Community Advocacy and Support by and for Young Mothers

Where do your older kiddos go to school?

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NicoSwan's picture
Last seen: 5 years 10 months ago
Joined: 2011-07-12 19:26
Where do your older kiddos go to school?

What do you choose?
What's ideal vs. what's available?

I'm at an impasse with my oldest son's education.
We started out with a traditional public school (that is what was available and all I could manage at that time) while doing Home Schooling projects during the long breaks and lulls. He thrived this way educationally but socially struggled through his days.
He now goes to a Waldorf inspired public charter school.
The mission of the school is a beautifully woven mixture of Waldorf education and the expectations of the public school district.
He gets music twice a week, movement (P.E.) twice a week, and Outdoor School. This is unheard of in most public schools these days.

The issue:
More than half of the boys (about 1/3 of the class) is disrespectful to the point of constant disruption. The teacher spends a lot of his time redirecting these students. My oldest has ADD and cannot focus on his class work because of all the disruption. He barely passed his grade last year and is starting out the year with the same struggles.

The ideal:
My partner and I are at a point in our lives that we can Home School.
I used the think that only the wealthy had the option of Home Schooling their children. With the handy dandy internet and the fact that we live in a State that is very supportive of Home Schooling families i.e. home schooling groups form everything from lego club to group forest hikes to construction workshops. This dream I've had to Home School is in reach for our family.

However, we waited two years to get into this school. Reapplying each year and just hoping that our names would be drawn in the lottery. Although, the school seems to be only a portion of what they promised in the beginning.

The class that my oldest is in has seemed to lost sight of the mission of the school. Many of the parents of the disruptive students have put an oh-so-convenient veil of "Freedom of Speech" on their child's rude attempts at gaining attention from the class.
I don't want my children to think that freedom of speech is: saying whatever you want to say, whenever you want to say it, without thought of recourse for your words which may be hurtful to others.

Yet more importantly, my children (all children) deserve a healthy and safe learning experience.

So do I continue working with the administration, teachers and parents that are willing and able to push for change? Just hoping that it all works out in the next few years. Or do I gently pull my son out of this school so that I can give him the kind of education I feel he deserves now?

I struggle with this because I am an advocate for community and social change. I don't walk away from things very easily but I know that sometimes walking away is the best change that can happen. Every time I think I we have decided what to do with our oldest education I digress and think otherwise.

I would love to hear some thoughts on what your ideal educating system is for your children, what you chose or will choose, and why.

sherylsue's picture
Last seen: 6 years 7 min ago
Joined: 2006-01-12 12:18
Re: Where do your older kiddos go to school?

I am very lucky to have an amazing public school in my area. The community here is great and education and community are very important to the parents at the school and so the kids really show these values too. My daughter seems to be challenged enough to stay interested and has some great friends.
It sounds like the parents and teacher at your school are failing your son, and it sounds like the involvement here is high- I'd let the other parents know you are intending to move your son out by the end of the year if there aren't improvements.
Also, it kinda depends on the age group- I have subbed and certain age groups just have problems. Sometimes certain classes and schools have issues too. Anything near the beginning of puberty sometimes has kids questioning authority a lot because they realised they can.
I'd give it to the end of the year if he's learning (or even halfway through next to see if a new teacher helps) or the semester break if he really isn't.

momnipotent's picture
Last seen: 4 years 8 months ago
Joined: 2009-03-02 12:39
Re: Where do your older kiddos go to school?

IME it's quite common for crunchy types to make excuses for their out of control kids because hippies are ambivalent about authority so they're hesitant to exercise it. So I wouldn't count on that improving.
It sounds like his experience at this school isnt really much better than the other school, all things considered? If so there's not much risk involved in trying out HSing for a year or so right, because then if it doesnt work out you can just put him back in the local school? Which obviously isn't a great option, but neither is the current school.