Why I took my daughter out of public school

Want to contribute your views on the homeschool vs public school debate, or just looking for information? Post here!

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Location: Canton, GA

Postby khutch » Sat Feb 11, 2006 12:07 pm

We took our oldest daughter out of public school and began hs'ing her in Dec. of 04. We had just moved here in August, and Chloe was still having trouble making friends, and fitting into the school "expectations" here in GA. When I approached her teacher, she told me that 3rd was just an especially hard year for some children because they had raised the "personal responsibility bar" for them. She also told me that I didn't need to worry, that Chloe was doing just fine. After several instances of her not wanting to go to school, and being bored most of the time when she was there, I spoke with the teacher again. Once more she assured me that that there was nothing unusual that she had noticed.

The final straw for us was a project that Chloe had done for school. The teacher sent home a list of things you could do for a "State of Georgia" project. One of these items included a Power Point presentation. I was a little taken aback by that. I mean I am not all that skilled in Power Point and having just been to PTA meeting, where some of the teachers there were stating that they themselves were going to a Power Point training class soon This really astonished me that this would be an acceptable medium for a 3rd grader to do a presentation. I would assume that meant the parents would need to be substantially involved in that. We decided on a poster instead.

However, I digress, Chloe and I did her project. We found most of the info on the internet. She printed it out, and cut and pasted it onto poster board. I drew the outline of the state of Georgia, and she colored it, in marking the captial, drawing peaches and peanuts, etc. It took about a week for this project to be completed with the work she put in. We got her grade back, marked with a C, stating that she needed to put everything in her own words, and that obviously she had not done this project on her own.

My first reaction was to go in there and blast her teacher for suggesting that my daughter had not done the work herself, and to question how she surmised that the typical 3rd grader had the technical expertise to build a power point presentation on thier own. If they expected that a parent would have helped with that then why wouldn't my helping her put together a poster and draw the outline for the state of Georgia be appropriate. Why was she being docked for parent involvement. Aren't poublic teachers usually screaming that they don't have enough parents that ARE involved???

In addition, I was reallly aggrivated by her reading grade. The child has been reading since she was four. We come form a family of readers so it made sense that she would be a natural reader. What made absolutely no sense was the "C" grade she got in reading because I negelected to sign her agenda stating she read for 20 minutes each night. Well, the rule in our house was an hour each night of reading (which she NEVER fought us on because she loves to read). I had a 2 and 3 year old at home, and signing the agenda got overlooked on occasion. Not to the extent of giving her "C" though. Somehow I thought a reading grade should be given based on ability and not on a parent's signature. If she wanted to give me a report card, then feel free, but CHloe didn't earn that "C".

Thanksgiving break was soon approaching, and Chloe had taken the GCRCT/Iowa basic skills test. We received the results showing her reading, vocabulary and comprehension was that of an 8th grader. Her math skills were dead on at 3rd grade, and her Social Sciences were pegging out out 8th grade as well. So we pulled her out. We had a benchmark, and we knew what we needed to focus on. We are using a smattering of this and that for curriculum, but the library is our best friend. She is a voracious reader. Math still intimidates her a little, but she is halfway through a fifth grade math book as we speak. She lives for science and exploring the outdoors. She currently is raising 2 hermit crabs, and 2 Anoles (lizards), where she has created an amazing habitat for both (in separate aquariums of course).

Instead of being spoon fed information by public school teachers she has the cognitive ability to go out and find the information she seeks. She can also have my help (and her dad's) without recourse.

Her younger sister Reagan began Kindergarten at home, this fall and is progressing nicely. Piper who is 4 (on the 22nd of this month) will begin next fall, but is already learning oodles from having 2 big sisters learning from home.

Our philosophy is that you need to learn the information, no matter what method or how long it takes. Real life dictates that you know the information, and when and how to use it.

"Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts." (Sign hanging in Einstein's office at Princeton)

Chemistry man
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Home schooling and public schools!

Postby Chemistry man » Sat Feb 25, 2006 8:59 am

I am very sorry to hear all the problems you have shared about your kids in public schools. I do not have a questions for all of you.

What will you do if your kids (or adults) are teased in a social setting? If they ever play on a play ground and teased I hope you do not plan to leave the community and move out or file police complaints. I hope you will tell your kids to leave the jobs when they are teases or make fun of in their professiona lives? Are you all planning to be by your kids side for all their lives? Just wonder..

I am not sure the solution is to take the kids out of schools and keep them in mommy's lap. Education involves providing opportunities where kids feel confident. My opinion...

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That's like saying we should all practice burning ourselves:

Postby Theodore » Sat Feb 25, 2006 9:43 am

That's like saying we should all practice burning ourselves horribly so we can be prepared for if we ever get caught in a fire. Children in public school are often teased constantly, day in and day out, and this doesn't prepare them for life - it just makes their lives miserable. It's much better to give your children as mature an outlook on life as possible and protect them until they're old enough to handle things on their own.

