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#1 of 28 Old 10-06-2010, 04:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I live in a pretty good school district. It's not no. 1 for test scores but it's ok. We live in the suburbs and the general population is not what you'd call progressive or really even open-minded. There are rich kids, poor kids, every different color of kid. Most of the kids graduate and it's not violent. It's a big district. I haven't actually decided what to do about school yet. Every time I see these kids whose parents just suck and then I think my daughter is going to have to go to school with them I just get terrified. She will probably have to find friends within this pool of children. If she doesn't, she may be outcast and that may effect her. I can't really afford private school and I don't know if I can even afford homeschooling. I just found out that my school district has full day kindergarten and I was really hoping for half day. I just don't know if I want to put my daughter in that situation, with all those other kids who aren't like the kids she knows... I wonder what she's going to think when the other girls have cinderella shoes. Will they think she's weird because she likes "boy stuff" and has no idea what a disney princess really is? If she's still nursing, will they find out and think she's weird? Will our atheism be a problem? Will she have any food to eat at the cafeteria or will she be thought of as weird because she's a vegetarian? Will she be made fun of if I have to talk withh the teacher about the way things happen if we have a problem or before there is a problem? Will the differences between us and the rest of the kids cause a rift at home? If you have kids in public school, can you tell me what it's like. Tell me something. Or give me advice or alternatives. I am considering cyber charter, but I really am totally up in the air.
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#2 of 28 Old 10-07-2010, 01:03 AM
 
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You know, I think the thing to do is go spend some time at the school. See if they will let you visit a class or hang out at lunch or recess. A lot of what you said describes our school. But what I didn't know before spending time there is how much emphasis the whole school puts on kindness and respect. These are the number one lessons the kids are learning a lot of the time and I feel great about that.

Not to say there are no issues. Our son is very strong academically and he's a bit underchallenged. He's an unusual kid, but that hasn't mattered much. His best friend is a girl and also a bit unusual. Right now, I think it's harder for her because our son likes Star Wars, legos, super heros, running around, drawing pictures, etc. He doesn't really know the rules of football or baseball but he's pretty good at soccer. All this gives him enough knowledge of kid culture that he's good to go. His best friend doesn't like Hannah Montana and Co. and sees right through all the crappy mainstream girl stuff and she's having a harder time connecting to the other kids. But they have each other and one really good friend makes a big difference.

Our vegetarianism has turned out to be no big deal at all. There are other vegetarians. Being TV-free has also not mattered at all. We do enough DVDs that DS is in the loop in terms of having some idea about Star Wars and stuff like that, but even this is very minimal.

Go hang out a bit. See what kind of vibe the place has. Tell the principal some of your worries and see how they react.
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#3 of 28 Old 10-07-2010, 01:34 AM
 
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I would suggest just to sit back and see what happens first, before you worry. Yet I do understand that that is easier said than done!

My dd just started public school this year. My worries were mainly academic. DD loves to do math, we've done a lot of math at home with her and she loves to add, subtract, etc., and she's entering an academically-poor school, I really think she is more advanced than the first graders. Yet after agaonizing over it, we are just going to see.

Culturally, we are also the odd-ones out. DD has an unusual name, DH is the only asian in our town, etc., but these things don't worry me as much as the academics do. try to just watch and see what happens, at first. Kindergarten is such a young age, there will still be lots of time to intervene, if needed.

Mama to dd born 7/2005, dd born 12/2007 and dd born 11/2009.
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#4 of 28 Old 10-07-2010, 09:25 AM
 
