Public School Experience?

Discussion in 'Countryside Families' started by Peacock, Dec 18, 2006.

  1. Peacock

    Peacock writing some wrongs Supporter

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    I hear/read so many horror stories from people who have chosen (or want) to homeschool after sending their kids to public school, or have witnessed terrible things in public schools. It gets so bad sometimes, in these tales, that it's easy to wonder why anyone who cares about their kids would dare send them to public school. Easy to believe that parents of public school children must all be lazy bums who can't be bothered.

    And I wonder if I'm blind -- am I just not seeing the evil here? Or is our school so much different than schools across the country?

    My kids have attended in two different school districts, and I've been extremely pleased with both. It's been K-5th for my daughter, K-3rd for my son. Granted, both have been districts ranked "excellent" by state standards. We chose them purposely, opting to buy houses in those districts. If we lived in districts that were ranked lower, we'd either homeschool or send them to private school. I realize not everybody has that option. My point, though, is that not all public schools are horrible and that the public school system in general is not "broken."

    I hear tales of sex education class in 3rd grade...terrible bullying, exposure to drugs and violence, and a completely liberal atheistic mindset. I don't see that here. Last year the 4th graders saw a video on basic reproductive biology, no relationships mentioned, and it was completely optional and required parental consent. Our kids are pretty naive still, I think, though less so in our new school than the last (I prefer it that way...the last school's area was la-la land. :)) Zero tolerance for violence or bullying. Very approachable, communicative teachers. Most everyone here is homogenously Christian, and while it isn't pushed, neither is it denied.

    I guess the reason I'm posting this is to say what I said, not all public schools are awful places. Also I'd like to hear from others about their public schools. Am I naive about our school? Am I missing something? Am I a very lucky exception? Or can we allow ourselves to feel hopeful yet about our public school system?
     
  2. jen74145

    jen74145 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My experience with public schools was not a good one... many teachers outright condone bullying if the child's parents are not involved. I had a few who would, on days certain students were absent, celebrate it openly. I know some kids can be a handful, but what I saw was downright cruel.
    And lets not even get into how kids that are abused are treated... it's night and day. Seriously, if the parent does not value the child, the teachers are the worst bullies of all.

    The advanced kids are generally bored out of their skulls at the level of work required... and the ones who have trouble with some concept or other are rapidly left behind.

    Many teachers do not understand the material themselves. Some are downright senile; i.e. the Spanish teacher who taught in French, the art teachers who randomly went off into screaming, cussing rages at students, and let's not forget the lecherous old men that EVERYONE knew about and nobody ever did a thing about. There were some that were bad enough that you did not stay in their classrooms alone; if you were the first there, you'd wait outside until a decent number of you arrived. When it's a running jpoke among the rest of the staff, something isn't right...

    Sorry about the rant, just a bit of a soapbox for me. I swear we'll live on beans in a tent before I EVER send one of mine to public school! Now don't get me started on daycares....
     

  3. Laura

    Laura Well-Known Member

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    Yes, there are good public schools. I believe they are exceptions rather than the rule. While the ones you know are ranked "excellent" by state standards, the majority, are ranked much lower all the way down to poor. In our state, we even have public schools operating without state accredation.

    When DD16 began school, we lived in one of those superior school districts. 1 school, elementary, middle and high, all on one campus. 1 principal, 1 vice principal, 1 secretary 1 office assistant, wonderful caring teachers and very high standards of behavior for all. The school board was made up of parents, grandparents, the superintendent was a volunteer position. Federal money was sometimes rejected because the strings attached didn't fit into qwhat this school was doing for students. All kids were educated with the assumption they were college bound. Problems were dealt with swiftly. Unfortunately, we could not get decent housing so we moved away. If we would have stayed, my kids would be in public school.

    Next school district had 2 all-grade schools, with an overpaid superintendent, who, everytime a new school bond would pass, turned up with a brand new Lincoln Navigator within the week. There was 2 principals, 3 secretaries of whatever, at least 8 office assistants in each school, and a full-time psychologist on staff, the superintendents wife. The school board was made up of buddies of the superintendent. Educating children was not their focus, providing a safe and healthy environment wasn't either. From what I saw from many of the other parents, it wasn't important to them, either. One year attending there and my daughter begged me to homeschool. In that school district, homeschoolers outnumbered the public school kids.

