Posted (January 10, 2003)
Holly (not her real name) responds to this post on our homeschool list, found here in part... Trying to "standardize" our children reminds me of East Germany before the wall fell. Everyone was expected to be the same, have the same, work for the same money with no individual drive for exploration, imagination and of course finding oneself and fulfilling dreams was unheard of.
Has anyone ever seen the Pink Floyd Video "The Wall" more so the song "We don't need no Education." For those who have not, I find it a big boost towards why people like us Do Homeschool.
In the video, the children are all lined up wearing the same uniform, and a mask with an expressionless face. To me that says it all.
The school system does expect every child to be exactly alike. To think alike, act alike, be educated alike, and God forbid should any child not fit into their expectations.
Many years ago, I homeschooled my 2 sons (grades 2 & 4) what prompted me to start was that one child was borderline ADD and the school tried to force medication on him.
He was in 2nd grade, for Pete's sake!
Whether you know this or not, the more children on medication for this 'disease', the more funding the school gets!
So, the schools love to convince the parents to medicate their children. Then the children are in la-la land, and do not give the poor teachers any problems.
Anyway, my 4th grader was very advanced. The teacher called him names like "Squirrelly" because he was 'nuts' and acted up in class - the child was simply bored!
It was too easy for him and even though I suggest they advance him to the next class, they refused!
My 2nd grader - the borderline ADD was having a difficult time learning to read (since the kindergarten teacher was trying to teach him only site words and the 1st grade teacher tried to use the "letter people" he was quickly confused, it took him years to finally decode it after that.
He was advanced in math, except for the story problems (requiring reading), but his English, spelling, science - anything that required him to read, he lacked.
As one of the teachers pointed so plainly out to me. "I have a classroom of 23 students, some are way up here in learning and some are way down here. But, I cannot be expected to teach each subject at 3 different levels! So I teach in between. Some students will fall behind and some students will finish way before the rest. But what can I do? I am one teacher in a room of 23 students and I only have so many hours to teach every subject in.
Besides, the MEAPS are coming up and I have pressure from the principal to make sure my class does well. So I also have to teach what is going to be on that test, rather than the exciting parts of history, science, etc."
So goes my point of the Pink Floyd video... as the students sing "We don't need no education, we don't need no thoughts control..." they all look the same. All the while, they are falling into a sausage grinder.
A powerful video, the message is strong. The public school system expects everyone to be exactly the same - each teacher expects the students to fit into one mold and if they don't... "Hey lets put them on drugs and control their thoughts and mind."
Tell your son that you want to homeschool him just for a year... or the rest of the year.
When he sees, that he can sleep in a little later, or stay up a little later at night while his "friends" have to get up/be in bed. That he can have school and be done in just a few hours, and then play the rest of the day. He can run out and play when there's been a nice snow, or play outside when spring fever hits and you get to go on twice as many field trips (especially on nice days when you want to do some science projects outside), watch twice as many videos (to do with their subjects) make more library trips, choose a better lunch or snack than what the school has.
When he's sick, he doesn't have to miss out on certain things he would if he couldn't go to school and get behind. He will soon be asking you to keep homeschooling him.
Put an ad up at the library looking for other homeschoolers in the area and maybe start your own Support group where you can meet weekly to do Physical Education, music, art, and field trips and most of all holiday parties so they don't miss out.
A Previous Holly, MI homeschool mom
(name withheld by request)
Posted (January 11, 2003)
Theresa responds to Holly
Wow! How powerful! I remember that video and it does have a lot of correlations.
The teachers statement about not being expected to teach 3 different levels of the subjects though is wrong. With the passage of the "No Child Left Behind" Law that was eradicated! That is the whole point of that law!
Well as we ALL know law or no law it is still not happening!
I am a public school teacher and I teach 2 hours at a local high school. I teach the same lesson 3 days and each day I teach it NO LESS THAN 5 ways!
All my students (except for a few that refuse to attend) have learned how to write a Business Block Letter, etc. I teach Business Education. I just graduated with my degree in April of 2002 so I have not been doing this that long.
Perhaps if I did not have a child like I do, perhaps I would not be as flexible. Regardless, I am. Those that have a hard time reading (let me tell you my textbooks are at a 4-6 grade reading level) and a lot of the kids have a hard time reading, so a lot of it we do in class reading, with me reading, so that everyone has the chance to be able to complete the assignment.
So when ever answering a question I will refer to the book and read it aloud so if there is a student that could use the extra read aloud they get it without having to ask and "feel" inferior.
I have come to the conclusion that I absolutely do not like public school and because of what my 8-year-old daughter has been through I am done teaching as of 1/23/04.