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I live in a pretty good school district. It's not no. 1 for test scores but it's ok. We live in the suburbs and the general population is not what you'd call progressive or really even open-minded. There are rich kids, poor kids, every different color of kid. Most of the kids graduate and it's not violent. It's a big district. I haven't actually decided what to do about school yet. Every time I see these kids whose parents just suck and then I think my daughter is going to have to go to school with them I just get terrified. She will probably have to find friends within this pool of children. If she doesn't, she may be outcast and that may effect her. I can't really afford private school and I don't know if I can even afford homeschooling. I just found out that my school district has full day kindergarten and I was really hoping for half day. I just don't know if I want to put my daughter in that situation, with all those other kids who aren't like the kids she knows... I wonder what she's going to think when the other girls have cinderella shoes. Will they think she's weird because she likes "boy stuff" and has no idea what a disney princess really is? If she's still nursing, will they find out and think she's weird? Will our atheism be a problem? Will she have any food to eat at the cafeteria or will she be thought of as weird because she's a vegetarian? Will she be made fun of if I have to talk withh the teacher about the way things happen if we have a problem or before there is a problem? Will the differences between us and the rest of the kids cause a rift at home? If you have kids in public school, can you tell me what it's like. Tell me something. Or give me advice or alternatives. I am considering cyber charter, but I really am totally up in the air.
I think the only problem is that you are really wanting acceptance of your lifestyle but aren't willing to offer the same to others. You've essentially said you're terrified that your dd will have to be friends with these other kids and that the other parents suck. Why? Because they aren't vegeterians or aren't all extended nursers? Because they allow their girls to play with Disney toys? You have every right to chose how you live and also to have concerns about fitting in, but so does everybody else. But you are judging people you don't even know for their lifestyle choices while expressing concerns that you will be judged. Can you see the irony in that? If you and your child have trouble fitting in I'd say it would be for the holier-than-thou attitude you are expressing and your condemnation of others rather than your actual lifestyle choices.
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#5 of 28 Old 10-07-2010, 10:04 AM
 
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I think if you are different the "norm" you describe, it's smart to be concerned. I have a 5th grader and a 2nd grader in public school and have seen a lot and been through a lot. It all depends on what your core belief and intentions are. Is it more important to you to teach your children to succeed and be who they are in a less-than-ideal environment, or is it your desire to create a more nurturing, protective environment for them?
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#6 of 28 Old 10-07-2010, 10:19 AM
 
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We moved from an area with GREAT public schools and a fairly progressive population to an area with ok schools and a very conservative population.

It's been fine. No, I don't encounter a ton of parents I immediately click with. No, most people don't have the same belief systems we do. But it's fine. We're not vegetarian, but DS1 takes his lunch every day anyway because cafeteria food is junk. Yes, sometimes I do talk to his teacher about something that concerns me, but that has never been a problem.

You can only do the best you can. If you think the public schools are the best option available to you, give it a try. See what happens.
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#7 of 28 Old 10-07-2010, 10:23 AM
 
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I live in a pretty good school district. It's not no. 1 for test scores but it's ok. We live in the suburbs and the general population is not what you'd call progressive or really even open-minded. There are rich kids, poor kids, every different color of kid. Most of the kids graduate and it's not violent. It's a big district. I haven't actually decided what to do about school yet. Every time I see these kids whose parents just suck and then I think my daughter is going to have to go to school with them I just get terrified. She will probably have to find friends within this pool of children. If she doesn't, she may be outcast and that may effect her. I can't really afford private school and I don't know if I can even afford homeschooling. I just found out that my school district has full day kindergarten and I was really hoping for half day. I just don't know if I want to put my daughter in that situation, with all those other kids who aren't like the kids she knows... I wonder what she's going to think when the other girls have cinderella shoes. Will they think she's weird because she likes "boy stuff" and has no idea what a disney princess really is? If she's still nursing, will they find out and think she's weird? Will our atheism be a problem? Will she have any food to eat at the cafeteria or will she be thought of as weird because she's a vegetarian? Will she be made fun of if I have to talk withh the teacher about the way things happen if we have a problem or before there is a problem? Will the differences between us and the rest of the kids cause a rift at home? If you have kids in public school, can you tell me what it's like. Tell me something. Or give me advice or alternatives. I am considering cyber charter, but I really am totally up in the air.
this was me and my family and my non-school friends growing up. i lived in a school distrcit exactly like you are describing. i was the weird one. my whole famliy was cause i thought all moms were LLL leaders, and of course i saw mybrothers born at home, doesn't everyone? sure i like to play with boys stuff, who says it isn't girl stuff? no i didn't like barbie, oh, that's a problem too? some of these issues have lasted till even now. what helped the most was that i was close to people at my summer camp, so at least in the summer i had a place where i wasn't the only kid crushing poke berries to paint my face. i had some great friends, though they were few and didn't necessarily offset the crummy kids who made me feel wierd cause i didn't listen to their music or wear their clothes. i never talked about it to my parents cause it wasn't bullying, and i liked the academic part of school, and honestly, i didn't think there was anything anyone could do about not fitting in. that was all it was- i didn't fit in and didn't like the social part of school at all.
the funny thing is, i have known lots of kids like me as adults, they had often been ap'd as kids and i think that made them interact differently and have trouble fitting in with the norm. i think they also ( a function of an ap family)were encouraged to be themselves and to try different things, not jsut go along with the crowd. and so i think it is hard to have that at home and then the strong push to conform that is at school.
i don't think that it affected me as an adult in terms of relationship and such, i have had and do have some great friends, but it wasn't pleasant at all and really made me dislike school.
but i still feel like an automatic outsider wheneve i am in a new group of people and i unconcioiusly assume i won't fit in. i have to conciously remind myself that we are all new to each other, etc.
i know that my brothers also had this issue, and other family friends cause we all talked about how much we hated school and how we hated the kids. i will say though, that the early elementary school years we easier, it didn't get hard till 3rd grade and up. but i didn't really notice anything till then.
i'm sorry if this worries you. it was, though, my experience.
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#8 of 28 Old 10-07-2010, 10:24 AM
 
