Saturday, April 23, 2011

Why I Let My Son Drop Out of 1st Grade

My son entered public school with such a fantastic attitude. His kindergarten teacher was kind and patient. He really loved her! First grade (same school) was a different story. He was no longer in the "little kid" corner of the school and I started noticing some very disturbing things about public school. These are the reasons I pulled him from first grade.
#1 Values
In a medium size school, my son was starting to pick up on values the other teachers were pressing onto my son. "That's a girl color", the teacher's assistant said about his purple stripped shirt. He never wore it again.
"Don't be a cry baby" "Don't play with girls, they're dumb" and many more sexist, racist and prejudices kids learn as they grow up in public school.
The school had posters everywhere saying "Don't be a bully, be a buddy" and other catchy sayings against bullying. His P.E. teacher had a different interpretation of this school policy. According to my son and my neighbor's son, the P.E. teacher scolded them for 'tattle -telling' and said that no one would want to be their friend if they got others in trouble. He denied all of this, of course.
#2 Time
The time the teacher actually spends with my son was not enough, and I needed to step up as a parent. I knew that in a class of 26, my son would only get so much attention. But if he is going to spend almost his entire day in this school, I need it to be productive time, as well as fun. Sitting in a desk for 5-6 hours is not how a child should learn. He is 7 going on 17, and I want to be with him as he is growing and learning. I actually want to be with my kids. This may test my patience at times, but I won't be satisfied until I know I've tried my all to give my kids a happy childhood.
#3 Control and Dominance
I was not okay with the way the school was running things. I understand that there needs to be order and discipline. Scolding my son for every single thing he did was not the way to go about it. My son needed to go to the bathroom. He had his hand up for a long time, he was ignored. The teacher finally told him, finish your worksheet and you can go. My son peed on himself. (I'm having to delete the cuss words lol). WHO DOES THIS MAN THINK HE IS?? My son has to pee, how does it affect him AT ALL, just let him go to the bathroom! All through out the year, my son was reprimanded for the simplest things, most of the time I let them go. I didn't want to be that parent. But I couldn't let this one go.
#4 Testing
The testing my son had to go through weekly was ridiculous. And pointless. The way public schools are set up, the way they test and why they test, it is all messed up and I don't want my son to be in that. He is in 1st grade, I didn't even take that many tests in high school!
#5 It is HIS life
I understand that my son is a minor, but he is not my property. He is an individual, a person with thoughts and feelings. As long as I am able to, I will respect his decisions. If his decisions aren't harming him or others, why not let him decide? Parents often forget that children aren't lesser beings because they are smaller. We shouldn't dictate over their lives, we should guide them.
So, with only three more weeks of public school to go, I spoke to him and listened. I really listened. And my heart told me to let my son stay home. I was definitely going to homeschool my 4 year old starting next year, because that is what he wants. Now, this is my oldest son's choice too. I will be enrolling him in a program that does cooperative learning. I can sign him up for classes, as many as I like, and take my two boys to the homeschooling building where Christian teachers will work with them. I will be in the building, also helping out with other classes. It sounds like the best of both worlds. I really hope he likes it!