We home schooled Frank for preschool and kindergarten, but for first grade we talked with Frank and he wanted to try public school. We didn't really want to, but as it was his education, we decided to let him make a decision.
We jumped through the hoops and finally got him enrolled in one of the local schools and all was well. Then after a couple months he start crying every morning, "I don't want to go to school" "It's boring me to death". So we scheduled a meeting with his teacher. After speaking with her we thought things might be OK, but Frank still persisted in his crying each morning, not wanting to go to school.
I for one could not understand this as I loved going to school. Meeting friends, learning stuff. Well after talking to Frank and going to his school and checking things out this is what I have gleaned.
Public school has changed. A lot. Massively. We used to go to school, sit in ONE classroom and learn from one teacher. We went to recess a couple times a day, had a full half hour for lunch, which we ate in the classroom. PE, Art, Music, Library were all taught by one teacher and in one classroom. They encouraged us to run an make noise at recess and when the bell rang, we were out of there, running to the play ground or for home at the end of the day.
Now Frank's school is a bit different. They show up and wait for the bell, but wait, it's not a bell, but a soft bonging. The first day of school I did not even hear it. But the kids all lined up by class and waited for the teacher. This is when they held role call. If you are not there at this time, you are marked absent for half a day. HALF A DAY! Even if you are 1 minute late! This is ridiculous. We would just get a swat from the teacher. Next they march in single file to there class rooms and then take off there cold gear and hang it up and go to class.
Now I have not had the pleasure of seeing first hand what they do after that, but from the reports from Frank and his Mom, they go from place to place having different class, PE in one room, Art in another, Music in another. Different teachers, different rooms. Each time they line up, have to shut up and march from place to place.
Lunch is in the cafeteria. Now they have to line up again, march to lunch, get there meal, sit at a specific table. By the time all this happens half of their limited lunch time is over. Then they have to wolf their food down in 10 minuets before they have to line up again and march back to their class room. The whole time the have to be quite. Every day Frank returns home with half of his lunch still in the box. We have started to give him only 2 or 3 crackers, half a sandwich and a small portion of fruit and he still brings stuff home.
When I go to pick Frank up after school they march out in single file, by class, led by their teachers. It is just crazy. They are teaching our kids one thing, to be a zombie.
Frank's home work is another thing. It is practically non-existent. And when he does bring home something, it is only 3 or 4 questions. When we home schooled he had 3 or 4 pages of home work each night. I had Frank bring in some extra home work that I had him do and show it to the teacher. She didn't even look at it, just grunted and moved on. If she does not care about my son's education, then who will? One of the other 5 or 6 teachers or "Paraproffessionals" as they are called, basically teachers aids.
They had a fire drill the other day and it was remarked in the newspaper that the ratio of adult to child at this school was 5 student to every adult! This is ridiculous.
Another thing that Frank was complaining about is the fact that unless the outside temperature is BELOW Zero, then they are required to go outside for recess. I am sorry, I don't like going outside when it is below 30, but they thrust these K thru 4th graders outside when the temperature is 2 degrees and they freeze for 15 min two times a day in the winter. This is just crazy!
We finally talked it out, my wife and I, and we have decided to pull Frank out before he looses all self will and identity or he freezes to death. We are going to home school him again and I know for a fact that we can do a much better job of it. Thank God Wyoming is one state that fosters the home schooling process. Our letters are written and will be dropped off tomorrow and Frank will have one more week of school and then he will restart his education.
One of our neighbors who home schools has kindly given us a complete curriculum for 1st and 2nd grade and I am looking it over in preparation to begin the process again. I have set Frank up for Taekwondo and Ice Skating for his PE classes and looking forward to visiting the local museum and library for field trips. Frank is thrilled and ready to dive in again. Maybe we can undo the damage that the public system has done.
I can only hope.