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I think the only problem is that you are really wanting acceptance of your lifestyle but aren't willing to offer the same to others. You've essentially said you're terrified that your dd will have to be friends with these other kids and that the other parents suck. Why? Because they aren't vegeterians or aren't all extended nursers? Because they allow their girls to play with Disney toys? You have every right to chose how you live and also to have concerns about fitting in, but so does everybody else. But you are judging people you don't even know for their lifestyle choices while expressing concerns that you will be judged. Can you see the irony in that? If you and your child have trouble fitting in I'd say it would be for the holier-than-thou attitude you are expressing and your condemnation of others rather than your actual lifestyle choices.
This exactly.

We use public school. Having my kids educated in a diverse enviroment is a strength for me. We are more mainstream than you are, but we are much more crunchy and contrarian than most of the families in the district. We're not vegetarians and my kids have (gasp) been to Disney World a couple of times. But we're atheists, we limit screen time, we don't buy the kids every electronic gizmo, and we push back with the school occasionally when they do something idiotic or illegal.


I think it's just fine for my kids to have friends whose families have different values or lifestyles than we do. Some of those kids and families are very nice people, and in fact, don't "suck."

I don't think you are going to be able to surround your kids with families just like yours in any public or charter schools. Most private schools, with perhaps the exception of Waldorf schools, have rules that parents must agree with, but they are related to following school regulations and aren't anything concerned with the type of lifestyle decisions that seem to annoy you. I would think homeschooling would be your only choice.
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#9 of 28 Old 10-07-2010, 10:29 AM
 
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I think the only problem is that you are really wanting acceptance of your lifestyle but aren't willing to offer the same to others. You've essentially said you're terrified that your dd will have to be friends with these other kids and that the other parents suck. Why? Because they aren't vegeterians or aren't all extended nursers? Because they allow their girls to play with Disney toys? You have every right to chose how you live and also to have concerns about fitting in, but so does everybody else. But you are judging people you don't even know for their lifestyle choices while expressing concerns that you will be judged. Can you see the irony in that? If you and your child have trouble fitting in I'd say it would be for the holier-than-thou attitude you are expressing and your condemnation of others rather than your actual lifestyle choices.
Not to pile on, but I agree...

We're pretty mainstream in a lot of ways...my kids do watch TV, play Wii, eat the occasional bit of junk food (and lots of meat), but I would argue that I'm just as thoughtful in my parenting as someone else who does no TV, etc. My kids aren't glued to the TV...they play outside, they're both voracious readers, they play instruments and my DD participates in a professional children's choir. We eat pretty healthfully and I'm super involved in their lives. On the surface, you might think you wouldn't want your kid to be friends with mine (b/c in K my DD loved Disney Princesses and my DS can quote any Phineas and Ferb episode), but keep an open mind. Our suburb elementary school might be closer to the higher end in terms of test scores (income wise we skew middle class, but have some pretty wealthy families too), so maybe it's not a perfect corollary for what you're looking at, but honestly I think it's so important to keep an open mind and realize that many of the other families have a lot to offer. We have lots of friends who are "crunchier" than us...nursed longer, etc., but we both value each other and don't judge...it works.
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#10 of 28 Old 10-07-2010, 10:59 AM
 
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The dynamics in any group are going to depend on that group. There are NFL/AP groups that are awful and so-called mainstream groups that are great. This applies to kindergarten classes as well.

