**LJ Idol Season 4 Week 18 Entry: Unsatisfied**
As many of my regular blog readers know, I pulled my children from the public educational system. This decision did not surprise me, was easy to make, but definitely took quite a bit of thought.
I am partially the product of the pubic school system. I say partially because I did spend three years in an accelerated private school and I spent many of my days in public school tuning out the teacher and lost in my current reading material.
My grandparents were all formally educated through the university level. Two were instructors as well as farmers while my other grandfather served as a career officer in the United States Navy. My father grew up mired in a familial history enmeshed in Virginia state history. My mother grew up in Europe attending those schools wherever her father found himself stationed. Her fondest memories are of Greece.
My mother returned to the States at the end of her High School career and found herself in classes she took years before. Graduating from the public high school in her Virginia town was a relief, and came after she took summer school classes to finish requirements early.
My mother, for the most part, lived as a stay-home parent while my father worked in the chemistry department of the local nuclear power plant. Mother’s interests ranged from computer programming to archeology to foreign languages to sewing. Both my parents kept a zeal for learning though they no longer remained in the confines of a school.
Growing up, we watched little TV. What we did view tended to fall in the realm of documentaries, “In Search Of”, and science fiction. Our home was one filled with books. Books stacked up in the bathroom, on the dryer, in the foyer, by the stove, under the beds, anywhere a flat surface could be found! My mother boasts a library of over 3,000 books currently and my sons recently started helping her better organize these many tomes.
We all suffer greatly from the disease of needing reading material. At one point, I believe we sat at a table and discussed the ingredients on the cereal box before us.
The first few years of elementary school were most enjoyable. Unfortunately the fun and playing turned to academic pursuits. Pursuits that I had discovered the answers to before in my reading or documentary watching.
Which led me to boredom in the class. I fixed this by reading in class. In Fourth Grade I read the Odyssey under my desk. My boys followed in my footsteps. The first note home came from Caramon’s second grade teacher. Yikes.
My Junior Year of High School I kept track of my reading because one of our teachers said that is a common question asked on college applications. I read over 100 books that year not related to school. (This was in addition to my dance lessons and my part time job and my position on the staff of the school newspaper. Busy beaver? You betcha!)
I married my husband young, though I continued to go to college for a while longer. He was valedictorian of his class. We both worried about our children in the public school system mess. As it turns out, for good reasons.
We tried, but it just could not work out. In second grade our son was bored. What do you do to combat that?
Now I am thankful we pulled them from the school system. I am not sure what might happen if the following occurred in class one day.
We school at home and we follow our own pattern. So our US History is not done anywhere near like in the school system. I found a local class for adults on the US Constitution that I am hoping to get into. Inspired, I decided we might be between books currently for US History, but that didn’t mean we had nothing to do! I pulled up the Declaration of Independence and told the kids to read it.
And so they did. You have to understand, we read a LOT in this home. And a lot of what my children love to read the most are the classics. They just finished Journey to the Centre of the Earth. So the Declaration of Independence? Piece of cake.
There they sat at the computer screen reading away. Discussing the different points with one another. And then it came. The question.
“Mommy, I don’t understand? People is a plural word but they are using a singular verb. That’s not right, is it?”
Erm, uh. OK, time for a side lesson into grammar, especially the grammar of yesteryear that does not come up as often anymore.
I proceeded to explain to them how people can be used as a singular as done in this document. We get done with our discussion and both my boys seem fine with it. Fantastic! Great way to turn a history lesson into a grammar lesson! Go mom and kids!
Uh-oh. I spoke far too soon.
“Thanks, Mom. I just thought maybe the Founding Fathers had bad editors.”
I love my eleven year old son. He’s got this logic in him that is unexplainable. Both my boys are a delight when they pop out with these things.
Suddenly, I realized just how thankful I am they school at home. I can just imagine the backlash at the public school for a child DARING to say the Founding Fathers had bad editors. “OH yeah teacher, I think Thomas Jefferson and George Washington and Ben Franklin… well they all just couldn’t write well and so they needed to hire better guys to help them out.”
“We need you to come in to discuss your son’s behaviour in class.” Welcome to the No-Fly-Watch-List for your antisocial, anti-American, anarchist tendencies! What ARE you teaching in your home?
I love it.
And this is why I teach at home. The public school system did absolutely nothing for most of the members of my family and they failed my children miserably. To say we are dissatisfied with education in this nation is a gross understatement. Besides, why on earth would I want to miss out on these gems that would go unappreciated with others?
Don’t even ask about the experiment to recreate Archimedes Death Ray. The other kids in Joram’s class chose experiments to determine a coin flips. My son decides to try to rebuild a deathray Archimedes supposedly used to burn invading ships for cub scouts. Nice.
At least he didn’t say Archimedes had a bad editor.