    I don't know very much about the school district we are in now, but I am sure it is quite good, comparatively speaking. I know several teachers because they volunteer with 4H and the homeschool group. I've asked them a couple of times what they thought about sending DDs to public school. They emphatically said "NO, it is the wrong place for your daughters." This district has their own homeschool programs. They have online school with their curriculums and Homeschool Plus where families can use their own curriculums.
     
  4. Laura

    Laura Well-Known Member

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    Yes, there are good public schools. I believe they are exceptions rather than the rule. While the ones you know are ranked "excellent" by state standards, the majority, are ranked much lower all the way down to poor. In our state, we even have public schools operating without state accredation.

    When DD16 began school, we lived in one of those superior school districts. 1 school, elementary, middle and high, all on one campus. 1 principal, 1 vice principal, 1 secretary 1 office assistant, wonderful caring teachers and very high standards of behavior for all. The school board was made up of parents, grandparents, the superintendent was a volunteer position. Federal money was sometimes rejected because the strings attached didn't fit into qwhat this school was doing for students. All kids were educated with the assumption they were college bound. Problems were dealt with swiftly. Unfortunately, we could not get decent housing so we moved away. If we would have stayed, my kids would be in public school.

    Next school district had 2 all-grade schools, with an overpaid superintendent, who, everytime a new school bond would pass, turned up with a brand new Lincoln Navigator within the week. There were 2 principals, 3 secretaries of whatever, and at least 8 office assistants in each school. Oh, and a full-time psychologist on staff, the superintendents wife. The school board was made up of buddies of the superintendent. Educating children was not their focus, providing a safe and healthy environment wasn't either. From what I saw from many of the other parents, it wasn't important to them, either. One year attending there and my daughter begged me to homeschool. In that school district, homeschoolers outnumbered the public school kids.

    I don't know very much about the school district we are in now, but I am sure it is quite good, comparatively speaking. I know several teachers because they volunteer with 4H and the homeschool group. I've asked them a couple of times what they thought about sending DDs to public school. They emphatically said "NO, it is the wrong place for your daughters." This district has their own homeschool programs. They have online school with their curriculums and Homeschool Plus where families can use their own curriculums.
     
  5. DonnaKay

    DonnaKay Well-Known Member

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    I went to a very good public school. If I lived in that area I would definately want to send my kids there. We live on a military base overseas so my kids go to a DOD school which is very similar to regular public school. The school is very big so depending on which teachers your child has had the experience can vary greatly. So far I have been very pleased with the teachers both of my kids have had. They were firm but caring and have been very good with communicating with us. One of the good things about our school is accountability from the parents. When you are in the military overseas your family members are here as guests of the military and things like free school are a priviledge that can be taken away. I haven't seen too many problems with bullying although I have heard a few stories that were down right frightening, mostly bus related. There is one teacher that has a reputation as being a bully to both other teachers and students....talks down to her kids pretty bad....Johnny's bad....he doesn't use nice hand writting....stuff like that.

    Having said that I do plan on homeschooling my kids next year....mostly because we will be moving and may have to turn right around and move again before the school year is over. I don't want to put them through that many changes in one year. After that we'll just have to see....depends where we are and how the kids and I progress.

    With homeschooling I really like the idea of being able to have time for self directed learning and activities. My daughter is really good in art and loves writing and animals. I wish we had more time for things like that. That is where I think homeschooling has an advantage even over good public schools.

    Donna
     
  6. Slev

    Slev Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I was a publik :rolleyes: school kid, after we got back to the states, rode the school bus too! Our kids are in public schools at this time and I think it's a very good system, large and with lots of the extras. I do know of a teacher or two that is bad and hope one of my kids doesn't wind up with them, but for the most part it's all good. I personally think there are some social issues that unless a kid deals with them in a public setting, they may have trouble down the road, but they may get along just fine -who knows?
     