I wouldn't pass judgment on a whole group of people based on their clothing or even their interactions at the playground from time to time.

I would try to see opportunity rather than challenges. Sure, there probably will be moments where your kid either doesn't get some cultural reference or the other kids make comments. As long as it's not a pattern, but just a social bump, it's fine. This is how we learn to interact with people who are different from us. I love having my son learning from other families and kids. Sure he learns a few things I'd rather he didn't, but wow, is it great.

~ Mum to Emily, March 12-16 2004, Noah, born Aug 2005, Liam, born January 2011, and wife to Carl since 1994. ~
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#11 of 28 Old 10-07-2010, 11:50 AM
 
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My kids attended public school for a while (we've also homeschooled and they currently attend a private school). You are seeing the other kids/parents as a homogeneous group, and it's just not true. They are all different from each other.

We meet some WONDERFUL families through public school.

And no matter what option you choose, there will be people who eat differently than you and dress differently than you and all that -- neither homeschooling nor private school will make that go away. Unless you move to a cave and put a rock in front of it, she's going to meet children who are different from her.

(your DD would fit in better in our public school, where diversity is considered a good thing, than in our local homeschool group, which is VERY closed minded)

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#12 of 28 Old 10-07-2010, 01:13 PM
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I have a 2nd grader in public school and a kindergartner in private school. My oldest was homeschooled until 1st grade. He was also a vegetarian until around then but started eating chicken before 1st grade. He takes his lunch to school and begs to take sushi, pad thai, etc. He nursed until 5 and saw his siblings born at home. We don't allow sugary drinks and limit screen time to 30 minutes a day. They don't have clothes, toys, or food with characters. We're atheists (although the kids are a little too outspoken about it, IMO). We're an interracial family.

Despite all this, my kids have made friends easily in school. One of the reasons we moved to Louisville (from Ann Arbor, where most people are kind of "like us") was so that the kids would be exposed to diversity. They have picked up things from school (like their love of Lady Gaga) but they're happy, their friends are, for the most part, nice kids, and they still live by our rules and values.

Basically, I think you're worrying too much.
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#13 of 28 Old 10-07-2010, 02:49 PM
 
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I live in a pretty good school district. It's not no. 1 for test scores but it's ok. We live in the suburbs and the general population is not what you'd call progressive or really even open-minded. There are rich kids, poor kids, every different color of kid. Most of the kids graduate and it's not violent. It's a big district. I haven't actually decided what to do about school yet. Every time I see these kids whose parents just suck and then I think my daughter is going to have to go to school with them I just get terrified. She will probably have to find friends within this pool of children. If she doesn't, she may be outcast and that may effect her. I can't really afford private school and I don't know if I can even afford homeschooling. I just found out that my school district has full day kindergarten and I was really hoping for half day. I just don't know if I want to put my daughter in that situation, with all those other kids who aren't like the kids she knows... I wonder what she's going to think when the other girls have cinderella shoes. Will they think she's weird because she likes "boy stuff" and has no idea what a disney princess really is? If she's still nursing, will they find out and think she's weird? Will our atheism be a problem? Will she have any food to eat at the cafeteria or will she be thought of as weird because she's a vegetarian? Will she be made fun of if I have to talk withh the teacher about the way things happen if we have a problem or before there is a problem? Will the differences between us and the rest of the kids cause a rift at home? If you have kids in public school, can you tell me what it's like. Tell me something. Or give me advice or alternatives. I am considering cyber charter, but I really am totally up in the air.
I strongly believe that diversity is one of the greatest strengths of the public school system. I want my children to meet others who are not like us and who believe in different things than we believe. I want them to practice tolerance and understanding, not just preach it. I want them to be open-minded and welcome differences.

I've always been confident that we've instilled our values and can trust our children to maintain their own identities and beliefs even when confronted with different ideas. I'm not concerned that being exposed to others will undermine those values or damage them.

That doesn't mean I don't expect some arguments, teasing, or outright bullying to happen. Children (and adults) who want to find a difference to pick on will always be able to find something. It doesn't have to be dress or religion or vegetarianism or anything in particular. I think it can happen in any social group though, so if your child doesn't confront it in school, there is still the playground or sports team or camp. It's more important to prepare your children and coach them on how to deal with it if it happens.

