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March 30, 2004

Comments

Robyn

I think it is absolutely wonderful that you have dedicated so much to your sons education. Have you looked into any of the alternative schools in your area?
School is more than just learning from a book, its lifes lessons and social interaction, which a child can miss out on if home schooled.
Growing up, I spent a year at a school that let me do what I wanted when I wanted, that meant I could spend the whole day reading, or running in circles if thats what I needed (of course there was work to be done and some rules), I also spent a year at a school that focused on outdoor adventures. These were great opportunities that taught me to value and seek education instead of teaching me to memorize a book.
As a public school teacher, I know it is difficult and unfair to teach to a class of all different levels and abilities. I do however try my hardest to treat each child individually and meet their needs, it is hard and time consuming but also the most rewarding way to teach. I hope your son will one day find a teacher that truely teaches him something to carry with him and not just the year of a war.
Please do not rule out the option of involving his teachers.

Momma-yaya

I love this approach you are taking and will definitely be putting this approach into play in our household as my son continues his school experience. I homeschooled last year, a trial for the year before my oldest entered Kindergarten. I failed the trial miserably, but noting that I didn't have it in me then doesn't exclude the possibility for a better attempt in the future. At least I know better what it would involve. I've also considered his first years in school to be just as much a trial--of the school this time. I like your idea that school is a choice and that self-learning activities should always take priority. I am impressed to see that you all found a way to make it work.

Susan

I think you have a great attitude about schooling. So many parents just accept what the school system tells them is the 'right' education for their child. How can it be 'right' when each child is different? I hate the least common denominator approach. My son is going to be 5 on Friday. He is already reading - not just recognizing common words - but sounding out new words every day. His preschool reports show that they are just now up to the letter N and the number 20. He can do 2 digit addition! It drives me bananas that he has to be bored at school. He brought home a paper that was completely done and had lots of doodles all over the front and back (it was tracing the letter M about 20 times). The teacher actually wrote "I have no idea why he wrote all over his paper." I was so mad! It was completely obvious to me - he finished quickly and was bored waiting for the slowest person to finish their paper. She knows he can read yet she does nothing to enhance his reading because the other children are not ready for that.

Good for you! It's wonderful that you are finding ways to excite your child about learning.

Robin

Hooray for you! You seem tuned in to what your child needs and wants. I don't know how old Tyler is but what a great gift you have given him by giving him options.
I never realized how tough school was going to be from a parent's perspective. Lillianna's kindergarten teacher told me she won't learn anything this year. She knew enough to go to 1st grade when this year started! I keep fighting for her education and nothing works. I pray 1st grade will be better. I would not be a good mom to homeschool my child. Everyday would be movie day or something crazy. I am good at teaching Lillianna when we are both in the right mood. I could never do it on a daily basis. Plus, being an only child she totally needs the interaction with her peers.
Again, good for you for making the right choices for your family.

rachel

I was not homeschooled, but my mother always told me she was ready to do it at a moment's notice, if "real" school got too terrible. It was a great burden off my mind just knowing the option was there.

Another thing she used to do was offer "sanity days". I could take one per month and there were a few rules: 1) I had to have a definite idea of something I wanted to DO (ie. it wasnt' a day for watching TV), and 2) I could NEVER tell anyone, not even my best friend, that she let me do this because that could cause trouble.

I remember spending a day at a vet's office, building model houses out of wattle and daub, writing fiction, going to the nature preserve, etc. And then I'd feel recharged and ready to put up with school a while longer.

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