  7. Beltane

    Beltane Enjoying Four Seasons

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    I went to public school and liked it at the time, but it was not until I was in college that I noticed things 'wrong' with it. For example, after I saw studies in my Women's Studies class that males get more attention than females in school, I then see that the same thing happend to me. I asked a few questions in science class and was laughed at for not already knowing the answer, so I was more hesitantant to ask more in the future. My highschool also didn't have the more advanced math or science classes to offer, so when I did go onto UNH I felt unbelieveably unprepared. :(
     
  8. SherryR

    SherryR Well-Known Member

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    no I dont think parents who let kids attend ps are lazy bums or uncaring. Sometimes ps works for kids. sometimes it doesn't for whatever reason. What I am amazed at is the parents who say 'it's the schools responsibility to do 'x y or z' when actually, it is MOM or DADs resposibility to take those kids out of school so they aren't damaged any more than they have been. One kid I know who already had 'behavior' issues ( I think he had some special needs, cant recall) was being bullied on the bus and also school environment was too stimulating for him. His mom waited and waited and did nothing, claiming school had to change so her son wouldn't have these reactive behaviors. To me, she could have gone in, observed how he was being overstimmed in class or school, told teacher or aide or who ever what her observations were, made sure it was changed. Then, instead of waiting for school to take care of the bullies on the bus, she could come and get him! She didn't live far away from school. Wasn't her son and his well being her responsibility? Why was she waiting? Everyday, he was going thru the same crap, and I dont know why she was so fixed on the school doing HER work. He was being damaged . . . she didn't care. It wasn't her responsibility, she seemed to think.
    HSing and PS ing each have good and bad points. I have 2 kids, one attends PS (her choice, though I dont like it) and other is HS'd.
    Sherryr
     
  9. Kris in MI

    Kris in MI Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I think it really depends on the district and the community whether the public school is 'good' or 'bad'. And 'bad' ones can change over time. Once bad doesn't mean forever bad.

    Personally, my children attend both private (Christian) and public schools, and we have always supplemented at home, so in a way I have experienced all three options.

    The eldest went public in K & 1st, then for several reasons we pulled him and sent him to our church's Christian school until he 'graduated' from there at the end of 8th grade. For high school we decided to try the public school of the small town we had just built outside of and because of our experiences with it we think this local school system is excellent.

    The younger three kids have always gone to the Christian school, but will attend the same public high school that the older one is now.

    Talking public vs private/homeschooled, my second oldest is actually 'dual-enrolled' for his eighth grade year; he attends the christian school for all but math class--he is more advanced than they have curriculum for--and goes daily to the public school to take a geometry class.

    Incidentally, the public school system my 2nd son is taking geometry in is the same one we pulled oldest son from 10 years ago. They have made huge positive changes in those 10 years since we 'left'. If I didn't like the local, smaller public high school as well as I do, I wouldn't have any reason to not send my son for high school in the district he is now taking the geometry class.
     
  10. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    All I can say is you have to look below the surface.....our town has very generous school funding lots of extras scores well....BUT....

    When my son started K he could read and do math. His screening put him as the youngest male with highest reading skills for males and highest math skills for both sexes. His teacher got pregnant and missed a major amount of the school year and instead of getting a permanant teacher that had several subs. The whole class ended up in Chap. 1 special ed for reading....

    When my daughter was in grade 1 a fosterboy who had been sexually abused pulled down another little girls pants...the boy was allowed to stay in the classroom and playground w/o any "restrictions"....same boy bothered my daughter in 2nd grade and she pounded the tar out of him (older brother makes girl tough) before he could "touch" her. Of course the princ. was all over us about "hitting" and violence :rolleyes:

    When son was in 2nd grade he got a broken finger from boy and 1 month later same boy busted my sons chin open with a block of ice....the school NEVER did anything to the perp. because his family was dysfunctional and the school knew that it would be time wasted.

    Honestly the school forced my hand into homeschooling.....and now my busdriver neighbors are complaining about the middle-school kids are doing "adult" deeds on the bus....it only takes one bad apple to get kids interested on having a little adult pleasure....they know who the girl is....a man went to prison for 2 years for molesting her....

