Friday, November 07, 2008

Why my child will never go to public school

Reason #4

Yesterday, my husband and I had a discussion about whether to let Danny attend preschool and/or school. My husband thinks that we should let it depend on Danny and his personality. He may very well be the kind of child who does well in a structured setting (although, it's not looking that way so far, I must say). I tend to agree. After a rough week with Dan, I'm often left wondering whether my undivided attention is the best thing for him. Every few months or so, I revisit the idea of a two-day preschool. It's a bit expensive and I sometimes think it's just glorified child care since he learns quite a bit from Jim and I and the family routine. He knows numbers and the alphabet (reading, math); we read to him when we can (reading); he plays outdoors (fitness), learns about animals, plants, physics (science); he has at least three play dates a week (socialization). With the new baby coming in a two months, I don't want to shuttle him off for preschool then lest he feel abandoned.

We are interested in homeschooling, but have decided to take a wait-and-see approach. Some kids start out in school and wind up being homeschooled later or start out homeschooled and take classes in high school. Any damage is reversible in the former scenario and fortified against from a more stable start in the latter scenario. (When I say school, I mean public school. Currently, there is no way we could afford private school. So for families like us, there really is only one choice. And we have teacher's unions and Democrats to thank for that.)

Yet it never fails ... just as I begin to wonder anew about whether I've judged school too harshly, the news intervenes for a reality check. My biggest problems, and this came up in our discussion yesterday, are the inane focus on testing and the likelihood of indoctrination.
  • This week, the state of North Carolina released its reading test scores. Sixty percent of students passed. According to our outgoing governor, this is a good thing. Apparently, too many students were passing under the old standards. Huh? So, they're snatching success from students because they did too well on tests?
  • I should just let this video speak for itself, but where's the fun in that? The point is that there is no guarantee that our children won't face this kind of ridicule and indoctrination at the hands of a teacher. It's just not a risk that we're willing to take.

Uh, no thanks. These two items alone are enough to drive me away from the idea for another few months.


Anonymous said...

that's outrageous!--Cousin Kelley

The WilsonFam said...

she needs to review the definition of brow beating. That poor little girl.