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29
Jan

School Issue Update

by Tiffany in Children, Tidbits

homeschoolingSince I had so many supportive comments about my public school issue with my son and requests that I let everyone know how things went, I thought I would give a report. I went to the school meeting this morning.

For the first 10 -20 minutes I let them report about my son’s lack of progress and the fact that they believe he is about on year behind where he should be academically. When they asked my opinion about all of what they had said I basically explained that I am just not seeing the problems they do. My son is highly intelligent and has learned an amazing amount just since he joined this school but they seem to be less concerned with progress as they are with meeting up to a predetermined standards. I pointed out that education is a journey….not a race….and I feel my son is right where he needs to be and where he should be. I point blank told them that their standards are immaterial to me. Each child has unique abilities, learning styles, and strengths.

Well, as some of the commenters from my previous post hinted it actually went over well. All three of the educators there agreed that the standards were flawed and set some kids up for failure. My son’s homeroom teacher actually mentioned that my son would be better off in a Waldorf school and looked kind of dreamy eyed when she said it. I agreed….but the closest Waldorf school is two hours away (one way). If anything this makes me regret moving from Arizona a bit because the schools were more relaxed there and they have several Waldorf schools but what’s done is done. :(

My son is at a disadvantage because the requirements in AZ were a far cry from what they are here. In Arizona they wanted him to know his ABCs and letter sounds upon graduation. When he transferred mid year to an Ohio kindergarten class they expected him to be reading and spelling already, which was a big shock. He also had little parental assistance during his first year of schooling because I was going through Chemo 5-6 days a week every other week. So he is behind his classmates because he did not have the same starting point or the same instruction they did. Now the school is acting like the race is on to “catch him up”.

They told me we have 3 options…retain him (not an option I told them), see if he qualifies for special ed (they were doubtful), or let him move on to second grade and get lost academically and flunk out. They all showed regret that these were the best options they could come up with. I told them I would pull him from school and homeschool before I let him flunk out or be made to feel as though he were inadequate in some way and that I would be watching that like a hawk. They seemed to like that, LOL. They kept mentioning how lucky my  son was to have someone who cared so much about his education and put so much thought into preserving his self worth.

Then the prinicipal flat out told me that I should look into TRECA. I was NOT expecting that! TRECA is a public funded digital academy that services 5-6 counties in my area. It is homeschool with an online assistance program. The big benefit of TRECA is that you work at your own pace and you schedule your schooling as you see fit even working during summer months. After doing a search I also found some support/homeschool groups for kids using TRECA or any of the other online schools Ohio has.

So…wow…I have a lot to think about. BUT it looks like unless things drastically change I will likely be homeschooling for the next school year which is actually kind of exciting. Taking my kids on the 600 mile Highway 127 yard sale from Ohio to Alabama is educational right? My homeschool ideas are kind of eclectic, LOL.

I ordered some of the books that you lovely readers suggested too. So I have some reading to do and some thinking to do….wish me luck!

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

14 Comments on School Issue Update

  • Best of luck to you! You are a fantastic mom and your son is lucky to have you be his teacher.

    Dawn’s last blog post..San Francisco and Monterey, CA

  • I’m so glad your meeting was so productive!

    trina’s last blog post..Eating at 15 Months

  • karin

    GOOD FOR YOU!

  • Brooke

    Awesome. We have the same thing here in PA, an online free homeschooling program and one of the women I met at an LLL group couldn’t say enough good things about it. Good luck.

  • Good for you! Homeschooling is an excellent opportunity to explore the world (or 600 mile yard sale!) if you can do it. My husband was homeschooled in Houston TX, and they even had sports teams with the local homeschool kids. Good luck!

    Maria’s last blog post..Holy Teeth!

  • Aww….thanks Dawn. Your gonna make me cry. :)

  • Jai

    Dah, been a while since I last posted! I am so glad it was a very productive meeting! You inspire me! I was thinking about homeschooling (in the future) and was about to start investigating this option. I think you’ll be a wonderful teacher and your darling son is lucky to have you! (as you are of him, naturally!)

  • I’m glad the meeting was productive. Good luck with it! I keep pushing my husband that we should homeschool but we have a few years yet for that discussion.

    I just saw this video and it made me think of your post:
    http://www.raisingsmallsouls.com/wp-content/themes/179/aschool012008.html

  • Tara

    Hats off to you for handling the meeting so well. You and your son are lucky to have each other! BTW, it’s likely my daughter went to the Waldorf School you are referencing. It’s a great place but you can easily duplicate much of what they do there on your own. You can email me for more if you would like. All the best on your homeschool journey.

    Tara’s last blog post..Going to School in India

  • Wendy

    Tiffany
    Your meeting also points out the fact that teachers and admiistrators are not the enemy. They mostly have their hearts in the right place and are doing the best they can in a very broken educational system driven by politics and not in the child’s best interest. Don’t feel you have to sign on to any program in these early years even self-paced computer based lessons. The whole world can be your classroom and reading is better and easier when the knowledge base is bigger from real world experience and, of course, the reading material is so rich and high quality when they read at a later age.
    Best wishes,
    Wendy

  • Marisa

    I just wanted to briefly say that your story sounds like a carbon copy of our situation out here in California. My son is no 8 and we went through the same thing when he first started kindergarten. The pressue to meet state regulations was ridiculous. However, I knew I had started him out in school to soon with his birthday at the end of the year. He actually started kindergarten at the age of 4. After careful research I had decided to retain him after 1st grade and honestly I do not regret that decision. I too thought that it would make him feel “left behind” in comparison to his friends but at this young tender age all they want to do is play and meet friends and he sure did. He had a whole new set of friends and the pay off is that he’s totally ahead of his game now and the confidence he feels now is much greater and he doesn’t even remember that his best-friend “Andy” moved to the next grade and he didn’t. It’s not even a problem because he’s got so many new friends.

    Anyway, just wanted you to know that what we decided to do was best for my son and will never regret the decision and we have actually been told that it was the best thing.

    Good luck! Your a great Mom to look up to.

  • So glad the meeting went well. And if you do decide to homeschool I wish you lots of luck. This is our third year of homeschooling our boy’s and I haven’t regretted it. Glad you got the books suggested!

  • Lauren

    I’m wondering if you can talk to the teacher about bringing home alternate assignments that you can work on with him at home to help him catch up. Maybe he should advance to the second grade and during the summer, you can design some programs and activities to help him practice his skills and build his confidence. Ask the school what skills he should have for entering second grade and use the summer to prepare him on your own. I think homeschool is great but since he is so young, he might really benefit more from the social experience of a school setting. Homeschool might be better as a last resort because he hasn’t flunked out yet! There is absolutely hope! He is a little piece of clay that is hoping you’ll help mold him! I love your blog and know you make great decisions! Good luck with everything!

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