    My children do not need this kind of education :nono:
     
  11. ginnie5

    ginnie5 wife,mom,taxi driver,cook Supporter

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    I think there are good public schools. When dd started school we were in a great school district. Loved her teacher. We moved and were in another great school district. Both of these schools were more than willing to have me volunteer with a younger child in tow. Then we moved again....to here. Not only was I not welcome to volunteer they didn't even want you near the classroom. Drop them off at the front door in tears if need be.....someone would get them where they were supposed to be. Then add that dh had wonderful ps experience (in the 2nd school dd was at) and that he rode the bus and loved it. We tried the bus for half the year. In that time they had a driver who slammed on brakes so hard they hit the seats in front of them.....not because there was almost an accident but to get them to be quiet. another knocked a fence down while trying to turn the bus....same place it always turned around. And the straw that broke the camel's back was the one who told them to sit the blank down and shut the blank up. Let's just say that the Person over the drivers got chewed a new one over that. Needless to say they never rode the bus again. Oldest dd who is the easiest person to get along with, never meets a stranger, and is the most outgoing person I know ended up with stomach cramps over the bullying she was getting. She cried daily not to go. So we pulled both of them out and have not regretted it since. Oldest dd is now finishing her senior year at home, taking classes at the local tech college, coaching the level 4 girls team, and finishing her last year as a gymnast.
     
  12. cindyc

    cindyc Well-Known Member

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    I have always said I would put my kids in public school if I needed to... that I was not against public school. I even sat and typed that out. Then I wrote the following, and remembered what public school was like for me, and I thought maybe I wouldn't do it after all.
    num-chuck fights in the court-yard (and those were the girls); PARENTS who got in a fight at talent show, and pulled knives-the police had to be called in; NUMEROUS friends lost to drunk drivers or drunk driving; POOR academics- the extent to which I was not getting what I needed academically, I did not realize until MUCH later; A GANG-RELATED MURDER (which we found out about because the people who killed andrew were bragging about it on the bus. Not a day I will ever forget.); LOTS of drinking and sexual activity on the buses coming back from football games when it was dark-; A fairly accepted drug culture.
    This was not considered a "bad" school, BTW... Nor was it a bad area of town. I am pretty sure my parents weren't aware. Most of these stories did not hit the news. (Except the murder of course, but I was a month or so from graduation by then). I didn't talk about them. I had my geeky friends, and didn't look up to see the "big picture" of what my school experience was like until long after I was gone. That was just "school". And even in the middle of all of that, most days at school were fun. Don't ask me how those things can co-exist... danger, and fun... but they did. If they had asked me if I wanted to be pulled out of school, I would have said no, and regretted that later.
    That is my fear about public school... that it will NOT be good, and I will assume things are OK. I am afraid that I will find out AFTER the fact that I should have pulled them out. I am afraid they will be straight A students, or honor roll students in a "good" school system, as I was for the most part, and graduate, only to discover (as I did) that the CLASS CONTENT was inadequate to the needs of life.
    No, on second thought, maybe I WOULDN'T put my kids in public school... at least not in high school.
     
  13. Wendy

    Wendy Well-Known Member

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    Our schools are great. I love our elementary school. It's small & everyone cares about everyone else. The middle school is where it starts getting a little bad at times, but by then I don't worry so much. My kids know what they can & can not do & are old enough at that point to let me know if they need my help with something. So far, no problems at any of the schools.
     
  14. annethcz

    annethcz Well-Known Member

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    We have very good public schools in our area. I attended them, and feel that I did get a good, well rounded education. DH also attended the same schools, but doesn't believe he got a good education. The biggest difference between our experiences is that I took all advanced, honors and AP classes, while DH took just the regular college-prep classes. I was also involved in lots of extracurriculars, while DH worked an afterschool job.

    Despite the fact that I feel I got a good education from the public schools I attended, we are homeschooling our kids. Lifestyle is a big motivating factor. No matter how good the schools are, the teachers will never care more about my children's education than I do. I believe that I can educate my children in a more efficient, developmentally appropriate and enjoyable manner than they could receive in any school.

    Quite honestly, I'm not all that impressed with 'award winning' or highly ranked schools. In some cases, the schools really are great. In other cases, the children attending these school spend the majority of their time learning how to take standardized tests. Especially in the lower grades, I believe that it is developmentally inappropriate for children to be sitting in school for 8 hours a day, being lectured on academics. So I would never base my opinion of a school on the standardized test scores.

    I found cindyc's post interesting. Especially when it comes to high school, when there is a larger student body and more student autonomy, it can be harder to evaluate the school. Although DH and I attended the same high school, we had vastly different experienced. It was a big high school, and there were definitely different 'tracks.' I found my classes to be vigorous (many of my later public university classes were easy in comparison to my highschool AP classes), my teachers cared about me as a student, and the social situation in my classes was generally good. Whereas, for my DH, he never excelled at school, never had a teacher take a personal interest in him, and he socialized with some kids who were known to be rowdier. DH attended college, but didn't feel well-prepared for some of his classes. So was that a good school, or not? How do you make that determination? I honestly don't know.
     
