Saturday, October 4, 2008

I Want To Hear From You About Schooling


This next week will be full. My kids will all be in school full days. Kindergarten started full days on this past Thursday. I was so much more focused on what I needed to do instead of looking at the clock so much to see when 11:20 would come around. Superkid is enjoying the more relaxed afternoon especially because the morning is all packed academics. When I was there yesterday, I saw there were no times of playing cars, or playhouse. It was teaching, worksheets, and phonics till lunch with only a recess in there. Now, he will have more fun after lunch as they play more, do art, and have story times.
At home I will be working into my solid routine more. I've broken down what to do on what days to keep myself focused and not let the hours slip by. I will begin my exercise time too. If the weather cools down, I will be baking more to help with our food budget.

On the blog I will be focusing on some things the Lord is laying on my heart.
I have been given a burden to reach out and find, and encourage mom's looking at public school. I have been amazed at the lack of christian support out there on the Internet. Further more, there is some direct insult and condemnation for it. I don't know what kind of beckon this blog can be, but I'm going to start. I have been on the search for some christian mom bloggers and am just beginning to find some. I don't have a lot of time for blog reading so I'm letting myself check out two blogs a day in my blog reading time. I found a great website from a couple with 8 children who have written a book about public school.
I have chatted with the christian couple at my own kids school (the husband use to be my teacher and is now the 3rd grade teacher, and she is now Superkid's kindergarten teacher) who raised three children in the public school and they are great Christan adults now teaching themselves, married to godly spouces.
I hope to start a support place of conversation and prayer for one another. To talk honestly about fears, how it's going well, how it's scary and more than anything how we can stay strong and on top of the issues, and glorify God in our families. I know these women are in a sense on the front lines and the threats are real and in our faces. We need to be encouraged. If God has called you to the front lines, I hope you can find encouragement here. If you homeschool, I hope you can find the same. Each has it's own challenges and my heart is tender to both because I have been there on both ends. God will call us all to different avenues for different purposes, we can all support God's path for each of us. Still, I find the support lacking for those of us called into the public arena and if I can, I hope to beef it up.

I'd like to start out the week hearing from you.
How were you schooled?
What was great about you schooling?
What was difficult about it?
If you have done different areas of schooling, you can answer for each.
If you would like to share further:
How did God use your schooling for his glory?

Just share in any way really, I really want to hear from everyone, even if you don't usually comment or have never commented here before. I could use a poll system but then you would not have the freedom to add details to your answers.

If you don't know how to post comment you can send your answer to me at happyhomebody@gmail.com and I can post it for you.

I will give a few days over the weekend for sharing. I hope to start diving into this subject on Monday.
(I did hear one mom share about an awful experience of an autistic child being locked up during school. This angered me intensely. My own brother has cerebral palsy and had the same experience in young grade school in the 70's. There is no excuse for that method of managing children and I would be out of that school in one way or another faster than anything. Any school doing that should be brought to account. Yet, those considering public school should not let a monster form in their heads from these bad stories as I did. They only fed my already acutely developed fear of letting go of my children in any area. It would be just as wrong as letting homeschooling horror stories dissuade you if the Lord is leading you to homeschool.)
Don't be shy to share....you're thoughts are very welcome!:)



11 comments:

Zimms Zoo said...

I was public school for awhile and then homeschooled.

My brother was dyslexic and no one took the time to teach him how to read. My mom tried, but the teachers thwarted every effort. Then the teachers started spanking him almost every week for disrupting the class (he wasn't, just frustrated and they didn't care). SO my parents said that was it and if he came home so did I.

But I never had any trouble in PS. I did go onto college, but married, had 6 kids and that was that.

My brother did learn how to read and then was the youngest copier tech that Xerox had ever hired in this area. He is still there and moving on up (without a college degree). He was awarded the gold standard trip last year and is in the running again this year.

Therfore I do have a very bad picture of PS. The one in our neighborhood is awful.

