I homeschool because.... - Mothering Forums
View Poll Results: I homeschool because...
I don't believe that learning within bounderies is the best way to learn. 40 100.00%
I am anti public school 15 100.00%
I can't afford private school 4 100.00%
It just works best for our family 29 100.00%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 4. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 47 Old 09-15-2002, 10:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It seems that everytime someone finds out that I homeschool they assume two things : 1. I am anti public school and 2. My kids are smarter than any other child BECAUSE I homeschool.

I wanted to know where people stand. I don't hate the public schools. I am anti school in general because I don't think it's the most effective way to learn.

My kids are smart but I believe that would be so no matter how they were schooled.

What do you all think?

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#2 of 47 Old 09-16-2002, 01:15 AM
 
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Well, everytime I tell someone we homeschool they assume that

1. We are fundamental Christian and homeschooling for religious reasons
2. we use a school in a box curriculum

LOL

Now to answer the question:

We homeschool because I have a child with special need and the school system was unwilling and unable to met his needs in a way that we found satisfactory. I felt that I would be spending a great deal of time and energy to get a less than adequate education, that being in a public school setting would cause him emotional hardship, and that his love of learning and quest for knowledge would be squashed.

Having said that, I also wanted to add that we planned on homeschooling since before our first was born, that he attended two years of the public school special ed preschool program and that I checked into every alternative public school program and public charter school that might possible meet his needs before we came back round to homeschooling, and that I was satisfied that none of them could meet all of his needs the way that homeschooling could.
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#3 of 47 Old 09-16-2002, 09:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, I should have added that people assume that we are religious zellets (sp?)! I mean, we do go to church but that's not why I homeschool!

And you're right, then they ask what curriculum you use and how your day goes. As if two days are EVER the same!

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#4 of 47 Old 09-16-2002, 09:31 AM
 
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In a nutshell, it works best for our family.

We initially made the decision because ds wasn't being challenged in some areas and was bored. He also was being rushed to acquire some other skills that he just wasn't ready to master. The school, not being able to accommodate this discrepancy, wanted to begin testing/labeling/pigeon holing, etc.

Ds was VERY stressed at school, and hated life there.

The playground [and lunchroom] was becoming increasingly violent, and while the official stance was 'zero tolerance,' the practice was more like, 'kids will be kids.'

Homework, meetings, fundraisers, conferences and the school calendar were taking over our lives. Evenings, weekends and vacations all included homework projects. With so little downtime, there was no chance for ds to explore his interests and his enthusiasm for learning became non-existant.

Dd was bored silly in Kindergarten, but nothing could be done about that. Even the teacher agreed that she was beyond the work given, but 'the rules' dictated that she do it anyway. She developed a bad attitude and began getting into trouble at school for refusing to do 'baby work.' She hated being away from the family all day. She also didn't relate well to the other children--she is rather mature for her age, and while the other children were discussing 'Barney,' she wanted to discuss the unfairness of sales tax when children are the customers. The school saw this as a failure on her part and felt strongly that she NEEDED to get along better with children her own age. [I saw it as dd just being dd.]

What else...

The more I thought about it, the more I hated the 'herding' of school, the 'group think' of school, the 'follow the leader' of school. Classes being denied snack time because someone was unruly...children being denied permission to use the bathroom, or go to the nurse when not feeling well...

In short, nothing about school was working for us. Since I can't very well launch into all of this when someone casually askes me on the checkout line, 'what made you choose to homeschool,' I basically just reply, 'School just wasn't working for us and this is.' I love the looks that that reply gets---the shock of the realization that it's POSSIBLE to opt-out of school is delicious.

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#5 of 47 Old 09-16-2002, 01:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just got back from taking my youngest ds to gymnastics. Then we had some errands to run, including the grocery store. Anyway, in the checkout line this woman asked if I homeschooled. I said yes. She asked if it was for religious reasons and I said it really just works for us. Then she was questioning me about what we do and when with homeschooling groups. I felt like I was on trial. She's going day by day wanting to know what we do. I wanted to say "back off me lady!" You could so tell that she was judging every move I was making. Like why was I in the grocery store at 11:00 am when I should be home schooling, right?