Some popular methods for "handling" teasing are as follows. Pick one:
a) Retreating inwards, never showing any part of yourself that can be made fun of.
b) Attacking anyone who looks like they're about to make fun of you.
c) Joining the group and making fun of others.

The best choice is d), don't be in a situation where you have to choose. I'm not saying isolate your children, just make sure that the environment they're in has sufficient adult influence so it's not openly hostile. Public school is not real life.

Chemistry man
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Thank you!

Postby Chemistry man » Sat Feb 25, 2006 10:47 pm

Good luck to you! Public school life is real and in this changing society I am not sure kids growing under such a shelter as you have described can survive independently. Good Luck!

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Postby marannt » Sun Feb 26, 2006 8:28 pm

Good luck to you! Public school life is real and in this changing society I am not sure kids growing under such a shelter as you have described can survive independently. Good Luck!<<<

Well.... opinions are just that.... opinions!

My young adult children (that were homeschooled their entire lives) are surviving idependently and prospering. They transitioned into their adult places in life without much notice, in fact. Not only are they working and productive, but they are holding leadership positions in their jobs/careers. Two of them have sucessful marriages and children. Another one is engaged, and planning to marry as soon as his fiance graduates from the University she's attending. I haven't seen any cases of their homeschool peers having any problems with the transition into the 'real world'. They seem to be a bit more discerning when making adult choices, and 'tad' more mature in their choices.

I will even go as far as to say, that most of the friends my children had growing up that attended public schools are still struggling to find their place in life. Not one of them stayed in college (most of them began college and dropped out for one reason or another) or have any kind of real career aspirations (these young people are in their early to mid twenties, and come from middle class/ upper middle class families). I'm not being judgemental of these young people, but they do seem to be having a problem reaching maturity. This may not be the case across the board, but it is definitely how it is here in our world.


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Postby Tabz » Mon Feb 27, 2006 1:40 pm

I have seen some homeschooled kids who have a really tough time transitioning, but that's because their parents don't let them make adult choices.

I, on the other hand, did well in college and now in "adultland". It all depends on how the parents parent.. not really because they were homeschooled or not.

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Prepare your children for life

Postby momo3boys » Tue Feb 28, 2006 10:04 am

You wouldn't let your child play with something dangerous without adult supervision, so why let them play with dangerous children without adult supervision? My children iteract with other children in a homeschool GYM time. I am there to help them if they have aproblem with another child, or to just watch and let them figure it out, but I am there to pick which is appropriate. The teachers in the school just don't have the time or the energy. At recess time the teachers are all huddled together talking rather than interacting with the kids. When I taught Pre-school I was picked on because I would play with the kids and help them work things out. They said when I got older I "wouldn't be doing that anymore" That is sad. They are there to teach and interact, but they aren't. In some cases there is support in the schools and the children can be taught to interact with eachother but even then they don't see all the interaction. I am not about to throw my children in to the lion's den so to speak. I am there to teach them how to tame the lion so that if they are in that situation they are prepared.
Phi 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

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Postby Tiarali » Tue Feb 28, 2006 7:01 pm

My husband and I both attended a public school. I was socially ostracised and tease, while he was physically bullied. At one point he was actually picked up and thrown clear across a road. His school finally ended up expelling one of the bullies, but that didn't help really. Both of us were suicidal by the time we graduated; we are thriving in the adult world because we finally escaped public school, not because of it. Social ostracisation does NOT prepare you adequately for the adult world.

Funnily enough, dh has since met that boy (the bully who was expelled), and family services got involved in his life and turned things around for him - he actually thanked dh. One of the bullies who was ignored has since been jailed for assault. The schools are not helping the bullies or the victims.

We tried to put dd#1 in a private kindy. But it's too expensive for us to be able to give her all the extra-curricular activities she wants, and give her and our other two kids private education. And even though she loves the school, she isn't emotionally mature enough for it. Academically, she's ahead of everyone and wants to move ahead, but really she just wants to be home and have a few reassuring cuddles through the day. She's only three, for goodness sake! Besides that, we're having another baby in June, and we want dd to be a part of the whole family, being able to spend time with her little brother during the day too. Since we already know she'll be up to her ears in extra-curricular activities with other kids, socialisation is not an issue.

We're pulling her out of kindy next term - and she had the deciding vote in that.

Oh, and there is a huge difference between letting an adult who has grown into a mature, confident person, deal with an immature bully, and leaving an unsure 5 year old in a new situation to try and handle the same thing on their own. My goal as a homeschooling mother is to give my children the confidence, maturity, and personal skills to cope with the real world. They will attain those skills in the real world - not in the public school setting, where unrealistic age-segregation is the norm.

