I have a son who used to think he was worth very little when he went to public school. I went and observed in his class and then I could see why. The teacher was putting a lot of pressure on him and making him feel like he was ruining the chances for a class Pizza Party, all because he was not getting high enough scores on Rocket Math. She did not say anything directly to him. She just said, “Some of us are doing really well, but those who are not, are holding the whole class back from a pizza party!” I wanted to cry. My poor son, who could not get any higher than the lowest level on the timed speed math drills, was looking down at his chair. He was using all his emotional strength not to cry.
I was not blind. All the other kids had colored in their cartoon rockets one level higher, or had already progressed some.
This is thr crazy thing, though: They were doing math problems that, in kindergarten, he could do even faster than likely the fastest in that class, and this wqs his 2nd grade year. His teacher had just recently told me that he was doing poorly in math. I had been shocked to hear it, because the image in my head had been or a child of mine who had begged me for math problems to solve, before entering kindergarten. In my mind, he was still that good at math, and he still loved math.
It was not over 2 months into homeschooling that he was begging for more math again. He still loves math today.
I do not believe in shaming. I do not believe in the kind of peer pressure that teacher used, or making a kid feel awful by saying the things that teacher said.
As sad as it was, I know she did not mean any harm. I see her as innocent, because she did not see what I saw. She was not thinking about my son as an individual that day, or any of the days she had said that before. She was seeing a class of 28 students. She was doing her best, and in her eyes, she was quite simply being a nice teacher by offering an incentive. I forgive her.
I am glad that I started looking for charter schools after that visit to observe in the school. I applies for all of the charter schools. I “made it” into all of them. I turned all of them down. By the time I was offered chances to go to charter schools, I had looked at all the details and had talked to people. I had found out that all of them used Rocket Math or similar things.
Most important if all, though, I had experienced what homeschooling could do for my kids, and It was an amazing difference! I knew my kids so much more, that I thought, as my friend Tammy expressed for me, I realized that in comparison, I had barely known them at all when they were in public school all day long. Spending all day every day with my kids was so much different from seeing them only after school every weekday and on weekends. Even on weekends, their grandparents took them away on excursions anyway, so I had not been seeing much of them.
I had also experienced the friendships and support of the local homeschooling community, which was vast and deep! Homeschool moms and homeschooled kids are so friendly and there are many of them. The moms are supportive and help one another. There are monthly meetings for just moms. There are holiday parties like the Not Back to School Party on the “1st day if school” for everyone in the community, Halloween Parties, Christmas Parties, a big Valentine’s Day Party, Spring Fling, Field Day and things all summer, too!
In fact, when people worry about socialization, it makes me laugh inside, though I do understand their worries. Kids that homeschool can have play overs or olay dates during the day, and are never told, “If you talk to each other, I will change the seating arrangement!” or some such silly thing. At recess, my kids on a daily basis are becoming best friends with each other, too. This is not a bad thing. They do have friends outside the family, but on a day in and day out basis, most of their time is with each other. This is the way God intended it to be. He created the family and the family is the most important unit in God’s church and kingdom. They should love one another, as Jesus taught us all to do. The best way for them to learn how to get along with others, is by learning in this microcosm of society, which is the eternal family unit!
I share this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.