This is it…

 

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Ok, I know I’ve posted that I’m going to make a more conscious effort to post, but starting today, I MEAN IT!

I want to use this blog to chronicle our journey with homeschooling.  There are several reasons why we’ve decided to take this step.  The primary reason is that the school system right now is just a mess.  The State is making districts merge together, which has not proved to be as beneficial as they promised (surprise, surprise).  This means that teachers are being cut, class sizes are bigger, and students are not getting the education they deserve.

Our son, who will be in fifth grade, would have been in a class of 25.  He has a learning disability in reading, and the teacher would not possibly be able to give him the attention she’d like, or that he needs, in order to meet his full potential and make progress with a class size that huge.

Our oldest daughter has had a rough class since she was in her first year of preschool at age 3.  There are so many behavior issues that every year, the teachers have jumbled the kids up to see if that would make a difference, and every year, our kiddo has come home frustrated at the out of control students, or the fact that the class would lose out on something fun, or that she’d have to wait and stall her learning, until the others would quit goofing around.

Our youngest daughter has a wonderful class of 19, with one major behavior student.  This class deserves to be split in half, so that they could really soar.  But, due to this merger, the school will not be hiring another first grade teacher, so again, she will have to be at the mercy of when the teacher can attend to her and how much the teacher will have to wait for the class to catch up.

The other, probably almost as important issue, is that there are about 12 so-far-out-of-control students that are running the show.  These students need more help than they can get at school, yet school has to do what they can to give these children an education. The amount of times I have had to explain to my 5- and 6-year-old students about why we can hear someone screaming bloody murder is beyond what should be considered acceptable.  These students run through the halls, shutting down wings for sometimes hours at a time, because there is a no-touch rule.  That means that until the student is ready, they don’t have to move, so the rest of the school has to wait it out and use other resources that might not be available until the student has calmed down.  If this happened once in a while, or even once a week, it would be manageable.  However, this type of thing is happening multiple times a day, all day long, all week long, all month long, all school year long, to the point where are students, MY CHILDREN, are becoming desensitized to the struggles of these other students.  They tune them out because we are training them to ignore this distracting, and sometimes dangerous, behavior.  This is not okay.  These mentally ill students are coming to school just trying to survive, yet they are not getting their needs met and taking away from the education of others.

When I advocated for my students and myself as a teacher the last two years, I struck a nerve in administration.  In our district, the first two years of employment is probational. So, I was told that my contract was not being renewed due to the district merge, but I know it’s because I was not going with the flow, balking at the decisions being made (as respectfully as possible), and speaking about what was best for the students.

I am so excited to be starting this home-school journey with Oak Meadow as a curriculum. We will be hands-on, outside, relaxed with our studying, yet making progress, and best of all, the kids will be learning at their own pace.  Keep following this blog to see the ups (and hopefully not too many downs) of what this adventure will be!

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