But we have lots of friends who have kids in PS without any problems and we don't love them less at all.

julie said...

hi alicia,
i will be thinking about this for you this week. i agree there isn't a whole lot of encouragement out there. so...we will have to create our own i suppose! perhaps you could begin a "moms in touch" prayer group at your elementary school?? they have a website and i know they are very well-supported in so cal. i don't know about up here. our elementary, neighborhood, ethnic blend is very similar here in shandon. it is a blessing in many ways. it presents a unique perspective and opportunity to bless and minister that we probably wouldn't have if we were still living in our previous home/city. i remember someone from our old church telling us that we should try to look into something different for tommy (who at the time started 8th grade in public school after 7 years of homeschooling) such as the local christian school because the school tommy had begun had a "level" of problems that this person hadn't seen in other places. that hasn't been our experience praise God. in fact, when our son plays against that very local christian school team in his 2 sports, the christian school has a terrible habit of using the "F" word and has very poor sportsmanship. so......you can see that WE ALL NEED JESUS!!! another reason not to look to people but to CHRIST! homeschool, christian school, public school what a hotbed huh? we were blessed with all 3 of the prospects. we have had positive and negative experiences with ALL of them. i think the important thing is to seek God's desire first and secondly don't abdicate your role as parent in any of those choices. (even in a homeschool it can be easy to let the computer program or parent-shared studies/classdays to be the boss.) sorry..longer post than i thought.:)
julie

Gombojav Tribe said...

I went to Public School until the second month of fourth grade. I was well-liked, had perfect grades, and all that.

Then I was homeschooled and stayed homeschooled until I graduated. I didn't go to college, but did an certification program in childbirth education.

Even though I had no personal problems in public school (no bad grades or behavior problems, etc.) I'm afraid I also don't have anything good to say about public school either. It has never even been an option for us.

Lots of my friends send their children to PS, but I've never considered it.

I adored being homeschooled and love homeschooling now.

So, I guess I'm not much help in your current search! But, I'll read everyone else's responses, in case I can pass along the encouragement to someone else!

:-)

I am Katy, said...

I was public schooled. My mom was very invloved both as "room mom" and as PTA president throughout elementary school. I think her involvement made all the difference in my education.

I am thankful that my friend Annika was public schooled, because it was through our friendship that I found Christ in tenth grade.

Not sure what we'll do yet. We still have a couple years to decide. We aren't too thrilled about sending them to our neighborhood school, most of the time homeschool seems overwhelming to me, private school sounds expensive, and the one school that seems to be a middle ground is a 35 minute drive away. We shall see where God leads.

Gombojav Tribe said...

Oooo, I just had a good PS memory. In the second grade I had a teacher that was great. Mrs. Fisher. She even came to my birthday party. I wonder where she is now.

Kristen Borland said...

well, in about a year or year and a half i'll pick your brain about this. i'm thankful we still have time to wait on the Lord about this decision. we basically are looking at public school and homeschool. we can't afford private school. we very possibly will do homeschool preschool so we don't have to pay for preschool.

i went to public school, and it was great. i had some awesome teachers. any teachers that were super bad were "weeded out" by my older sister, meaning my parents made sure i wasn't put in those classes, and i remember in high school pulling out of one teacher's class because of her overbearing liberal opinions (and students totally worshiped her--it was weird). so mostly it wasn't difficult. my poor older sister had to find the bad teachers that hard way! oh, but i did do homeschool (with a tutor and with my mom) during my really sick years, which were 6th through 9th grade, adding some public school in here and there for a class or so as i was doing better. that really, really solidified my independence and my desire to follow God rather than the peer pressure.

we probably would choose public school because of my physical limitations, and because i may not have the best personality for it. unless God tells us otherwise, i want to better balance all areas of my life, which may not be possible if i have to spend my days teaching.

Brianna Heldt said...

Hi Alicia, I found your blog off of Kristen's.