  15. kidsngarden

    kidsngarden Well-Known Member

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    I'm have had it both ways. I put my oldest back in PS (7th grade) this fall and my younger two (2nd and 4th grade) are going in January. What it really came down to is what did I want to be? A Mom or a teacher? I admire those HS parents who can do both, but I can't. My DD is dyslexic and by the time I was done helping her with her studies I had nothing to give. My patience was shot. Here she is already going through the preteen hormones and so is my son and while I would always be there for them, I really wasn't. I was resentful about it. I need to teach them more on spiritual matters and how to be charitable and compassionate. This past year I have just been going through the motions.

    My philosophy had been that there is no right situation for everyone and to be honest it really urks me when people down one way or the other. I refuse to feel guilty for doing what is best for my family's situation. I have always known I would eventually put my kids in PS. Though I was thinking in the older grades. I kept them home for educational reasons only, not because I was protecting them from "the world". I have given them a good moral foundation and feel confident in sending them to PS. I think PS need MORE good kids. No, I don't want them to be a moral sacrificial lamb, but I know they will set a good example for others. I have often wondered what will happen to the world if we cloister all our goodness in our homes.

    I still believe in the homeschooling philosophy and will be teaching at the district run homeschool "School". Maybe there will be something that will make me change my mind - it's always open to the possibilities.

    Our little country elementary school is great. My dd 4th grade teacher is dyslexic, my ds 2nd grade class has 10 kids who cheered for him when we came to visit. The principal has encouraged me to do what is best for my children, homeschooling half time or whatever I needed. They are speeding up the process to get dd the help she needs. I've heard my share of middle school horror stories, but I have not had anything happen to my son. And he takes the bus with the highschoolers.

    I think my kids will do better without mom as a teacher. I think they will work harder.

    kids
     
  16. RLMS

    RLMS Well-Known Member

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    Years ago, 15 year old daughter complained about her LOM Science teacher who would "bump into" the girls every chance he got. I talked to some of the other parents and several of them said their daughters had complained about the same thing.

    Teacher had been there for years and his wife was on the school board so the consensus was that nothing could be done.

    Yeah!

    Next parents night I went to the conference myself. Requested the last individual appointment because of other business matters.

    I made no bones about my feelings and real concern about his continued good health while he was dangling backwards out of the third-story window. I had a real good grip on his throat so he wouldn't fall. When I successfully managed to get him back in the window he had pis..d his pants. Then he called the police. Turned out the Chief of Police had a daughter in one of this b.....s other classes. Everyone learned a lot that night.

    And the pond-scum retired from teaching "to spend more time with his family" right afer that.

    Imagine that!
     
  17. Tonya

    Tonya Guest

    I went to an excellent grade school and our gs here leaves much to the imigination. It's good if your student is in the upper 1/3rd of the class, but watch out if they have problems like my guys do.

    My oldest son was a foster child who was on medicare. He did need speech, occupational and physical therapy. It ticked me off that he would meet his goals and the would find some excuse to up them and keep him in all of these crazy therapies. Then I got a list of how much Medicare pays the school for his therapies. They got $48 per half an hour!! Sometimes the teacher would have up to 4 kids in "therapy"!! Meanwhile they're raking the $$$ in and my son was having to miss some academic classes. At the end of the school year the teacher actually told me that he was slipping academically, but not enough to qualify for services. I was told to wait for him to get too far behind. Oh, and she said that I need to relax because "Someone has to be in the bottom of the class!"

    My younger son's teacher openly admitted that my son and another little boy were too busy giggling for her to teach. My son went in there knowing how to read some and how to write words that he could read. They had to start out writing "A, a" and there wasn't any real reading. When I suggested he was bored she dismissed it quickly and said that he was just a troublemaker.

