooling is not for me.

 

I don't think I fully understand the crux of your argument but I'll take a stab at it anyway. I'm a big believer in the philosophy behind public education because I see it as one of the few state-funded systems that offers something of value to everyone.  The ideal behind it is pretty powerful: that education is something nobody can take away from you and a strong education can make a huge difference in determining someone's life path.  So you can come from a poor family with two working parents and still manage to have some autonomy in determining your future.  Public education can be a gift like this.  The way I see opting out is that it is similar to white flight (sorry...but I grew up somewhere where this was huge so it springs easily to mind).  A perfectly good school system can be compromised by a poor reputation for example.  Lets say the school has a scandal, and so people start pulling their kids out.  The first to go will be those whose parents are strong advocates (usually middle class folks), those with the "smart" kids and those who can afford private school.  What you will be left with are kids who have no other choice for whatever reason.  And schools with kids like that tend to have lower API scores (because there is less family involvement) and end up getting less money (because less people want to go there and schools get money based on attendance) and it is a downward spiral.  At the end of that spiral is a school system like Detroit's which is just as broken as everything else in Detroit.  (And unfortunately the rest of Michigan has always been too blind (or dare I say racist) to see/care that one way to save Detroit would have been to save its school system).

 

Now imagine a whole system like that. 

 

The strongest schools that I have seen are the ones with diversity in terms of student performance and socioeconomic status.  By strong I mean that these schools are able to offer a wider curriculum and actually have half a chance at reaching struggling students, because they have a strong base...enough parents and students that care and value what the school is offering to offset those parents and students who are indifferent.  And so like I said the school has a chance to meet its mission which is to give the poorer kids skills they will not be able to get anywhere else and at the same time the rest of the kids will also get a strong education because people actually care about the school.  So in this model if the parents who care the most about their kids education decide to go a different route (homeschool or private school)  then the schools are loosing out on their strongest resource.  And as a result they are not going to be as good as they could be.

 

Not every family has the option to homeschool or to spend 30K a year on private school, so there will always be public schools for the "rest" of the kids.  I believe it is in my interest, the interest of my family, and the interest of our communities to keep the public school system as strong as we can.  So for me and my family home school (or private school) is not an option because in light of how important I see the continued success of the public schools being.  You may not face such a quandry if you don't think much of public schools or their role.  So by this logic I would see you as opting out of something important and valuable and you would not shrug.gif.  I see it as opting out because you have the option I have described above of making a stronger experience for everyone by contributing your passion for a strong education.  I'm guessing that you don't see it as opting out because your passion for a strong education informs you that they have nothing to offer to you or your kids that you can't provide more effectively.  Sort of like being surrounded by fast food restaurants and not seeing them as offering anything of value to you because you can make better at home (yes?).

 

So its not that I don't care about individuals, its just that I think that those individual children who have no other choice but public school will get something better if my child, and your child and all children with parents who give a crap go there too.   With a little bit of solidarity all kids benefit because the school will have a stronger motivation to have programs that don't suck.  But there is much work to be done before this is the norm everywhere. Obviously.

 

In the often broken system we are lumbering with now I can totally see why some people would choose to not have their kids go to failing schools.  I just find it sad that the connection between seeking alternative education and those failing schools is not more clearly seen.

 

 

post #57 of 76


Can I just say that I have no idea what you are trying to say here?

 


 

Originally Posted by Plummeting View Post



That pretty much reinforces my belief that I don't want my kid in public school. You may be a fantastic teacher. You just have your own agenda that doesn't match mine, and while my kids certainly need to know there are people like you out there, you teaching them isn't going to meet that goal anyway, because presumably you don't go to school and tell your students that home schoolers are failing the system by opting out, because that would be crossing a line a teacher has no business crossing.

post #58 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post


So its not that I don't care about individuals, its just that I think that those individual children who have no other choice but public school will get something better if my child, and your child and all children with parents who give a crap go there too.   With a little bit of solidarity all kids benefit because the school will have a stronger motivation to have programs that don't suck.  But there is much work to be done before this is the norm everywhere. Obviously.

 

In the often broken system we are lumbering with now I can totally see why some people would choose to not have their kids go to failing schools.  I just find it sad that the connection between seeking alternative education and those failing schools is not more clearly seen.

