Thursday, September 1, 2005

Why We Homeschool

I have contemplated making a list of reasons why I will never put my kids in public school, but have never done so.   I have finally had it, and am going to start keeping a list of reasons.   Every time I hear of an incident in a public school, I'm going to add it to my list of reasons.

The first reason is a school about 20 minutes away from me.  In the 4th grade, the teacher hands out a piece of paper to the kids and tells them to answer the questions.   The questions ask things such as 'how much tv time do you have at home', 'how much time do you spend on the computer' 'what does your mother cook with - oil, lard, butter', etc.......     Then, they proceed to line the students up and weigh them, in front of their peers.   The weighing is done at every grade level - I don't know about the worksheet; I know that is at least done in the 4th grade classes.   The reason for all of this?    Obesity in children.  Um, ok.  Since when is it the school's responsibility to make sure kids aren't getting fat?   I thought they were supposed to educate the kids.   Not line them up and give these kids more ammunition to bully each other for how fat some of them may be.  Before the schools start butting in where they have no business being, how about they work on their own lunch menus first?  How about serving the kids a healthy lunch?    Oh, and you want to hear the height of irony with this particular school?   The P.E. teacher weighs over 400 lbs, and they had to build him a special bench in the gym.      But yet they feel free to invade the privacy of all of these families, demanding to know how they live their lives.  

My brother-in-law is a senior in high school.  He just started school, and his first assignment for his Global Studies class is to draw a world map and label it with lots of well-known landmarks - like Nile River, Himalayas, label the continents and oceans, etc.   You would think this would be a relatively easy task for 11th and 12th graders.  You would hope it would be, at least.  But, alas, no, it isn't.   The world map was up on an overhead, and it started with Europe on the left side, and stretched all the way over to North America on the right side.   The kids were supposed to go up to the front and label things.     B/c the map was 'switched' (not having the US on the left side where some flat maps typically start), these kids couldn't figure out which was Africa and which was South America.  They couldn't figure out where the Pacific or Atlantic oceans were.    Someone thought Asia was only India, Korea and Japan.........need I go on?     In a few short years, these kids will be businessmen, teachers, and engineers.   Scary thought, huh?

My dh's coworker has a son who is now in kindergarten.   Requirements for kindergarten acceptance nowadays?    Be able to write your name in both capital and lowercase letters, count to 10 (that one is reasonable), and know all the phonetic sounds of the alphabet.  Knowing all the phonetic sounds before entering kindergarten???????????   That used to be the whole POINT of kindergarten!!!!!!!!   Not to mention that for boys, especially, they are not developmentally ready to be able to write their name at 5 years old.  What a way to frustrate them and make them hate school, right off the bat.    You know,  I could kind of understand this reasoning, if our schools had a rigorous curriculum.   But it doesn't!    There is no reason to be pushing these kids this hard, this early.  Somehow I doubt knowing all your phonetic sounds before kindergarten is not going to insure that you know basic world geography at age 18.

Another reason that I'm glad I'm homeschooling is that I really won't have to worry about gross things such as lice, impetigo, or ringworm.

Public schools only allow kids to check out books that are on their reading level.  And until you are formally assessed to see what your reading level is, you are only allowed to check out books at your grade level.    So if you are in 2nd grade, even if you read at a 5th grade level, until they assess that, you will only be allowed to check out books at a 2nd grade level.  They say that they don't want kids picking out books that are too hard for them.  Whatever happened to challenging kids?  When you challenge what you read, and read words that you don't know, you get better.  Why be satisfied with what you can just do?  And what determines what book is at what grade level?  minimum standards is what.  It is just unbelievable to me that schools will not allow kids to read anything except what is the minimum standard.  How very educating.


  1. My husband just told me an interesting historical fact. Did you know why the school lunch program began? The military was receiving new soldiers in and they were all underweight and weak. So they instituted the school lunch programs to assure that the children were getting food so that we'd have strong soldiers. They wanted to fatten up the kids. Now they are pointing fingers at us because we might cook with butter. Natural butter that is. Not chemically altered by scientists. I too have had a running list of reasons that I homeschool. It's insane what people will put up with.

  2. That part about the weighing is just awful. How humiliating. And the map thing...oh my I hope none of them get jobs in the State Department! What a sad state of affairs. It truly does make you glad you're homeschooling.

  3. I did not learn those "kindergarden" prerequisite skills until I was in the first grade. I don't really remember what it was they were teaching us in Kindy, and I went to Head-Start too...but don't remember what that was for either.

    I know there's the whole push to try and catch the US up with the rest of the world on education, but give me a break. If we are good enough to teach them all that stuff to get into school...then we are certainly good enough to continue teaching them to get them into college.

  4. That lady shouldn't be allowed to be in the schools. I couldn't imagine the embarassment of those poor kids. They cannot blame only parents for their kids to be overweight(I really have no room to talk as I am...but I am working on it.), but what did they think would happen when they decided to cut out PE? When they decided that recess should only be 20 minutes long? I remember when we had gym 2-3 times a week, plus we had recess daily and the teachers sometimes took us outside just to run off all of our energy.

    We also have the same rewquirements for K here. I think that everyone is rushing our kids to grow up way too fast. JMHO. Whatever happened to half day K and that was only 2-3 days a week?



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