First of all, you MUST read "Going Public: Your Child Can Thrive in Public School" by the Pritchards. They are an amazing, Godly family (I think it's them you're referencing on here.) ANYway, it's one of my favorite books!

I was completely public schooled. My dad is a public school teacher (and a great one at that.) I had some great experiences in public school, although my mom has always said that I just never really liked school very much. I think that is very true. I love to learn and I love to read, but for the most part just didn't enjoy school. I got good grades, but I loved the weekends and I loved Summer. :)

My worst public school experience was probably in 8th grade. I had a HORRIBLE english teacher, I mean really not good at teaching, assigned way too much of the wrong kind of work, etc. ANYway, she'd assign 50 pages of Jane Eyre a night (in addition to other things). And from that time on, I don't think I read a book for fun until college. Seriously, that class pretty much killed my love for reading. Sad! (Thankfully it finally came back though!)

I get so tired of hearing pious Christians saying that Deuteronomy 6 mandates that we teach our children academics at home. I highly disagree. God is working in the public schools. No government can take Him out. There are children, parents and teachers who love the Lord and who are following His call on their life. No matter what type of school you do, what is happening in your home will affect the child most.

In other parts of the world, all education costs money. It is very sad when poor children can't afford to go to school. I am so grateful that our nation provides public schooling.

My daughter will start kindergarten next year. We have an excellent neighborhood school nearby but are thinking about homeschooling w/ a one full-day per week enrichement program thru the public school system. I don't fear the public schools at all, and I believe there are things my kids will miss out on by not going. BUT, with four small kids, the constant picking up and dropping off, plus wanting them to get to do some fun extracurricular things (while still being home a lot), I'm just wondering if homeschool might work better.

Wow, sorry for the long comment! Remind me why you switched to public school?

Civilla said...

Whew! I can't believe I found your blog. I am 55. My children are 21 and 19. We considered home-schooling, but after much prayer and talking it over, they started out in a Catholic school in S.Calif. (we are not Catholic), then we moved and could no longer afford private school.

That began our life in public school. No, it wasn't perfect. We are lucky that we live in a rural area, and the public schools here are decent. Everyone here is at least nominally Christian, so we may still sing Christmas carols at our school Christmas pageant. Nobody bothered our kids if they brought Bibles to school or prayed at the lunch table.

I have just learned the computer and the internet. I love it. Unfortunately, nearly all of the Christian homemaker and mother sites are for homeschoolers. While I understand why loads of people want to homeschool, and I am not against it, it is not for everybody. If I had attempted to homeschool my boys, they would have run away from home long ago.

The sites I go to are SO dogmatic about homeschooling. You MUST do it, or you don't love your children and are not really a Christian. Maybe it is an over-reaction to the criticism they get. I wish we could stop the "mommy wars" and affirm each other and support each other.

My problem is that even if I agreed with these hyper home-schoolers, it is too late for me. My children are grown. Also, it is too late for me to have 10 children, because I have already gone through menopause and we don't want to adopt more kids. (I am not against big families. I think they are neat.)

Here, too, I feel condemned at these blog spots. I am suppossed to groven and say, "Oh, you ladies are right. I was wrong. If I had it to do over, I would not use birth control and homeschool all of the children." I'm not going to do that. It is demoralizing.

I have 2 blogspots: http://profile.xanga.com/mrsgrovine/
or http://civillascybercafe.blogspot.com/
Thanks.

Joan said...

Hi Alicia - As you know, I went to a small Christian school, and I have so many great, happy memories. But, I also remember getting made fun of because I was smart, so I would tend to not participate academically as much as I could have. Looking back, I wish I could have devoted more energy to learning (not just short-term memory for the tests), and less to social stinkiness. :) All in all, though, for a school setting, it was great. I think that really each family must do what is best for them, and if the kids are getting the time, attention, and shepherding they need at home, that's the important thing. We are not closed to the idea of school at some point. We'll see!

Civilla said...

Well, Alicia, I will reply to your request to know about my schooling.