    There was an incident in the bathroom where my oldest went poop in the toilet and pee'd in the urinal. Another boy was going into the toilet stall and my son knew that he had to flush. Soooooo he did a little penguin walk with his pants down at his ankles and the other little boys got giggling and caused too much noise. In the report the Principal said that he was "Intentionally farting" (my boy has skills! :1pig: ) and he sentanced him to a whole day suspension. This is in 1st grade. I didn't get a call about it until aourn 3 PM. This happened at 9:30 AM. My boy sat in detention and they didn't have the guys to call me because they knew that I would stick up for my kids. They wouldn't listen to me telling them that this is his first month in public school (we hs'd in Kindergarten). Nor would they look past the fact that he was once a foster kid. They thought that since he was in care he must have been sexually abused and willing to attack others.

    Before Easter my son developed a tic in his shoulder because school stressed him out so much. He would come homeand beg me to home school him. Doing that was the best decision I ever made. He's a smiling guy now who loves to learn. If he gives me lip at home I just have to ask him if he wants to go to PS and he shuts up. That place still terrifies him. We drive by it and my younger son thinks of it as a place of giggling and screwing around. The oldes thinks of it as a place where they always pull you out of class and then get mad when you fall behind. Neither of them think of it as a place where they did academics or learn stuff.
     
  18. Peacock

    Peacock writing some wrongs Supporter

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    Thanks everyone; your replies have been interesting!

    My own public school experience, ironically, wasn't too hot. It was downright awful, actually. Horrible bullying, ineffective uncaring teachers. One teacher actually told my mom on a progress report (I have it still in a box somewhere) that I needed to be spanked more often to "bring me down a peg." By 8th grade I was practically suicidal, begging not to be sent to school each morning. I could just walk out of classes and leave the building; nobody would even try to stop me. I begged to go to a private HS, and my parents agreed, though it was tough on their budget. I swear, it saved my life!

    In some ways I liked the kids' old school better than this one; parents were more welcome. Parents are welcome to volunteer here too, but the reception's just not quite as warm. I think they're just not used to parents who want to be at school all the time like I did - a couple years I was there 3-4 times a week volunteering someplace. I also think some of it is due to the unfortunate need for tighter safety restrictions.

    It also strikes me as odd that there aren't any activities there after school except sports practices. (This whole community is focused on Sports, Sports, Sports! UGH!) No scout meetings, no clubs, no art programs. Those happen elsewhere. At our old school the place was open all night, often till 8 or 9 for various things. Again, it's probably security concerns. And probably nobody wants to go in or stay late and lock up. Oh well.

    As far as the kids being taught to standardized tests, yes, there is some of that. But in my experience, it's not that obvious. Occasionally you can see that material is being covered specifically because the test requires it. But they find very creative ways of teaching the material and I really doubt anybody's bored. My DD is an A student -- she'd be bored, if anybody would. My DS used to claim he was bored in our old school, and I've never heard him say that here.

    Example...over the weekend we had to assemble miniature amusement park rides for the "classical music theme park" the kids are creating. Each ride had to be named for a famous composer. We had the Mozart Merry-Go-Round, the Beethoven Ball Pit, the Saint-Saens Souvenir Shop, and the Giant Sousa Slide. Other kids are doing the old-fashioned "Baroque" clothing for the visitors to wear. This is for music class, which is currently taking a break from guitar lessons. I'm guessing none of that is on the standardized test. ;)

    I ask the kids occasionally if they'd like me to homeschool. The answer is always "Noooooooo!" Very wise children. I'm good at homework help, but all day? Very Bad Idea.
     
  19. BeckyW

    BeckyW Well-Known Member

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    Carefully research your school district and carefully research your school. Be involved, hand pick your teachers and supplement the curriculum and you'll have an excellent PS experience. Be willing to sacrifice for your children. Our philosophy is that our job is to do all we can to help our children develop their talents and soar. It has been my full-time job. Our youngest graduates HS this spring. I will say that our children have been/are in the world but not of it. Such are the times we live in.
    Make sure their physical safety is a priority. You will not, however, even in a private school be able to shield them from the evils and immorality surrounding us. Teach them to be strong, however, and I believe they not only stand firm in their values, they develop the skills to lead others in the midst of and through the storms of life.
    BW
     
  20. kidsngarden

    kidsngarden Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    726
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    Location:
    Washington
    I wanted to add my plug for being involved. If you aren't there you don't know what is going on. The best schools I think are the ones where there is a lot of parents volunteering.

    And I do have to say that it really helps in getting your own way when it comes to the teachers you want for your kids too!

    kids