A long(ish) strange trip
Even though I'm a teacher, I wanted to homeschool since before I had kids. When my ds, Taro, was nearly 3, he went to preschool 2 mornings a week. I didn't really consider this school-- more like a social club for little kids! It was good for him to play with peers, get used to adults who weren't me, and have new toys to enjoy. Overall, it was a good experience.
When Taro was 4.5, we moved. To have him meet some new friends (and to give me some kid-free time to find a job) I again put him in preschool 2 mornings a week. It was a NIGHTMARE. Let me say, first off, that this school and this teacher came highly recommended!
The teacher would meet parents at the door with NOTECARDS detailing children's "transgressions" that day. I was unpleasantly surprised that Taro always had a notecard. I'm ashamed to say that I thought "What's wrong with my kid?" right off, instead of considering other possibilities. At least I'm not one of those parents who thinks their little angel can do no wrong, right?
The classroom had one of those 2 way mirrors (which creeped me out, by the way), so I decided to observe Taro's behavior for myself. I saw the teacher display blatant favoritism to some kids, and obvious dislike for others. I saw her bullying kids to keep working on art projects they wanted to be finished with (She even "fixed" some of them herself!). I saw her assistant accept it all (the toad!).
I was shocked, but I decided to observe again. I saw the same behaviors-- then the teacher came into the hall and saw me watching. She spoke pleasantly to me, then went back in and acted EXACTLY THE SAME! If she had acted "right" after knowing I was there, I would've been digusted, but instead I was horrified-- apparently she thought how she was "teaching" was A-ok: Let everyone see!!
I pulled Taro out that day. And even though the director seemed genuinely shocked by what I told her, NOTHING happened to that teacher (nor did I receive any refund
We weren't in a financial position to hs, so I hoped the next best thing would be to work at Taro's school. Fortuitously, a private preschool/kindergarten in our new neighborhood was looking for a kindy teacher in Nov. They'd had to fire the previous teacher, who had turned out to be incompetent and a head case!
I enjoyed the job, and Taro adapted amazingly well. The next year, he was in my kindergarten class
, and that went well too. The year after that, we sent Taro to a Sudbury Valley model (democratic) school.
He LOVED it, and we had high hopes. But, he started getting in trouble. Being at a SV school requires more self regulation and emotional control than Taro had. Most of his misdeeds were normal 6/7 y.o. stuff , but he reacted very strongly to being teased, and to being disciplined. Six weeks before the end of the year, he was asked to leave.
So last year we hs'd. It wasn't perfect, but it was good! This year we're even more confident, and are unschooling.
We never want to go back!
Wow, that was long! Glad to be here, and thanks for listening.