I started out in the '50's in a small public school. They had 1st and 2nd grade in one room, taught by the principal. 3rd and 4th grades were in another room, and
5th and 6th grades in another, taught by the man teacher, of whom we were all terrified. It was a very positive experience.

My mother took me with her for a while, after she left my dad. I went to a large PS (public school)there in New York City in the
'50's for 6 months. The school was huge, but I remember it as a positive experience. I was a "latch-key" kid. My mother roomed with another lady who had two girls, and they left us with babysitters a lot. We survived.

My dad got custody. I was put in Catholic school with the nuns. Part of the custody agreement. I was a year too young for the grade, as my first public school was lenient and allowed kids as young as 4 years and 9 months old to be in first grade! There was no kindergarten.

The nuns picked on me. My family was non-traditional, and they didn't like that. Plus, I was too young, and immature, and they kept trying to hold me back a grade, because of that, even though I could do the school work. My father fought with the nuns a lot.

I was in Catholic school for 7 years. It was like doing time. The classes were too big (46 kids and one nun!), but we did manage to get a good education. Wearing uniforms was neat. You didn't have to be jealous of other kids with nicer clothes.

I demanded to go to public high school after that. My dad agreed, because he was sick of paying tuition. I went to a large public high school. The classes were large, and there were a lot of racial tensions, which frightened me.

After one year in that school, our school district got some kind of "open enrollment" system, and I transferred to a smaller public high school. It was wonderful. I met my husband there. Our education was pretty good, and the teachers took a personal interestin us. I had many friends.

I went to a private college affiliated with the non-instrumental churches of Christ (Abilene Christian University, Abilene, Texas). It was a rich-kid school. I was disappointed in that. The girls never wore the same outfit twice, and looked like beauty queens, and this was in the early '70's, no less! Still, it was a very good school and we got a good education, even though it was not as "Christian" as I wanted it to be. My husband and I were married students, having enrolled there after my husband got out of the army.

Well, as for our kids:we put the oldest in an Air Force base pre-school. He then went, believe it or not, to Catholic school in S.Cal. for Kindergarten and 1st grade. The younger one went to Catholic pre-school. After we moved from California, we were public school people from then on out. We were in small city public schools for a while (grade school). They were good. Then we were small-town public schools for many years. The education wasn't so good, and my kids were picked on a lot for being outsiders. That was VERY BAD. We had to confront kids and parents a lot. Other than that, the teachers in the small-town schools were our personal neighbors and friends and took a personal interest in all of the kids. My older son's graduating class had 12 kids in it; the younger son's class had 20 kids in it. Small school.

We survived it. Then the kids went to Trinity Bible College of the Assemblies of God. The older one hated it, and has transferred to a college of cosmetology. The younger son loves Trinity. He is studying to be an elementary school teacher. Both boys are in traditionally female career fields.

Well, that is my long blog. Hope you can use some of the information. Didn't feel like homeschooling was for us, but support those who do. Love. Civilla (Mary).

tricia said...

Alicia,

I went to public school my whole life. I got a good education and went on to college and got my B.S. degree. The only draw back I found coming out of the public school system was that I had a very worldly view of God. My parents when I was eleven seperated. By the time, I was thirteen both my parents had remarried. They left the school to teach me and they did not contradict anything I learned in school. I got good grades and never go into trouble. I went to three different high schools.

What I learned from my parents was that as a parent you need to be involved. So when I had kids, I was going to be very involved in their education and know who their friends were. We started my oldest in public school. I was the room mother and volunteered in the class. I was going to stay home and be there when the kids got out of school.

We decided to pull Iw out when he went through all of the 1st grade and did not learn anything. I approached the school and their attitude was he was not two years behind so there was nothing they could do. It is only with God's help that I have continually search and I have found out what his learning difficulties are and how to help him. This was not the journey I choose, but the journey God lead me to.

I think the key to however you decide to school your child is being involved and trusting God.