Monday, January 5, 2009

First day back

...Almost. The kids weren't back yet, so it was a day of preparing and training. Blech. No fun. Especially since the training was to basically help us identify the "bubble kids" (and holy cow, she actually USED that phrase, even though she was saying that is what people USED to call these kids. Umm-kay.)--those kids who would pass the TAKS test with a little extra help, versus those who absolutely will not pass regardless of what we do and those who will pass regardless of what we do. The answer does not seem to be in spending more money, in obtaining more data. The answer lies in reducing our dependency on a single test score, on wanting to TEACH children how to think, how to learn, how to be curious. When our focus is on what the students want to learn, and the students are engaged enough to WANT to learn, we will be successful. But not until then.

This, ultimately, is why I want to homeschool my child (hopefully, children). I see how much P loves to learn, and I love being able to tailor what we do to his interests. No matter how good a public school is, there is no escaping the fact that he will be one of many, and his individual needs simply cannot always be met. And honestly, with education, that is what I want for my child. When I went to college, I was able to obtain a tailored education by choosing my major, my classes, etc. And during graduate school, it was basically a free-for-all--I chose exactly what I wanted to learn about (now, I didn't do the best job of CHOOSING what I wanted to learn about, and then got stuck with that subject, but that's a completely separate issue). But why should people have to wait until COLLEGE to obtain this kind of individualized education? Sure, if I had oodles of money I could send P to some fancy private school where class sizes are smaller, his interests are valued, etc. That is unlikely to happen, though.

And, if I am being completely honest, I am being selfish. I love to teach. But I really don't enjoy teaching in the public school system. Sure, I have good days. But those good days are too few and far between to sustain me. By teaching my children, I will have a vested interest in their education (as I would even if I was not the one teaching them), and I will be able to explore what they would like to learn. Plus, there is the added bonus that the interests of my child are far more interesting than the interests of some random child. :)

In addition, I really don't like this schedule. Heck, P slept 14-15 hours at a time over this break! This tells me that he's exhausted! I had noticed some black circles under his eyes, but just disregarded it. Now, I'm feeling like a bit of a jerk because my kid is so tired! I hate that!

He's going to have to "suffer" (and I put that in quotes because he adores his pre-school) for the rest of this school year and almost certainly next year, as well. But, if I get my way, he will NOT need to enter the public school system, where a child is a commodity that can have value added or taken away, test preparation can begin as early as kindergarten, and recess and physical activity are reduced in order to add time for such worthwhile activities as worksheets over the letter A (which he is already doing, incidentally, in addition to his play time).

Lucky for me, I love anticipation and plan to enjoy the process of becoming financially solvent so that I can stay at home. Yay for the bright side, the silver lining!

1 comment:

  1. Hey, we are homeschooling too for that same reason. Right now we have a preschool co-op, so that we alternate teaching, watching babies, and getting time off. It works great, so that if there's something I'm not strong at, I have 9 other moms to help me out, and I don't have to prepare the lessons or teach all the time. Our ratio is about 4:1 (students:teachers). We have a couple of certified teachers, some math and science grads, an interpreter, some former preschool teachers, and some musicians so it's been great. Most of the guys that Kevin works with on the fire department home school and after talking to them, he was convinced. Plus Josh loves getting to hang out with his friends, which is a bonus for him.