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#6 of 47 Old 09-16-2002, 02:30 PM
 
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Hi, I am new here and hope to homeschool dd (3.5 months). I figure I have 5 years to prepare and I better take advantage of it. I am sure all of you will be a lot of help! So right now I am working on this very question - you'll be sorry you asked!

1. Pure selfishness. I love to teach, I love to learn. I love to watch children learn.
2. I have a degree in Elem Ed and student taught in public schools (I also taught preschool after college but couldn't bring myself to teach in a public school). I have seen first hand what it is like.
3. I was bored all through school. I often took on extra work, but by 7th grade I realized I could do absolutely nothing and get high 80's, which was just great according to the school.
4. Dh was bored all through school. He got ridiculed by his teacher for being in the gifted program. He ended up dropping out (well - just stopped going) in his senior year. Quickly got his GED and graduated from college- not a capability issue! (We both went to one of the "best" schools in NY)
5. What if dd is ready to start kindergarten in December when she is 4.5 - or not until she is 5.5?
6. What if dd wants to spend two months learning about the Civil War and not the alotted one month?
7. Why should she be forced to spend 7 hours a day getting to and being in school when she is only learning for 1 or 2 of those hours.
8. Why should she be trained to stop learning in the summer?
9. Why should she think that learning can only be done in one building?
10. Why should she be forced to learn socialization from children just like her when she could be out socilaizing with people of all ages and backgrounds?
11. Why would I ever just "go with the flow" (Her room is blue - dh says I was trying to "spit in the eye of society" he was kidding of course!)
12. I have to do something with the $40,000 degree!

I am sure there are more I'm forgetting, and others I don't know about yet - but today, those are my reasons!

And one of my favorite quotes by Mark Twain "I never let my schooling get in the way of my education"
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#7 of 47 Old 09-16-2002, 05:00 PM
 
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I checked anti-public schools but I don't kow if I am quite that against them. Although I would never send my child to one.: OK maybe I am that against them. But mostly our public schools suck. There is one good one but if your child isn't on the waiting list by the time they are 6 months old you can forget about it.

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#8 of 47 Old 09-16-2002, 07:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I can see if you have bad public schools in your area why you would be against them. We are actually in a really good school district. I am just agains learning in school altogether, that's all.

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#9 of 47 Old 09-16-2002, 07:34 PM
 
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Wow! Amen to all the wonderful responses!!!

In the land of What If's... Lets say that the State required you to work a job for at least 13 years at the institution of their choice, 6 hours a day- not including transit time. They offer you transport in their carpool, free of charge, failing to mention that at least one of the 8 people in the van with you will harrass you verbally- maybe physically too. No mention is made of pay or benefits, no specialized training is offered, the only perk mentioned is a piece of paper you will recieve once you fulfill your commitment.

You work under several supervisors throughout the day, your performance is based on pleasing the supervisor, and completing the assigned tasks. Your evaluations do not get you a raise, they do not lead to a promotion within your rank. All of your evaluations require the signature of your parents. If at any point you disagree with an evaluation, the opinion of the supervisor will outweigh your opinion and the evaluation will go on your permanent record. Once you have completed the days assigned tasks, you are given further work to take home to finish- this is required work with no overtime benefits.

Should your evaluations not meet the expectations a supervisor, they may restrict your extra-curricular interests until you have jumped through the appropriate hoops. Further, they will put pressure on your loved ones to further pressure and restrict you at home.

Your Co-workers are grouped into small sub-groups which require certain apparel, interests, and attitudes to be adopted in order to permit socialization. It is rare to be versatile enough to actually socialize with two or more groups without being dismembered by another group. Disagreements which arise are tried by the members of the sub-group and the party deemed at fault is dismembered for at least the remainder of the year, possibly longer. If the disagreement is considered strong enough, verbal and physical abuse are a possibility, at which point walking the halls of your building may become hazardous. There is no option to appeal the decision. Sharing your complaints or concerns with your supervisors, even in abusive situations, is frowned on by all sub-groups and will result in dismemberment from all.

Assuming that your final evaluation of the year met the minimum standard, at the end of the year, all of the supervisors you work under are changed. The tasks are changed. The co-workers are the same. You are considered to have successfully achieved a new level in your institution, and the process begins again.

After 13 years of this process, they present you with a paper documenting that you have completed your state requirements and are free to pursue another job. You have not been trained in any specialized area after 13 years of work, your resume simply states that you have completed the state requirement. This is not sufficient to provide you with a skilled job.

