Is this a school or a prison?

My son goes to the same school where I am an alumni. It used to be a really great school but now, it seems like they are so focused on being a prison instead of school. I could understand that if this school had ever had a problem with crime but it hasn’t. I’ve had run ins with the administrators and caught one of them in a lie before. I think half of the people who work there (a lot of them went there when I did) think it’s still a popularity contest in high school. A couple of years ago, I was really frustrated with the vice principal of the middle school. I vented on facebook. It was a “friends only” post. Well, the next day, I get a call from the vice principal wanting to talk to me. When my husband and I got there, one of the first things she mentioned was the facebook post. She said “I don’t have an account on there, but someone who does brought it to my attention.” I knew it had to be someone on my friends list as that would have been the only ones who could have seen it. I had a few teachers on my friends list, people I personally knew. I finally narrowed it down. I am 99% sure I figured out who it was. How? Well, the vice principal of the middle school got the principal job at the elementary school. And the person I suspected as “snitching” on me, got the vice principal position at the middle school. I mean, I’m not a genius but it wasn’t that difficult to figure out. It really made me angry though because that person had smiled in my face numerous times. It’s not that I cared that the vice principal knew what I said about her. I didn’t mention names or make any threats. I just told the truth. She had accused my son of bullying another student and didn’t bother to call me and bring it to my attention. (Just a side note, my son did NOT bully the other kid and I had plenty of witnesses to say he didn’t). She told me that unless they pursued some sort of disciplinary measures, they didn’t call the parents. This was not the first run in I’ve had with her. My son told the same story over and over while she always changed hers. So no, I don’t believe the administrators are always right. She is one of the very reasons why I homeschool my other two kids. Jake is in high school now and while he’s not crazy about the administrators, it’s not them he had to deal with much. Some of the coaches and “security” people have just gotten ridiculous when it comes to intimidating the teens, especially the boys. I did give him the option of homeschooling, but he didn’t want to. I guess he figures since he only has a couple of years of high school left, he’ll just stay where he is.
I understand that the school has to have policies and they have to keep the kids in line, but I think prisoners have more freedom than kids in school. My kid’s school finds every little reason to assign a child to Saturday school. Anything from chewing gum to not having your shirt tucked in is considered an offense worthy of Saturday detention. I think it’s ridiculous. If the kid is bullying, fighting, not obeying teachers, then sure, give them detention. But not for minor things that are not really a big deal. I am sure if any teachers read this, you’ll get all offended. That is not my intention. As I’ve said before, it’s really the other staff that infuriate me. However, my son does have a teacher who stated (and other kids will verify this) that she didn’t “have time to teach the kids everything they needed to know”. She was referring to the subject she teaches: Geometry. I just want to ask her what she thinks her job is then, if not to teach them what they need to know in her subject area. When I was in school, I don’t think I ever heard a teacher say that. Some of them may not have cared, but they didn’t verbalize it to the students. And so many people wonder why more and more people are choosing to homeschool….

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Homeschooling has been going ok. Rhiannon keeps up with her work pretty well. I just check in with her everyday to make sure she’s doing it. Trey on the other hand, has to be supervised while he does his school work. And if I forget to give him his ADHD medication, then that makes it even more difficult. I know there may be some of you rolling your eyes when I mentioned ADHD meds. I realize that sometimes parents or teachers want kids on them because it makes their job easier. I have Trey on them because otherwise, it is very difficult for him to focus on what he’s supposed to be doing. He will take a million bathroom breaks or fidget in his chair and not retain any information. I only give him his meds before he has to do his school work. I don’t make him take them on the weekends or during summer. Also, he doesn’t eat much when he takes his meds. So I try to make him eat something beforehand. He’s already small enough as it is LOL. I had stopped using Time4learning and just used Easy Peasy homeschool. I am planning on using both though. He still has some difficulty with math, and Time4learning seems to explain things better and have more lessons. Rhiannon just does Easy Peasy for now. She seems to like it.

I’ve had people question why I chose to homeschool. With Trey it was because I was not happy with how he was treated in kindergarten. He probably should have just went to first grade. He was not a “bad” kid, but just couldn’t sit still. He was also ahead of a lot of the kids, academically, at least. So he would get bored, and fidget. I get that teachers have a lot of kids to teach. So I know it’s not totally their fault. Also, I don’t like the fact that when the kids get in 3rd grade, they begin the whole standardized testing thing. So from 3rd grade on, the kids are basically taught how to take tests. They are not taught things they actually need to learn.