My children (now teens) have attended schools in various cities, some more economically, ethnically and culturally diverse than others. Their school friends are from various religions (one of my kids is agnostic, the other Christian - their friends are Jewish, Christian, Hindu, and Buddhist), friends with different food requirements (kosher, vegetarian, allergy-specific) and friends of different political persuasions (a few socialists, a few anarchists, not too many right-wing conservatives though!). My dc have also homeschooled. In fact, I just offered again to my DD to homeschool, for academic reasons. They both adamantly prefer to attend school.

The advice from pp to visit your local schools and decide whether you and your children would be comfortable there is excellent. Finding a school that is a good fit is important. It's hard to know what options are available to you - cyber charters, homeschooling, alternative schools in the public system. It's good to be aware of all the options. I try to make my decisions based on the best interests of my children, not out of my own fears.
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#14 of 28 Old 10-08-2010, 02:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I think the only problem is that you are really wanting acceptance of your lifestyle but aren't willing to offer the same to others. You've essentially said you're terrified that your dd will have to be friends with these other kids and that the other parents suck. Why? Because they aren't vegeterians or aren't all extended nursers? Because they allow their girls to play with Disney toys? You have every right to chose how you live and also to have concerns about fitting in, but so does everybody else. But you are judging people you don't even know for their lifestyle choices while expressing concerns that you will be judged. Can you see the irony in that? If you and your child have trouble fitting in I'd say it would be for the holier-than-thou attitude you are expressing and your condemnation of others rather than your actual lifestyle choices.
I didn't say why I thought they sucked. I also didn't mean to come across as holier than thou. You don't know me so obviously you don't have the full story and can't tell where I'm coming from. Anyway, it's a big school. I see good parenting practice and I also sometimes see crap. I think some of the parents suck because I see them scream all the time and they feed their kids junk and they are racist. They are not all that way- I just see that and it scares me that she would be around kids who were raised to believe that all day. I see kids who hit and holler. I worry about these sorts of things having an affect on my daughter. And I also worry that even though there might be some great kids, she might be outcast because she doesn't follow the same pop culture they do. I think these are all legitimate concerns and I suppose my phrasing really put you off.
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#15 of 28 Old 10-08-2010, 02:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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this was me and my family and my non-school friends growing up. i lived in a school distrcit exactly like you are describing. i was the weird one. my whole famliy was cause i thought all moms were LLL leaders, and of course i saw mybrothers born at home, doesn't everyone? sure i like to play with boys stuff, who says it isn't girl stuff? no i didn't like barbie, oh, that's a problem too? some of these issues have lasted till even now. what helped the most was that i was close to people at my summer camp, so at least in the summer i had a place where i wasn't the only kid crushing poke berries to paint my face. i had some great friends, though they were few and didn't necessarily offset the crummy kids who made me feel wierd cause i didn't listen to their music or wear their clothes. i never talked about it to my parents cause it wasn't bullying, and i liked the academic part of school, and honestly, i didn't think there was anything anyone could do about not fitting in. that was all it was- i didn't fit in and didn't like the social part of school at all.
the funny thing is, i have known lots of kids like me as adults, they had often been ap'd as kids and i think that made them interact differently and have trouble fitting in with the norm. i think they also ( a function of an ap family)were encouraged to be themselves and to try different things, not jsut go along with the crowd. and so i think it is hard to have that at home and then the strong push to conform that is at school.
i don't think that it affected me as an adult in terms of relationship and such, i have had and do have some great friends, but it wasn't pleasant at all and really made me dislike school.
but i still feel like an automatic outsider wheneve i am in a new group of people and i unconcioiusly assume i won't fit in. i have to conciously remind myself that we are all new to each other, etc.
i know that my brothers also had this issue, and other family friends cause we all talked about how much we hated school and how we hated the kids. i will say though, that the early elementary school years we easier, it didn't get hard till 3rd grade and up. but i didn't really notice anything till then.
i'm sorry if this worries you. it was, though, my experience.
Thank you for this. It was very helpful.
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#16 of 28 Old 10-08-2010, 02:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Not to pile on, but I agree...