 

 



Uhm, the thing is I "benefitted" from the public school system.  I had years of physical beatings.  I had teachers who would ridicule me in class.  I had people chasing me home throwing rocks because I made them look bad in the *GATE* program because I was younger and smarter.  My experiences are far from unique.  They are pretty standard among almost everyone I know.  I really don't give a shit about building the character of little monsters who want to hurt my babies.  I have absolutely zero responsibility towards those children and all the responsibility in the world for my kids.  The public education system as it stands is flat out abusive to children who do not fit into molds of behavior.  There is occasional room for a mild "quirk" but no serious deviations are permitted.  I think there is a 0% chance that my children will be the appropriate kind of lemming.  I was a public high school teacher.  I taught because I wanted to go be nice to the freaks.  I thought they needed someone.  I was right.  I have an 18 gallon tub full of letters from students telling me how grateful they were to have me as a teacher because I was the first adult who ever treated them with any respect.  Most of my students were 17/18.  I was one of their *last* teachers.  I am aware that teenagers are given to hyperbole, but given the percentage of gang kids I taught, I don't think it was by much.  

 

The public education system does not mimic the rest of life.  I am not interested in supporting an education system focused on conformity and test taking.  Public school teaches you how to be good at school.  You have to go learn all the hard parts in the very few free minutes you can find in between listening to lectures about inappropriate classroom behavior.  Because discipline accounts for a ridiculous portion of the school day.  No thanks.  

 

I'm not sitting at home reading books about things I hate over and over again.  I tell my kid no.  I will read any given book one time per day.  I don't do repeats.  If she throws a tantrum she gets nothing at all.  I do not play games I find boring.  I tell her she needs to play them by herself.  I interact with her playing when and how I want to, and that's it.  And that's all I've ever done.  I do have a hard time getting through projects right now because they are both little people with a tremendous number of bodily needs that they cannot provide for themselves.  I'm really looking forward to having two kids instead of having a baby.  I read books.  I'm remodeling my house, by myself (mostly, sometimes I get help from friends when they can).  Being a stay at home mom is what you make of it. I am not at a place where I want to go out into the world for mental health reasons so I'm finding ways to learn and grow at home.  Like all the awesome gardening stuff that you have contributed to. :D  (Thanks!)  

 

I'm going to go out on a massively pushy limb here.  I believe that having a philosophy that requires *everybody else* to act a certain way is an entitled and privileged position.  You are treating homeschoolers as a monolithic group who are opting out of a potential utopian system for selfish reasons.  The reasons people homeschool are nearly as numerous as the people who do it.  I had multiple co-teachers who would go on screaming tirades at their students.  People with a lot of seniority and lots of friends.  They were quite literally abusive.  Kids couldn't get out of their classrooms and the *law* requires those kids to be in school.  I *saw* this.  How in the world can you call me selfish for wanting to save my daughters from that treatment.  (Ok, you didn't say "selfish".  But you really strongly implied it.)

post #59 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post

And schools with kids like that tend to have lower API scores (because there is less family involvement) and end up getting less money (because less people want to go there and schools get money based on attendance) and it is a downward spiral.  At the end of that spiral is a school system like Detroit's which is just as broken as everything else in Detroit.  (And unfortunately the rest of Michigan has always been too blind (or dare I say racist) to see/care that one way to save Detroit would have been to save its school system).

 

Now imagine a whole system like that. 

 

I live in Canada and we don't have a whole system like that. We don't have school funding that's contingent on local factors. We don't have students fleeing "bad schools" because we don't let bad schools happen. Meaning, extra resources are poured into schools that are, say, remote, or rural, or have large numbers of ESL students or are otherwise facing particular challenges. We have social systems in place such that we don't have vast numbers of destitute poor in horrid neighbourhoods in cities. It seems to me the solution is not to get homeschoolers to enroll their kids but to fix the school system, the school funding models, and the social safety net. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post

I believe it is in my interest, the interest of my family, and the interest of our communities to keep the public school system as strong as we can.  

 

It is possible to be a strong supporter of public schools without enrolling your children. I have recently had my eldest enrolled in school, but I was a strong supporter of our local school and the school system in general for years before that: donating my time and energy to organize and contribute to special events, to fund-raise, to give talks to various classes, to provide musical enrichment. On top of that I've cheerfully paid my school taxes into a system that my kids have not used services from. And not to mention that my kids, were they in the system, would I think be rather costlier than average to provide education for as they have special needs for which minimal extra funding is available in our system. So while they would ensure per capita funding for the school, they would cost more than that to provide for, making for a net drain. I vote for politicians who propose to strengthen the school system and improve its funding. 

 

I think you're being overly simplistic in your portrayal of support for public education. It's not simply a case of supporting it or not by casting your vote when you enrol your child or not. I support Canada's universal medicare system wholeheartedly -- without getting sick, without checking myself into a hospital, without seeing doctors. 

 

Miranda

 

 

post #60 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post


Can I just say that I have no idea what you are trying to say here?



It was a long day and I deleted half of that paragraph, got sidetracked, and forgot about the rest for some reason. We've had company (like 25 people!) and big happenings going on all weekend - I'm distracted. I just find the whole idea of what you're saying to be incredibly offensive, and that's all I need to say.

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