In the middle ages, children were simply considered tiny adults. They were dressed like adults and forced to act like adults. They were often abused, because there was no difference between an 8 year old, and an 18 year old. To say now that we cannot allow our children to be children when that's what they are - simply because one day they will be adults - is to take matters back to the middle ages. We started protecting children with laws for a reason - they do not yet have the skills to deal with adult issues on their own.

I recently read that 16 children in the UK every year commit suicide due to schoolyard bullying. Considering my husband and my experiences, I can believe it. How well will your children be prepared to cope with the adult world when they don't even live that long?


Yikes, what a way to introduce myself to the board. LOL! Hello, everyone :)

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Postby SophiesMom » Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:49 pm

I am horrified by the stories all of you have told about your children's public school experiences. I wasn't so much bullied, in the typical sense, but had some experiences with boys that wasn't so nice. Its absolutely ridiculous that teachers don't take immediate action against bullies, especially since those incidences where weapons became involved, such as Columbine. I believe in teaching children tolerance, which should be included in school studies, but its pointless if parents continue to teach hate and anger at home. I see a lot of that in my area, with racism, and it continues to shock me when I hear a small child say things like the N-word or make stereotypical comments about African-American people. I only hope that someday, bullying and intolerance of any sort will be demolished.
Amie and Sophie

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Postby sheri berri » Thu Mar 02, 2006 4:55 pm

I chose to become part of the home school movement becasue the educational system is poor and needs to be redefined, i saw Home school as doing this , i want to support a movement that brings education to the organic level, (key concepts love, awareness, growth) where the entire child is taught through love and fun and joy, learning should be a joy a child should never be forced to do something he/she has not come to love first, My son felt as if he was being treated as a baby, i don't use the reward punishment construct (fear) in guiding him, the school system does and its a very poor model for my son for most children if we as parents don't stand up for alternatives what hope do we have, Hats off to every one of you that is home schooling it will lead to new horizions for the future, I don't care what anyone says in the short time i have done it my son leaps to learn and is happy and thriving, it is a great solution :o Namaste Sheri
Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them become what they are capable of becoming!!! goethe

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The Other Side

Postby jacquekr » Wed May 03, 2006 2:52 pm

I wouldn't say that I was a school "bully" but I was definitely on the other side of teasing. I look back at the time I spent in school and feel horrible because of my constant teasing and making fun of other kids.

So coming from the “otherâ€

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If someone makes fun of you, is it your fault?

Postby Theodore » Wed May 03, 2006 10:25 pm

The difference is that the business world emphasizes looking professional, while school emphasizes being good-looking and wearing the latest fashions - a rather significant difference. Also, while you can to some extent choose your work environment, you have no choice as to which public school to go to; and while the truly successful people in business are allowed more leeway, the best students in school are often made fun of (this changes once you enter college). Bottom line, it's the average achiever wearing the latest fashions who does best at school. But I thought the point of school was to educate?

The main problem, I guess, is that academic competition has been removed almost entirely from the schools (someone's feelings might get hurt), and the grade curve (or no scoring system at all) substituted for absolute achievement. Without the schools mandating an emphasis on academics, the emphasis automatically shifts to more shallow things.

Are you saying instead that if someone makes fun of you or bullies you, it's automatically your fault for not fitting in?

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Fitting In

Postby alisarussell » Thu May 04, 2006 4:31 am

After reading this, I just had to ask this question. If my son is small for his age, should I "bulk" him up until he is the right size? And what is the right size? Everyone is different, and just because they are different, does NOT give other children the right to make fun of them.

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Postby momo3boys » Thu May 04, 2006 1:41 pm

Why can't we teach our children how to handle bullying? If we homeschool them we can keep them away from bully's but not all their life, we need to show them how to handle it and if we are there watching, we can help them through the process. We can talk to the parent of the bullier and explain the problem. It might even help the bullier realize that what they are doing is not ok. We can't let children think that life is like that. We need to show them that they are better because of who they are inside, not because of what they do, or wear, or say. Life is about more than that, and if others want to focus on the more shallow things, that is their decision.
Phi 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

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vs public school

Postby mjrgmom » Thu Jun 08, 2006 9:13 am

I too do not like the public schools; my husband went to the public schools around here and he says that he didn't like them then. So, here's my question: it is time to send our eldest to school; I aboslutely am not going to send him to public school!! How do I file for a religious exemption? You see, not only do I feel religious conviction that he should not be at public school, but I also feel that the school should not have their "watchful eye" on our son's progress. So, I am going to file for the religious exemption, but I'm not sure how. Has anyone had experience with this?? Thanks.

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