Rhiannon decided on her own that she wanted to homeschool. She was getting tired of all the drama that girls her age were always stirring up. What’s funny is that one of the questions I got from people was about socialization. Rhiannon is actually happier now that she doesn’t have to be around that type of “socialization”. She doesn’t really miss her friends because it’s not like she got to talk with them much at school anyway. She still texts and calls them. She goes to their houses, or they come here. So not much has changed with that.

Trey is a lot like me, he doesn’t have to have a lot of friends to be happy. But he is a very talkative and friendly kid, so he never meets a stranger. I think he’s a “social” introvert. He doesn’t have any qualms about being in social situations, but he loves being able to be by himself and read or play a video game.

I love homeschooling because I know my kids better than anyone. They get to work at their own pace without feeling like they aren’t as smart as someone else because they don’t catch on as quickly to a certain subject. I realize it’s not for everyone. But it works for us 🙂 .

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random homeschool talk

I was told a few months ago on a status I made about homeschooling (on fb) by a girl I attended school with, that she wished that the state would place some sort of “guidelines” on homeschool. I took this to mean that she wants the state to dictate what I should teach my children. That’s why I homeschool in the first place. I want to be able to teach them what I think they should learn. In my opinion, so much that is taught in schools now is unnecessary. Most of the school year is spent studying for state tests. I don’t fault the teachers at all. They are just doing what they have to do in order to keep their jobs. In the state I am in, homeschooled students are not required to take the standardized tests and I am very thankful for that. I like the freedom I have with homeschooling. If one of my children doesn’t understand something, I can work with them until they do. I don’t have to be in a hurry.
This same person also told me that some colleges are starting to not accept GEDs. I am not sure how true that is but I don’t know why she is assuming my children will have to get a GED in the first place. I just think people should do their research before expressing their opinions on a subject that they know very little about.

I have found that most people who criticize homeschooling are either jealous because they can’t homeschool their kids or because they don’t understand it. My mom was one of those people who just didn’t understand why I would want to homeschool when we live in a good school district. But after seeing how much Trey learned last year, she was convinced it was the best thing for him. And I had my doubts about letting Rhiannon homeschool. I thought she’d get bored not being around her friends or wouldn’t do her school work. She has surprised me though. She keeps up with her friends via internet and phone. She does her school work without being told. She also helps around the house without complaining.
I think most kids do so much better whenever they are allowed to finish their work in a few hours and then have the rest of the day to do what they want (as long as they do their chores).

With all of this being said, I do not think my kids are better than kids who go to public school. My oldest still goes to public school. That his choice though. He’s a junior and he wants to finish school with his classmates. As long as that makes him happy, then that’s what matters to me 🙂 .

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Our school year so far….

I actually have a blog already set up for homeschool but thought I’d blog here about it for right now. I am thinking of letting the kids use that blog to talk about what they have learned.  I think it will be an excellent addition to their language arts course.  I am using Time4learning, however, I am also trying out Easy Peasy Homeschool.  That’s the curriculum Rhiannon is using and she loves it.  She decided she’s rather use that instead of Time4learning.  I think I may keep Time4learning for Trey though. He seems to do pretty well with it.  He is right on track or ahead in every subject except for math.  He’s a very smart kid and he just doesn’t like math. I know if he liked it, he’d be doing algebra by now LOL.  I need to find some way to make it fun so that he will actually do it without complaining as much.

Rhiannon likes the school work. In fact, she’ll work on several days in just one day.  She likes the work, but she just didn’t like all of the middle school drama.  The girls in her grade can be pretty hateful.  She doesn’t get bullied, but she was just tired of being pulled into drama every day.  I totally understand. I remember how mean girls that age can be.  She also likes being home because she can sleep as late as she wants.  She’s also been a big help around the house.  She gets up, cleans the litter box and unloads the dishwasher before she starts her school work.  Most of the time I don’t even have to tell her.  Well, maybe I do have to remind her about the litter box.  But she cleans it without complaining.

Trey is not as enthusiastic about his school work. He’d  rather study only about things that interest him.  He’s pretty well ahead on his reading/comprehension so I don’t focus on that as much. He reads a lot of technical and medical books. So I know he is reading and understands what he reads. He has no interest in fiction books though LOL.  But that’s what I like about homeschooling though. The kids are able to focus more on what interests them. I also like the fact that my kids don’t have to sit in a classroom for 8 hours a day. They can do their schoolwork and then have the rest of the day to do what they want.

I would have homeschooled Jake, but he’s a junior this year and he wants to be around his friends.  I totally understand that and I am glad he is enjoying school this year.  And he’s already brought home forms for a class ring.  I soo do not feel old enough to have a kid that’s almost out of high school LOL.

So, how are your kids (whether homeschooled or in public school) enjoying the school year so far?

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