We're pretty mainstream in a lot of ways...my kids do watch TV, play Wii, eat the occasional bit of junk food (and lots of meat), but I would argue that I'm just as thoughtful in my parenting as someone else who does no TV, etc. My kids aren't glued to the TV...they play outside, they're both voracious readers, they play instruments and my DD participates in a professional children's choir. We eat pretty healthfully and I'm super involved in their lives. On the surface, you might think you wouldn't want your kid to be friends with mine (b/c in K my DD loved Disney Princesses and my DS can quote any Phineas and Ferb episode), but keep an open mind. Our suburb elementary school might be closer to the higher end in terms of test scores (income wise we skew middle class, but have some pretty wealthy families too), so maybe it's not a perfect corollary for what you're looking at, but honestly I think it's so important to keep an open mind and realize that many of the other families have a lot to offer. We have lots of friends who are "crunchier" than us...nursed longer, etc., but we both value each other and don't judge...it works.

Well thanks for wording this more nicely than your quoted post but Geez. I really think you have me pegged incorrectly. I have lots of friends who love Disney and eat meat and are religious, etc. I didn't say anything negative about Disney or meateaters- just that we don't and that I am worried about her/our family being ostracized because of it and feeling pressure to conform to these norms to fit in. I have seen really horrid parenting and behavior, and by that I didn't mean that they ate meat or watched tv. I'm sure everyone has seen it somewhere. It just worried me. Probably too much, but it did. I don't mean to generalize like all the parents suck and that I'm awesome- I just didn't know how else to articulate my fears of her being surrounded without me in a new environment where some people might have scewed values and think that it's ok to not be nice and to turn that on her.
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#17 of 28 Old 10-08-2010, 02:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Very helpful. I totally agree about group dynamics. I am determined to wrap my head around this and see this positively. One of my major issues is that our school only has full day kindergarten and that would feel so abrupt to me because I am only planning on preschool for a year and it was only a 3 day/week half days program. I am thinking of doing the 5 day/half days program now instead if I can't find a private half-day kindergarten. It's just so complicated because being concerned about all this is one thing and then I'm also concerned about how she'll deal being away from me. If I can get her used to it and make sure she's feeling good about it then it'll be a lot easier for me.

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The dynamics in any group are going to depend on that group. There are NFL/AP groups that are awful and so-called mainstream groups that are great. This applies to kindergarten classes as well.

I wouldn't pass judgment on a whole group of people based on their clothing or even their interactions at the playground from time to time.

I would try to see opportunity rather than challenges. Sure, there probably will be moments where your kid either doesn't get some cultural reference or the other kids make comments. As long as it's not a pattern, but just a social bump, it's fine. This is how we learn to interact with people who are different from us. I love having my son learning from other families and kids. Sure he learns a few things I'd rather he didn't, but wow, is it great.
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#18 of 28 Old 10-08-2010, 02:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok I posted individual thank yous but that would just be too much at this point- there have been so many helpful posts and I feel better about this. I think I was worrying too much and that I could only see the bad. (It doesn't help that we live by a park where some riff raff happens.) I think that as long as she has a good home-base she'll be centered and be able to see it through. In one of the posts someone mentioned that they were outcast and did hate school. We have made a backup plan to cyber charter if we feel the experience is detrimental, but we really want to give it a worthy shot first. After this advice, I really feel like we can do this and it will be a positive experience for her.
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#19 of 28 Old 10-08-2010, 02:02 PM
 
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After this advice, I really feel like we can do this and it will be a positive experience for her.
Good for you! We met so many nice families through public school that we never would have met otherwise. I hope you have the same experience.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#20 of 28 Old 10-08-2010, 03:57 PM
 
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Just an FYI - just because a parent allows their children to eat junk food does not mean that they suck. Not sure how you can lump both "racist" and " junk food feeding" into the same sentence as to why you dislike these parents who you may not have even met yet.
I have found in the 4 years that my daughters have attended public school that the way that the parents choose to raise their kids does not always translate into what their kids are like.
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#21 of 28 Old 10-09-2010, 12:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Just an FYI - just because a parent allows their children to eat junk food does not mean that they suck. Not sure how you can lump both "racist" and " junk food feeding" into the same sentence as to why you dislike these parents who you may not have even met yet.
I have found in the 4 years that my daughters have attended public school that the way that the parents choose to raise their kids does not always translate into what their kids are like.