:

Humm... tempting offer, but... No thanks...

My grandparents didn't care for it, my parents didn't care for it, my husband and I didn't care for it... why would I send my children off into it?!

Well, after rereading this post, I guess I know what I need to put for my vote now...

The Lord bless you all...
Zoie :LOL
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#10 of 47 Old 09-17-2002, 03:03 AM
 
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We homeschool for a couple of big reasons and lots of little ones! My son attended kindergarten last year and we were all unhappy. Ds got very burned out by the end of the year. Kindergaten was a full day in our district. The school playground is right next to farmland and we worried about pesticides drifting. There have been documented cases of pesticide reactions in schools from agricultural drifts. They're also exposed to indoor air pollution from the chemicals that they use IN the schools to clean and control pests. Also the food that they feed them is HORRIBLE. The PTA paid for parents to come and eat lunch and I couldn't even force the food down! And every day he got candy from someone....principal, busdriver, nurse. The nurse gave him a popsicle when he skinned his knee. and when I was there one morning the teacher gave all the kids a mini chocolate bar at 8:30am because they answered a question right. This does nothing to teach our kids about nourishing their bodies. I could go on and on......thanks for letting me vent:
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#11 of 47 Old 09-17-2002, 01:48 PM
 
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We aren't actually homeschooling yet (DD is 2.5), but I voted for the first choice. I used to be a public school teacher - middle and high school. I realized that many of the things that I hated about the job were the same things that are driving me to think about homeschooling DD.

Being told when it is OK to pee, eat, drink, talk, walk, sit,...
Having to work a prescribed pace, whether or not it is too fast or too slow
Artificial group work that doesn't really reflect how we really work with others in the 'real world'

The list goes on...

If my classes had been really small, I probably could have tailored things to suit my students better. But with classes topping 30-40 students, that just isn't feasible. I knew students were bored/frustrated along the way and there wasn't a whole lot I could do about it.
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#12 of 47 Old 09-17-2002, 02:20 PM
 
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During our state to state travels, we found that schools varied in big ways from one state to another. Second grade turned out to be very boring because in the state we had come from, it was the same as first grade!

Another reason is that I was constantly battling with schools for one reason or another. Most of the fights centered around other children and their inappropriate actions, which the school was unable to deal with properly, IMHO.

My pet peeve is when people ask me about the socialization issue. PUH-LEEZ! My children are well behaved and able to communicate and relate to others very well, thank you.
Plus, I didn't have babies so that I could hand them over to someone else for most of the day, but that's just me.

There are other reasons, and some of them are outrageous experiences too horrifying to detail here.

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#13 of 47 Old 09-17-2002, 02:28 PM
 
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I really hate it when people assume that we are fundementalist Christians because we homeschool. We are pagen!!!

1. I want my kids to learn at their own rates and in their own styles. If something is difficult for them, I want to approach it from a different angle and help them find a way to make sense of it. If something is easy, then I want to be able to move on to something more interesting.

2. I want my kids to retain their love of learning. I think that traditional education beats it out of kids.

3. I want to be able to think for themselves. School is not the best way to do this!!!

4. I want them to have lots and lots and lots of time to play, or learn an insturment, or read good books, or whatever the heck it is that they want to do with their lives.

5. School is a waste of time. The amount of time kids spend there and the amount that the learn just don't add up to a good investment.

6. I want them to read well, understand math, know what century WWII took place, be able to find Canada on a map etc. Our American schools are failing children in a big way.

7. I want them to get up when they are rested, eat when they are hungry, and pee when they need to.

8. I want them to know their way around our library and the museums in our city. School cuts kids off from the rest of our community and limits their options.
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#14 of 47 Old 09-17-2002, 02:41 PM
 
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DD is 3, and I have been teaching her for 3 yrs, and have been a damn good job. And I will continue doing a good job.
DD is very much like I was at her age, a lot of energy...not so good at conforming...a little rebel i tell ya!
I remember always getting "could improve her conduct", because I talked too much. Well, I loved talking...I hated sitting there, I remember zoning out all the time.
I will not put DD through this, I am quite intelligent, and so is she. We will do just fine, without the schooling system.
So, I voted for the most effective way for my child.

