Aug 13, 2012

Who Is Responsible For Educating Our Children

August 13- What type of schooling do you currently or plan to do with your children?

You may know by now that my children are grown. However, when they were little I wanted to homeschool. At that time, homeschooling was still illegal in some states, and there was quite a bit of controversy surrounding it.

By the time my first one got to school age, we had made a major move across the country. The job my husband had taken fell through after three months. No one was hiring 40-year-old white males. Wrong age, wrong color, wrong gender. I came to hate affirmative action.

As a consequence, I went to work. My son went to kindergarten at a public school. He was quite gifted in math, though he had trouble reading and spelling. At that time, there was a part-time gifted program, but the child had to read. I wanted to move him up to first grade, but the teachers and principal argued against it, saying he would suffer socially. I caved in. The principal said that it was obvious he had had a lot of exposure to learning environments---whatever that meant---and to keep doing it.

There it was. It was our responsibility to provide the education that the school couldn't provide. How many parents don't do that! I just want to shake some sense into them. The dropout rate in this city is horrid---close to 50%, depending how you measure it. Parental involvement is a huge factor, as is poverty, parental education, and lack of rewards for teachers that have above average outcomes.

I say above average because I am beyond disgusted with the mediocrity that passes for education in this country. Why make everyone the same? Why not expect more out of our children than the middle road, the easy way out?

I didn't mean to turn this into a rant. Do you know what the school's answer was for providing more opportunities for my children? Give them more homework. When my son got ready for middle school, we looked around and had him tested for the various academies around town. He was accepted at all of them, but none had a financial package that we could afford. So when I was discussing with his counselor his curriculum and the mediocre selection, she actually said, "Well, you get what you pay for."



  1. That's a horrible comment by the counselor. No wonder you were so frustrated by the school system if that's what their attitude was towards the classes and students.

    When I was growing up homeschooling was still illegal in Minnesota. It wasn't until the very late 1980s when it was legal to educate children at home. It's amazing how far educational choices have come in just 30 some years.

  2. This sounds similar to the experience we had with my oldest who is now grown. They gave him work on the next grade level every time he finished something early, which was often, but when he got to 5th grade they didn't want to do it anymore. They also didn't want him to skip a grade. And they started complaining about his behavior in class (after he was the first to finish every single assigmnent and was sitting idle).


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