Actually, that was based on a couple families I *have* met and they were both racist and ate tons of junk and I think both of those things suck. But like I said, I think I was just getting scared of the bad and not focusing on the good. I know there are good families out there- I was just worrying about the negatives. Anyway, thanks for the input that the kids might not mimic the parents. I really think I saw a few bad examples at the wrong time and got freaked out.
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#22 of 28 Old 10-09-2010, 12:37 AM
 
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I just wanted to add that you don't have to have a whole school like you, you just need a couple of friends. And that to have faith that your values will come out just fine, even in the face of people who are different.

Our kids are a minority in our school for a variety of reasons -- our school is 85% free and reduced lunch (we're not), 67% ESL (we're not), 70% non-white (we are). I know for a fact some of the moms think I'm weird because I nursed dd until she was 4 (and it doesn't help that she's convinced it was until she was 5 and that's what she tells everyone!).

Our kids are just fine. One of the advantages of diversity in a school district is that schools have more varied kids. The lunch room offers vegetarian options every day. Partly because we have kids who are vegetarian. Partly because we have kids from various religious traditions where there are dietary laws.

The things my kids take away from being with people who are different are much more powerful than things I could teach them without that. We've had a lot of teaching opportunities about how/why we do what we do and believe what we believe.

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#23 of 28 Old 10-09-2010, 12:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My husband was just telling me not to forget that it's better to have a few close friends than to be kind of friends with the entire populous. You are so right. I'm wondering--- what's ESL?
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#24 of 28 Old 10-09-2010, 12:49 AM
 
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esl = english as a second language

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#25 of 28 Old 10-14-2010, 01:44 AM
 
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I agree with girlprof. Go visit the schools and talk with people in your community about their values. Every school has a different culture, different sets of expectations, different leadership and parent involvement. At the very least, the knowledge you gain will help you make better and more grounded and informed decisions. Good luck!
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#26 of 28 Old 10-14-2010, 10:59 PM
 
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6 years into our public school experience as vegetarian atheists, and very happy.

I work with kids who have parents that sucked way more than junk food and yelling, and they are amazing little people. My kids are friends with them. Maybe we don't do sleepovers at their houses....but it has only enriched my kids' experience to attend school with these little survivors.

Best of luck with your decision.
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#27 of 28 Old 10-14-2010, 11:58 PM
 
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I thought I would hate my son going to public school, and I was sad I couldn't afford Waldorf. He went to a coop preschool and we do natural toys, lots of outdoors, no TV etc. We're a creative family and I didn't think he would do well with all those mainstream kids and forced learning etc.
However, he is in a regular half day Kindergarten in the afternoon and loves it. His teacher is really nice and loves the kids. Once a month we have a special party and bring homemade baked goods, do crafts, etc. When I drop my son off there is a story time and my younger son is always invited to listen. The only homework has been a sheet of fun activities to do and twice a week he gets a book from the school library. My son and I are working on sewing Native American pouches for a bear hunt day the school is having, which is not something I would have expected at all. Honestly, I feel im still co-oping.
That being said, I'm the homeroom parent and I'm as involved as I can be, and it is one of the best school districts in the state. There are a lot of coloring book type worksheets, I don't feel the classroom is hands on enough, they spend a lot of time shuffeling from class to class (due to no child left behind), not enough time outside or playing, but all in all I think its pretty developmentally appropriate. Its only 3 hours a day and having that base of parents/kids who live nearby for playdates, info. about local happenings etc. makes it a great place for us! Good luck with your decision!
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#28 of 28 Old 10-15-2010, 12:01 AM
 
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I live in a wealthier district where the parents are all well dressed and whatever. But I won't use the public middle or high schools here. They are awful. The parents are so ignorant to it, or they often know what is going on and turn their backs to it. So the parents looking good really is not a measure of the school.

I would suggest hanging out at the parks closest to the school and see what you think. Visit with the parents and be casual about it, asking what schools their children go to. Then watch the children and their behavior. If the children seem to interact ok with each other, then you will probably be fine. I must say, I did notice at the neighborhood park that the kids were nasty to each other that went to the schools we are zoned for. This was not the case where we used to live.

Some schools are good, some are not. You can try homeschooling too if interested. Good luck!
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