Always,

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#15 of 47 Old 09-17-2002, 02:43 PM
 
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oops, voted for don't believe in learning within boundaries....
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#16 of 47 Old 09-17-2002, 03:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm so glad to see so many responses. I agree with you all. There are so many reasons to homeschool. Do you go into this when people ask you and put you on the spot? That's my hardest thing. They act as though I am some kind of freak weirdo. I am, but not because I homeschool!

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#17 of 47 Old 09-17-2002, 03:28 PM
 
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Amy I don't go into it when asked, I just give a short pat answer (like it is just what works best for us). I don't think people honestly want to know all of your reasons when they ask. It's like when people greet you saying "How are you?" LOL
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#18 of 47 Old 09-17-2002, 04:06 PM
 
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Lordy lordy, just yesterday I had to correct someone who made a comment that homeschooled children don't get enough interaction with other kids and adults. When I pointed out the inaccuracy of this assumption she made a comment about some homeschoolers being religious fanatics, etc. etc. and it was an education for me to see what people's false perceptions are.

Anyway.

We're probably going to continue homeschooling because it suits our lifestyle. I think we'll be traveling around quite a bit, homeschooling fits in well with that. I also don't like the thought of subjecting her to the forced "socialization" that I've heard khris mention--where the goal is learning to comply. That's just not the sort of life I envision for her. But I will let her choose when she's older if she wants to go. And then we'll un"school" her from her schooling , if that makes any sense. That's what happened to me growing up. School was an opportunity for my folks to show me what things were wrong.
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#19 of 47 Old 09-17-2002, 04:13 PM
 
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Hi:

For me the decision to homeschool was less about education and more about parenting and personal philosophy. Direct, personal involvement is important. Did I want to have to ask how school was on a given day or did I want to set how school was on a given day and know what school was like for the children on a given day? Would I have thousands of hours of shared times and experiences with my children or not? I wanted to demonstrate their importance and the importance of their education by putting both in the center of our lives.
Also, I feel that socializing children by sending them to school is like teaching a child to swim by throwing them in a river and the research studies, to me, seemed unable to glimmer much difference in the education of homeschooled versus public schooled children. Everything said homeschool.
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#20 of 47 Old 09-17-2002, 09:45 PM
 
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I voted though I don't have any kids to homeschool. Though I am generally anti-public school, that is not why I want to homeschool. That's just why I won't be sending my kids to public school. LOL I want to homeschool because I don't believe that kids or anyone for that matter learn well inside of a box, inside artificial boundaries.

I have noticed that when you say homeschool, people AUTOMATICALLY think school at home. 8 hours a day, sitting at desk behind closed doors doing worksheets. If I wanted that for my child, I would send him/her to public school!

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#21 of 47 Old 09-17-2002, 10:04 PM
 
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I just wanted to add that I am pro-homeschooling for the simple reason that schools do not teach what I want my child to learn well enough--i.e. the humanities, etc.
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#22 of 47 Old 09-17-2002, 10:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I totally agree, Ladylee. I love being able to choose, and let my children choose, what they learn and what they don't. I just feel so judged whenever I go out in public b/c I homeschool. When will society climb out of the box?

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#23 of 47 Old 09-18-2002, 02:41 AM
 
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Hawleyclan, your're answer is brilliant! I'm going to hold on to that!

I chose the first one, the one about boundaries. I can't see schools as a healthy place for children.

When I hear all the anti-public school stuff I laugh, because I experienced a lot of the same problems growing up at my tiny little Waldorf school. I think school is the problem, not the fact that some are public.

I understand the need for schools within our society and do see some good things that children get out of them, and I don't look down on my friends who send their children to them, but I think the whole system we live in needs to be overhauled, the school system included.

I first started thinking about homeschooling when my first dd was a baby, and the idea of giving her up to a school five years down the line horrified me!

It just doesn't seem right to me to separate children from their parents and the wider community for so much of their lives.
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#24 of 47 Old 09-18-2002, 09:26 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kylix

I have noticed that when you say homeschool, people AUTOMATICALLY think school at home. 8 hours a day, sitting at desk behind closed doors doing worksheets.

Kylix
Yes--shortly after we pulled ds from ps, we ran into the mother of one of his friends at the library. She asked me, 'Oh, is this your library period/' I don't know what she was thinking of me because I know I stared at her for a while in silence, not quite knowing how to answer her. All these thoughts were running through my mind...[was she joking/ did she think I made up 'hall passes' too/ did she think we now referred to play as 'recess']

ick

My house is not a school. It's a home. We do some of our learning there.

There will probably always be a need for school, as not everyone wants to hs, but I'd love to see the day when people don't automatically think 'school at home' or 'religion-based education' when we say 'homeschool.'

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#25 of 47 Old 09-18-2002, 02:58 PM
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I needed a "none of the above" category. My daughter homeschools because that's what she choses to do right now, and that's really the bottom line. My ideas about why it's so great are mine, but for me it's all about her running her own life, and she's always free to make school a part of that life.

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#26 of 47 Old 09-20-2002, 11:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by hydrangea
I understand the need for schools within our society and do see some good things that children get out of them, and I don't look down on my friends who send their children to them, but I think the whole system we live in needs to be overhauled, the school system included.
I was just reading this thread and thinking that I wish those of you who had problems with what is taught and how it is taught would activists for change within your communities and the larger community of education.

I became a teacher to make a difference. My classes are different, my students tell me their lives have been forever changed...With more parents like you school boards and knee-deep education reform, I think change COULD happen.

Honestly, I don't know where dd will be educated. We are leaning toward Waldorf for her early years. Change does need to happen and it is people like you (and I) who should be a part of that action.
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#27 of 47 Old 09-20-2002, 11:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Unfortunately, people like me (and the others here) are few and far between. My ds went to public school K thru 3rd grade. The PTO and schoolboard had no use for me. They didn't want to hear how I thought things should be done. I have tried to talk to my dad about it as well. He was a ps superintendent for 30 years and now lobbies in Lansing (our capital) for public schools. He also thinks my dreams of how it could be are hopeless. There's not enough of us and as selfish as it sounds, I'm not willing to sacrafice my kids into the system so that MAYBE (and probably not) it will be changed one day.

I know there are good teachers. I'm not against teachers. I'm against the whole process, the whole way that the kids have to learn. My brother is also a teacher as is his wife. I'm sure they're good teachers. My brother teaches high school English. He says himself that he can't possibly have enough time with each student. When they have papers due he can spend maybe two or three minutes one on one time with each student. That's just not enough. He knows it, I know it, and they know it too.

Amy - Blessed wife to Jesse (the best dad in the world), mother of 10 on earth plus 8 in heaven.   PROUD to be a Catholic! : winner.jpg familybed2.gifhomeschool.gif

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#28 of 47 Old 09-21-2002, 08:30 AM
 
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ditto what Amy said [you read my mind]

We spent 3 1/2 years involved in our local ps. All they really want from parents is money and a few baked goods. Aside from that, the vision of childhood that I hold is not shared by most people--most want a form of school that already exists only, perhaps, with higher test scores. It would be silly of me to think that I could overhaul the entire educational system of America against the wishes of the majority, wouldn't it. And, as Amy said, I won't sacrifice my children in such a futile attempt.

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#29 of 47 Old 09-21-2002, 10:06 PM
 
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Indiegirl,

You might want to read the thread on this board titled "learning utopias." That's what I would like to see. We are so far from that. In the meantime, I feel like I am doing what I can toward that goal by homeschooling my children, being involved with other homeschoolers, being as much of an inspiration as I can to nonhomeschoolers, and being openminded.

My mother has always been very involved with all her children's schools. For the last decade she has been on the schoolboard in the district my brothers were going to school in. She believes strongly in the public schools and working from within but, even on the board, she is always frustrated by how little she is able to do, what with the laws, the budget, tenure, other boardmembers, etc.

Your students are very lucky to have you.
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#30 of 47 Old 09-22-2002, 02:11 AM
 
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Amy, you said it so well. We spent two years in the special ed system, fighting, not even to produce changes but just for the school to do what it morally should and legally has to. In the end we ended up spending more time and energy getting things the way they should be than he spent at school. I didn't feel liek we could spend 6 months out of every school year getting thing set up and settled, just to start the process again every September. I don't know if we can really eber change the school system the way we ant to- there are just too many parents who need the free daycare so that they can work all day, but I continue to be an advocate for other parents of special needs children who are working within the public educational system.
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